Why Learning Assembly is Still Important for CS Undergrads

This past semester I had the privilege of assisting in an undergraduate assembly language class. From my experience in my undergrad years, I found this class quite challenging since it was much different from other CS classes I had encountered up until this point. Errors from the assembler / emulator are often more cryptic that we are used to encountering. If you are lucky enough to work with a development board (which I wasn’t when I took the class myself at another school) you may not get much error feedback other than the equivalent of a windows BSOD from the board.

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Coast-to-Coast Seminars

Today I found out about some cross-Canada computer / math seminars that are sponsored by a consortium of research / computing organizations across Canada including SHARCNET, WestGrid, ACENet, IRMACS and AARMS. Today’s talk was given at the University of Toronto by Prof. Geoffrey Hinton (see the SHARCNET site for a description / abstract).

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ANN for Wireless Network Applications

This semester I have been taking a soft computing course. We have covered fuzzy logic and are starting artificial neural networks (ANN) although I have missed a couple of classes due to the conferences I have been attending. Anyway the ANN class today piqued my interest in how I can apply this to my area which is wireless networks. It seems to me so far that it could be applied to some of my cross-layer work since the network could be trained to tune parameters to settings which yield good performance based on specific network conditions. However, I’m not sure if this approach would be good or if some other AI type of technique may be better. Also I am interested in how ANNs could be applied to breaking encryption schemes if it is even possible. I have tried a few searches on Google and some journals / conferences but nothing of interest has come up yet. I don’t think I really understand ANNs enough to answer any of the questions, but I thought I’d get them down so I can come back later and think when I have more time. Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions on these ideas.

Perimeter Institute Physics Festival!

This may be only marginally related to computer science, but if you are like me, you may also have an interest in physics (and for those who don’t I think there are some lectures on quantum computers which may be cool). The festival runs in October and there is about a week or so of events including lectures, panel discussions and even live taping of TV shows (Steve Paiken if you are familiar with his show). You can register starting today for some of the events and next week for some as well. Here is the link: http://q2cfestival.com

Second Beginning at Guelph & September Conferences in Ontario!

This month I start for the second time at the University of Guelph, this time for my Ph.D. degree. I am continuing to work under the same supervisor and hopefully continue along with similar research in the area of wireless mesh networks. Our lab (PerWin) is supposed to be getting a bunch of new equipment from a company in Toronto so I will finally be able to move away from simulation and into some practical experiments.

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