Blogs

We hope to have some blogs from our department to share with you shortly. In the meantime, you can look at other blogs written by the College of Arts & Sciences community.
sdgi222's picture

End of Summer Round-Up

Well folks, it’s the end of the summer semester here at UK, and fall term starts but a few days from now.  That means that this week’s blog is going to focus on wrapping up my thoughts and experiences on my first summer as a Media Mafia worker.

I guess I could sum up the summer by saying working here was…interesting, I guess.  There were days wherein I had very little to do, and days wherein I was absolutely swamped.  There were videos to shoot, people to interview, movies to digitize, furniture to move, sandwiches to eat, and programs to learn.  Higher powers, were there programs to learn.

This summer, we were lucky enough to acquire a nifty little application known as After Effects.  It’s fun to play with, but until you can get the basics down, it makes you feel like a complete moron for daring to try and operate a system that is so clearly out of your league in every way, shape, and form.  It took many a frustrating Youtube search and much trial and error, but I finally got to the point where I could make a decent enough video on it without feeling like I was an absolute failure.  I’m not a master of the program by any means, but I’m not so far in the novice range as I once was.

jpha226's picture

True Complexity of Computer Programs

First off, fair warning this is going to be very nerdy but I find it interesting so enjoy!

In high school computer science class I was introduced to the idea of complexity. Complexity is a way to describe how efficient a program is. In other words how much computer memory does the program need and how fast can the program be completed. Complexity is described mathematically using what is called big O notation and is written as a function of time or memory in terms of the input size. For example O(n^2) means that for n number of inputs the time to complete the program increases quadratically. Big O notation is always written as a function of one term with no coefficients. Examples are O(n), O(n^3), O(log n), etc.

Obviously some of these complexities are problematic because as the size of the input increases the complexity increases much faster. For example O(n^3) with an n value of 100,000 has 10^15 operations to perform. If the computer runs through a million operations per second the program wouldn't stop running for almost 32 years! If your computer lasted for that time it would be incredibly obsolete. Clearly no one has time to run a program for this long and 100,000 isn't even that large of an input number (consider that google searches deal with billions of sites).

mastea2's picture

Return to Classes

     It is hard to believe that the Fall semester is almost here again.  It seems like just yesterday Spring semester ended and the summer was beginning.  The local public grade schools have even already started their new school year.  Soon the new freshmen will be coming to UK’s campus and beginning their new lives as well.  The air is full of excitement and promise. 

     I myself am excited for the new school year to begin.  I am starting new classes and an extended research lab project.  There will be new books to read and new subjects to explore.  Also, in Online Education we will be aiding in new classes and start working on some new classes for the next summer.  I am always anxious to find out what classes and professors have decided to utilize an online format. 

ejherb2's picture

An interesting TED talk...

I watched an interesting TED talk this week. It was on the fundamental moral differences between Liberal and Conservative mindsets. The presenter used the psychology of morality to justify why people on both sides of the isle always think their position to be infallible, or their beliefs unquestionable. Liberals speak for the weak and oppressed, want change and justice even at the risk or chaos. Conservatives speak for institutions and tradition, and want order even at the cost of those at the bottom.

Unfortunately, the stereotypes are quite reliable. It turns out that Liberals usually score much higher on a personality trait called openness to experience. According to McCrae (1996): “Open individuals have an affinity for liberal, progressive, left-wing political views, whereas closed individuals prefer conservative, traditional right wing views.”

Now, this is an interesting thought. If our moral views are predicted and defined by personality traits, which are not an acquired, but rather innate for each individual, perhaps it is not all based on the environment or conditional circumstances of someone’s birth, and we do have a “first draft” of our moral mind upon our entrance to the world.

dlro223's picture

PAUL MCCARTNEY

WELL.

 

sdgi222's picture

Take a Chill Pill: It's Not the End of the World

It seems like everywhere I look, I see people declaring that the world is getting worse and worse by the second.  Death and famine across the globe, greedy men exploiting the poor, and other such travesties.  Why, just look at this quote I found about today’s young people:

"Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers."

Now, who do you think said that?  The president?  The pope? Some big wig with an over-inflated sense of self-worth who runs a national organization?  Actually, that quotation is attributed to Socrates in the fourth century B.C. Funny how one might assume it’s about our modern kids.

mastea2's picture

Customer Service

     I recently bought some items from the internet and they came to me damaged due to various shipping problems including it having sat in the post office’s warehouse for a week.  At first I was very worried, thinking that the company would be resistant to help me since it was legitimately the post office’s fault that things had been damaged.  I called them and explained what happened to one of their representatives.  Thankfully, they were exceedingly nice about it and very helpful to me.  Immediately they sent out new products and even overnighted it to me to try and make up for the time I had been waiting.  I was highly impressed by how they handled the situation and it will make me continue to buy things from them.

ejherb2's picture

Woah!!! I got ahead of myself...

How terribly rude of me!!! I jumped into the story without giving you character details! I sincerely apologize for rambling to you without telling you who I am. I shall remedy the problem straight away.

Hi All! My name is Marshall Herbst, I am currently a Graduate Student enrolled in the College of Education’s MIC Program at UK. What does MIC stand for you may ask??? Why, it is the Masters with Initial Certification program for secondary education. Basically, it is a one year, intensive, masters program which will provide me with a Masters in Education as well as a Rank 2 teaching certificate in Kentucky. My area of concentration is Social Studies, and my focus is WWII, Classical Greek and Roman history, and Psychology.

jnhall5's picture

Effective use of search engines or: How I became the family tech support guy

You might be surprised how many questions already have answers, simply floating in the internether. As a person who's grown up alongside the world wide web, I've come to rely on internet queries to quickly answer a question or offer instruction. The key to finding this information is to be able to effectively use search engines to navigate the web. For this post, I'll be talking about methods I use for a Google search. If you're using a different engine, your search results may vary. I will also be using square brackets and italics to denote example queries, such as this [ query ] for the word query.

Phrase searching

When you search for a phrase, such as [ which seat should I take ], you may notice that you get a variety of results with the words in any order. While in many cases this is fine, it can also be very helpful to use double quotes in your search to contain a specific phrase. The results will contain the keywords in the exact order. This can be used to find a reference, song lyrics, and is especially useful for finding information on an error message. The query [ "which seat should I take" ]  will give you more specific results.

Site filtering

tlha222's picture

Computer Graphics: Topology

Topology

When referring to computer graphics, 3d models and the like, topology is the wireframe of a given object. The wireframe is comprised of all the vertices (where lines meet to form a point), edges (the lines made up of two connects vertives) and from that information the faces can be made (generally have 2-3 connected edges per face). Now, as I pointed out in a previous blog I said that optimization was immportant for computer graphics. Today, I will go over "proper" topology.

Proper Topology?

Proper topology is the arrangement of the wireframe so that enough detail is present in the model while also keeping the polygon (faces) count to a manageable number (as low as possible while keeping necessary detail). In animation, proper topology goes one step further because it allows the model to deform more naturally when moving. (Bad topology example) (Good topology example)

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