NUS SoC Summer School is finally over. Well, I used up this month’s study leave and took 1 day of annual leave to go for 2 days of summer school and it is finally over.
I was thinking of writing a review on both classes that I went for but is feeling lazy to do so. Maybe I will just summarise my thoughts about both classes here.
If you have read about it here, you would have known that I have signed up for “Cryptocurrencies: Security Challenges & Solutions” and “An Introduction to Sound Music and Wearable Computing” classes.
The cryptocurrency class is really good. I have learnt more about the technical background of Bitcoin and Ethereum like proof of work and the up and coming proof of stake for Ethereum. It helps since I am recently exposed to the world of cryptocurrencies (thanks to Alan for introducing it to me). The session makes me realised the various types of risks involved in cryptocurrencies investment such as the risk of attacks on the languages (eg. Solidity) used in writing Ethereum blockchains. I wouldn’t have known about such risks if I didn’t go for the session. After the session, it makes me think twice about investing in cryptocurrency, especially so when the attack vector seems to have increased for smart contracts like Ethereum, as compared to Bitcoin with the introduction of a code attached to the blockchain.
We also learnt about the key properties of a blockchain (which is the main technology behind cryptocurrencies).
Key properties of a Blockchain
- Cannot change existing blocks
- Only the owner of the coins can authorize the transfer of the coins
- Eg. Alice cannot transfer Bob’s coins
- Nodes “agree” on the blockchain state
- Select one, valid block as a group per round
- Failure Resistance
- Replicated checks on each block
- Different protocols can tolerate different levels: 5%, 25%, 33%, 51% and 99% failure rates
As for the music computing class, it is like a waste of time. The stuff taught in the first part of the class is rudimentary (things that you can learn in the first 2 years in engineering school). As for second part of the class, it is time spent to remix some music and seeing the recording studio. The last part of the class were for the PhD students and postdoc fellows to introduce the research area that they are working on.
The good part for the class? I met 2 new friends who just joined the MComp in CS programme. Other than that, I don’t think I learnt anything new from the class.
Hoho. It’s my last weekend before school starts. Well, technically speaking I still have 1 week of holidays before school starts but I signed up for NUS SoC Summer School and it starts next Monday. There are 4 days of the summer school but I only managed to get 2 out of the 4 days. Well, that’s not exactly a bad thing since I don’t have so many days of annual leave left after my Japan trip.
I got into the “Cryptocurrencies: Security Challenges & Solutions” and “An Introduction to Sound Music and Wearable Computing” classes and is quite excited to go for it. Unfortunately, I will have to be in school from 9am which is a bummer. But I guess I will find the motivation to go for it since I will be learning interesting stuff on topics that I am really passionate about. It is a bonus especially when I have friends who will be going for the first day with me, right? Glad that Alan and Jeffrey are going for the Cyptocurrencies session with me. Thanks to Alan for asking us to go too. I would probably have missed the announcement on the summer school in my email if he hasn’t mentioned it in the Whatsapp group chat… Hehe.
Anyway, here’s the description of the summer school sessions that I am going for.
Cryptocurrencies: Security Challenges & Solutions
Cryptocurrency networks represent an aggregated market value of several hundred billion dollars, with tens of thousands of computing machines connected to them. Cryptocurrencies promise to operate as an open distributed network with no trusted party, inviting anyone to join their mining infrastructure or as a user. The design of secure cryptocurrencies is a multi-faceted problem. It includes a number of research challenges, both theoretical and applied. In this talk, I present technical challenges involved in designing a cryptocurrency, including (a) ‘cryptonomic’ incentive structures, (b) consensus protocols, (c) operational decentralization, (d) privacy, (e) Sybil-resilience, and (f) network topology design. Our work has anticipated attacks that have occurred in practice, and proposed solutions to prevent such failures. A number of these solutions have now found live deployments and have shaped the design of large-scale cryptocurrency systems.
Students will need to bring a laptop to get the most out of this class.
An Introduction to Sound Music and Wearable Computing
The summer school one-day course at NUS School of Computing serves as an introduction to the field of sound, music and wearable computing which is multidisciplinary in nature. We will touch bases on three major areas – sound, music, and the relationship of theory to practice by way of several interactive and hands-on sessions. We will introduce the analytic and synthetic approaches of sound and music computing. The analytic approach pertains to analysis and understanding, whereas the synthetic approach pertains to generation and processing. Special attention will be given to user interaction aspects including multimodal mobile music interfaces and sound interaction design with live demos. Participants will get to record their own voice, process it, modify it, mix it with background music, to make a composition.
We will demonstrate tools we have developed to facilitate the delivery of established music-enhanced therapies, harnessing the synergy of sound and music computing (SMC), wearable computing, and cloud computing technologies to promote learning and to facilitate disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in both developed countries and resource-poor developing countries. These tools are being developed as part of ongoing research projects that combine wearable sensors, smartphone apps, and cloud-based therapy delivery systems to facilitate music-enhanced learning and music-enhanced physical therapy.
Students must bring their own laptop, USB flashdrive and earphones/ headphones.
Don’t they sound really cool? I’m so glad that I got into the music computing class and I think the prof might remember me since he is my FYP evaluator. Hehe. The cryptocurrency class is more related to my current specialisation in graduate school and it will be an insightful class.
I got back my semester 2 results for my Masters program on 29 May 2017. Well, guess how I fare?
I actually pass my law module! Like not getting D (minimum passing grade), but an actual C+. Haha. Anyway, here are my results…
Network Security: B+
Web Security: B
Foundations of Intellectual Property Law: C+
The grades aren’t fantastic but I am glad that I took these modules and learned quite a bit in the semester. It’s quite stressful and tiring due to the workload from the modules.
Categories: Friendship, Love, Personal life, Rants, School life
Categories: Online life, Personal life, School life, Work
Hoho. I finally went back to yoga class. Well, I stopped going for 1.5 to 2 mths because of the tight school schedule and overwhelming work from my modules, especially my Foundations of IP Law module. Glad that I got the discipline and motivation to go for class today. I actually wanted to skip today’s class to go shopping instead. So glad that I went for it today and my shoulder muscles don’t feel that tight anymore.
I actually wanted to go for yoga class on yesterday but ended up working till late and kind of missed the timing to leave office in order to reach yoga studio in time for my class.
I wasn’t planning to go for yoga class today but I still book a mat just in case there is a change in plans. Well, luckily I booked a mat because my night shift got postponed this morning. I was supposed to attend a training at 4am later but it got postponed.
Well, guess it is a good thing that I got more time to clear my work today (which is really a lot since I took 1.5 weeks off from work to focus on my law exam revision) and I even managed to squeeze some time out for yoga and blogging. Haha, I also managed to post some seriously overdue photos on my Instagram yesterday night. That means a blog post on those photos is coming up! Hehe. Do look out for it!
I am also going back for my songwriting class and going back to the regime of practising my violin at night too. That’s certainly feel like I am getting back my life without school work.
I also felt pretty happy to go back to work. Guess law is really not my cup of tea… at least for now. I’m still happy to be working in the tech industry and doing technically challenging work. Of course, I love the benefits of working in a tech company too. Haha.