I had to tell an MBA to GTFO

Summer’s over, fall is here, and everything that entails is already in full swing.

I won’t go into detail, but I will leave you with this bloopers clip I put together in the days after I left Raleigh but before arriving in Pittsburgh.  It consists of most (not all, if you can believe that) of the video clips we took in filming our ExtremeBlue commercial that was “aired” in Armonk during the Expo.  I can’t actually show the commercial itself (as it shows product-specific icons that are still under wraps), but as with any bloopers reel, that doesn’t really matter. 😛

I’ve already gone into great detail about the summer on my friends-only blog (yep, I have another blog…in fact, I have three blogs! and if we want to be completely technical, I actually have four, but two of them are sync’d using the prototype WordPress Synchronizer I developed), so for the time being, I want to talk about my fall lineup, dammit.

Stars and Galaxies

Don’t let the name fool you; this class is a veritable “Astrophysics 101” and not for the faint of heart. This class is a prerequisite to an advanced Astrophysics course in the spring that I’m interested in taking. And yes, this is, in its entirety, an elective for me. Call astrophysics a guilty indulgence of mine 🙂

Computational Modeling

My last required core class before I’m officially eligible for my degree. This is taught by one of the most brilliant CS professors I’ve ever worked with – he received his PhD from MIT, and is currently cross-employed by both Carnegie Mellon’s school of Computer Science and the department of Biology. His research focuses on modeling evolutionary trees, and this course will feature some of that. Definitely going to be the most challenging course this semester.

Web Application Development

Bloody awesome already. We’re using Apache Tomcat for J2EE development while learning the ropes of web applications, culminating in a final project that can be whatever we want it to be. It’s nice that I’ve already had some experience in this arena, a la ExtremeBlue.

One interesting encounter was a student in the class who claimed that “corporations, particularly business people, are afraid of cloud computing because they don’t know what it entails, so they’re not going to adopt it.”  I did not hesitate in using IBM as a perfect counter-example. Her response? “But it’s IBM.” Not really sure what that even means.

However, there is some HTML/CSS design involved, and even though I’m fairly decent at it, I want to make sure my DOMs don’t turn into spaghetti while I’m “persuading” the page to look the way I want, so I may be asking eksith for his expert web design assistance…

Thesis Research

My work with Dr Murphy in image analysis continues and picks up speed this semester. I haven’t been able to squeeze into his schedule yet, but my work will involve some aspect of his lab’s SLIF service. Several of his publications on the matter include areas that are in need of improvement – automated machine learning analysis with relatively low accuracy – so within the next week or so I should know what I’m going to be defending come next May.


In my free time (HA!), I’m still working on my CMS (though it’s entirely possible that something similar to this will become my WebApp final project).  I’m also going to be assisting UGA’s infectious diseases department in aligning tuberculosis sequences.  Furthermore, I’m helping UGA’s art department set up their website to showcase their projects.  Finally, I am playing racquetball on a weekly basis with my girlfriend’s cousin who just started his master’s this fall at CMU’s public policy school.

Needless to say, life is good.



About Shannon Quinn

Oh hai!
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5 Responses to I had to tell an MBA to GTFO

  1. eksith says:

    Ready and willing, Sir!

    When it comes to web applications, I’ve usally found it best to let the page output rudimentary plain-text at first (often without head or body tags and no doctype). This way, you can go back and wrap your design around the content and not visa versa.

    And some form of automated tag closing mechanism (a la WordPress) is really handy for the content, especially if there’s no WYSIWYG in place.

    If a div tag is left unclosed, for example, that can really wreak havoc on the layout.

    As for free time…
    Well Bruce Wyane had some, but he’s in the comics. Real world superheroes are too busy actually solving problems. 😛

    • magsol says:

      Awesome! 🙂

      That is an excellent strategy. I’ve actually already taken the liberty of adapting your Unified Template design into a rudimentary social networking site (“Fakebook”, as the assignment goes 😛 ), mainly because I wanted something with a very flexible and extensible HTML/CSS design (as all the future assignments will build on it), but couldn’t for the life of me get a design off the ground.

      I hope that’s alright. I’m even keeping your “license” in each HTML file, as well as all your meta tags, and your icon at the bottom.

      Of course, I’m still going to be asking for your expertise. 🙂

      • eksith says:

        Haha! “Fakebook” 😀
        That disclaimer is just so I don’t get blamed with integration issues. I.E. Monitor blows up on refresh and causes horrible injuries to some innocent bystander.

        It’s pretty much in the public domain except for the disclaimer. Honestly, you can totally relicense under your own terms if you like.

        As for starting a theme…
        Sometimes I get ideas by browsing other themes on the web. I start out trying to match part of one style (say, the navbar) and end up with a completely different one in the end. But I get the theme off the ground either way. Of course this sort of happened with the Unified Template wherein I was trying to rip off Microsoft’s CSS and the Hemingway theme. 😛

        And doodling definitely helps.
        There’s a sketchbook on my desk at all times and a few sheets of copy paper in my bag in case I get an idea somewhere between stops on the train. You never know when inspiration hits.

        In fact, the border separating the left and right columns was partly inspired by a detached gutter I saw on my neighbor’s house.

      • magsol says:

        Haha, I figured you wouldn’t care one way or the other, but I like to give recognition to those who put their stuff out on the internets without the intent of ever hearing about it again. 🙂

        I too enjoy sketching out the sites – my trouble is getting the CSS to cooperate with my imagination. But yes, my love of (and tendency for) drawing out designs is what prompted me to give my girlfriend the suggestion of getting me a dry-erase marker board for my birthday. Which has already come in handy!

        I will say this – thank you thank you THANK YOU for properly formatting and lining up all your HTML blocks, especially all the div’s. It is making modifying the template MUCH simpler!

      • eksith says:

        You’re welcome! 😀

        Actually, that’s one of the reasons I wrote that. It’s just so frustrating to come across a theme you want to use, only to find out the code is really hard to read.

        And spaces as tabs… Aaaarrrrgh!!

        I blame Vim! 😉

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