A Day in the Life of Tim Kopp ’12


I’m a second-semester senior majoring in Computer Engineering and Computer Science. I woke up at seven o’clock this morning so I could be ready in time for my 8am class: Honors Senior Seminar. Today’s class was devoted entirely to working on our group papers, which meant we were able to hold class in the lounge instead of the classroom. After that, I went to my 9:30am class: Symbolic Logic. Today was a big day in Symbolic Logic as we proved Goedel’s Incompleteness Theorem.

My next scheduled class was Formal Methods for Program Verification at 11am, but since it’s near the end of the semester, we stopped holding lecture in lieu of working on our final projects. My colleague and I spent the class time working on our simulation of a traffic light system using NuSMV. We expanded the system to model an arbitrary even number of roads going into and out of the intersection, as well as a pedestrian crosswalk.

I walked back to my apartment and cooked rice for lunch and watched Scrubs. At his point my friend sent me a text message notifying me that my next class, Materials Science, was cancelled. So instead of going to class at 1pm, we walked to the bookstore in town and picked up our caps and gowns for graduation. After returning my apartment, I worked on homework until about four o’clock.

After homework it was naptime. I awoke to the sound of an angry alarm clock at 7 o’clock pm, ate dinner, and walked to the Clarkson Open Source Institute (COSI) labs. They are the only computer labs on campus that is maintained by students instead of Clarkson’s IT department. After greeting everyone and making a cup of tea, I sat down and began my night’s work. I am presenting my thesis research at a conference this Saturday, so I spent this time putting the finishing touches on and rehearsing my presentation. My research is on new algorithms for the Propositional Satisfiability Problem, a problem of great importance in applied and theoretical computer science.

At 11 o’clock pm I decided it was time for a break. I found that the classroom portion of the COSI labs was empty, so I retrieved my guitar from the server room and practiced for about half an hour. Then it was back to work. I worked on preparing my final presentation for my Symbolic Logic course until about two o’clock am. At that point, Chris Lynch, chair of the computer science department and my professor for Symbolic Logic, strolled into the lab. After discussing the finer points of various logic systems and recent events in the department, Chris left to go home.

After finishing up my work, I convinced a couple of my friends to come play catch with a frisbee in the atrium of Snell Hall. After we were done, we locked up the labs and headed home for the night. It was about four-thirty am, so I straightened up the area around my desk and went to sleep for the night.



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