Dr. Brown said this might be the first blog you will see when perusing previous semesters blogs, so that means it will be the only blog you see of me if this isn’t interesting.
THIS VERY MIGHT BE THE MOST IMPORTANT COURSE YOU WILL TAKE AT PELLI.
I have sat and pondered for a good while what to say in this blog post. I want it to be something you remember at the end of the class and say “he was right.” I gave up trying to be epic and instead just be a rare item. You get to work with many environments in this class and learn a great deal about the computer science world. To rehash the whole course in one blog would do you no service and would not do the subjects justice, so i will focus on three items that stood out to me this semester, scratch(game design), robotics, and current events/side stories.
Scratch is a game design program that was designed by MIT to be used as an educational tool. It is very easy to use but has enough features to do design simple games reminiscent of the original Nintendo or flash games. I made a basketball game as my project but also worked on several other ideas just for fun. I have also made a halo game which shoot bullets and kills monsters, and a racing game that counts laps and slows down when you run off the road. Use these tools, they are fun and will suck you in because they allow you ideas to become reality. In addition to Scratch, we worked in Alice, Greenfoot, and some of you might end up working in Unity, an advanced editor that is currently free.
Robotics is also a very dear subject to me. When I was a boy I watched Star Trek and the character Data grabbed my attention. I fully robotic humanoid, that seemed so real and unique he is given rights and free will. Since then I have kept up with the field somewhat through my life, from the TV show Robot Wars of which I am a huge fan, to tracking the Mars Rovers development. Working with the robots in class give you a hand on idea of what a robot really is, and how they can become “intelligent” before you eyes, but also at your hand. It feels powerful to be giving something “intelligence” and watching it perform its task the way you designed. I have full intentions of joining a robotics club and continue to peruse this field in the future. Many futurists and leaders in our field feel that robotics will be the next big thing to make advancement and we will see more and more of these machines used in everyday applications.
Internet freedoms and privacy is a crucial issue in our field at the moment. The government continually pushes legislation to control the internet and in effect our information. This is strictly prohibited by the U.S. Constitution: Amendment 4, where the government is forbidden from searching or seizing papers, effects, person, or property without probable cause and warrant. We must have a free internet for everyone that allows for the maximum amount of information to be spread to everyone around the world. Knowledge is power and as Computer Science professionals have a responsibility to be informed about the issues in our field. Dr. Brown has posted many videos that are quite interesting about our field from a flying robotic bird to how games are now changing the world. It is also our charge if we are to successful to keep up with recent breakthroughs and where we are headed.
I hope at the end of this semester you have the same feeling I do that this class is important to anyone who genuinely wants to begin their career as an Computer Science professional. Thank you Dr. Brown for designing such an enriching course that makes learning fun and takes the pain out of school work.