Thank you and Goodbye

I would like to start off by thanking all of my friends, classmates and professors for the last year so memorable. And a special thanks to those that made the computer science club possible. Taking part in the creation of the computer science club was one of my greatest accomplishments. We made it possible to for students from different grades to connect with each other and to collaborate with the other clubs. The club gave us numerous opportunities to learn and interact with one another. Most importantly the Club allowed us to work with professors and other faculty members to maximize our college experience.

It was an honor working with some the classmates and professors, I learned a lot and managed to do a lot more as well. I was able to attend competitions, commit to side projects and some minor freelance work every now and then. My software engineer professor made the classes extra fun and a fantastic learning experience. I learned a great deal of things and used the things I’ve learned over the years to help other students. I am pretty proud of my academic achievements as well, making the dean's list multiple semesters in a row but also award for excellence in computer science.

In closing, I want to wish my colleagues good luck and farewell. I will undoubtedly go back to visit and will try to stay in contact. For those that are staying in school or going away for a graduates degree, I wish you guys all the best and may you guys forever remember the good times we’ve had together.



IEEE Region 1 Conference

Four days and three nights, thats how long I was at buffalo for the IEEE event. I had a splendid time meeting people from different universities. It was quite interesting listening to the different teams that competed in the micro-mouse competition talk about the different sensors and path finding algorithms that they used. I learned so much about how the placement of the sensors just as much as the algorithm itself and how important it is to test the robot right before the competition. I also had the pleasure of meeting some of the prominent IEEE organizers of the event, one of them sat with my classmates and I for dinner and gave us insightful advice about being well connected and the importance of LinkedIn.

PS. Buffalo is beautiful but it was too quiet for my liking, though the SUNY buffalo northern campus was amazing.



New York Business Plan Competition

What an exhilarating day! I cant believe its over.

The New York City regionals consisted of 52 teams competing in 6 categories: Software/IT, Social Entrepreneurship/nonprofit, Clean Technology, Advance Technology, Products and Services. There were also many business professionals, including David Rose, himself, at the event. The sheer amount of talent and ideas was incredible. It was more than just a competition, it was an opportunity to network with high level CEOs, angel investors, Business Coaches, consultants, professors, and students from other schools around the city. It really was an astounding event; it was pretty hard to take it all in because I was also competing it it with my team.

My team, Brian, Christian, Brandon and I, were competing against 16 other teams in the Software/IT category, it was tough competing in the category with the most participants of any other category – I’m not going to much about what we were presenting but rather the event itself. Brian and I were the only ones presenting at the event but everyone in our team was there including our advisor, Professor League, and classmates were there supporting us. I was nervous but I was confident; Brian and I attended the practice presentation a week before the real thing and we had an opportunity to meet some of our competitors. Because there was 16 teams, it had to be broken down and split into two rooms and judged separately for time sake. At the start of it my anxiety was at it’s peak but as time went on it started coming down as I was able to watch the teams ahead of us go up before us. By watching the other teams, I was able to rethink some of the things I wanted to say. When it was time for us to go up, we breezed through it and tackled all of the questions thrown at us. I was very happy with our performance and I was feeling very good about our chances.

After the presentation was the keynote event by David Rose, Founder of the New York Angels. It was all about entrepreneurship and business, what it takes to be successful and yada-yada. It was took technical for me, I’m not much of a business person but one thing he said stood out to me, he said, “investors do not invest in ideas, no matter how good the ideas are, they invest in companies.” That one sentence is going to stick with me for the rest of my life, especially after the what happened next, the competition winners announcement.

We did not win first, we did not win second but we won third in our category. Although third place winners do not get anything, I received an experience of a life time. The judges said it was the toughest category not only because it had to most participants but also because there was a lot of really good ideas and solutions, ultimately came down to which teams were further into their prototyping and development and we lost second by a hair and I am okay with that. Brian and I had a fantastic opportunity to talk to one of the judges that judged us and he told us we beat out everyone in our room but ultimately lost to the first and second place winners who were both from the second room. I truly believe that the more time you invest into something the better it becomes and this is where what David Rose said really hits it for me. We’ll continue working on our idea and improve on what we have.



NY Tech Meetup

As the Vice President of the CS club I pushed for career prep and help create opportunities, one of them was to get club members and students of the computer science department to start networking and experiencing the tech world. I proposed that we get the club to attend NY Tech meetup events to the other officers and faculty members of the CS club. With the help of one of the Professors at LIU, he was able to get the club some tickets to the event.

I was quite fascinated by a few of the things at the showcase portion of the event, most notably VirtualAPT with their rover that was able to capture 360 video, render and upload it in 15 minutes. The rover that they showed off aligns with my field of interest, I managed to ask the Chief Engineering Officer of VirtualAPT a few questions about the rover at the after party and stayed a little bit longer to listen to the CEO of VirtualAPT talk more about their rover. I walked around the afterparty floor and talked to a quite a few people and discovered that there were a few recruiters from various companies at the afterparty as well. I will surely bring up the fact that there were recruiters at the afterparty to the next CS club meeting, to encourage more members to attend these kinds of events.



Bad SATA

A few weeks ago, my computer had symptoms of a dying disk drive. It took a substantial amount of time to boot, open a folder, launch an application and even had errors when trying to shut down. Though to be fair, I boot off of my SSD and not my HDD, which is quite puzzling for the slow speeds. I used the SMART software that accompanies my SSD to check the health, and nothing, I did the same using CMD chkdsk, nothing. Worried, I ordered a few SSDs so I can back up my data.

Then one evening a friend asked me to play a few matches of Starcraft with him, again it took a while to launch the game and as we were loading up the match my load screen hanged. It was then I realized that there was something wrong with my main storage drive. It couldn’t have been my boot drive since I don’t keep many files there and chkdsk is spotty when it comes to reporting disk failures and bad sectors. Then a second realization hit me, I remembered that I cleaned out the dust from inside my computer using a brush. When cleaning out the computer, I unplugged a few cables to get access to some of the case fans and some of the wires might have gotten loose so I gave all the SATA cables a firm press to make sure they were all plugged in properly. After doing so, I booted up the computer again and I was still having the same problems. I then decided to swap out the SATA cable for the F: drive just to be safe and sure enough on the next boot, all the problems disappeared and all is well….except now I have extra SSDs lying around.



Cross Site Scripting

I find research papers a chore in most cases, I am able to understand a topic or a finding from just one source and using the information provided to deduce the rest. For my network Security class research paper the topic was Cross Site Scripting (XSS) was the contrary because While using multiple sources allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of how XSS is injected and the various damages that can be inflected, I actaully had to the chance of practicing XSS while I was researching it. The eureka moment came when I learned that XSS affects sites that do not use any filters. Aside from reading and summarizing what I read, I found a website (Prompt.ml) that teaches XSS by doing. It was easy to get into after reading about XSS, the entire premise of the site was to get a prompt message through. But with each level, the filters got more sophisticated and that much more engaging, though I only managed to get pass the first three levels before it start seem out of my league. Of course, I learned so much more about XSS by doing it rather than researching it. I have a greater appreciation for websites and their developers that are implementing sophisticated filters to protect their user base, I am also more careful on the web now that I know that in a poorly implemented website an attacker can embed a script that can be trigger by hovering.


I feel the need to state that I have no intentions of using, in my mind, my limited knowledge of XSS for evil or to do anything illegal.