Heaton Research

PhD Update: Second Cluster Visit for Winter 2015 Semester at NSU

I just got back to St. Louis from my second cluster visit to NSU for the phd in computer
science. I was feeling pretty good about choosing a distance learning program at a
university in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida after the really cold weather we’ve been seeing in
St. Louis lately. There was a new blanket of snow on my drive way the morning that I
left for the airport. I just drove over it and headed out, the snow was melted by the
time I returned. The regular (non-distance learning) students were all on spring break,
so the campus was unusually empty. I never did take a spring break trip as an undergrad,
so it works out that I have to go to Florida 4 times a year for my doctoral program.

I am taking two classes: CISD 792: Computer Graphics, taught by Dr. Laszlo, and
ISEC 730: Computer Security and Cryptography, taught by Dr. Cannady. The computer
graphics class focuses on Three.JS and OpenGL, and consists of numerous programming
assignments. I am learning about 3D programming. I think this will be very useful for
some visualizations that I might want to do for my books. The security class is more
focused on writing. I did a decent amount of programming to replicate the research of a
paper that applied neural networks to intrusion detection. I will post my Java code for
this later, as it is a decent Encog tutorial. One of several reasons that I entered a
PhD program was to learn academic writing, so the security class is working out well.
I am finding both classes every beneficial and interesting.

This is my fourth trip to Ft. Lauderdale for the program. My wife has come along with me
each time so far. We usually try to do at least one “tourist activity” each time. This
time we went to see a spring training baseball game that featured our home-team, the St.
Louis Cardinals against the Miami Marlins, (notes to everyone, especially lawyers: both
of those names are trademarks of the MLB, MLB is also a trademark of the MLB) The
St. Louis team won, so this made for a particularly enjoyable game!

I also kept tabs on my Kickstarter campaign while traveling. So far the deep learning and
neural network is going well! If you would like to back, and obtain my latest book,
click here.

I took this picture at the student center at NSU. They have a really cool Dr. Who police
box. You can also see the palm trees out the window. They have a beautiful campus!
And now they have a police box!

Dr. Who Police Box at NSU