Why I’m in Australia is probably not a big secret and you came up with your
very own idea based on my previous blog posts. However, I did not mention in
any way what I’m doing here and what courses I took at the University.
It is part of our curriculum at UCM to take 2 courses out of every
concentration. That means for me that I have to take 2 courses in philosophy
and art although I my main concentration is science. The three concentrations
at UCM are humanities, social science and science. Until now I had a happy mix
of (Computer) Science and Psychology/Social Science and I have to say that I
really like my mix but that brought up the problem that I had to find 2
humanities courses that I want to include into my repertoire. For that
Cognitive Science was like a savior. It is a philosophic course about
artificial and netural intelligence. How do people think? How do we organize
knowledge? What methods do we use for computation?
Systems Programming in C/C++
At UCM I had several programming classes, however, all of them where in Java a
relatively young language that is gaining more and more popularity in recent
years. Since I started learning Java 6 years ago I always wanted to learn a new
language to add to my skills. I tried in the Philippines to teach myself C++
but I was missing the right motivation and a good teacher I could bug with
stupid questions. Here we started with an introduction into UNIX-Systems, the
foundation for many modern computers and the core concept of Linux and Mac
OSX(Apple). The remaining time we are focusing on C, one of the oldest
remaining languages. C is a remarkably complex language with many pitfalls
without the safeguards of modern programming languages to be more efficient. It
is a bit like rock climbing without a rope. You safe time that you’d spent on
securing yourself but might die if you make a wrong step. For a computer a
wrong step means a system crash á la BSOD(Blue screen of Death). You all know
that from your beloved Windows Computer.
Event Driven Computing
Another Computer Science Course. Event Driven Computing is one of the most
important concepts in Computer Science. I already had several courses in
Maastricht that incorporated that concept and talked about it but I never had
a dedicated course that only focuses on this concept. Nowadays Event Driven
Computing is the founding block of many programs from TVs to elevators and
breaking systems in cars.
What is happening beyond our atmosphere? What can we achieve if we understand
what’s happening beyond our limited horizon? Those questions were always what
caught my attention. People who know me knows my enthusiasm for natural
sciences. I breath articles about scientific research like other breath air.
However, it never was enough for me to actually pursue a career in that field.
It’s breath taking when new galaxies are discovered and researches find out
what’s happening inside the many suns in the universe, that we use to call
stars. In my opinion this should be general knowledge that should be taught at
school instead of religion and other conservative teachings. We live in a world
in which the existence of a god is getting less probable with every second. Why
do we waste our time in ancient teachings that do not help our degrading planet
at all instead of focusing on scientific research and harvesting energy sources
that are out there? Therefore, a small dream came true when I found out that I
was able to enroll in an Astronomy course here in Australia. The course is
focusing on fundamental knowledge for astronomy. What is nuclear fusion? How do
new elements are created? What conditions are on other planets? What do
organisms need to survive? What techniques do we use to explore the stars?
How are Galaxies and Solar Systems formed? All this and much more is what I
absorb every week and I love it to just sit back in a lecture and listen to the
wonders of the Universe.
Most of the pictures are completely unrelated and just happen to be in the article by accident.