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Introduction to Programming exam went OK, really, all things considered (i.e. no Java programming done in the last two months or so)...

Question 1 required me to explain the differences and similarities between four different kinds of variables, followed by asking me to work out an algorithm to search through arrays looking for duplicate sequences, and then asked me to define what "Public", "Static" and "Void" mean... So I decided not to do that question.

We only do two out of three questions, so that was OK... Question 2 gave a series of programs, and told us to write (with explanations) the outputs of those programs, which was fairly straightforward, so I did that. All simple...

Then Question 3 was about more algorithms to add up the costs of objects in an array, which was simple enough, then comparing names of those objects, then some error handling. So the first part of that was OK, but I never do error handling - throwing exceptions is just so daft in my opinion - I just do conditional code that makes sure that the thing will work before it tries it and stuff (hence why I get naff marks when I need to handle exceptions, I guess).

Anyway, that's all good. Just in the Computing Labs now, printing off (with my l33t printer credit of about a tenner) some past FAI papers, in preparation for my exam on Saturday. Tomorrow is my day off, so I'll be revising this crap solidly in the hope that I can just about squeeze that 20% out of the exam that I need to pass it. Exam is marked out of 40 marks, so I just need 8 marks in order to pass. Just 8... Hopefully I can get that on genetic algorithms alone (for which my understanding goes way beyond first year degree level, due to private research), but they could screw me on that. And sadly, one of the areas I'm good at (Prisoners Dilemma and the AI implications) was asked last year, so I doubt it'll be done this year. Curses. Anyway, I think this is all do-able...

Then again... WTF is a Perceptron? And back-propagation algorithms? And please excuse me if my ability to figure out Neural Networks is poor at best... And 98, 99 and 2000's papers all had stuff on Braitenberg Vehicles. Now, do I assume that this won't be the case this year just because it's probably meant to trick me and concentrate on stuff I can do, or do I learn the answers to those questions because they'll be easy marks if it is on this year's paper?

"Is James is stupid, yes he is."

(that last quote put there for pretty much TMA only, since nobody else will get it)

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(Deleted comment)
Oops, I keep forgetting about you Dirk ;o)

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I will start flying to Germany and kicking your arse until you stop :o)

(Deleted comment)
*engages Ear Rotors*

Right, that bloody does it...

*takes off and heads for Germany*

Excuse my ignorance. But once you get a degree or whatnot in the courses you are doing, what do you want to do with them? I mean, what type of work do you want to do?

I only ask because I can't actually remember if I asked you before see. Maths and AI or something you're doing isn't it?

Maths and Artificial Intelligence

As to what I want to do with it, in recent months, I've decided that I have no idea. Perhaps something that has nothing to do with either of them. I may go out and be a journalist for all I know... :o)

Just thinking really. I mean Maths is a good one to have and the only thing I can think of where AI is used is in computer games and one of them dogs that Sony have come up with. Hence why I asked, wanted to know what use you could put it to see.

Well, the AI side of the subject is in effect half AI, half Computer Science, so I come out of this with a good knowledge of programming...

And the AI techniques I'd learn are widely applicable...


Write to Lionhead and ask them if you can help make Black and White 2, this time making the game actually entertaining for once and not the borefest it is.


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