Archive for the 'Mudd' Category

Ask Jesse answer: Mudd

Monday, May 2nd, 2005

Ben Karel asked:

Thoughts/reflections on your time at Harvey Mudd, perhaps?

The best thing about Harvey Mudd for me was that it is small (about 700 students) yet connected to the other Claremont Colleges. I have a hard time recognizing people until I've seen them many times, so I would not have a chance to make as many friends at a large college. I made some great friends at Mudd. At the same time, I was able to take a wide range of classes at Pomona, Claremont McKenna, and Scripps. Having a women's college (Scripps) across the street helped balance the 2.5:1 gender ratio at Mudd.

I didn't realize it while I was at Mudd, but the computer science profs and classes were great. The profs at UCSD don't seem as interested in the material.

One of the reasons I decided to attend grad school was that I had such a great time in college, and assumed grad school would be similar.

My last all-nighter as an undergrad

Tuesday, May 4th, 2004

ends in 24 hours.

Racist vandalism at the Claremont Colleges

Wednesday, March 10th, 2004

From a thread on cmcstudents, hyperlinks added:

[Tuesday], at 4pm, there was a community forum at CMC's Athaneum called "Hate Speech Versus Free Speech". During this, Professor Dunn made statements in support of minority groups and against hate speech, actions and perpetrators of such. She criticized the recent incidents* on the 5 C's [Claremont Colleges]. Sometime between 4pm-8pm (so right after her speech), her car was found vandalized in the parking lot on 6th and Amherst, all tires slashed, windows smashed, and spraypainted were the words, "nigger lover," "bitch," "SHUT UP," and "kike whore." The Claremont Police classified it as a hate crime.


*the recent incidents had varying severity and racial motivation:

  • Four students stole and burned a cross during winter break. (This incident divided students in several ways.)
  • A club's scavenger hunt included the item "Photograph yourself with 10 Asian students".
  • Someone took a green marker and wrote "NIGGER" next to George Washington Carver's picture in a calendar. The calendar was on a hallway bulletin board at CMC.
  • Scripps students put up posts such as "'Nigger.' Renewing old hate in the new millennium." and "'Nigger.' This is the ignorance that a $35,000 a year education produces." Some students didn't see the satire indended by the creators of the posters.

NeonGecko’s demo

Tuesday, March 9th, 2004

The NeonGecko Clinic team demonstrated their forum post categorization software with two examples. It correctly classified

I have a feisty persian. How can I save the furniture?

as "cats" (91%) and

I have a feisty Persian Gulf crisis. How can I save the future?

as "politics" (84%) and "bush" (9%). If you mix the two examples, it gets confused, as it should.

Honest prof

Tuesday, February 24th, 2004

The Abstract Algebra homework is due next Friday evening. Jamie wouldn't say exactly when he would pick it up, but he did give us a probability distribution:


Saturday, February 21st, 2004

My favorite a cappella group, The Claremont Shades, released Phonogenic today. Track list with MP3 samples of 4 songs:

  1. Beautiful Day (u2 / bono)
  2. Sexual Healing (marvin gaye / brown)
  3. Walking on Broken Glass (annie lennox)
  4. Push It (garbage)
  5. The Way It Is (bruce hornsby)
  6. Techno Fusion (paul oakenfold, alice deejay, sonique)
  7. When There's Nothing (jake oken-berg (shades member))
  8. The Boy Is Mine (monica / brandy)
  9. What's Love Get to Do With It (tina turner / britten / lyle)
  10. Time After Time (cyndi lauper)
  11. Freedom 90 (george michael)

Pomona College Magazine gives the history of my favorite track, Techno Fusion:

"We're taking three different techno songs and basically doing what a DJ would do at a club, which is take them and mix them all together." [Jake Oken-Berg]

"Techno Fusion" was arranged by the Shades' newest member, Pomona College freshman Rob Breahrs. The piece makes liberal use of vocal percussion and combines Paul Oakenfold's "Ascension," Alice Deejay's "Better Off Alone" and Sonique's "It feels so good."

"I realized there are a lot of parts in the background we could write, and a lot of things going on in the middle parts that make it more interesting," Breahrs said. "Then, I also realized that one song would be too boring: techno's kind of repetitive, so I decided to take three different songs that most people know and then put them all in the same key and then kind of go back and forth between them during a medley."

I am disappointed that Phonogenic doesn't include the great versions of Harder to Breathe (Maroon 5) and Don't Speak (No Doubt) that I've heard at recent Shades concerts. I wonder if those songs will be on the next Shades CD.

Full MP3s of songs from old Claremont Shades CDs:

Photos from the CD release party/concert: friends who were there, the Shades singing.

You know the economy is down when…

Saturday, January 31st, 2004

there are no free t-shirts at the Harvey Mudd College career fair.


Thursday, January 22nd, 2004

I'm taking 6 5 classes this semester:

  • Math 171 - Abstract Algebra (mostly groups, some rings and fields)
  • Econ 179S - Economics of Strategy
  • Psych 160 - Perception and Cognition
  • CS 141 - Advanced Topics in Algorithms (advanced data structures and their amortized analysis, on-line algorithms, matroids and the theory of greedy algorithms, parallel and distributed algorithms, and about 6 weeks of student presentations)
  • CS 133 - Databases
  • CS Clinic (counts as a class)
  • CS Colloquium (required, doesn't count as a class)

On both MW and TTh, I have 15 minutes between a Pomona class and a Mudd class. It takes about 15 minutes to walk from Pomona to Mudd. That means I won't be able to hang out after Perception and Cognition or Abstract Algebra to chat with the profs.

Most of my classes this semester will have presentations. Economics of Strategy will have some kind of presentation-centered project. (The first time Prag taught the class, he had each student pick a failed dot-com and present about it.) Clinic has two big presentations. In Algorithms, I get to give half a lecture on a topic of my choice, or pair with someone to give a full lecture on a topic of our choice. Perception and Cognition has "convention-style" presentations on the last day of class. Only Abstract Algebra has no presentation.

I'm sad that this is my last semester here.