October 30, 2009
More details about the winter semester:
I know I have been very brief about my winter term here at Michigan, so here it is…
The winter started out really fast and got over really fast:-). After giving 2 tests I got my SI502 requirement waived off. Then I got my JAVA programming requirement waived off. After all the waive offs and after an hour of brainstorming with Judy Lawson, I figured out the courses I wanted to take for my first term in the United States. I took:
1. SI627: Managing the IT organization
2. SI630: Security in digital world
3. SI650: Information Retrieval
4. SI760: Language & Information
5. OMS501: Business Statistics
I have an advice to all my readers; don’t take 15 credits in the first term. I will start from the top and describe each course in detail. SI627 had a lot of readings and online participation (needed to get accustomed to CTOOLS which was really hard). For the online participation I had to read a chapter from the reading and lead the discussion on that reading on CTOOLS. Once I figured out how to start a discussion on CTOOLS I was all set :-). We had two more deliverables for this subject, one was a presentation on a new and upcoming technology, so I chose augmented reality and gave a really amazing presentation with a video clip and everything. At the very end we were to give a project presentation, our team consisted of only 3 people so we lagged a bit in the project and the end result wasn’t as impressive as I had thought, but was good enough.
SI630 was a great class specifically because the professor himself was very passionate about security, so much so that he has his own public key setup :-). There were 3 papers due during this class which was fun since the topic chosen were really interesting by the professor. At the end of this class we were to present a project which helped people learn more about security in the digital world. So we developed a system which was a computer adaptive test that would test how secure are your data storage and data transmission habits and at the end this test would give you a score and compare you with others who have taken this test. We made a flash application for this project, which used to learn from the user’s responses and then give the next question based on the answer of the previous question. This test can be taken from my online portfolio. This course helped me a lot, in-fact I got together with the professor again over the summer to get some advice about a project that I was doing for one of my internship.
SI650 would be the most unforgettable class I have ever taken; Prof. Drago had a very different style of teaching. He was teaching this class here at University of Michigan and Columbia University in New York simultaneously. It was fun! The course was all about how information is retrieved by the search engines and how this information should be organized so that it is easier for the search engines to find this information. The course had 3 assignments, programming based in which we were supposed to use CLAIRLIB developed by Prof. Drago himself in Perl and solve the problem of the assignment. There was a final term for the course along with a project. My project was really interesting; Prof. Drago had a large data set of user queries to the AOL search engine. I used this corpus to form a graph of the users and then on this graph I performed Random walks to assign weights to each user so that at the end based on these weights I can cluster the users and see some pattern. For this I used JAVA and the JUNG API written in JAVA for the visualization of the clusters. I also made use of the LUCENE API. JUNG API was really cryptic for me at first, but I was able to grasp it through the help of the support staff at sourceforge.net
SI760 was a good course specifically because the instructor had amazing skills of teaching. This course had 3 assignments, a midterm and a final term. I don’t know what to describe about the course, because most of it was just studying and understanding the concepts.
OMS501 was the statistics course from the business school. I took this since it was a requirement and also I got to complete my cognate, but I still plan to take more cognates. This class was held in the new business school building and was real great fun. The professor had a really good sense of humor and used to explain the concepts really well. For this course there were two projects and a number of assignments on the Wiley site, for which I had to purchase an account. Apart from that this class was fun and most of the students were part-time MBA students there so got to learn a lot from them.
Posted by malhar at October 30, 2009 09:20 AM