Now I am officially back in class. This is week 3 of school. I missed most of the 1st week to go back to Portland for Jet’aime and Othel’s wedding. Then I spent week 2 trying to catch up and now week 3 I’m getting into the swing of everything. So here is a little bit about the classes I’m taking:
1. Software Engineering I
This is by far the biggest class I’ve ever taken. There are 240 students enrolled in the course this semester. It is crazy! Most don’t attend, but there are still a large number. The lectures are Tuesday and Thursdays for an hour and 15 minutes and are video recorded so you really don’t have to go to class. The basic overview of the course will be covering different methods for software development (the process developers follow to create new or update existing software) such as waterfall, eXtreme, rapid and so on. We will be working in groups to practice the eXtreme programming technique. We don’t know exactly what the project will be, we find out later on in the semester. Before then we have smaller programming assignments and we are working with a partner on those. A good portion of the course so far has been review from what I learned in my Software Development course at Lewis & Clark and just from working at Columbia.
I missed the first week of this class so I didn’t get a great grasp of what the course will be about but I think now I’ve gotten it. This class is much smaller, just around 40 students I think. So far we have been looking at user interface design for different applications. We have been looking at different processes to create the designs and challenges designers face during creation. The most exciting part of this course is the class project. We are going to be working in groups to develop a social mobile app (think twitter, match, tinder, facebook, pintrest). I’m really excited about this because I haven’t done any mobile programming yet. My group seems pretty cool so I’m looking forward to getting started!
3. PhD Seminar
This is a required 1 credit course for 1st year PhD students. The purpose of this course is sort of a semester long orientation. Different speakers will come to talk to us about different aspects of the program and give the students a chance to ask questions. This week the head of the Computer Science Department did a Q&A. It was pretty interesting. Next week will be a graduate student panel Q&A.
4. Independent Study
My last class is an independent study with my advisor. All PhD students choose/are assigned an advisor who they will do their research work with over the course of their study. My advisor is not in my research interest field, but he is excited about my research ideas and I’m looking forward to work with him. During my independent study I will be exploring different research options, seeing what is currently going on on campus, and identifying resources on campus. Hopefully through this I’ll figure out what my research will be.