Rick Swift & Apple & Embedded I make things. Sometimes, I’ll talk about it here.

Filed Under #School

I Graduated!

As of today, I have officially graduated from UC Berkeley, with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. It only took me 19 years to finish.


Haiku #1

I should be studying for an upcoming EE128 midterm. Instead I'm working on office code.

Code streams from fingers

As iTunes plays The Police

My grades slowly drop

I need lots of practice...

I got in!

Finally! Woo-hoo! Awesome! My application to transfer from U.C. Berkeley's College of Letters and Science into the College of Engineering was accepted.

Interestingly, they wanted me to accept the admission (like I'm going to say "no"...)!

RayTracing is Fun

CS184's assignment due a few hours ago was a simple ray tracer. So far, the most work, but also the most fun. I implemented a ray tracer that supports ellipsoids and triangles, point lights and directional lights (oops, forgot to mention that to the reader…hope (s)he picks up on that from the images), subsample antialiasing (jittered). It also renders to the screen and outputs jpeg directly, and uses an ANTLR-generated parser to read in scene files. Here are the images I submitted along with my assignment.

Some represent mistakes, but they're interesting anyway. I thought my images were cool, but Sarah Beth's snow globe takes the cake. Creative and refractive. How cool is that?



























Assignment: Trace Rays

The current CS184 assignment is to write a ray tracing program. In typical fashion, I can't help but want to do all sorts of unnecessary stuff, like provide an ANTLR grammar for the scene description language, and a full-blown Mac application for rendering and displaying the images.
We're supposed to render axis-aligned ellipsoids and polygons only. We need to support simple Phong shading, shadows, reflections, point and directional lights, and some sort of ray test acceleration. We also have to save images in some standard format. Along with the code, we're to provide five or more example images. I'll try to remember to post them here when I'm done, so you, too, can enjoy the glory.
I made the mistake of looking at some POVRay example images. My renderer will never be this cool, so I'm mostly just depressed about the assignment now.

EE120 "Is not a Math Class"

Yeah, right.
I like my professor, I really do. He's personable and funny, and a good lecturer. EE120 is "Signals and Systems" at UC Berkeley. He has told us time and time again that we're in engineering, and we don't like to do math, and that this is not a math class.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't see anything but math on that board, do you? Click the image for a view of the entire blackboard(s).
Now, to be fair, this lecture was pretty cool. He demonstrated how the sinc function can be used to perfectly reconstruct any band-limited continuous-time signal from a sampled version of that signal (assuming it was sampled above the Nyquist frequency, of course). Very, very cool.
The pretty graph in the middle shows how the individual sinc functions line up with each other and sum to the original signal. It's evident from the graph that at least the sample points are correct (the analytical expression for that is on the board to the right).
Still, not a math class?

I’m In!

Berkeley called today to tell me I’ve been readmitted. Unfortunately, I have to wait until Monday to get the oh-so-symbolic student ID card, and to ensure that I can get it on Monday I have to go to campus tomorrow to ensure my approved application gets into the system before the Friday night deadline, but I’m walking on air (and writing excessively long sentences to boot)!

The Application is In

Now it’s up to the Deans’ Conference. I’ve turned in a rather large pile of forms, recommendations, letters, and transcripts. They’ll meet on Thursday and I should know if I’m readmitted by Friday.
Wish me luck!