Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Honours Year

Today I completed my honours degree. Four years at UCT, completed! Provided nothing goes ridiculously pear shaped I will be awarded my second degree next month.

It's a strange feeling, partly due to the uncertainty over what I will be doing next year. I have applied to study further in the U.S., however, I will only find out if I'm accepted some time in March. If I get accepted into one of the places I have applied to I will be starting a MSc/PhD there in September. If I get rejected (oh no!), however, my plans are to start an MSc at UCT and then push hard to get into a PhD overseas. Even if I do get accepted what I'm doing between February and September isn't finalised, although I do have some potential plans. So I might return to UCT for some time, I might not return at all!

Honours has been the first real year of studying in my opinion. Computer Science undergrad is way too easy, especially when you enter it already having a good background in programming. This has been the first year we have really gotten to know the lecturers. It is the first year we have had our own personal lab. It is the first year we have had the choice of modules It is the first year we had a major project. All these things add up to a most enjoyable year. Most importantly though is the size of the class. With only 37 of us, all having made it through undergrad and remained, this has been the first year I have really gotten to know the entire class. Knowing that most of the class will not be returning next year and that some of them I will never see again makes it a rather sad time.

It has been an exciting time. I truly believe that the honours year is worth more than the three years of undergrad combined. I would strongly recommend it to anyone wondering whether they should continue after graduating with their BSc. An honours is what distinguishes you from the masses.

So that is it. It is over. No more. Done.

Next up -- Nvidia! I finally had my appointment at the US Embassy yesterday and received my H-3 visa this afternoon. I have my flights booked -- 29 hours each way! I have sorted out accommodation at Greenpoint Apartments. Chris de Kadt has just finished his own internship there this week and so he has offered me his furniture and other stuff which has helped a lot! Apparently they pass on furniture between interns there. So I am all ready to leave on Saturday evening and start working Monday morning!

Sorry Janis, but I have to share what you said me as it was classic! This is what she (management person at Greenpoint) sent me this morning:

I had to call my husband who was in the marines to find out what the heck 16:00-17:00 was. Welcome to California we deal in the "o'clock version".


  1. If I may ask, where did you apply in the US?
    I'm guessing your Google connections might make you prefer Stanford? ;)

  2. Stanford, Berkeley, UIUC, Princeton and Waterloo.

    Although Stanford wasn't because of Google. I promise! If a number of them accept me it will be a tough choice, although I have a tendency to lean towards UIUC due to it's heavy investments in HPC.

  3. Wouldn't it have been better to
    send more applications to less prestiguous places? Say, other schools from the US top 20?

  4. If I know you I can chat about it in private. In short, I have my reasons.