Tag Archives: Time Wasting

Math and Campus Maps

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted as I’ve been pretty busy with frosh week events here at Waterloo. Since I’m going into software engineering, I’m technically part of both the engineering faculty and math faculty and therefore participate in events from both faculties. At this point, all “softies” have earned their engineering hard hats and pink math ties:

The other night, one of the Comp Sci guys on my floor came to my room with a pretty cool math problem that would have fit well on Project Euler. It basically wanted to know how many downward-pointing triangles were present in a pyramid made of triangles. Of course, these downward-pointing triangles could be built from multiple triangles; for 4 layers of pyramid the answer is 7 because of one bigger multi-triangle:

Arriving at a computer-friendly answer is very easy, and requires a simple nested for-loop. I also found a slightly more elegant solution with only a single for-loop, but again this solution was fairly easy to come by. The hard part began when a few more CS/Eng students arrived and asked if we could find a single equation that would work for all cases that was “calculator-friendly”, i.e. without any looping. This was tougher.

We worked for several hours that night and didn’t really produce any solid results. I decided to try again earlier this morning and I’ve finally come up with an extremely ugly solution for cases were the number of layers (n) is greater than 4:

I’m still not satisfied, but I’m putting it away because I’ve already put way too much time into it.

 The second item I mentioned in my title is an idea for an app I’ve started working on. I used my iPhone + Google Maps to get around campus for the first few days, but this required some looking back/forth between the phone and the actual campus map. I think it would be handy to have a campus map super imposed onto Google Maps. In addition this map could take building names as start/end locations and plot the optimal route. I’m hoping to have this done by the time class starts on Monday. 😛



Ion Engine

I didn’t do any coding today since I’ve been putting a lot of hours into my game engine over the last few days. It’s nice to have  a break some times, after all. 🙂  I’m still aiming for a preliminary demo by Sunday, so I’ll probably start working on a basic UI system tomorrow. In the off time I also though several things I’d like to starting working on, most of which are going to involve some new programming concepts so they’ll probably have to wait. A terrain engine is one of them.

I did start working on a logo today, with one of the names I have in mind:

It’s not final by any means, nor is the name really, but I would like to be able to call my project something. Preferably sooner rather than later, too. I like the name “Ion Engine” since it’s short, catchy and easy to remember. I also can’t find any other active game engines under that name, unlike one of the other names I liked (Axiom). The science nerd in me also got a bit of a laugh out of the fact that my Abstract graphics layer could be stylized as the silver ion Ag+. Ha.


Time Waster – Why not orange?

So I had an interesting conversation with a friend about how and why Apple selected “Apple” for its name. There are a variety of theories on the Internet, including that it was the favorite fruit of founder Steve Jobs, or that it was an allegory to “Eve eating the forbidden fruit” or something. As a random spur of the moment thing, I decided to run a random survey with the assistance of one of those “talk to strangers” type sites. I’d never used them before, only heard about them, so I did a bit of shopping around first. I ended up choosing Omegle because it allowed for text-only chat. I didn’t want to have to use video, for reasons that probably don’t need explaining.

The “survey”, if it can even be called that, took the form of starting each conversation with “Apples or Oranges?” Most of the time this got one of three answers: Apples, Oranges, or “partner has disconnected.” The results from this were:

However the real reason for this little time waster was, of course, the atypical and often humorous replies. Highlights included:

Some people enjoyed explaining the rationale behind their choice…

And lastly:

Some of the other “fruits” that were chosen: ‘mango’, ‘pumpkinz’, ‘ur mom’, ‘super-glue’, ‘butterflies’, ‘cashews’, ‘cinnamons’, ‘grapes’, and ‘jesus’.

That was a somewhat entertaining waste of time. 🙂


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