google hacks

Google@UCI & ICSSC Present Google WebHacks

Google WebHacks (24-hour hackathon) is coming THIS SATURDAY @ 9am.

 

Presented by Google@UCI & ICS Student Council, participants will have 24 hours to create a web platform based application that utilizes various Google technologies, from Google Apps Script to the Go programming language.

This is the perfect opportunity for those interested in web development and Google technologies to learn and build something new!

WHAT: Google WebHacks
WHEN: Sat. Feb. 28 (9:00am) – Sun. Mar. 1 (9:00am)
WHERE: 5151 California Avenue Suite # 100, Irvine CA

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Week 10: Lessons

HELLO ICS SCHOOL & everyone else that’s reading these,

How much I miss these editorial style blogs since the days of my high-school Edit0r-in-Chief years. These past 10 weeks, for me, were really difficult as President of ICS Student Council. We certainly had our peak events — Reverse Career Fair and Med AppJam — thrive and saw an improvement but it was surprisingly insane how much time juggling needed to go on. Between school, job, interviews, girlfriend, home, life, this quarter was definitely the boss-level that everyone loves to finish and beat.

I think I beat it, but I’m beat myself.

You know the moment when you think that everything is falling apart, when you’re not sleeping well and waking up feeling restless, and suddenly you realize that all the pieces are falling in place. After months of work, things are settling in. I experienced this over and over and over again with ICS Student Council. Case in point we worked on Med AppJam since July and yet the night before the judging ceremony, Stephanie and I were up ’til 11:00pm frantically trying to get last minute details done. How is it possible to be working on an event for 3 months and still not have everything covered? I don’t think it was bad planning, I think it was passion and excitement to flawlessly lead a great event. In order to keep sanity, you have to balance perfection with reality. The big day came and everything panned out fantastically and we had great reaction yet again from the audience and the participants. Then the feeling sets in: the unexplained reason that justifies all the countless worries that you’ve had trying to make something happen.

That’s why I’m in ICS Student Council: I love that feeling. And I have my board members and the ICSSC general members to thank for that feeling. Thank you Adrian, Austin, Dalton, Franklin, Phil, Will, and especially Stephanie. Without all of you ICS Student Council would literally collapse!

Happy Holidays everyone, kick butt on finals, and see you all in 2015!

All the best,

Delian Petrov

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Week 9: The Calm Before the Storm

Hello everyone!
It’s week 9, and you know what that means…

 

(kind of)

 

All jokes aside, I hope your turkey day went well! But now we’re in a weird place – the limbo between recovering from food comas and empty wallets (Cyber Monday isn’t over yet and I just ordered a bunch of stuff from Amazon oh no..) and the panic of finals. With the quarter winding down, I wanted to reflect a little on how the quarter went, and share some things with you that I have discovered along the way.

 

This quarter was probably one of the toughest for me, in terms of workload. Between ICS Student Council, work, research, and classes, I barely had any time for myself. I thought I was finally getting a hang of my time management, and looking back on this quarter (and looking toward the next two weeks), I’ve realized that I still don’t know how to properly manage my time, leading to a lot of sleepless nights and stressful days. There have been many times throughout the quarter where I would just ask myself, “why are you doing all of this?” And today, I have my answer. But let me tell you something else first.

 

One of the questions I’ve asked myself constantly, from last year (when I joined ICSSC) to now is this – why do I want to play a role in ICSSC? Why do I attend the weekly meetings and participating in putting on these (amazing) events? There aren’t any direct incentives to participating in ICSSC – there’s no academic credit, no money (although putting ICS Student Council on your resume does catch an employer’s eye sometimes). So why?

 

Here’s my answer: because student council constantly challenges me to become a better leader, student, professional, and individual. I’ll admit, I didn’t even notice these things until recently. The anxiety I used to have when sending e-mails to companies and professors, my inability to talk and be myself around new people – these are all gone (well, mostly). I can honestly say that ICS Student Council has given me skills that I will use for the rest of my life. I’ve also met amazing people that encourage me and make me want to become better.

 

So when you are studying for finals and stressing about your grades, I just want to remind you that everything you are doing and everything you are going through is going to help you become a better version of you. Oh, and you know how I said earlier how I suck at time management? Well, I’m getting better at it each day.

 

Wow, this has been an extremely cheesy post. You might be wondering – how does this apply to you? Well, as ICS students, I’d like to think that we have a secret advantage – we can make our ideas come to life, sometimes almost instantaneously. Do you want to learn a new programming language? Make your own website? Become the CEO of a startup? Do something amazing?

 

Go. Do it.
But maybe start studying for your finals first.

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The Week 8 Relive; A Day in the Life of a Treasurer

Wow… Eight weeks in…

We get a half week (whether it is good or bad, that is up to you).

Quarter is almost over… (That means finals… but also Winter Holiday!)

Thanksgiving marks a 4-day weekend (and shopping sprees!)…

Cyber Monday is right after… (Got to get those gaming computer parts super cheap!)

 

And looking back, we here at ICS have done so much!

 

As treasurer, I oversee a lot of fund movement. Though it seems that my job is easy, I’ve been working over the summer about our Fall events to ensure ICSSC’s perfectly planned. And I have to say, thus far, we’ve done pretty well. But this is where you (as someone involved, or wanting to get involved with ICS clubs) can take a good look at ICS through my eyes. (more…)

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Week 8 Blog Post

Hey Everyone,

It’s the start of week 8 already, hopefully you finish up the rest of your midterms this week and look forward to Thanksgiving Break. Since finals are coming soon, I want to talk about managing your time and finishing this quarter strong.

This quarter I’m taking 5 classes, while doing MedAppJam, so finals seems so distant from now, but after Thanksgiving Break, they’ll be here in an instant. Keep working hard, and don’t let your foot off the pedal and push through finals for a relaxing Christmas Break.

One current event that has been bothering most of us, the students, is the bill to raise UC tuition by 5% for each of the next 5 years. I, for one, am not satisfied with the concept of increasing tuition, when education should be more encouraged, and not discouraged. With a weakening demand of labor and high unemployment, education becomes even more important, but the price of education keeps increasing. Although, this bill is already passed, our duty as students is to raise awareness to these political figures in preventing another tuition raise in the future.

Thanks for reading my blog post and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Week 6 Blog Post

Hello everyone,

Week 6 is here! Are you all acing your midterms and/or studying hard for your upcoming ones? I hope everyone has been attending class and doing homework! I know I have been…haha *wink wink*. It’s scary to say that this is my last year of college; but, I feel as though I have gained the most experience during this time.

I am currently participating in Med AppJam, a 2-week app competition that collaboratively works with the different schools—Business, ICS, and Med. It’s been going well; my team is working really hard to develop the best medical app to take first place. I’m the software developer of my team, and I have to say that it’s pretty challenging to build on IOS. Regardless, I’m still having a ton of fun because …who doesn’t like a challenge?

Besides Med Appjam, I’ve been applying for jobs to gain more experience and to hopefully have a job after I graduate. The struggle is real. Since I am a BIM major, my technical background isn’t as strong as other students, but I’m working super hard to learn new languages and develop new projects !

That’s all for now, thanks for reading!

-Adrian Mandee

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Week 5

    Hey everyone,

    It’s now the start of week 5, which means everything is kinda falling into place now. Hopefully everyone’s classes are all going well. I’ve been oscillating between very busy and very bored for the past 3 weeks while trying to juggle Student Council, job interviews, and research.

    Things I’ve been working on in the past few weeks:

    Student Council:

    Student council is getting back in session with a couple of cool events. Shout out to the folks who just helped organize a successful Reverse Career Fair! Coming up next week is MedAppJam, so if you haven’t signed up for that and are interested in an awesome two-week long coding competition, register now! It’s going to be a lot of fun, so definitely join in on this. My committee is also planning on hosting two workshop series later this quarter. One will be a multi-part Android workshop that will teach you how to make an Android app from the ground up. One session will go over introductory concepts while the other two sessions will go over how to do some of the more advanced concepts. The other workshop we will host this quarter will be a Git/Github workshop. Git, or version control in general, is very important for us cs folk. When we’re nerding away, changing the code in a certain file, we may want to combine these changes with other people’s changes. Rather than email each other our code and manually go through to copy and paste the changes, git allows us to use computers to do the heavy lifting for us. It’s magical. Chances are you’ve heard about it. If you haven’t, you will. So look forward to these awesome events and more to come!

     

    Research:

    I’m currently doing undergraduate research in machine learning. For those of you who don’t know what machine learning is, it’s essentially getting a computer to find patterns in some data so that it can predict various types of results. A less abstract way of explaining what machine learning is would be to rattle off a few examples of what a machine learning program, once properly “trained” can do:

  • Recognize where in a picture there is a face/person/animal/object, if anywhere
  • Read your god awful handwriting and recognize what you just wrote
  • Understand the meaning of text, i.e., recognizing that certain articles can be grouped together because they are talking about similar things

Among other cool things as well. For humans, these tasks are very easy. A child could do the first task and an elementary school student could probably do the second two. This isn’t so easy for machines since their way of processing information is very different from how our brains process information. A large portion of machine learning consists of treating your machine like a child. You show it these flash cards, or training data, to teach it the right answer to certain questions. Then, you test it to see how it does on questions you haven’t asked yet. (Note to self, don’t sound like this when I’m writing up my research for reals)

Right now, the group I’m working with is trying to recognize where in an audio file there is a gunshot. For humans, this task is easy. Gunshots are very distinguishable, they are loud. Of course, certain false positives like cars backfiring or books slamming down on a table would be tricky, but for the most part, we could do this fairly easily. For a computer to do this task robustly (<- keyword) we employed a bunch of machine learning techniques. After we recognize where in a file there are gunshots, we are hoping to do some other stuff with the data, like recognizing what type of gun it is. An obstacle that we continue to face is our collective non-existent knowledge of guns. Just last night, I had to google a bunch of different types of guns to see what we can have our computers do next. I’m most likely on a watch list somewhere.

 

Interviews:

Phew, I’m glad I’m done with interviews. I’ve been lucky and was able to accept an offer just a few days ago! The interviews I went through were grueling at times, but it’s always cool to be able to flown to places expense free :) If you’re applying for a job or internship, chances are you have to go through similar interviews. If it’s for a programming or software engineering role, chances are you know how some of these cs interviews go. I’ve only really done cs interviews, so I can go into detail about how these work.

Typically, companies will first give you a first round screening interview, often through the phone. This involves talking with the other interviewer through the phone while at the same time on some kind of collaborative document that you both see. You’ll get some standard questions (Tell me about X on your resume, why do you want to work at company Y, what are you looking for in this internship/job) but the meat of the interview is going to involve you solving some technical questions. Honestly, I don’t like phone interviews. In a face-to-face interview, you can get a read on your interviewer pretty easily and have a good idea of whether you’re moving on the right track or not. This is not the case when you’re on the phone. If all goes well with the 1 or more phone screens (depends on the company), they’ll usually invite you to fly up to their company office or headquarters to go through the “on-campus” interview.

These on-campus interviews generally last all day or a good portion of the day. You start somewhat early (they hopefully will at least partly feed you through out the day) and go through anywhere from 2-3 up to 5 or more interviews. The structure of these interviews are more or less the same as the phone interview, but instead of sitting you down at a computer, you will usually be asked to write your solution out on a whiteboard. Rinse and repeat 2-5 times. Hopefully somewhere in the middle you’ll get a tour of their campus. All in all, it was interesting experience for me, but I’m also kind of glad I’m done with them.

And now for an interview problem: Given a tree or array that implements a max-heap of n elements, how do you find the k largest elements? What would the time complexity of your solution be?

 

That was a lot. I probably won’t be posting that much anytime soon. Thanks for reading!

– Phil

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Week 4: New Tech

Everyone is interested in tech, seeing that it is so integrated into daily life. People are usually on the lookout for the next big innovation in tech so they can incorporate it in their life. A great and entertaining source that compiles all the technological products to come is a channel on Youtube called Vsauce2.

Vasauce2 covers all the weird and wacky inventions such as tattoos that play sounds all the way to revolutionary breakthroughs like real world video game makers. It really is a fun way to delve into what people are producing and an awesome way to pass the time. The series you will most likely be interested in is called “Mind Blow.”

Next time you’re browsing through the web take a look at Vsauce2 and prepare to have your “Mind Blow[n].”

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqmugCqELzhIMNYnsjScXXw

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Week 1: Back to School?

Hi everybody,

Since it’s week 1 (or it was three days ago), I figured I’d write a little bit about some back to school type stuff: time management and blowing off steam.

I started this quarter thinking that I’d have a fairly light load: 12 units, CS classes only (which means no writing, can I get a ‘hallelujah’).  No big deal, right?  Well, kind of.  For all you programmers out there, you’ll know what I mean when I say that I’m transitioning from the whimsical world of dynamically typed languages (think Python, JavaScript, Ruby) to the cold, harsh landscape of statically typing  (C/C++, Java).  Let’s just say I’m spending more of my time squinting angrily into my computer screen than I normally do.

Not only am being I faced with the horrors of static typing at school, but I’ve recently gotten a couple new jobs that are requiring me to test the boundaries of my Google and Stack Overflow searching abilities.  I have deadlines coming at me from every which way, and it’s starting to get overwhelming.

Or at least, it might have (gotten overwhelming, that is) a couple years ago, but at this point I’ve got my workflow pretty streamlined.  How, you might ask?  Well, I’m not a particularly organized individual.  Anyone who takes a spin in my humble automobile would be taken aback by the number of receipts, paper scraps, unpaid parking tickets, tupperware, and even the occasional article of clothing floating in there.  Discipline?  Nah…  I think I have a harder time than most pulling myself away from Netflix on any given afternoon.  Well what then?

Google.

And that’s pretty much it.  Somebody told me a few years back to start religiously using Google Calendar, and, although it took a while to get into the swing of things, I eventually started mapping my life with it.  On top of the calendar, I’ve recently discovered that Google Keep is a pretty kick-@$$ organizer.  I feel like I’ve been on a life long quest to find the perfect task list app, and, even after writing my own, I can’t justify using it over Google Keep.  Make a new note for each category of things you have to do; change the note to a checklist; fill it with all the mind numbing tasks that you find yourself obligated to complete over the week.  Done.

And the coup-de-gras?  Google Apps Script.  Automate any and all spreadsheet, form, and document tasks.  Learn a little JavaScript, and you’ve saved yourself a lifetime of copying and pasting, form creation, and data analysis.

I didn’t mean for this to sound like an ad for Google, but I mean, *!!!*, so much time saved.

Anyway, even with all the handy technology that surrounds us these days, I know it’s easy to get bogged down by our responsibilities.  That’s why I think that, even as important as it is to be on top of one’s workload, it’s just as important to unwind regularly.  Take an hour long nap, play some couch co-op with your buddies, grab a beer with an old friend, or just sit and stare at a wall for a while.  Whatever it is that helps you relax, make sure you make some time for it.  Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t finish everything, just try your best to see that you do.  I mean, I get that the point of all this work is so that we can enjoy ourselves later in life, but that doesn’t mean we should sacrifice our sanity now.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.  Have a great week UCI.

 

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