Stuff I'm Working On & Learning

This morning, Rafe posted about the stuff he’d like to be learning. So, I thought that was a nice way to remind myself all the stuff I’m currently working on and the stuff I’m attempting to learn, in various states of completion:


  • Bat Finder: Since the FSC Hack Day, I’ve been learning Core Audio and starting to understand audio analysis and visualisation. It’s hard stuff. It’ll be a while before I have anything significant, I suspect.
  • Predict the Sky: The end result of the NASA Space Apps Challenge at the Met Office back in April. We’re not that far from a testable end product.
  • RepRap: Just over a month ago, I bought a Prusa Mendel RepRap Kit. I’ve since been slowly assembling and testing it. It’s intended to be for robotics prototyping, but I’m sure I’ll end up with endless printed trinkets along the way, too.
  • Quadcopter: This is intended to be the culumation of several of these projects and things I’m learning. It needs: electronics, control code1 and then I can look into swarming behaviour and mapping.
  • Environmental Monitoring: Energy usage. Common behaviours. What can we discover by logging everything over an academic year? This is a little project for October onwards.


  • Maths (matrices, compound event probability, calculus): All as a foundation to the rest of the stuff I’m doing. It’s often hard, but amazing2.
  • Statistics: Udacity’s “Intro to Statistics” starts tomorrow. There’s data everywhere. We’re producing more at an exponential rate. The power is in those who can do stuff with it.
  • AI: As I go into my final year3, this is everything. My current overall objective is to learn as much is humany possible to make next year go smoothly. I’ve been doing AI Class on-and-off over the past month.
  • iOS 6 & Mountain Lion Additions: I’ve spent the last year doing this. I still find it a fantastic platform to develop for. There is a ton of stuff added at the developer level. Lots of improved things, as well as new APIs to learn.

So, yes. I like to keep myself busy. Some of this (the bat detection stuff, certainly) I do intend to document here (outside of textbooks, this kind of programming isn’t well written about). But most of that will come with time. Pester me if something is specifically interesting. Otherwise I assume it’s all easy to learn stuff.

  1. Whilst quadcopters are fantastically agile machines (they can be anywhere in a given space), they have no inherant stability. Just getting one to hover is the first challenge.
  2. I can recommend "Understanding Pure Mathematics" by Sadler and Thorning (which covers basic algebra, matrices and some calculus, etc.), which was kindly lent to me by a friend. But also Khan Academy.
  3. Holy shit. I've nearly finished my degree.