carterallen

A Year in Space

31 May 2014

This time last year, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I knew that I would be moving to Los Angeles to attend the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, and that was about it. My major was listed as Electrical Engineering, but that was only because I thought my application reflected best on my abilities with electronics. I spent the summer fretting, wondering how long it would take everyone to notice that I hadn’t any idea what to do.

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The Poignant Purple Dot

1 Jul 2013

About a year ago, my older brother Austin moved out of our childhood home in Denver and headed to Los Angeles. At the last minute, we decided that I would drive out with him, at least as far as Las Vegas. My own classes were beginning soon in Denver, so I wouldn’t be able to go all the way to LA, but I would at least be able to spend a day and half of the two-day drive with him. I’m not exaggerating when I say the decision was last-minute: I decided to go with him about an hour before we left, and my packing consisted of throwing my iPad, a change of clothes, and a toothbrush into a small bag. Out the door we went, waving goodbye to our mother and our house. Though I would be returning less than two days later, we both knew that we were waving goodbye to the past 16 years of our life.

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The Great USB Key Conspiracy

4 Jun 2013

After being admitted to the University of Southern California, I began receiving quite a bit of mail from their various departments. The Viterbi School of Engineering, where I will be attending school next year, was the first to send me a USB key, which I promptly ignored. Assuming it was just a flash drive full of documents, I cast it aside like I had with almost every other piece of cardinal-and-gold paper that had arrived in my mailbox. Little did I know that the key was just the beginning of a vast conspiracy. What followed was the unraveling of a direct-mail tale of corruption and deceit, a story that exposed the seedy underbelly of USB-based correspondence.

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Primality Testing and Factorization in C

10 Jan 2012

A couple days ago, I set to work on what seemed like a fairly straightforward project: I wanted to build a reasonably fast factorization program in plain C. I didn’t need it to be able to factor massive numbers, I just wanted to create it as an exercise. This seemingly basic concept led me into the strange world of number theory, a land I had never been formally introduced to, and ultimately resulted in me gaining quite a bit of knowledge.

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Made on a Mac

16 Oct 2011

I’ve written a lot in the past about the various systems that have powered this blog. It’s gotten to the point now where the most popular topic on this site seems to be the site itself. However, I’ve made a major change to how it all works, and I think that it is important enough this time to justify yet another meta-post.

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