Sunday, March 28, 2010

Prospectus Workshop Summary

After this workshop process i can thoroughly say my partner has a great paper, its just that this class is so unorganized that its hard to keep up with whats due and when its actually due.  Overall I believe the comments I provided were very thorough and truly answered everything that needed to be answered.  I hope these comments end up being helpful, at least like it was for me.  Since the class is so unorganized the questions helped me to make sure that my paper was actually on the right track and that I had the requirements which are scattered around all over the place.  I found the simple yes/no comments the most  helpful because it was easiest to follow the fulfillment of requirements when the answers are started clearly.  The brunt of the information that I have gathered by doing these critiques has allowed me to see the different ways and methods as to how to approach a certain research topic, and this will be the best help for my future essays.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Research Design Workshop Summary

The Workshop for the Research design seemed to be much easier than the workshop for the literature review.  The Literature reviews were just much harder to read because of the densities and technicalities of them.  With the research design it was much easier to see the actual implementation of each solution and how that would lead to the final solution.  In order to come up with the questions for this workshop I just thought about what was required of each section in the research design and then thought up questions pertaining to the requirements of each section and the research design as an entirety.  Much like I said before, this section really made a lot more sense to me as there was almost a logical flow or numbering to each step in the design making it more like the problem solving that we do on a day to day basis.

I really think the workshop process that we have been taking part in will help the clarity and perfection of my entire research prospectus, especially with the research design section.  Instead of just seeing the solution through our eyes this allows us to get a second opinion onto the logic behind the steps in the process and how they lead up to the final solution which will hopefully solve the entire research problem.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

#5 State of Your Research Prospectus (freewrite, 10 minutes)

My thinking has come very far just from the start of the topic. In the beginning I knew I wanted to do something related to Biometrics, as that has always interested me since the day that Professor Heishman introduced it to the class. From this fairly vague topic I had to then research into some of the more narrow topics within this field. I had previous knowledge of security and privacy being problems with this system, and thought that that would be a very manageable topic considering these methods are closing in on the general population fast, and they will more than likely be implemented in most place within the nextseveral years. Knowing that security and privacy are problems, I started hypothesizing different questions regarding that subject, making sure to keep on that single narrow subject. With this I found that the question should involve some sort of new "method" for guarding the general public against the security and privacy concerns of biometrics, after all, almost all Computer Science journals that I have read propose some sort of alternative method that gets the job done in a much more efficient way. From this question it was fairly easy to devise the problem since the question was initially derived from a problem that the population was having. Using the question the problem was very straightforward and concerned how people felt towards the security and privacy problems and how those people can be put at risk by using biometrics.

Although I haven't really started the review of the literature, I feel this won't be a very hard part. Most of the general information concerning biometrics is widely available, and in fact I have already found many sources using the keywords "Biometrics & Privacy" which will help me in my methodological literature review. In developing my literature review, I have learned to make the subject as broad as possible so that the audience will be able to tell that I have "done my homework" concerning the topic at hand. With this in mind I plan to take a thematic approach of the methods used in biometrics, jumping around to the most prominent topics in biometrics by explaining how some of the more famous theories have been derived and are used in everyday biometrics.

#3 Reading the Literature Review (freewrite, 10 minutes)

I recently read a Literature Review of biometrics, which also happens to be the topic of my research prospectus. Its structure was much less straightforward and narrow compared to the article that I used for the Anatomy of a Journal Article assignment. Instead of following through with a single research question or problem, this author decided to take the literature review on a broad journey of a single topic, creating a very nice overview of Biometrics. This literature review seemed to mostly be organized thematically. To begin, the author first started talking about the historical aspect of Biometrics and about how it has advanced. Then the author moved on to share the differences among the many different types of biometric methods that have evolved. There were many models and pictures in this point, which almost seemed to take my focus away from extracting knowledge from the writing. From this point, the author decided to include a wide variety of some of the present day companies or entities that use biometrics. He noted that people are increasingly using this in their homes in order to increase security. He also noted how there are many companies all over the world that have started to implement various biometric systems. There seemed to be three main themes throughout this review, the history, the methods, and the use. Although they seemed to mesh together rather well when reading it, now that I stepped back to look at the overall themes of the paper I don't think that they work that well together at all. I think there should have been more interlinking between the advantages and disadvantages of the various methods with the various methods that are available for use today.

It is different from papers that I have written in the past in that it is a very broad overview of a single topic. Most papers that I have written require that you focus on a single issue and then discuss ways to solve it. This literature review would be useful as support for a project proposal just based upon the sheer amount of data contained on a single subject in just one place. Literature Reviews are really helpful for most researchers as they don't necessarily have to look all over the place to find sources when they could just look in one place to find everything that they needed. Although the review may not be as dense as the researcher wanted, you can also trace back through the sources of the literature review, seemingly opening up your available sources exponentially. Usually the sources that are used in a literature review are some of the best sources on that topic, so by using those sources you can almost guarantee a solid paper.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

#4 Open Topic (freewrite, 10 minutes)

Yet another freewrite. I really like these because it gives me a chance to rant and rave, whereas the ones with topics really aren't freewrites at all. Since this morning I have been closely watching my camera to no avail. Apparently it had to stay in Pennsylvania since 1pm and never made it near here at all. Hopefully it will come tomorrow so I will have a chance to use it once I get done with school at 7. I was really taken back by the length of my English Research Prospectus that is due on Sunday. Originally I didn't think it would be very long, so when I learned that it had to be upwards of 10 pages for the introduction I was thoroughly astounded. I think I'm going to really try and drill out a rough rough draft tonight so that I will be able to truly appreciate my camera when it arrives tomorrow.

Recently I have started watching Hockey during the Olympics, and have rieally started to like it a lot. I seem to support many of the teams so it makes it that much more fun to see them duke it out until the very end.

i dont know what to write about I dont know what to write about

So I really do like the snow, at least when it gets us out of school. Right now I've come to the conclusion that there aren't going to be anymore huge snows this semester, so I'm pretty much just looking forward to Spring at this point. I haven't been on my motorcycle since last August, so I'm really looking forward to getting it out and riding it around a little bit. Hopefully it warms up soon so I will have time to ride it around before we move out of this townhouse and move back to my fiancées parents house in Broadway, Virginia (our hometown).

I have also recently been thinking a little about my mother. I haven't talked to her since October because she does nothing but badmouth both my fiancée, and her parents. I told her clearly that I wasn't going to have anything to do with her as long as she was doing this, and I have certainly stuck to my word. I'm going to have to see her over Spring Break, during my bridal shower, so I was really thinking about emailing her soon if i ever get a chance to from school work.

#2 Open Topic (freewrite, 10 minutes)

Another free-write, woo! This week I'll talk about photography a bit more to start off with. Since I am getting married soon and will be going to Peru for my honeymoon, my fiancée and I made a deal that I would be able to get a DSLR camera since I'm getting more and more into photography. Last Saturday we took the plunge and bought a Nikon D5000 off of Amazon. I have been almost too anxious waiting to receive this new toy. Last check it was supposed to be here maybe today or tomorrow, but I really hope it will be here later today. With the new snow coming tonight into tomorrow Its looking very unlikely that I will be able to get to school tomorrow, so I would really like to have it to mess around with in my freetime again.

Moving to new things, I am getting more and more tired of school the longer we go. Professors are just so ignorant with their dumb busy-work assignments that do nothing but waste student time. If teachers would actually assign us work that would be pertinent to learning the subject things wouldn't be so bad, but most of the time this isn't the case. I'm so tired of having to spend the majority of my days in one area just working on homework for the entire day.

This English class is getting more and more on my nerves as well. The class seems so unorganized that it's crazy. I really don't know what exactly we are supposed to have finished at this point, but I know that I've done everything that the schedule has said. On the other hand, I don't really know if I have done those things correctly because the descriptions for each assignment are about as minimal as can be.

Now back onto the topic of my honeymoon and wedding. We are going to have the bridal shower in just over 3 weeks. We decided to have it over spring break because teachers give me so much homework that I am basically unable to go home over any other weekend other than spring break. I believe we sent out just over 40 invitations, so hopefully most of those people will show up. The theme is springtime in Paris, so that should definitely be fun since I can't really get enough of Paris. After this party it'll all be smooth sailing, with only wedding invitations to send out and then the actual wedding. Recently we had to find another marriage officiant for the wedding. We did at first have my fiancées mothers pastor, but he came out not too long ago that he didn't actually accept us because we have been living together before married (don't get me started on the retarded religious crap). Thankfully we managed to find a non-secular lady marriage officiant near home, so we accepted her immediatedly.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

#3 (this is not a freewrite) Types of Writing in your Field (150-250 words

The vast majority of Computer Science research involves problem solving and analysis types of work.  The majority of writing that a programmer does will be revolving around coding documentation which clearly explains the contents and activities found within a program.  Although many parts of the documentation process are short, some coding documentation can be very dense with the much larger systems, meaning that documentation of this type involves very technical writing skills.  When working on separate projects, the type of writing may involve a more methodological approach as many software teams have implemented certain software engineering development methods which involve rigorous requirement writing which inhances the overall understanding of a soon-to-be made system.  For researchers in the field, the writing consists (off the top of my head) of quite a bit of theoretical things such as algorithms and models.  There are plenty of ways to get everything done now, but researchers will always be looking for the next best method which allows a new, hopefully faster and more efficient way of completing the same things.