I'm pretty damn lucky, between finding a second job just before my first post-college employers laid me off with a hefty severance pay - allowing me to pay my college fees - to getting straight into a computer science masters in one of the most prestigious Irish Universities without being called for an interview despite having a background in Biology (which I suspect was down to an awesome reference from the head of my undergrad course). All in the midst of a fucking disastrous recession which our government is handling about as well as Fred Phelps handling a pride parade in his bathroom. So I'm pretty determined to make the most of this, no matter what Herculean (maybe a I should use a term related to a famous intellectual rather than a famous strongman. Hawkingian?) tasks are asked of me.
So about the course. It was founded in part by Dr. Steven Collins, one of the guys behind Havok. He used to give lectures too but sadly he's moving on to something else now and not teaching this years students. So no nerdtastic name-dropping for me apart from what you just read. If you're wondering what that blob in the banner for this blog is it's what comes up when you google "Quaternion", a number system that can be applied to mechanics in 3-dimensional space first discovered by William Hamilton, a mathematician in Trinity College Dublin, and first applied to game technology by the guys in Havok. Hopefully I'll figure out what the fuck they are by the end of this.
Thus far I'm a week in and the first major undertaking to be dropped on us is the individual software engineering project. I've got a few months to put together a multiplayer version of asteroids that can be played over a network, in whatever object oriented language I want and I can create whatever interpretation of asteroids I can think up. Thinking about it has me running wildly between gibbering excitement at what I could do and the bathroom from shitting my pants in sheer terror.
Other than that the only thing I need to be worried about so far is my knowledge of Linear Algebra, which conveniently is what I need to know for both my maths module and my real-time animation one. Hitting two birds with one stone should be easier when I can calculate the exact location of where the flight paths of the birds intersect in 3d space...