Whither 2020?

4 minute read


Whither 2020?

This day last year, I wrote about what I thought I would get up to in 2019. That was useful, even if I didn’t achieve most of what I wrote about then.

Whence: 2019

Let’s look at what I thought I was going to do in 2019, and how much of that actually happened.

Write a novel ❌

This started out well enough, with me recapping on some stubs I’d written before and the formations of a plan coming together. However, life and the requirement to earn some money got in the way.

Do some research 🤷‍♂️

A colleague on DSP.SE had an interesting idea for a “new” frequency estimator, and I thought it might be worth investing the time to analyze it in more detail. I did spend a bit of time implementing and simulating the performance, but the estimator didn’t turn out as computationally simple nor as statistically good as we were expecting.

Blue is the new estimator. Red (Lovell) and yellow (Kay) are others. Black is CRLB.

DSP Comic 🤷‍♂️

While I wasn’t successful in writing the comic, I did come quite a bit closer towards this. The bottom line is that I found some good artists to work with, but I needed to do much more legwork on my side before we could produce a satisfactory product.

After contracting with four different comic artists, and receiving their renditions, Spike O. was the best. Spike’s pictures are below.

Anna: one of the protagonists.

Didge: the other protagonist.

Benchmark Amazon F1 Devices ❌

This really didn’t happen! After I had finished teaching CET466, with help from Jasmine, I didn’t have the time to revisit the Amazon versions. It looks like I’ll be teaching CET466 again in the Fall of 2020, so perhaps I’ll get back into the swing of things then.

Write more blogs ✅

Finally! Something that actually happened. I’ve found that writing about technical things before I implement them helps me clarify what I’m trying to do. This was especially true with the Software Engineering Methods course that I taught at Fairfield in the Spring 2019 semester. Writing about how I was designing the Take-A-Number website helped my explain to the students what I was trying to teach them – by doing it.

Score for 2019: 2 out of 5

So, with that, my score for 2019 is only 2 out of 5 assuming the two half-done things amount to one done thing

Roll on to 2020

So, what do I hope to achieve in 2020?

Blog more

Starting off with the only fully-achieved goal from last year, I’m aiming to write more about my technical (and non-technical) exploits on my github.io blog. Watch that space!

Turn Take-A-Number into an app

I wrote the Take-A-Number webapp because I needed to find a way of giving equitable access to my help during CET236 labs. Now that I’ve used it for a few sections, I think it’s close to fit-for-purpose for someone else to use (thanks to Jokellys for trying it out at EB), but this time in the form of an app for the queue servicer and a webpage / QR code for their customers.

I’m targeting getting the app into the Google Play store (for Android only to start with) in Q1 of 2020.

Research & publish more

Working at CCSU alongside David has generated several interesting ideas, mostly about teaching. We have had an abstract accepted for the ASEE conference in Canada later this year (though still have to get the paper done and accepted!), and we’ve had a proposal accepted for CCSU’s re-vamped Systematic Reflections treatise on the Come On Down app that we’ve worked on together.

I’d also like to get back to some more cybersecurity / data analysis research that I’ve scoped out in the past and not hit hard enough to have impact.

No one understands cybersecurity. No one.

Uploading new student details to the app.

Write more apps

My current position at CCSU is only full-time until May. So I’m aiming to make more apps in the vein of Take-A-Number : small, single-purpose apps that have an impact on real world problems… without trying to take over the world, and that put all or most privacy decisions into the hands of the individual user.

The idea is called TeenyTinyApps and, once I have Take-A-Number in the Google Play store, I’m hoping I’ll have more to say about the other apps I have in mind.

Good-bye 2019, roll on 2020!

The year 2019 was much better than 2018. I’m hopeful that 2020 will be better again.

Happy, Healthy, & Prosperous New Year, everyone!