I’m well into the swing of things in the new semester, with projects, assignments and research piling up.
Official marks and rankings were released this past Monday for the Winter 2009 semester, and I placed on the Dean’s Honours List once more, with a 5/89 rank. This means I’m essentially guaranteed the Dean’s List honour on my transcript upon graduation (assuming I can maintain 80%+ averages for the next two semesters). This was a goal I had set out at the beginning of the last semester, and I’m very happy to have achieved it. It’s a weight lifted off my shoulders as I progress into my last year of studies.
The undergraduate research assistantship has also been progressing well. I attended my first HCI group meeting yesterday. I was an eye-opener. I hadn’t realized the scope of subjects that fall within the realm of HCI. The professors and graduate students all gave updates on their respective projects, which allowed me to see the wide-ranging opportunities in the field. I’ve always enjoyed UI design and development, but I’m now more excited about the subject, after seeing just what is possible.
The opportunity has also afforded me some insight on research areas, and has especially helped me narrow my interests for graduate studies. HCI encompasses so much and can be applied to so many industries that I think it’s more along the lines of what I’m looking for, than, say, communications or semiconductor technologies. Those two topics in themselves are quite industry specific, and deep research into those topics may pigeon-hole me into a position that is too research-oriented. At this point, graduate studies is something I want to do in order to become an expert in a field, but be able to take that expertise and apply it in industry. I can see a direct link between HCI research and that end goal.
On the tech front, Nokia’s Ovi Store is now live, although I haven’t had a chance to look it over on my E71 yet. My initial readings seem to indicate it’s a nice aggregator, but the quality or quantity of applications isn’t quite there yet.
And today, Microsoft announced the Zune HD, which should be on sale in the fall. I’m very interested to see the operating system used. The device supports multi-touch, a browser, and an on-screen keyboard. Doesn’t sound too far from a smartphone OS.