Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Today at work, my boss told me about some new student employment policy changes coming into effect for Winter Semester 2008. I haven’t been able to verify these, but student employees at BYU should inquire if they think these changes will effect them.
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BYU continues to block YouTube

Posted in Educationon Oct 16, 2007

Brigham Young University‘s Internet filters continue to block the popular video sharing website, YouTube. BYU blocks the site completely “because it allows inappropriate sexual media throughout its URLs,” according to an article in the student newspaper. I appreciate that BYU wants to block inappropriate content, but YouTube contains so many videos that it is unreasonable to block all of YouTube content because there might be a few bad videos. Likewise you could argue, that BYU should block the whole Internet because there are a few bad sites.

By blocking YouTube, BYU is prohibiting students from accessing great video content. For example, recently The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the sponsoring organization for BYU, has published public affairs videos on YouTube that show Church Leader Elder Ballard explaining church beliefs. Students trying to access this content from BYU campus Internet are blocked from the site.

BYU blocks YouTube

Other educational materials are also on YouTube. Recently, UC Berkeley started posting full lecture videos online. So far, they’ve posted over 300 hours of video taped lectures online for free access to the public. These lectures could help BYU students supplement their own studies, except that BYU blocks the UC Berkeley’s YouTube site.

BYU’s efforts to block video content come in addition to Google’s own safe-search program anyway, which limits access to inappropriate “adult” material. Why does BYU feel they need to be extra restrictive about YouTube? When does blocking bad content at the consequence of blocking good content go too far?

New CD album out for EcEn 313

Posted in Educationon Jun 8, 2007

There is a new musical group in the BYU electrical engineering program. Their name is,
The MidBand, and their new album is called, decibels. Here is a list of track titles:

  1. Twenty log wha?
  2. Induced Comer
  3. The Selfridgister
  4. Bored room analysis
  5. I’ve got a periodic table in my pocket
  6. J-maginary
  7. I’ve got a tackle box, but I ain’t goin’ fishin’ (country rmx)
  8. C-, it’s good enough for me
  9. Jack’D
  10. Somtimes, always or never
  11. We’re Comer and Comer

I hear their next album with be greedy with sound quality and be called, Gain.

President Gordon B. Hinckley has repeatedly stressed the importance of getting an education. Here is one quote that I like:

Be smart. You are all in school. Do not waste your time. This is a time of great opportunity that you will never have again as long as you live. Make the most of it right now. It is wonderfully challenging. It is hard, it is tough, isn’t it? But what a wonderful thing to go and learn of all the accumulated knowledge of all the centuries of time. Go on to college or whatever school, vocational school, whatever your choice is, but take advantage of every opportunity that you have because the Lord has laid upon you a mandate through revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith concerning not only spiritual learning but secular learning. Yours is the responsibility, and you can’t afford to waste your time. There is so much to learn. Be smart. Give it the very best that you have.

Source: Discourses of President Gordon B. Hinckley, Vol. 1, pp. 395-396

Test procrastination

Posted in Educationon Apr 25, 2007

Today is the last day of finals, and I’m done. But as of this point, if you’re not done, and you have a test in the testing center, you are in trouble. I’ve never seen a longer line for the testing center. The line is out the door. It is past the Brimhall building. It goes past the McKay building. It is almost to the JFSB. I wonder what happens if they go to close tonight and there is still a huge line.

Y Not

Posted in Education, Technicalon Jan 15, 2007

BYU is entering the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge.  Last Thursday we finally got our car.  It is a 2005 Dodge Caravan: blue.  We are very thankful to all of the sponsors who are helping us get started.  We are calling the car Y Not.

I am on the control team for BYU’s car.  Specifically, I’m working on the software that takes waypoints and communicates them to the car driving system.  Eventually we will connect the AI which would allow the car to be completely driven by computers. 

Be sure to check out pictures of the car.

Physics grade

Posted in Educationon Nov 29, 2006

It is already the last week of class for me here at Portland State. I just got my second mid-term back in my physics class, and I got a C on it, which compared to how well I felt that I did, isn’t that bad of a grade. It sends me into the final exam with a B in the class.

I feel that if I were to take this same class at BYU, the test would be more difficult and the grading also would not be so generous; so instead of sitting at a B, I would be struggling to find a passing grade.

I’m suspicious that perhaps classes at Portland State are easier, but because I’m only taking two, the sample size is not large enough to determine such.