KSU WiFi Testing

Thank goodness this semester is almost over!  I mean, it’s gone really well and everything, but it’s about time Christmas got here.  I’ve been busy with finals and end of semester projects lately, and one of those projects was actually pretty fun and interesting.

I’m an electrical engineering student, so for my first semester as a full-time freshman, I had to take Intro to EE.  Our final assignment was to write a research paper in IEEE format.  The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is the professional institution for EE, so the point of this assignment wasn’t really to write a paper, it was to learn how to use this format, since every paper I’ll ever write as an electrical engineer is going to have to be in this format.

Even though the real point of the assignment was the format, we had to pick a topic that answered a non-trivial question about electrical engineering.  As the professor was talking about the differenet types of research papers, I was thinking I’d take the easy way out and just do an “archival” research paper, meaning I just find other sources and put stuff together.  But then I got an idea.  What if I tested the WiFi on each campus of KSU?  This would not only be really interesting for me, but it would also put me into the “experimental” research category, which would get me some extra brownie points on the assignment.

So I started testing.  I used the SpeedTest.net app, testing three spots in five different buildings on each campus.  For those of you who don’t know, Kennesaw State University recently merged with Southern Polytechnic State University (the engineering school where I go).  The two universities are now both technically just KSU, but they’ve been dubbed the Kennesaw Campus and the Marietta Campus, respectively.  I tested each campus’ student center, dining hall, library, and the two buildings with the most classes.  I then averaged all the data and… the Marietta Campus has better WiFi!

But even though Marietta’s average was better, speeds varied wildly across the board.  I guess that’s just what happens when you have a network covering that large of an area with that many people connected to it.  The entire paper (which I did in a group with three other people) goes into more details about how the testing was conducted as well as the logistics of large-scale networks like that.  I’ve uploaded the paper here in case any of you are interested in reading it.  If you really couldn’t care less about the more boring part, you can just scroll down to the charts and see all the data as to how each campus stacks up.  Enjoy!  ••

Technology on Campus

In the past two weeks I started my joint-enrollment at Atlanta’s Southern Polytechnic State University.  Basically, joint-enrollment allows high school juniors and seniors (me) to take some (or all) or their classes at a local college, and the rest of their classes at their high school.  The college classes give double credit towards high school, plus they still count towards your degree once you start going to college full time.  As a homeschooler, this is a big jump for me.  Not only has it provided an entirely different atmosphere for school, but it has also given me many new opportunities to (aha!) stare at other people’s phones.  This has also gotten me thinking about all the other various electronic devices used all over campus.  I thought I’d run through all the tech I have, and why each piece is or isn’t necessary on campus.

1.  iPod
As someone who still doesn’t have a smartphone, my iPod Touch is basically my go-to device when I’m leaving the house.  Fortunately, SPSU’s WiFi is pretty good, so the iPod is definitely serviceable.  If I need to make a note of something, or if I want to check my email or twitter between classes, this small, portable device really can’t be beat.  Of course, being small is also a drawback in some respects, which brings me to my next device.

2.  iPad
At home, there’s no question that I’d rather use my iPad Mini over my iPod.  The simple fact of the matter is that it’s bigger.  However, on campus, I don’t really use my iPod a whole lot.  Sure, I use it, but it’s mostly for quick things.  Therefore, I don’t actually bring my iPad to SPSU.  I had thought about taking notes on it (I opted for paper there), and I did bring it to the first day of classes, just in case I needed it.  Honestly though it’s just one more device to carry around (and worry about getting stolen).  I’m not sure I even touched it that one day I brought it, so that means it’s staying at home from now on.

3.  Laptop
This was the one piece of equipment that I knew for sure I was going to need.  A friend of mine (who’s a year older) told me that they do a lot of in-class writing for English, so you needed a laptop.  My English class is actually held in a computer lab though, so I don’t think I technically need the laptop.  However, I do prefer to use it.  For one, I’m used to it, and I know how everything works.  Secondly, if I use the university computers, I have to use a thumb drive to save all my work and take it home.  This immediately makes me nervous; I don’t want to accidentally not save my work and lose everything.  That being said, the laptop is definitely something that I will be using frequently.  It’s also nice because just in case I do need to do something that I can’t do on my iPod, I can boot up my laptop, since I don’t have my iPad.

Oh I almost forgot – what have I picked up staring at other people’s gadgets?  Well, I’d say there’s a fairly even split between iOS and Android phones (though I think Android has the edge).  Most of the laptops are PCs, but there is a mac or two here and there.  Finally, I’ve also seen a few iPads floating around.  It’s a pretty tech-centered campus, though that term may be redundant in and of itself.  ••