Category Archives: Computer Science

Fundamentals of Rock Climbing

Wilson Taylor

Wilson Taylor,
Junior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 5 April 2015

Something I have learned to truly appreciate at Ohio University is the wide variety of classes available outside of the Russ College. Every semester I make a conscious effort to add something I both have a personal interest in and is outside of my major into my class schedule.

One of the most enjoyable classes I have taken was on the fundamentals of rock climbing. The class covered basic climbing techniques, safety, and general practices. We learned how to tie key climbing knots and set up tethers for varying situations one might encounter at different climbing locations. One thing I really valued about the class was the truly hands on element it offered.

After four in-class meetings learning about the proper techniques and knots used on climb sites we had three days dedicated to applying what we learned. Our instructor took us to two different climbing locations and one nifty bouldering location in areas surrounding Athens. We had the opportunity to climb natural rocks using equipment we set up as a class. Additionally, we were responsible for each other’s safety as we each took turns belaying while other classmates climbed.

I enjoy exploring Athens and taking advantage of the many recreational activities the surrounding area has to offer. The rock-climbing course enabled me to do this and more. I continue to search for recreational classes as I find them to be a great way to just relax and enjoy myself.

Fun Times at the Fun Barn

Wilson Taylor

Wilson Taylor,
Junior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 8 March 2015

Finding things to do other than stay in your house or room when the weather gets cold often proves to be a challenge. I find this to hold true for myself on occasion, even as a self-proclaimed winter weather dresser professional, meaning I can get out and about whenever I please.

I found my first winter in Athens to be particularly challenging because I was unaware of many off-campus activities that were both affordable and more importantly reachable. While I have since learned of many local digs I have recently been playing favorites with the Fun Barn.

While the Fun Barn is not within walking distance of the university it is still within a fifteen minute drive. The Fun Barn has many of the newest releases at a reasonable price of $4, which is often the bait for myself and anyone else I am going with.

The real hook, though,is the environment. The Fun Barn reminds me of a Chuck-E-Cheese. Before entering the movies there is a food bar and arcade. The arcade has some of my most memorable childhood games: Skeeball and ticket roulette. There are also modern games such as a ticketed form of Deal or No Deal and Fruit Ninja.

While the Fun Barn has a lot to offer the best reason to go is to have the chance to ride one of their three coin operated kiddie rides. You can see me below riding with Dr. Seuss in his slick silver car.

Dr. Seuss's Car

Graduation Around the Corner

Rachel Fryan

Rachel Fryan,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 17 February 2015

With graduation right around the corner, the reality of the real world is starting to set in. I am finishing my victory lap with a double major in computer science and visual communications, and I am excited to get into the industry and use this dual skill set.

The technology world is in a high demand and I am finding the Bobcat alumni are equally willing to help fill these spots. Most of my contacts can be attributed to a very successful, distinguished California alumnus, Mr. David Pidwell. Mr. Pidwell graduated from the Russ College with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering, and has since become a CEO, earned his doctorate, become a successful investor, and has been a lecturer at Stanford University focusing on entrepreneurship. He is very determined on giving back, and well connected in the Silicon Valley area which is the hub of all technology.

It never ceases to amaze me how much Bobcat alumni are willing to help, in both my VisCom school, but especially within the Russ College. If you’re willing to put in the work, there will always be someone there to help you or connect you where you’re trying to get to. Once a bobcat, always a bobcat!

On the Ice at Bird Arena

Wilson Taylor

Wilson Taylor,
Junior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 1 December 2014

Ohio University has a nearly year-round winter wonderland, Bird Arena. Bird Arena is Ohio University’s ice rink and it serves as a much needed getaway location. When the semester picks up and I find myself bogged down with work I often turn to physical activity to free myself. While at school ice skating is my go-to physical activity. When I first found out about Bird Arena I was hesitant; however, after going a couple of times and learning how to properly balance, I immediately felt at home in the rink.

My interest in Bird arena goes beyond my desire to free-skate. I’m also into cheering on the Bobcat’s ice hockey team. I’ll admit I am not an avid sports fan. That being said, I have grown to develop a deep passion for Bobcats ice hockey.

The first OU ice hockey game I went to was a complete accident–confusing the free-skate time for a game time. After sitting through the first period of the game I found myself immersed in the atmosphere. Waiting for the shrill siren that marks a Bobcat goal with the fans around me was like nothing I had ever experienced before. The Ohio University ice hockey team is a Division 1 team in the ACHA with 16 wins, 2 ties, and 2 losses currently recorded for the 2014-2015 year. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do the rest of the season.

Double Major: CS + VisCom

Rachel Fryan

Rachel Fryan,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 5 November 2014

This semester, most of the classes I’m taking are for my second major in the Scripps College. The actual university name is “Visual Communications: Interactive Multimedia” which is a mouthful so we refer to it as “VisCom” or “Interactive”. I started this major my junior year because I thought it would be a great complement for my computer science degree. Visual communications is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the study of how things are communicated visually and answers the questions like: Why do we look where we do? What makes us remember certain advertisements?

ALT

Most people don’t really understand what interactive is so I like to describe it as such: If you think of a website, software, or app, computer science gives me the knowledge to work on what is referred to as the back end. This includes all the coding, performance, and all the logical concerns of the piece. Interactive gives me the knowledge to work on the front end. This means all the design, aesthetics, where people are most likely to look and click, and user experience.

I love both of my majors so much and find both very interesting. It’s also interesting how there will always be a battle between the two in industry. For example, if a CS person creates software, the last concern on their mind is aesthetics, but you will have a completely opposite opinion if you talk to a designer. They want something to look cool and work no matter how long it takes to code. Either way, I hope to use the get the most out of my dual degree and have it help me land my dream job: a software designer developer.

Sightseeing at Halloween

Wilson  Taylor

Wilson Taylor,
Junior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 27 October 2014

This past weekend was Halloween in Athens. Prior to coming to Ohio University I had heard a lot about the event–both positive and negative. Being a junior, this was my third time experiencing the event. Quickly looking back, I can confidently say all three of my Halloween experiences have been positive.

In my first year, I was hesitant about heading uptown for Halloween. After being guilt-tripped by both my RA and roommate at the time, I ended up walking the stretch of the event, Court Street, with them. Once there, I immediately realized I had made the right decision–the atmosphere was simply amazing.

Now I don’t think twice about heading uptown. For me, Halloween is walking Court Street with a small group of friends while eating funnel cake, corn dogs, and being fascinated by all the costumes.

Each year I try to pick a favorite costume I’ve seen. This usually leads to conflict amongst friends, but I like to think I make the best choices. For my first Halloween, my favorite costume was a group of jellyfish. About fourteen people had on robes with bubble umbrellas. The umbrellas had streamers hanging down from the sides while flashing Christmas lights were on the insides. The group bounced up and down the street–-it was truly a sight to be seen!

Last year my favorite costume was a Toy Story army figure. The man who was dressed up as a soldier had his costume painted a uniform shade of dark jungle green. He lay down on the street perfectly motionless until a crowd had gathered; he would then leap two to three feet forward. He did such a great job I found myself questioning if it was even a costume.

This year, my favorite costume was a group dressed up as the Hogwarts castle from Harry Potter. My fascination with the scene was not only the detail put into the costumes but also the memories the scene brought back. I found myself remembering the wonderful times I had reading the Harry Potter series with my Dad in middle school.

Overall, Halloween in Athens is an amazing experience. If you approach the weekend with a positive attitude, a fun group of friends and respect for the community you’ll gain some awesome memories from the whole shebang every year!

Fall Season is Here!

Rachel Fryan

Rachel Fryan,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 26 September 2014

Fall is in full swing here at Ohio University. Even though the temperature is in the high 70s/low 80s, it is still fall. My favorite thing about the campus is its beauty, and fall is the prettiest time of year around here. All the trees start changing color and it is just a busy time of year. All the fall sports are in full swing so there is always something to do or go to. Also Homecoming is right around the corner, which is always a fantastic time in Athens.

Other than extra curricular activities, school is in full swing as well. I am taking a victory lap because I am pursuing a double major and am also on the
OU women’s soccer team
, but it is still hard to believe I am 1/3 of the way through my last fall semester of college. It is a bittersweet relationship. Everyone who is not in college says to enjoy this time, but I am certainly ready to move on and start working.

This week we had a Career Fair with the university as well as one for only the Russ College. It is nice we have an exclusive career fair, because you know going into it, companies are looking strictly for people in engineering and technology. I have gotten a few interviews and I’m looking forward to moving on in the career process, which will hopefully result in a full-time job soon.