Sunday, November 23, 2008

Anecdote!

We had a FiDi(Physicists day) veteran party last friday(students prepare it for the alumni). And one veteran told a cool anecdote. So here it is:
Newton, Pascal and Archimedes were playing hide and seek.
Archimedes was counting to 10.
Pascal quickly ran to hide behind a corner.
Newton saw that he could not hide that fast. He took a stick and drew a square around him, with a side of about 1 meter.
Archimedes counted to 10, turned over and shouted: "I found Newton!"
Newton replied: "Wrong! Newton in square meter is Pascal"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

brain5ide at Vilnius University Part 2

The first of September. A national holiday here in Lithuania, because thousands of students start their studies.
So freshmen gathered by the Physics faculty early in the morning (10 A.M. ) to make some T-shirts.
Then we headed to the bus stop to go to Gediminas prospect. This is how a trolleybus filled with Physicists really looks like.

We were swinging the trolleybus together and shouting: "REZONANSAS"(Lithuanian for resonance).
After the trolleybus ride we joined other faculties for a walk through the Gediminas prospect to the yard of Vilnius university, which is in Old town in Vilnius.

And this is how I look:

My friends(Andrius in the bottom, Marius in the left, then Kornelija and Jurgis(roommate)): After the ceremony and the speaches of rector of Vilnius University, Minister of education and science, a classical music concert(which was actually impossible to listen, because of the echo from the walls of the university buildings), me and the fresmen of the Physics faculty gathered together and went to spend some time on the hill of three crosses.

And then there were parties in the dorm that evening. So this was my first day of officially being a student.

P.S. My November 2008 SAT subject test results just came. 740 Math II, 700 Physics. Not bad. But I can do better. I hope :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

brain5ide in Vilnius University Part 1 - Freshmen camp.

As I said in my last post, I'm now a student in Vilnius University. It's actually a fun place to be. Especially the Physics faculty. So let's begin the story of brain5ide in Vilnius university just from the beginning.
Freshmen camp. It took place in some camping site by the Pailgis lake near Vilnius. We all gathered in Vilnius train station, got in to a train and headed to the camp. I met many new people (as I'm the only one from my town in this faculty as a freshman) just while going to the camp and even more throughout the 3 days of camping. During the first day every group (there are 6 groups: Theoretical Physics, Applied Physics, Telecomunicational Physics and Electronics, Computing Physics, Modern Technology Physics and Management and Physics of Nuclear energetics) had to prepare a theatrical presentation of their group. There really were many fun things to see during those presentations, and even some not to see (as a naked guy, only with a fern covering his silly place - from that moment he became a star in the faculty :) ). Then there was an informal "social night" with some (think a lot) alcohol, music, talks and orienteering at night. I led one team(teams were randomly assigned), as I had a flashlight in my pocket, and my team did all the tasks first. The prize was a juicy watermelon :). The next day we had some presentations: StartFM - student radio, StudentuEra - student newspaper, Student scientific comunity, Student representatic organization, FiDi - fizikĊ³ diena (Physicist's day) and ISIC - international student identity card.
Asside from the presentations, we had an event of national matter - an Olympic Basketball semi-final match between Lithuania and Spain. Since we were in the middle of a forest by a lake, the organisers didn't anticipate to watch a basketball game. But physicists are physicists :). So there was a TV-tuner, a laptop and a video projector brought in. The cable was connected to a metal coat hanger and put on the roof of one of the houses. And we all (like ~80 people) watched the game together, cheered for lithuanian points and spanish misses and grieved on spanish points and lithuanian misses. The match was had big tension and as sad as it is to admit - Lithuania lost. But we still are in the top 4 of the basketball countries and nobody can argue.
On our second evening there we had to make a presentation from each house(there were more than ten of them). This time there was no nudity. My housemates and me made a funny remake of a lithuanian pop song. We depicted some comical events in the camp, in our house, in physics faculty. When we were singin that song to others was probably my funniest moment in the camp.
After the presentations, there was a party in a bathhouse. I think it I went to sleep as early as 5 a.m. :)
We had to leave the camp by the noon of the third day. The next faculty comming to the camp was Communications faculty(which is opposite to physics faculty in male/female ratio and is located in the same building block as the physics faculty). So we had to greet the Communications faculty girls(when we came to the camp, we were greeted by the Faculty of Economy). And we did. We created a simple little game to entertain a bit. And after the entertaining game we left the camp by the same train by which we had gotten there.

That's all that I was able to remember about an event that happened almost three months ago.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Ok...

I just got from home to my dorm and decided to have a moment of relaxation. Blink 182 is playing in the background. You may not follow, so I'll try to explain it right now.
My last post was ages ago and the next will probably be ages later. Well, I got into Vilnius University, Computing Physics course. I was #4 by admission points to this course. I'm now studying for more than two months(since 09-01). I live in the dorms because they're really near the faculty. My classmate who got into Medical faculty, lives near me but has to travel >1h every morning to get to the faculty. So I couldn't be happier to be able to live in the dorms.
What else... Ah... yeah... I got my first job for Elsis Verslo Sprendimai - a Lithuanian business IT solutions company. It's not a biig job yet, I'm just learning the work methods and the software but it's interesting and the staff is really cool.
I also keep building websites while not doing other things. It really gets overwhelming but I like it so far.
Oh, and I am also trying to get into MIT again this year. I won't try to get in as a transfer because it would be even more impossible than a freshman admission.
That's all now. See you when the hell freezes or I get into MIT (dunno which will come first).

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Lithuanian exams part 2 + Graduation + Driving lessons

Read the title, so we go in order:
Lithanian: 64th percentile (that's the only thing they give us - percentiles...)
Math: 99th percentile
IT: 93rd percentile (omg, omg, totally awesom if you take into account how much I had screwed up)
Physics: 97th percentile.
So, summing everything up, I'm probably gonna get into my course of choice - Computational Physics(why? just because someone told me that if I want to learn anything new I should not take IT course only).

The prom is happening this Saturday! I'm graduating!!! This feels awesome and some sort of awkward. I'll just need to get used to it.

Oh, and driving lessons. Today I had my first one. The instructor just told that he had had worse students than me. But it was OK. Really, I didn't crash into anybody and the car is pretty much safe until my next lesson.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Lithuanian exams

Yet again my do-not-procrastinate-to-blog plan didn't work out. But now I'm full of stuff to tell anyone who dares to read this blog.
As you know, I haven't been admitted to any of the US schools that I applied. One possible reason is that I didn't send then the TOEFL instead of SAT reasoning, which was awful. At the beginning I thought that TOEFL wasn't necessary and it costs so I decided not to take it. But then I tried to apply to Richmond American International University in London, I needed the TOEFL and I made it on March 1. You can see the results on your right. I got into Richmond, but for some financial reasons I'm not going there. So here I am, worrying about my final high school exams in Lithuania because they're the only thing that can get me into a school in Lithuania (there are no interviews, no teacher recommendations, just plain old sorting by test scores).
The first exam I took was Lithuanian. I don't think it was a very tough one but there's the thing that it really depends on somebody who checks my work. I actually went to the exam pretty relaxed and was kinda relaxed all the time while sitting there, but the thrill got to me just after I left. It's the only exam in Lithuania that you MUST take and if you fail, you're in a terrible position.
The second exam was IT. A bunch of MS Office knowledge + Pascal coding. There's an interesting story about my IT exam. During the first part(the test) I was OK. But there's always the second part which was one of the worst nightmares I have ever seen. So, there we had to write two Pascal programs according to the task(it tells where to use a procedure or a function, what data types to use, you just have to put it up to a working program). We had 1.5h for the task. So there I was, writing my first program, debugging it and writing proper comments(they rate these too, as the part of the coding style, or smth.). Ok, so I completely finished the program. Then I noticed that I had a typo in my filename(and you couldn't have a typo), so I decided to rename it. I went to the program folder and saw a bunch of files, the debug data for compiler. Well, who am I to keep then, so I deleted them. And along with them I DELETED MY PROGRAM. And you konw, since I'm a computer wizzard, I don't delete regularly, like when the files go to recycle bin. NO, I had to delete it by pressing Shift+Delete, which deletes the files completely. So there I was in the exam place after an hour without any program. My hands began to shake. For a minute of something I had lost hope. I had various thoughts, like should I leave the exam and come again next time(which wouldn't be the national level, but a school level and school level sucks when you're applying) or should I go to google and quickly find a file recovery program. But with my experience with looking for free software I knew that I wouldn't find anything. So I calmed myself and just thought about it. It was still in my head, so I quickly rewrote the program just from my head, tested it and it worked like it supposed to. I didn't comment it properly, but just went to another program. I read it, didn't understand it in the beginning. I read it again and the teacher told that there are 15minutes left untill the end. And I was one program short. So who needs understanding a task, right? Those 15 minutes were one of the ugliest in my life, but then again I probably broke my typing speed record because the guy that was sitting next to me was staring his eyes at my keyboard. I wrote the whole algorithm, it was syntax error free, it compiled and didn't work. It was in a neverending loop. I tried to debug it, but couldn't make it on time. The old "5 more minutes" would have worked out for me, but it was the end. So I hope that people will at least go throught the algorithm and give me some points for it. As I spoke to other guys, nobody actually wrote the second program in my test center or it was someone to whom I didn't talk, so I might have some chances compared to others :D.
The third exam was Math. Hell yeah! It was the only exam yet that I didn't suck much and I'm not worried about it at all. I solved all the tasks and that very same night I checked my answers with some other people and they were almost the same (there's one problem of probabilities that I got wrong, but it's not a major mistake). So now I'm at least cool about my math results.
And there I have, one last exam that's going to be on Monday. Physics! I'm not that confident about it as I was in math, but I still have the whole weekend to prepare and I think I'll make it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

When IRC talk becomes a blog entry...

First of all, I would like to say that I just recently got my TOEFL score and it has beaten all my expectations. I was praying to get above 90 and ended up with a 110. OMG OMG A 110. That's the first test result that I'm actually proud of and don't think of retaking.

Now, to get to the main topic of this entry. MIT decisions. Someone who reads this blog might think that I have gone crazy about MIT and I'm in a hysteria, but I'm not so it's safe and sound to meet me in real life. So, I was talking in #mit channel on freenode and came to a discussion with a prospective applicant to MIT about it. Maybe I'm not the best mentor on admission decisions in the world because of not being admitted, but I had to give that guy a few ideas. And the discussion was so long that I ended up thinking to blog about this(so that's how that feels...).
So the guy regretted that he hasn't taken Calculus AP course earlier(he's in junior year now and is planning to take the course in his senior year) because that would show the universities what he's capable of. As an unqualified person I can say that it's a bad point of view. Of course, it's cool to know Calculus, but only if you have to do something with it. If you don't - then why is it for you? I know, the guy wanted to be a match for colleges, but the match isn't always the one who takes advanced courses earlier.
I then asked him what does he do instead of the Calculus AP. And he said he doesn't nothing specific - mostly surfing the web, managing personal website. So I offered him to take a textbook on Calculus(Calculus demystified, for example) and do it on his own. But then again he responded that this wouldn't be marked anywhere. Why does everyone want to have a mark, a line in CV or a project in project list that he could show to colleges? I understand it is all about impressions but I can tell you one thing - I hate impressions. Impression is a think that deceives people and it rarely turns into good. If you have an impressions to be a genius, then you must work your ass off to match it and not to ruin it. This is tiring and often not constructive. Just let people expect from you what you actually can, not what they think you can. This way you won't need to work your ass off and you won't ruin other's expectations on you.
Otherwise, if you have a bad impression, you won't be given a task to reveal your full potential and will also have to work your ass off to prove to others that you're not just a dummy.
So, maybe taking Calculus AP in 9th grade is making you look good, think if you really want to spend a lot of time to create an impression that might give you a lot more problems.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Two down, two more to go

The decisions for two of my four US schools are out. They both rejected me, but I'm almost in a good mood. So next year I'm not gonna be a Caltech freshman, nor MIT's. It was more like a lottery to me and I once again didn't win Jackpot. And as I just wrote in MIT blogs: "The application process was so addictive that I'll definitely have to try again next year.". That's right. If I don't get into other two US schools and Richmond, I'll probably take a gap year, do some hardcore programming(I have a plan about some project, just not enough time), do some traveling (with money earned from hardcore programming project), learn English a little bit better and take the SAT's with a little bit more preparation.
Oh, well. Despite being rejected I had a good night yesterday. About 5 minutes after my decisions came out the doorbell rang. There were my two classmates and so we went to hang out a little. Funny thing is that when I was walking down the stairs(I live in a flat), I noticed that there was something in my mailbox. I took it out - a Caltech decision letter. Ah well, I just put in into my coat pocket and went out. I already knew the answer(which had come by email at 1 AM my time a few days ago). But if I wouldn't have read it in my email, it would have been two decisions in five minutes. BAHHHH.
OK, enough about the decisions. But since that's the only thing that I'm capable to think of now, let it be the end for this post.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Welcome another rejected by Caltech person

Haha, it's funny that my last post was about procrastination and it was 5 months ago. Could I say that I'm "back with a brand new rap"? I don't think so. Today, at about 1AM I got an email to have been rejected from Caltech which is kinda bad feeling. But I'm mostly sad because the FedEx courier will not visit me. UPS has visited me when she brought my Collegeboard books, DHL has visited me too when she brought my other books and no FedEx. Maybe anyone(huh, who am I kidding???) wants to send me something throught FedEx?
So, what has happened through all those 5 months? Well, quite a lot actually. Probably the most important thing is that I dropped Windows and am now using OpenBSD. One sad thing is that Skype doesn't want to run and the tutorials I have found do not work.
What else? Well, my HDD on PowerBook went off and I'm not notebookless which is sad by itself and sad because I had ran a webserver and was able to do webdev on it. Well, I'll probably try to netboot or USB boot it somehow. Anyone has any offers on how to it with PPC Powerbook?
I also had a Brown interview(on the phone with Mark Dembitz). I think I blew it. Everybody knows the main interview question - "Tell me about yourself". Duh. I don't like speaking about people, including myself so my interviewer had a tough time pulling it out from me. When my questions section came, I asked him only two questions about Brown. First was about Brown CS department and he assured me that it's cool, despite the fact that he hasn't had any courses in there. Another question was on how expensive is the cost of living in Providence. So I think that I looked like an unmotivated guy to him who's just spending his free time applying to universities. Anyways, I hope it'll go good.
What else... Oh yeah, I took a TOEFL on March 1. Whaaaa... it's already past MIT deadline, why would I want one you ask. And I answer: because I found another university. I got an email about American international university in London, Richmond. I'll be applying to it if I don't get into MIT, Stanford or Brown or if I don't get any decent scholarship to any of them(hoping that this won't happen). I'm applying for the spring semester so that I could finish something in Lithuania. I need to get a driver's license which is given only after 18th birthday, which is in July for me. But I need to prepare for the driving exam and I don't want to do it together with my national exams(I'm taking Lithuanian, Physics, Math and IT) becasue they're very intensive.
That's probably about it for this time.