Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Little Fluffy Clouds

I've recently been working on cloud lighting and rendering, based on the dissertation by Mark Harris at UNC.

We consider a cloud to be a collection of points which collect light from the sun and scatter it back to the viewer. I represent the cloud as a particle system with cloud particle billboards and light it using equations based on Harris' paper.

Images (work in progress):

Fluffy white clouds Fluffy dark clouds

On a related note, I've probably spent more time (four days) really making a good, flexible design than the actual coding (refer to the software design article). After all, coding is about thinking, not typing.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Supply and Demand

Not even two days had passed when the phone rang.

I answered and on the other end was Microsoft.

"I have some good news for you. Both groups want you!" my recruiter said.

 I've decided to work with the Windows Tablet PC group for the summer. I'm really excited and I can't wait to go. I'll be working with the latest technologies and creating things that will be used by many people.

I feel an incredible amount of temptation to move into industry, but I'll definitely finish grad school first.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Jet Set Alex Future

For a brief moment, I was part of the jet set.

Microsoft flew me up to Redmond on Monday and flew me back home on Tuesday so I could interview for a summer internship. This was called by Slashdot.org, "The Internship That Students Drool Over" (along with a link to an article and great discussion about it).

I spent the entire day interviewing separately with four developers in two groups. Each person gave me one or two programming or logic problems, which I solved with relative ease. (Examples include: given a set of numbers, remove the duplicates, optimize the sqrt out of a circle-drawing routine, minimize comparisons, and real-life work problems that my NDA probably won't let me discuss).

Everyone I talked with (from developers to recruiters to the shuttle drivers) was very approachable, friendly, energetic, and sincerely passionate about their job. Even better, I could talk with them at a comfortable technical and personal level too.

I'll find out at some point next week if I get an internship from one (or both) groups and when I do, I'll post it right away.

For more information on internships at Microsoft, visit www.microsoft.com/college.