Programming in Oslo

It feels good to be back and posting on the UAH Honors SAGA blog. This post I will be focusing on one of my passions consuming a lot of my time in Oslo. On the academic side, I have been challenged with Senior level programming courses in Biologically Inspired Computing and Computational Physics. Coding has always been a passion for me and through my ME degree at UAH I have constantly felt the desire to learn advanced ML, AI, and randomization methods (Monte Carlo), and the University of Oslo gave me the chance. I have been able to keep my coding skills up by TA’ng ENG101 for three semesters (including the first Honors section!) but I felt it was time to further my skill set.

One aspect of programming Oslo that is like no other is the free wifi absolutely everywhere in public places and it’s super fast. This allows me to work on my projects with views like you can see below.

Aker Brigge, Oslo Bay

It is amazing what a relaxing environment does for productivity. I try and do this at UAH, but Oslo has definitely inspired me to come back and spend more time studying in places like Monte Sano.

Biologically Inspired Computing focuses on Neural Networks and Machine Learning techniques. There have been two mandatory assignments so far and they have definitely challenged my programming skills. This is mainly because I had to receive special permission to take them, due to the fact that they are Senior level Computer Science classes.

The first assignment involved using a genetic algorithm (GA) to solve the traveling salesman problem. By essentially breaking the problem into genotypes and phenotypes, you can use a genetic-based reproduction structure to develop your family bloodline. The GA then produces new generations of children to optimize the results towards the optimal solution.

The second project I just turned in last week was a Machine Learning classifier for EMG signals. The assignment explores supervised learning with the implementation of a multilayer perceptron (MLP). The task at hand was to analyze data from electromyographic (EMG) signals to learn eight hand gestures from a robotic prosthetic hand controller. The algorithm used backpropagation to fill the neural nodes to refine a weighting system for the dynamic classification process. The confusion matrixes are filled with the results allowing for analysis.

Both of these assignments allowed me to learn in-demand algorithm knowledge, as AI / ML is the future of all computing. You can view my work for the course on my Github course page and there are reports included in both for an easy to read summary. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to experience this world-class course that is recognized for it’s rigorous but exceptional content. The applications in the field of robotics (my future career path) are endless and provide a solid foundation for future growth in programming. This is all I have for this week and in my next post, I plan on talking about Computational Physics!


Food & Hammocking

Welcome back to my Norwegian experience! It has been a beautiful two weeks here in Oslo and on one of the few bleak rainy days (today) I am here sharing a few highlights.

I have always enjoyed entertaining and with Oslo being one of the most expensive places in the world to eat out, making homemade food for friends is much cheaper. Thus far I have held waffle, smoothie, and tropical dessert parties for everyone. I have also made quiches, mango cheesecake, and banana nut bread to share. A few pictures can be seen below of my culinary adventures in Oslo:

Smoothie Night with Jordan (center) and Genissis (right)


Jordan’s Birthday Party


The supplies for creating the 9-layer pina colada parfait for tropical night


In addition to enjoying good food & friends, I have started all my classes and am getting used to the education format here. It tends to be more project-based with a large amount of weight placed on the final (>80% typically). Once I have a few projects to talk about, I will be sure to write a blog post on them, since two of the courses I am taking are internationally recognized for their academic learning outcomes. When I am not in the classroom I have found time to enjoy hammocking while the weather was still warm and sunny in Oslo.

Matching hammocks after a hike to Vettakollen overlooking the city


Went back to Ekebergparken (from my first blog post), but this time explored and found a spot overlooking the bay


That should just about wrap it up for this week’s blog post. Stay tuned, Oktoberfest Oslo is happening this weekend and I am sure there will be lots of great pictures from it. I think there might be homemade Bavarian pretzels in my future. Until then, stay safe and keep on adventuring.


Initial Experience in Oslo, Norway

The past few days have been an absolute whirlwind. I cannot even begin to tell you the adventures and friendships I have already made while here in Oslo. I will do my best to give you a synopsis of the beginning of my fall semester in Norway!

It all started with a total of 24 hours of flights including delays, layovers, gate running, lost luggage, and time changes. I was thankfully able to have a few relaxing moments on the journey, including meeting up with an old friend during a layover from the National Youth Science Camp I attended a few years back.

Alexandra and I in ATL

Once I arrived in Oslo, Norway and waited a few hours for my baggage I was finally able to start my journey. One huge benefit when it comes to Oslo is the incredibly diverse transit systems that are implemented throughout the city. I would come to find out later that this is invaluable, however just coming off 24 hours of flights, it was difficult to navigate the city properly. After much trial and error, I was finally able to pick up my keys, and head to my apartment for the semester!

I chose to live in an area called Grünerløkka in the central part of Oslo. The area was once an industrial mecha in Oslo that has recently been turned into a desirable modern part of the city. The student house is actually inside of an old grain silo that was converted into apartments.

Grünerløkka studenthus

I will go into detail about the rooms in a later post once I have finished decorating the apartment!

The first week was filled with nonstop orientation activities. I could go on forever about the friends that I made during the week, although it would fill a short novella. I think the following two photos sum up the week beautifully.

Welcome Ceremony at the Old University of Oslo Campus


Ekebergparken Park Overlooking the Bay (Only a 15-minute tram ride from where I live)


This past weekend I decided to go with some friends to Göteborg, Sweden for a quick Saturday excursion. We took the bus for only $35 roundtrip and a quick 3-hour ride to spend the day. It just so happened that the cultural festival was that weekend along with EuroPride 2018, which provided a lot of activities to complete during our visit! Here are some highlights from the trip:

Enjoying the Nautical History of Sweden


Appreciating the overcast 60-degree day with Jack (left) & Austin (center)


Relaxing after a long day of walking the city


Well, that about concludes it for this weeks blog post! I have lots more to share, but I plan on saving certain experiences for themed posts in the future. Also, keep a watch out for my more technical side, as my courses have started this week and I plan on doing some photography magic with the advanced programming skills I will be learning. Until then, have a great week!