A Glimpse at Spring 2016

HCYEVG23F0

Tomorrow is the start of my last Spring semester as an undergrad at SUNY Empire State College, so I thought I’d share a little more about that, and my initial thoughts on the semester.

I’ll start off by saying this semester is important to me, as it’s my second to last term in my studies.  After this term wraps up I only have two studies remaining in my bachelor program.  After that, pending college approval of course, I’ll officially be a graduate with an Information Systems degree.

I’m stoked about that!

It will truly mean a lot in terms of validation, growth, and opportunity.

It will also help set the stage for any future studies I decide to pursue (I have given some thought to pursuing a graduate degree in the future).

I’ve selected several courses this Spring, some of them are exciting and some of them I expect to be quite challenging.  I think it’s appropriate to provide a brief outline here, and give you a little insight into what I think might be my strengths and weaknesses in each:

Data Structures and Algorithms

After the challenges I faced last term, this will be my second foray into Data Structures and Algorithms.  I’m a little disgruntled about the fact that my previous withdrawal means that I have to dive back into this study.  However, with much calmer circumstances this term, I’m more comfortable being saddled with the course.

Strengths

Data Structures and Algorithms is a programming course relying heavily on Object Oriented Programming (OOP) skills.  Having two high level programming studies dealing with OOP under my belt (Visual Basic, and C++), I feel like I have a solid foundation for further study into the subject matter.

Weaknesses

The study makes exclusive use of Java, which is a relatively foreign language to me.  C++ is Java’s cousin, so there are some similarities, but I still have to learn Java on the fly in order to succeed in the course.  That was partially to blame for the difficulty this course presented last term, but I had much less time to deal with the study, and my stress level was much higher.

Statistics: An Activity Based Approach

Statistics is a new area of mathematics for me, and I’m a little unsure of what to expect, however this study is only an introductory course in the subject and it’s functioning as a prerequisite for my future study of Quantitative Methods for Management.

Strengths

After discussing this course with my mentor I’m convinced it’s a much more practical subject for me to explore than my previous study in the separate subject of Precalculus.  I think it likely has broader application in my professional work, and the fact that the area of study is less abstract it will probably play better with my mathematic personality.

Weaknesses

In the end statistics is still a field of mathematics, which is an area I’m generally weak at in the first place; which likely will make this course challenging.

Cyber Crime and Computer Forensics

Cyber Crime and Computer Forensics is a natural extension of several studies I took while pursuing my two-year degree (in fact, originally I intended to major in both Information Technology and Criminal Justice in my associate degree).  I expect this course to be fun, yet challenging, and to serve as a bridge to future studies in information security.

Strengths

After having studied criminal justice in the past, I expect that this course will easily hold my interest.

Weaknesses

Information security hasn’t previously been a major focus of my studies, so the subject may be a little uncharted for me in that regard.

Operating Systems

I consider my Operating Systems study to be a fundamental building block of the expansion I’m making into the realm of information technology; it also supports the work I’m doing as I pursue my CompTIA A+ Certification (more about that is probably coming in future post, stay tuned).  I’m looking forward to this study because it includes a venture into Linux; which is another area I don’t have a lot of hands-on exposure to.

Strengths

I have a solid foundation in computer applications, and I’ve had some experience with Unix (which is a Linux derivative); and a predisposition to focus on the subject matter.  I expect to have fun in this study.

Weaknesses

Delving into the subject of operating systems takes me a little deeper under the hood of computers than I’m used to being, so it’s likely to have hidden challenges.  I can’t wait to see what presents itself as the term progresses!

At this point the stage is set.  I have most of my books (the others are coming in this week).  I have individual folders for each module of study.  I’ve mapped out my term schedule, and all that’s left is to meet my classmates and instructors.

I’m well rested and ready for the journey.

Wish me luck this term!

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