Neil's News

Stanford CS145

2 December 2008

Three years ago I took M876, a postgrad course on databases at the UK's Open University. This year I'm taking CS145, an undergrad course on databases at Stanford University. The entire course material from M876 would fit into four hours worth of lectures of CS145. In this case Stanford is an order of magnitude more advanced than the OU. I highly recommend Stanford.

This course has been a lot of work and a lot of fun. The final project was to partially implement an auction website based on a snapshot of eBay data from 2001. Here's my solution which got 99.6%.

Having negative free time bites into ones ability to do creative things. However, there's only one more week until the final exam. After which this blog should return to slightly more interesting topics.

Images of the week:

[Snowbirds] [Blue Angels] On fleet week Canada's Snowbirds appeared over the Bay to perform their graceful aerobatic routine.

An hour later the US's Blue Angels performed their routine over the city. Note that I don't have a telephoto lens -- they were 50m above the roof tops. The thundering roar of jets, the shaking of buildings and the triggering of hundreds of car alarms is a fundamentally different philosophy than the Snowbirds.

Quote from a co-worker: "You're Canadian; the whole world doesn't want to kill you."

Speaking of things in the air, Googlers have been treated to regular overflights by the new Zeppelin NT which is operating out of neighbouring Moffett Field. To put this in perspective, the last airship which flew in the US had swastikas on it. While the Zeppelin NT has only 5% the volume of the grand airships of history, it's a start.

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