Hello people,

I’ve been neglecting you, I know. 

Let’s see, CS180 is, unfortunately, a killer. The professor, though very likable, makes the class difficult to digest. The good news is that I have some very good friends in the class and we help each other. The bummer about upper division CS classes is that all the fantastic, fantasy tutoring support from the engineering honor societies is unfortunately better suited for the lower division classes than the upper division classes. In other words, you’re really much more on your own with these classes, if only because not as many people have taken them vs. the lower div classes. 

My communications studies class has a very interesting curriculum. The students revise the syllabus, create the exam questions, and choose from a long list of student-created projects to fulfill part of our “points requirement”. It’s a nice relief from classes that give you little idea about how you’ll need to perform on exams.

I tripled-up on Econ office hours and discussions and have been hammering practice exams in order to overcome that “perfect fucking storm”, disasterous midterm I took for the class. I think I should be OK for the final and hopefully that will be enough to leave me with a a close-to-respectable grade in that class.

So, I’m looking forward to the quarter finishing, but I first have an intense 9 days of studying ahead of me before finals.

Leave it all on the table. 

Go hard or go home.

Ready for the baseball game tonight! Got my Bruin baseball champions hat on, ucla blue shirt, my ucla watch and good luck challenge coin too….. Let’s do this #8clap!

PLEASE Help me stay in housing!

Hey everyone! I really need your help right now.

I’m currently in debt with my on campus housing. To be more specific, I’m $4,000 in debt with housing. Right now I’m trying to get together as much as I can by selling my artwork and getting jobs here and there, but I’ve been unable to get enough money together and I’m already a month late. They’ve already cut off my swipes (meal card) and soon they’ll be taking bigger actions since I haven’t been able to pay.

Considering I’m going to an out of state school, there’s no possible way I could move out of housing without having to drop out because I have nowhere else to go. I really don’t want this to be the reason that I have to leave UCLA.

Please if you can, donate whatever you feel comfortable with, whether that’s $1 or $10 or $100. Once again, whatever you’re comfortable with, absolutely any money helps! I appreciate it! 

You can help out and donate at gofund.me/t74vtwg

merelala asked:

Can you share a little bit about the history of clip art?

Clip Art was invented by Andy Warhol in the late 1980s.

Originally intended by the artist to further recognition of the growing disposability of art, numerous ignorant computer graphics designers used Warhol’s diverse pixelated imagery to serve functional purposes.

Warhol was furious and attempted to sue anyone who used his works, but as the internet came into being and most early sites were comprised exclusively of Clip Art, Warhol found himself in a reverse class-action suit in which his lawyers faced over 30,000 defendants. The case was thrown out. The frustration famously turned Warhol’s hair white, and he died of stress in 1987.

Clip Art remains in use today, including many works created by other artists since Warhol’s demise. Popular street artist and frequent Clip Art user Banksy (Real name Bill S. Banks) memorialized Warhol in a recent speech to students at UCLA:

“Warhol was like, oh god I’m so fucking wasted, Warhol, you see, Warhol- I- I had so much fucking quaalude I’m gonna- I’m gonna, Oh man. (Vomits) I’m sorry, I’m sorry about your shoes mate I- Warhol motherfuckers he- He was like you know? (Vomits and sneezes) I think what Warhol does anyone have any ‘ludes man? Anyone? You- You in the mortar board you down man? Ah fuck (Passes out).”


What Happened To Women In Computer Science? 

For decades, the number of women in computer science grew faster than the number of men —until you get to 1984. At that point, the percentage of women began to plunge (even as the share of women in fields like mechanical engineering, math and physics kept rising).

So what happened? What was going on in 1984?

NPR’s Planet Money tried to untangle this question and the answer is complex.

One of the big changes to happen around 1984 was the introduction of small personal computers into the home. Early computers weren’t much more than toys (think pong and space invaders) and they were marketed almost exclusively to boys. 

In the 1990s, UCLA researcher Jane Margolis interviewed hundreds of computer science students at Carnegie Mellon University, which had one of the best programs in the country. She found that families were much more likely to buy computers for boys than for girls — even when the girls were the ones who were interested in computers. 

The pattern was pretty consistent. One student told a story of having to ask her brother for the key to use the computer because it was actually locked away from her in his room. This may be an extreme example, but Margolis never heard the reverse — no stories of boys having to go into their sister’s room to use the computer.

This was a big deal when those kids went to college. As personal computers became more common, computer science professors increasingly assumed that their students had grown up playing with computers.

By the mid 90s, the Carnegie Mellon computer science program was 93% men. Half the women who went to school for computer science ended up quitting the program. As Margolis explains:

“Because if you’re in a culture that is so infused with this belief that men are just better at this and they fit in better — a lot can shake your confidence. You can be sitting next to a male student who could say, ‘You don’t know that? …And you’re a computer science major?’” 

And these types of slights add up.

In her research, Margolis discovered that a lot of the women who were dropping out were great at computer science — more than half were on the dean’s list.

So how do we get women back in to computer science?

Margolis did her research with Allan Fisher, the Dean of the Computer Science program at Carnegie Mellon. The two ended up using what they had learned to make adjustments to the program.

They paid a lot more attention to teaching and added an intro course for students who didn’t have a lot of informal computer science experience.

And it worked. In 5 years, they turned the school around: 42% of computer science students were women (and the drop out rate was the same for men and women).

Top Image: Planet Money

Bottom Image: Two women operating the ENIAC’s main control panel


UCLA students host a powwow to challenge stereotypes

“The UCLA American Indian Student Association organized the powwow to remind non-native students that American Indians are indeed on campus. The group’s members said the celebration of native culture was meant to build a bridge between American Indians and UCLA students.They want to challenge stereotypes, like the recent controversial portrayals of Native Americans in a Netflix project currently in production that depicted them as drunks.” Read the article here:

|| ucla class of 2015 🐻🎓🎉 (at UCLA)

I have this amazing institution to thank for teaching me to embrace rather than hide my background. I’m a bilingual, first generation college student born to Mexican immigrant parents. I am the oldest of 6 in a working class family and my parents never had to worry about paying a cent for my tuition because I work that out on my own. Life after college is going to be a struggle but I’m ready to keep it pushing and continue to make a name for myself. I didn’t fight my way here for nothing, after all.

Why We Often Forget Things We See Every Day

85 college students tried to draw the Apple logo from memory. Only 1 student got it right. 

“People had trouble picking out the correct logo even when it was right in front of them,” said Alan Castel, an associate professor of psychology at UCLA and senior author of the study.

How can this be, given that logos are designed to be simple, memorable and visually distinctive, and Apple’s logo is among the world’s most recognizable?

An explanation may be that our brains have learned it is not important to remember specific details. An efficient memory system does not need to store the details of a corporate logo, except perhaps to distinguish counterfeit products, the researchers concluded.

Earlier studies have shown that most people have a poor memory for other items they encounter daily or almost daily, including computer keyboards (even skilled typists have difficulty describing a standard keyboard), pennies and road signs.

In the new study, participants were asked how well they would be able to draw the Apple logo before being asked to draw it.

“There was a striking discrepancy between participants’ confidence prior to drawing the logo and how well they performed on the task,” Castel said. “People’s memory, even for extremely common objects, is much poorer than they believe it to be.”

Can you recognize the correct logo? See how you do.

Read more about the study