My third year project

February 12, 2013 2 comments

In this post, as the title suggests, I’ll be giving an overview about my third year project. It’s quite important, as it is worth  25% of my degree classification, but I’ll try to keep it straightforward.

So, my project has the title “Evolving a Neural Network using a Genetic Algorithm“. While that sounds quite complex and daunting, it’s actually relatively straightforward  As the title suggests, the project has two main components, creating an artificial neural network, and using a genetic algorithm to change the weights of said network. The main goal of this project is to have a program that can model polynomial functions. Just a quick introduction to these two components: An artificial neural network is used to model biological neural networks, which consist of nodes and weighted connections between them, and a genetic algorithm is used to mimic evolution, including selection and random mutations.

I’ve chosen to implement this project in C#. I was originally going to use C++, but decided against it, as it would have caused some unwanted and time consuming hassle. A number of my friends have also recommended the language  and I enjoy learning new languages, and it also serves as a small introduction to the .NET framework. This is also the main reason I chose C# over Java. Whilst I’m much more experienced and comfortable using Java, the chance of learning a popular and well rated language was very exciting, and I must say, I am enjoying the language, it’s refreshingly different.

If you would like more information about any of the main topics introduced, I’ve linked the relevant Wikipedia pages. Whilst Wikipedia isn’t a fantastic source, it’s a good way of introducing topics, whilst containing references to more technical articles. I’ve also included a link to the .NET framework website.

This marks the end of this post, which  leads to my question to you: What’s your favourite programming language at the moment? As always, if you have suggestions for future posts, leave them either in the comments of this post or on the suggestions page.

Thank you for reading, and until next time, farewell.

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Categories: Project, University Tags: ,

Long time no speak

February 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Why hello there. It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted on this blog, but the year is young(ish), and university is kicking in, so I’ve be able to get back into the swing of things.

So, where have I been? The last post was just before Summer, so there’s a lot to talk about, but I’ll keep it brief. Over the summer I worked at the University, developing a Java applet for visualising graphene at varying resolutions. Unfortunately, the applet wasn’t finished, but it taught me a lot about Java, OpenGL (via JOGL), UI design, and so on. I hope to finish it in my time, as it was progressing nicely.

After that university started again, and I commenced the third year of my studies. Looking back, my module choices weren’t that great, but I powered through, and at least one of the modules was interesting. After that came the January exams, which could have gone much worse. Overall I think the first semester went well, I certainly learnt a lot.

And now we come to the present, just after the beginning of the second semester. Once again, the modules I’ve chosen might not be ideal, especially seeing as how one of them has an average mark of just over 40%, but I’ll persevere, primarily because I need to complete two out of three themes for my degree, and the modules I’ve chosen do that.

This will be the end of the post, in the next I’ll be talking about my third year project, and this leads to my question to you: What would you like me to talk about in future posts? You can either comment here or on the suggestions page.

Thank you for reading, and until next time, farewell.

Categories: University, Update Tags: ,

The start of summer

June 7, 2012 1 comment

Exams have finally ended, and with them comes the end of the second year of university, and the start of the summer holidays. However, as fate would have it, during exams the weather was fantastic, but as I look out my window, all I can see is a grey sky and rain. Not exactly the traditional embodiment of summer. However, this is not an issue for me, as I’ll be spending most of my days inside, writing various programs, both for fun and for work. Of course, when the weather is nicer, I’ll be taking advantage of it by cycling.

But what have I been doing with my new free time? Not much actually, the main things so far are more sleep and playing video games (how unexpected). I’ve also been watching E3 online the past few days, and I’ve been slightly disappointed overall. The three main companies I watched (Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo) left me feeling slightly lackluster for their upcoming products and game. There were exceptions however, including Halo 4, Splinter Cell Blacklist and the new Tomb Raider. Ushers performance was unexpected, but enjoyable. This leads to my question to you. What games are you most excited about in the coming future? Personally, Halo 4, Bioshock Infinite and Borderlands 2 are top of my list.

Thank you for reading, and until next time, farewell.

Categories: Update Tags: , , , ,

The end of Semester 2

May 11, 2012 6 comments

So, Semester 2 officially finished today. No more lectures, labs, coursework, only revision and exams, and looking back, it hasn’t been too shabby. There were definitely some bad parts, Mobile Systems was annoying, Prolog is a very intriguing programming language, and Software Engineering might be one of the worst taught modules I’ve taken, but this semester was mostly enjoyable. I’ve chosen my project for next year, and hopefully my plans for summer work will come to fruition, so, all in all, it’s been a good few months.

However, I now have exams to look forward to, with the first on the 21st of this month, and the last on the 1st of June. What this means is that until then, I won’t be posting content. After that, I’ll resume, in between cycling, working and playing games, and this leads to my question to you: What games are you playing at the moment, and are there any you would recommend?

Thank you for reading, and until next time, farewell.

Categories: University Tags: , ,

A small update

Before I begin this post, I would like to apologize (once again) for the gap between this post and the most recent. I’ve had a lot of coursework due in the past two weeks, and I’ve been very busy trying to finish it all.

So, let’s remedy that.

University is running at full speed, taking up my life with lectures, labs and coursework, both mundane and interesting. I also have a new-found love for the library (there’s a book next to my laptop as I type). The timetable is nearly finished, and then nothing but revision for the summer exams, of which I have five (at least there’s not six, the norm for computer science). I’ve also managed to secure where I’m living next year, which is a very large weight of my shoulders. The house is very nice, and I’m very close to some friends.

I’d like to try something new, called “Question of the Post” (original name, I know), It’s very simple, I’d love to get some interaction and feedback from my readers, and this would be a great way to do just that. So my question is, how many exams do you have this summer, and are there any you aren’t looking forward to?

Thank you for reading, and until next time, farewell.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,

The holiday is over

Before I begin this post, I would like to apologize for the gap in content, I have been busy catching up with university work the past week and a bit, and it has taken nearly all my time, except on Easter Sunday (see below)

Anyway, back on topic.

So, the holiday is nearly over. If you celebrate Passover/Easter etc. I hope you enjoyed any related festivities. I spent the Easter weekend with my family, and even though the weather wasn’t that sunny, I had a great time.

Since Monday I’ve been back in Manchester, catching up with the various pieces of work that need doing, and it was interesting trying to get back into “university mode”. My body is still not entirely happy with waking at 7am, but it’s getting better, and I shouldn’t have any problems when university starts officially on Monday.

Since university is starting up, I’ve put the Pokémon project on hold until I have some free time, however I’ve got to a point where I’m happy to stop. I’ve got the controls finished and the textures are  nearly finished, which leaves me in a good standing when I come to write the game itself.

Thank you for reading, and until next time, farewell.

Creating texture files

If you didn’t read the previous post, here’s a quick run-down of the context of this one. I’ve decided to remake the game Pokemon Red, in Java, using various external libraries. Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s continue this post. I’ve spent the past few days creating a texture file for the remake, and I must say, while it has been fun, it has also been a slow process, and I am glad that I’m a programmer, not a graphical designer, even though I’m only using black and white textures (Colours might be an end of project addition), and using Photoshop (CS5, more information can be found by following the link). I’m not finished yet, I’ve only finished the textures for the tiles that can be walked on (grass, dirt etcetera). I hope to finished the rest of the textures within the next few days. Thank you for reading, and until next time, farewell.

Categories: Graphics, Programming Tags: , ,