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6:49pm on Monday, 20th March, 2006:

Open Day


It was the third-year project open day today, when all the final-year students in the department presented their projects to the scrutiny of academics, the skepticism of business leaders and the general mockery of each other.

As usual, some were outstanding. Some were even more outstanding for not having been outstanding this time last week — it's amazing what actually working on a project can do to improve it. Many weren't completed, but will be by the time the report has to be handed in; some were completed but involved curiously different programming conventions from one routine to another; some were (to paraphrase) "ooer, this doesn't seem to show much at all but I've done a ton of work on it, honest"; and, of course, some were miserable pieces of junk that should be hung on pikes outside the university's main gates as a warning to others.

I'm a little disappointed that three of the projects I looked at were pretty well the same as regular programming assignments I did in my second year as an undergraduate in 1979/80, but that was in the Computer Science department, not Electronics Systems Engineering, where they tend to stress programming a little more than we do...

We Computer Games lecturers had to choose one of our students' projects to represent our degree scheme on Friday, in a demonstration set up for a rare visit by the university's Chancellor. Actually, there were four or five that were good enough to go there, which is very encouraging, especially given that there were three projects we didn't even see (one student went home early, one was ill with food poisoning, one didn't bother to turn up). We'll have to see what impressed the non-Game members of staff before determining which goes up in front of the Chancellor.

No, I have no idea who the Chancellor is. I told you these visits were rare...

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).