Thursday, October 30, 2008

COE Fall Career Day

this past wednesday was another College of Engineering Fall Career Day. here are some observations and comments:

(btw, if you are student check out these posts; after the career fair, make students awesome, and you need to do a honors thesis)

  • actually, i'm not sure if it was just an engineering event, i thought that the Information and Computer Science Department was involved as well, but there weren't that many students. the COE site has a has an events listing and of course it showed this event. but, i noticed that there wasn't an event listing nor a fall career day listing on the ics department site. but, i'm sure they have it post on their mailing list.
  • there were are few engineering professors walking around and talking to the companies. one professor, tep dobry walked by last semester and mentioned he got a few good students. and because of that we hired one as an intern. the point is that its great to see the professors going out there an promoting their students. we had a lengthy discussion about his student and his other students. we were discussing our needs, their classes and the future. i really appreciate that kind of involvement from the faculty. there were a bunch of engineering faculty walking around. it was good to talk to gerald lau from the ics department.
  • i didn't get many ics resumes. but, i talked to a handful of students that didn't have their resumes. it was good talking to them, they all seemed really intersted. and as usual i recommended ics 413, because i think none of them knew what junit was. i often give these students my personal email address, hoping that they will contact me...
  • i met a lot of EE students. its pretty cool because we hired a couple of interns that know a bunch of students. all their friends came to visit us. they all seem like good candidates. they seem to have a lot of good experiences with cubestat and micromouse and if they are anything like our interns then we think they will do great.
  • i heard a few students talking about the BS in computer engineering and wondering if its good. most of the discussion was from the EE students wondering if the ICS courses were good. and whether i thought it was a good move. i'm not sure what to think about that new degree...
  • i think a large majority of the students need to work on making a great first impression. sell your skills, stand up straight, eye contact, and stop trying to steal the pens! haha. seriously, i think a few of the younger students need to practice a little more professional communication. the Center for Career Development
    and Student Employment
    actually has a lot of great resources for that. i did a few practice interviews. trust me it really helps!

    i think this year was a little bit slower that most and we were in a strange location in the corner. but, i thought it was a pretty good career fair. i was pretty happy with the ee and ics students i talked with we had some good conversations. and for me its all about just talking with students; even though they don't work for me, i hope that i help them learn more about our industry.
  • Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    programming from scratch

    as you probably know now, i've been promoting scratch at the lacy veach day of discovery events.

    Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- and share your creations on the web.

    Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process of design.

    i really like scratch, because it has a lot of great resources for educators, parents, and kids. here are some resources:
  • learn how to use scratch
  • information for educators
  • referrals and quotes
  • research on scratch
  • they even have a conference on scratch

    they even provide ways for the students to upload their scratch creations, comment on others, and even download scratch files. its a great way to create a community of kids and educators. check out the:
  • projects
  • galleries
  • forums
  • and scratches to help promote scratch

    how we scratch
    here is a short summary of how we utilized scratch for the lacy veach events.

    first of all, our role in lacy veach day of discovery is to provide interactive displays that hopefully teach the students about cool technology related to space exploration. we decided to use scratch to accomplish that, since we felt that programming abilities is often over looked in the aerospace industry.

    anyway, here are some things that we did to make scratch work in this type of event;

  • we developed quick lesson plans for students that would help teach the students scratch in about 5-10 minutes. the goal was to teach them some initial concepts that they can take with them as they try out the program in more detail at home. basically, we tried to have the students create two sprites and move them in different ways.
  • we created user accounts on the scratch site to upload their scratches to. here is the user account for the 2008 event; and here is the account for the 2007 event;
  • we created fliers to give the parents and students making sure that we told the parents that the program was free and that it could be downloaded. we also made sure that we told the parents and students that their creations were going to be posted online.
  • we brought our computers and network. we gathered up 5 of our own laptops, complete with a entire network so we can exchange files between the computer. this was important because we wanted to display the students work on a projector.
  • we created a demo application that looped through the students creations so the students and parents could view their and others creations. this was useful as a way to attract students and parents to our display.

    lessons learned:
  • we talked to as many parents as we did students. parents are amazed that this sort of resource is available and free for that matter. the parents seem to be really interested. so, make sure you have enough volunteers to work with the students and parents.
  • some kids are really into it and want to do more than the basic examples. the scratch cards come in handy in these situations.

  • scratch is awesome because kids think its awesome. its really cool to see the kids face light up with interest when they see what they can do. they really get into it. and to me thats what programming is all about. its the creativity, challenge, and accomplishments that make programming awesome. hopefully, more organizations, teachers, mentors, and parents use scratch as an education tool.

    if you need help, let me know.

    Monday, October 27, 2008

    lacy veach day of discovery 2008

    this past weekend we participated in lacy veach day of discovery, which is a large scale science fair with exhibits and workshops. we had a great time with all the kids. i even learned a lot! science is cool. we presented programming from scratch and its becoming a yearly tradition for us a referentia systems inc.

    at the event we taught kids how to program with scratch, an interactive programming language that creates animation, games, music, and art designed for kids to help develop 21 century skills. it was a huge success. the kids at the event were great. my friends did a great job of helping the kids. overall it was a huge success. we posted the kids' scratch creations on the scratch mit site. check it out!

    here are some pics of my crew at the event:
    my coworkers at referentia are awesome. without them our scratch display wouldn't be possible. they really step for this event. it must be something about teaching kids to program that gets them into it. so, thanks to those referentians that helped out, it really does make a huge difference. (i remember learning logo when i was a kid and its probably a huge reason why i ended up in computer science; read more about my strange academic journey)

    here are some pics from the rest of the event:

    this year seemed to be a lot bigger than last. there were many more exhibitors and it was pretty fun to walk around checking out the displays;
  • Astronaut Onizuka (check out the Onizuka Day on Hilo)
  • BAE Systems
  • Bishop Museum - they had a a cool globe projector.
  • FIRST robotics (Moanalua, ROC, Sacred Hearts, Waialua)
  • HaSTA
  • Hawaii Academy of Science - i talked to them about the Hawaii State Science Fair. this event seems really cool. i want to go check it out next year, i think around april.
  • Hawaiian Astronomical Society
  • HECO - heco was there in full force. they always do a great job of helping the kids
  • Institute of Astronomy - these dudes are really smart. i talked with them last year and the stuff they are doing is really cool.
  • NASA Pacific Regional Planetary Data Center
  • Pearl City Elementary - there were a bunch of kids from pearl city.
  • Referentia!!!!! - YAY!
  • Robofest
  • Starbase (couldn't find a link)
  • UH College of Engineering

    there were also presentations;
  • keynote speaker Astronaut Stanley Love
  • assembly with special 3D program, student interns at NASA
  • science Magic--science demonstrations with a flair

    and a bunch of workshops:
  • The Incredible Mars Pathfinder Mission
  • Dr. Gadget presents Gadgets that Float and Glide Through the Air
  • Water Powered Bottle Rockets
  • Meteorites: Rocks from Space
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cells
  • Gases in Space Living
  • Polynesian Star Compass
  • (see the full listing here)

    it was an awesome day of learning. now that i've learned more about the different workshops and presentations, i actually want to be a kid and sneak in and learn. there are some many great exhibits, workshops, and presentations. WOW! anyway, i had a lot of fun talking with the kids and parents. i can't wait till next year.
  • Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    re: Path to AwesomeNess...

    here is a comment that i left one of our interns on his blog; path to awesomenes.... i wanted to share this with the rest of you, so i added it to my blog.

    this path to awesomeness post started as our internship program that we presented at the uh ics industry day. our presentation was titled; make students awesome. so, we had the idea that our intern keep track of his progress in a blog.

    so here are my comments.. and you can read austen's comments at his blog.

    that is a pretty good start. here are some comments.

    2) learn to research
    the idea here is that you learn about researching about all sorts of things, including hacking. but, i intended it to be more general. like doing actual research. for example, an honors thesis is research. the important aspect of research is that you are able to form new ideas, communicate them, evaluate them, defend them, and utilize them. conducting research is an important part of what we do as a company, but it is also very important for your development.

    perhaps the thing to do here is learn more about how we do research in our company. if you don't know what "research" we are doing, then ask.

    5) learn how to increase your marketability
    this one is really important. you have to learn and develop things that will separate yourself from your peers. figure out what the norm is and go way beyond it. when you think you went far enough, go further.

    6) learn about the industry
    this one is important too. you need to know about your options. what types of companies work in hawaii. i say this not so that you only groom yourself to work at company Foo. but, more so that you learn what possibilities out there in hawaii and on the mainland. learn about what other companies do. what technologies are they working with. what are they researching. what software development processes do they follow. are their projects meaningful, etc, etc?

    you are on your way. if at the end you have learned a lot about these six areas, you will definitely be AWESOME!

    good luck.

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    my ics courses

    today, a few of us visited the ics department to plan the uh ics robocode competition. while, i was walking around the post building i stumbled upon this document; information and advice for computer science majors and minors. it seemed pretty interesting and i wanted to see what type of information the department provided its students. so, i took a copy for myself.

    the document seems pretty interesting at a high level. i'm not really sure it offers a whole bunch of advice, it does have a lot of information. anyway, if you have been following my blog for a while, you'll know that i've tried to lay out a lot of advice for students. so, i won't go into a lot of details about process, work habits, communication, soft skills, 6 steps to awesomeness, undergrad thesis, etc. instead, i'll give you a pretty concrete piece of advice.

    Take ICS 413/414/613
    Software Engineering
    from Dr. Philip Johnson

    is that clear enough for you? here is a current website of the fall 2008 ics 413 class. and look it even has a quote from me:

    The skills you acquire in ICS 413 provide professional advantages. Aaron Kagawa, a software engineer and recruiter for Referentia Corporation, has this to say: It has been my experience that learning technologies like Ant, JUnit, Eclipse, and Subversion and practices like Code Reviews, Extreme Programming, and User Testing will separate you from the rest of crowd when applying for entry level Software Engineering positions. While recruiting and evaluating University of Hawaii ICS students one of the first questions I ask is "Did you take 413 Software Engineering?" Followed by, "Do you know what JUnit is?"

    anyway... if you are still wondering what classes i took, here is a list of all of them. i also included my grades in those classes for one reason. i got pretty good grades. but, i guarantee it is not because i'm smart. i got good grades because i worked my ass off. if you read my academic journey you'll see what i'm talking about. here it is, all the ics classes i took (note i started UH in 1998. i didn't start taking ics classes till 2000)

    spring 2000ics 101(lab)A

    spring 2000ics 111(lab) [lew]
    Bi had a fantastic ta that really helped us
    fall 2000ics 141 [gersh]

    fall 2000ics 211 [biagoni]

    spring 2001ics 212 [peterson]

    spring 2001ics 311 [suthers]

    fall 2001ics 312 [sugihara]

    fall 2001ics 313 [stelovsky]

    fall 2001ics 321 [deryke]

    spring 2002ics 331(lab) [ikehara]

    spring 2002ics 413 software engineering [johnson]
    spring 2002ics 415 web programming [stelovsky]

    summer 2002ics 491 [gilbert] programming

    summer 2002ics 499 [gilbert] programming
    fall 2002ics 414 software engineering II [johnson]
    fall 2002ics 499 [johnson]
    Aworking on my honors thesis
    fall 2002ics 691 [johnson]
    Aa class about hackystat. i was the only undergrad in the class
    spring 2003ics 463 hci [hundhousand]

    spring 2003ics 499 [johnson]
    Aworking on my honors thesis
    i finally got my undergraduate degree! grad school starting
    fall 2003ics 613 software engineering [johnson]
    Agrad level software engineering
    fall 2003ics 623 data security [peterson]
    Adr. peterson is a genius
    spring 2004ics 691 [quiroga]
    Ainformation architecture
    spring 2004ics 699 [johnson]
    Amasters thesis work
    fall 2004ics 624 data management [nordbotten]

    fall 2004ics 664 hci [strevler]A

    fall 2004ics 690 [suthers]

    fall 2004ics 691 [binstead]
    Adesign for mobile
    fall 2004ics 699 [johnson]
    Astill working on the masters thesis
    spring 2005ics 699 [johnson]Astill working on the masters thesis
    spring 2005ics 700A

    summer 2005ics 699 [johnson]Astill working on the masters thesis
    i finally got my masters degree!

    hopefully, this is interesting or useful to some of the students. if you have any specific questions about the classes i took let me know.

    Saturday, October 18, 2008

    current student activities

    things are a little crazy these days. there is a lot going on. here is a short list of things that i'm working on.

    ics alumni association
    i've been pushing hard to help create an alumni association for the department. its definitely an uphill battle. i've been talking about it for a while on my blog. but, it wasn't till the department realized that they need to drive the need that we really started.

    we are working on a coding competition for the department. originally, it started as a Topcoder event, but it since has changed to a Robocode Event. we changed it because of a couple reasons, first the topcoder competition was going to be held at 6AM! for some reason thats the only time topcoder could give us. second, topcoder is pretty hard and doesn't seem like a lot of fun.

    while working on the alumni association we created a techhui group called ICS Mentors. this got us a little attention, but it has died down. we also, just created an ics alumni website; we plan to use this site as a place to get membership information, plan events, etc.

    there are a few issues that we are facing. first, we have a small group of people, which i all we need for now until we flesh out the details of the association. but, my worry is that the other graduates that i talk to just don't seem that interested. where am i going to find the volunteers in the future. my worry is that it is just going to die after this event. oh well.... my second concern is actually creating a non-profit organization. i hear it is a little difficult to organize and finish the paper work. i'm falling behind in getting this done and it is a concern.

    anyway, the robocode competition is just starting to get formalized. i'm starting to learn about robocode and even compiled my first robot. i'll be posting my notes and tips here. i really hope that the students are interested in joining the competition. and i really hope that we (the alumni association) can pull this off.

    lacy veach day of discovery
    lacy veach day of discovery is next week! referentia is going to support this event by conducting another scratch programming teaching event for the students. i'm pretty excited about doing this again. we had a great time last time and hopefully we can do it even better. we are trying to get more laptops so we can teach more kids. and we have even more volunteers this year. its going to be awesome.

    planning this event was a lot easier this year, because we are doing scratch again. in fact, this decision has taught me a good lesson about how to run these events. plan well for one year and you can reuse your efforts the next year. this not only makes it easier to support these events. it also lets you improve how you approach the lessons and even plan it more efficiently. thats cool!

    career fairs
    i have three upcoming career fairs; the UH engineering career fair, aiea high school career fair, and the UH ICS industry day. each event is different. for the aiea high school event we are going to give a 30 minute presentation. i did this last year and it seemed pretty successful. this year, one of my engineers is going to give the speech. the engineering career fair is always fun. its actually pretty tiring talking to all those students. career fairs are a great way to help students. i always look forward to talking to the students and offer and advice i may have for their job seeking journey.

    sheesh thats a lot happening in the next few weeks...

    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    light bot for stem

    light bot is a software-development education game that helps teach software concepts to kids. its pretty cool, because i'm betting that the kids won't even notice the learning going on. a bunch of us at work played with it for a while and it kept us entertained. and some parts were actually challenging. we had engineers that came up with different solutions. the differences in choices were actually pretty interesting.

    in all light bot seems like a good intro to some software techniques. its fun and challenging. i would recommend to try to have your students try it out. but, of course there are other options out there like scratch (we used scratch for lacy veach), alice, or even the old school logo. for the super advanced there is always something like processing.

    Monday, October 6, 2008

    pivot for stem

    our friends at geekdads are at it again, with the Pivot Stick Figure Editor is a Great Animation Tool for Kids post. ken introduced us to a cool tool called pivot. its basically a stick figure animation tool;

    Pivot makes creating individual frames really easy, and moving animations is based on a simple click and drag process. Each figure has different points (red dots) that can be manipulated and a single point (yellow dot) to move the whole figure. A simple left-hand-side toolbar has about 5 or 6 options which are simple to grasp and not overwhelming for young users.

    So I began to create a stick figure waving at us from the computer screen and within a couple of minutes I had about 5-10 seconds of animation. Within 5 minutes, my four year old and six year old were asking for a turn. They mastered the basic concept very quickly. Together we worked out you could insert any jpg background from the hard-drive and they were away.

    Despite my own beliefs in the capacity of children and their ability to do things that we never acknowledge (so never see them do), I was amazed at the speed at which they picked up the basic concepts using Pivot. After a few days they had realized they could create their own stick figures to animate and had begun to use the simple drawing tool to save their own stick figure props like beds, cannons and barbells.

    so, i thought this posting was pretty cool. it seems like something a teacher can bring into a computer class and make a lesson out of it. so, i decided to try pivot out.

    here's what i thought;
  • its not the easiest thing in the world to get started with. i started up the program thinking that i would create an awesome demo animation. no such luck. i made one really lame animation.

  • as i worked through my own animation i'm not sure what i was learning. but, its definitely true that i was thinking. or maybe i was just confused on how to make my stick figure run.

  • i got the hang of it, but i quickly got a little impatient. it wasn't flashy enough.

  • well, those seemed negative. the fact that i made an animation is really cool. i had fun making it and running through the examples. i think its a pretty cool little application. here is my lame animation;

    (click on the image to see my animation)

    maybe its an entry point to bigger and better animation software. i don't know about that. but, i definitely think its shows kids that computers is cool and fun. to me thats the main point. it got me thinking. i think thats 90% of the battle. kick starting imagination is key!

    ps. i'm thinking there must be hundreds of these little applications that teaches something different. i have a few others i want to share...

    Sunday, October 5, 2008

    2008 hawaii's top high-tech leaders

    tonight a few of us from referentia systems inc attended the 2008 flavors of technology and technology industry awards. it was at the hawaii prince hotel and it was awesome.

    the cool thing was that i won an award for high tech leaders. here was a little info about it;

    Technology News Bytes and the Pacific Technology Foundation honor individuals who are highly regarded for their leadership and service in Hawaii’s high technology industry.

    To recognize and reward outstanding individuals for their leadership and service in Hawaii’s high technology industry, both within their organizations and in the community at large.

    All nominees must be:
    • Active professionals serving their current organization for at least one (1) year
    • Individuals who have improved or advanced their organization using technology
    • Recognized by their co-workers and collogues for their commitment to excellence in their profession
    • Known for their expertise in technology
    • Highly involved with professional organizations
    • Active contributors and volunteers in the community
    • Nominations are accepted from the private, public, and non-profit sectors. Nominations are limited to a maximum of two (2) nominees per company, and can be either self-nominations or third-party nomination

    i was surprised to find that i was even nominated. thanks to ian kitajima for the nomination. i had to rush a little on the questions, but here is a first draft (which i revised later).

    anyway, the event was awesome. there was a coat and tie dress code, so we all got dressed up. here are some pictures from the event (i hear that there is a video of me accepting the award).

    we actually had a csdl reunion of sorts; austen ito, james wang, robert brewer, and me. we also cheered on rosemary sumajitfor for winning her high tech leader award. yay rosemary! i hear that robert and philip have won awards in the past too. csdl represent!

    also congratulations to my friends lynn fujioka and dan leuck for their awards!

    anyway, i'm not sure that i really deserve this award just yet. there is so much more that i need to accomplish. i'll continue to push forward. but, a lot of the credit has to go to the awesome people at referentia. starting with the leadership from nelson to all the engineers that help me help the students. referentia has allowed me to grow in this capacity and i think thats awesome.

    Friday, October 3, 2008

    my academic journey

    this is my academic journey

    little kid days
    i was a sports and outdoors kid. i wasn't allowed to have a nintendo and i couldn't watch tv during the week. so, that meant i found myself outside almost every single day after school from when i was in elementary to high school. i didn't need to be told i couldn't watch tv; i didn't want to. i played ayso soccer and little league baseball, played basketball and football with my friends, went surfing, hiking, bike riding, camping, fishing, etc. you name it we did it. it was a lot of fun.

    i did okay in school;
  • i was a very curious kid; asking why about everything
  • i liked math and science and did everything i could to get out of reading
  • in elementary i won two science fairs for my demonstrations of magnets and the ozone.
  • for some reason i still remember winning a lei making contest and winning second place in our chess tournament.
  • i also remember taking two computer programming classes. one was in my elementary school where we learned logo. i really liked hacking logo on the macintoshes. next in my intermediate school we had a graphics programming class where we made animations. i remember these classes pretty well. i must have really liked them.

    i remember my parents going over my report card with me every term. i was always upset that my friends got money for good grades and i didn't. my parents used to say my grades were for me and only me; and that i should do it for myself. this is where i eventually learned to be responsible for my education.

    high school
    high school centered around two things; baseball and having fun. i played for aiea high school JV and Varsity teams. baseball consumed a lot of my life and homework did not. i still got really good grades, but didn't do nearly as much studying as i probably should have.
  • i didn't learn trigonometry. i wasn't interested and it showed.

  • when we had reading assignments; i would do all i could do to fake it. i don't think i read one fiction book in high school.
  • i didn't learn anything about using the computer, i didn't even know we had a computer lab.

    i'm not sure that i learned a lot in class, but i made sure we had a lot of fun. high school was a blast... but with all that, i still got pretty good grades. i graduated with honors. i even got a scholarship to the university of hawaii.

    i really learned a lot about life playing baseball. i played baseball all my life, but things changed when i started playing at the high school level. we played baseball year around and my game changed and my roles on the teams changed. i went from a bench warmer to the veteran starter. i went from a freshman follower to a senior leader. these experiences were real. i learned a lot about being a leader. and i learned a lot about being a mentor.

    i think the valuable thing about baseball was that i was able to really focus on baseball. i wasn't going to back down and i wasn't going to give up. competition drove my constant improvement of myself and my team. every practice meant something. every game was a stepping stone.

    i mention baseball in my academic journey, because there is nothing quite like high school sports. for me, it was one of the most important academic experiences that i've gone through.

    my first semester in college was shocking... my techniques for getting by at aiea high school wasn't working. i was playing to much... i couldn't BS my way through the tests by just being there in class. ha! i was actually pretty surprised. but, i wasn't playing baseball any more. so, i kind of lost focus. but, luckily some how one flunked pop quiz and a few family problems kicked me in the ass and i regained focus. this time i was focused on school. i was self driven. i didn't have a team anymore, i had to do this by myself and i better kick some butt. this was an important lesson for me.

    but! i was an agriculture major in the college of tropical agriculture and human resources. besides a scholarship, what the heck was i doing in there? this is where i made my second realization that i HATE WORKING OUTSIDE (but i love playing outside), i really don't care how plants drink water, and i really don't care about bugs and soil.

    so, i quickly left CTAHR and ventured out into taking ICS (Information and Computer Science) 101 and ICS 111. i took these classes just because i remembered that i used to like computers when i was a kid. i really had no clue what programming was.

    the internet!
    this was right about the time when i got my first computer and got the internet! woah.. i was 19 years old learning about all this crazy internet stuff. i would ask my friends what does "www" mean and what does this yahoo site do. they'd laugh at me, but i was soaking up like a sponge. it was really interesting particularly because in high school i didn't geek out like this.

    i did well in ICS 111 and i enjoyed learning java. so, i figured to keep on going. so i took another class. eventually, i told my CTAHR adviser i was out of the college and moved to ICS. the only problem was that i wanted to work with people and help people and i didn't know how would do that in ICS.

    i got a few computer jobs, learned a lot more and realized that i really liked working with computers. i got good grades in my ics class, but i wasn't learning that much. i was a senior in college taking 400-level ICS classes and i began to think what i was going to do with my life. the scary thing was that i was pretty much getting a 4.0 in my major and i had no idea what i was going to do or where i was going to work. my initial thought was that i needed to work for a web company. thank goodness that changed when i took ICS 413 ...

    ICS 413 taught by Dr. Philip Johnson turned my university education around. for the first time, i learned what it was like to write real software. imagine that... i took ten ICS classes and didn't know what it was like to write software. this class changed my life. i felt like i just learned what computer science was all about, so i couldn't bear graduating right after that ICS 413 semester. it tuns out that Dr. Philip Johnson convinced me to do my Honors Thesis. committing to this meant that i delayed my graduation for at least a year. i was in no rush, so i did it. (now, i realize that everyone should do an honors thesis).

    during my honors thesis work, i started to see that software was all about people. wring software is people management; its peopleware. AHA! i found out that i can help people with my geek knowledge. geek + people is awesome! i found my calling! i found myself using the same people techniques i learned in baseball.

    i eventually finished my honors thesis; The design, implementation, and evaluation of CLEW: An improved Collegiate Department Website.

    grad school
    now, i was about to graduate with my bachelors of science in information and computer science with high honors and was faced with another "what now". i still had no clue where i would working in hawaii. so, i applied to various graduate programs around the country, but i got rejected from all of them. luckily i was offered a spot in CSDL as a graduate research assistant. i jumped at that opportunity.

    i did my graduate research working on the hackystat system. while working on that project i got to be part of a few publications:
  • Comparing personal project metrics to support process and product improvement
  • Practical automated process and product metric collection and analysis in a classroom setting: Lessons learned from Hackystat-UH
  • The Hackystat-JPL Configuration: Round 2 Results
  • Hackystat MDS supporting MSL MMR
  • Hackystat MDS supporting MSL MMR: Round 2 Results
  • Hackystat-SQI: Modeling different development processes
  • Hackystat-SQI: First Progress Report
  • Improving Software Development Management through Software Project Telemetry

    one of the awesome things that i got to do during my graduate studies was an internship at the jet propulsion laboratory in pasadena california. it was a great experience and was really useful as a talking point for interviews, etc. not to mention a really really really really cool place. i got to see the mars rovers, went into the mission control rooms, saw them testing the mars rovers, saw them building the next satellites, watch cassini fly through saturn's rings, and talked to a lot of rocket scientists!

    after my internship i finally finished my masters thesis; Priority Ranked Inspection: Supporting Effective Inspection in Resource-limited Organizations. yay! school is over. (actually i got into the PhD program, but i decided that i was done for a while. write a thesis is a lot of hard work).

    work work work
    i entered the job hunting with relatively little information. unfortunately, my time at the ICS department didn't teach me about our local high tech industry. so, i applied to places were my friends worked. and it turns out i accepted a job where i didn't know anyone; Referentia Systems Inc was my new home.

    i've been working at Referentia for the past 3 years now. i was hired as a software engineer and now i'm a engineering supervisor. at the end of it all, i rely on much more of my soft skills, outward thinking, and the wonderful paradox than my technical skills.

    moral of the story
    i don't think there is a moral of the story... its just the way that i did it. its has been a long journey and i feel really fortunate and grateful to be where i am now.

    i think its ironic that some of the most important lessons that i use today in the real world comes from times out on the baseball field.

    there is so much yet to come. i've recently become really interested in helping others through their journey. i've learned this from leaders like ian kitajima. i've just started this next chapter but some things are already in motion;
  • making students awesome
  • Dept ICS TopCoder Software Engineering Competition
  • ics alumni association for real this time

    wish me luck!
  • Wednesday, October 1, 2008

    my public shared items update

    if you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that i really like the idea of sharing information and knowledge with people. so, i started a few public shared items from my google reader. here is an updated to my list:

  • p-stem (new) - these are items related to the STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) initiative, which aims to help bolster education in these subject areas in our school systems to create more future scientists and engineers. i try to share cool things that can be shown in school, that parents can show their kids, or for me to just learn more. STEM is really important and i think these little cool things need to make its way to the kids. here is another community that leading STEM in hawaii; SIP.
  • p-maps (new) - i'm becoming interested in GIS (geographic information systems) and mapping software. i wanted a place to organize things that i liked. google shares doesn't seem like the best place to put it, but its the only thing that i've go going. besides, the point of this share makes me consciously look out for GIS-mapping-posts.
  • my shared items - this is a generic list of things that i like. posts that make it to here are items that i really like. if you are going to only subscribe to one feed, subscribe to this one. (haha of course that is just my personal opinion, i have heard people say that my shares suck)
  • p-environ - this feed is for environmental things that i come across. these postings aren't necessarily good or bad; its just that they are somewhat interesting and have to do with the environment. i started this feed to discuss things with my cousin dana. interestingly, i find my self sharing a lot of google related environmental initiatives.
  • p-google - this feed is for google stuff. duh.. i set this feed up because i noticed that i like a lot of things from google and that people that read my shared stuff might not care a lot about google stuff. i like google stuff, so i wanted a place to put it; then figured why not make it public.
  • p-robotics - this feed is for robotics stuff. robotics is coming on strong these days. its a buzz word these days. anything with robotics gets some attention, especially in hawaii. anyway, i set up this blog for my friend tom (oleg the intern), to help feed him information that might be helpful to him as he figures out what interests him. i also am sending to this feed to lynn, maybe it might be useful for her. there are other robotics groups out there that i'm starting to look into; and the techhui robotics group.

    so, there are a few reasons why i share with google reader:
  • it helps me keep a look out and focus on subjects that i care about
  • it helps me keep a record of interesting posts, which allows me to find it faster when talking to people about it.
  • it helps me share with people (although i'm not sure how many people are looking at my public shares)

    somethings that i don't like about using google reader for this:
  • its hard to build "knowledge" from all these individual shares
  • it is impossible to discuss individual posts.
  • it is impossible to work collaboratively on a subject matter. something like twine can do a much better job, but i don't really have a community to collaborate with on these subjects.

    anyway, those are my public shares. it is a work in progress. i continue to strive to share knowledge and making the process easier. here is what you can do to help me:
  • add these shares to your google reader and let me know what you think of the content
  • let me know if there are better ways that i should be considering; twine or other sharing sites
  • share back, send me your public rss feeds