End of the First Semester

Hard part’s over, or so I hope.
The first semester’s exams ended last week and even though they weren’t easy, I hope I did well enough. It was a bit like starting from scratch. My linguistic background wasn’t of much use except in one or two courses, and my knowledge of literature obviously didn’t help me at all. Speech Recognition and Neural Computing were especially difficult. Speech Recognition was all damned lies and statistics while for Neural Computing the hardest part was figuring out what all the formulas meant. But I think I did reasonably well on both.

Anyway, next week the second semester starts, and I’ll have two or three courses squeezed into one month’s time, and in March I start my internship at the CNTS (Centrum voor Nederlandse Taal en Spraak) in Antwerp. I’m not sure how much of the project I’m allowed to reveal (though I don’t know all that much about it myself), but let’s just say it’s something like Façade, only with more “serious” applications. I guess I’ll be working on the natural language interface (the part where you type in “regular” text and it gets parsed and interpreted) though I really don’t have any specifics at this point. We’ll see.

I’m pretty sure the hardest part about the internship will be to get up at 6 every morning. Antwerp is like 1h30 by train, not counting the delays and the time it takes me to get from the station to the research center. But it’s only three months, the project sounds interesting, and I might even be able to do some work from home occasionally, so that should alleviate the pain.

All this studying business doesn’t mean I haven’t had time to do the things I enjoy doing. On the contrary, I’ve finished quite a few games, seen quite a few series and movies, listened to quite a bit of music. It’s just that I haven’t found the time or energy to write about it. World of Goo, Left 4 Dead, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Slumdog Millionaire and Revolutionary Road were definitely titles worth talking about. I still might, actually.
I can also let you know that Far Cry 2 has nothing to do with the original Far Cry and isn’t worth your money, and Dead Space‘s control scheme will foil any attempt you make to enjoy the game…

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