Posts in category Q3

Blog 9: Starting Q4 and LoL


it took me a bit longer than expected to write this blog, but c’est la vie I guess. At least things have happened since my last blog:)

I have worked hard on my practice exam for Computer Arithmetic. I think I’ve spent at least 10 hours on it. This was mostly because I had to get familiar with the material and look at some examples. Honestly, I have spent the whole week before the exam, minus 2 days, on this practice exam, so I was a bit nervous for the exam; the exam is only 3 hours. The last two days I focused on other material in case that would be in the final exam. The exam itself was okay-ish. Unfortunately I didn’t manage my time well and as a result I couldn’t finish 1.5 out of 9 questions. Nonetheless, I thought it went pretty okay; today I got the confirmation: I have a 7:) I’m not quite sure if that’s only my final exam, or my take-home exame, or both, but whatever! I’m actually a bit disappointed; I hoped for an 8.

I have also uploaded my final essay for Network Security. I’m glad it’s finished, I’ve put a lot of effort in it. I also finished the third and last exercise sheet, which was posted the day of the NXP trip. It consisted of only two questions and an optional programming part. I’ve chosen to not do the programming part due to my oral exam of VLSI TTR on Monday (i.e., today; deadline of the sheet was Sunday, i.e., yesterday). The questions were not hard, so that should be fine. I’m still waiting for my essay- and final grade. I think I will pass this course, but I want to know for sure;)

Friday the 15th of April we went to NXP in Nijmegen for the VLSI TTR course. It was quite interesting; a few lectures were given and I’ve seen quite a lot of different test machines (seeing the machines was quite impressive). There are possibilities for an internship or master thesis at NXP, which is pretty cool:) Besides the visit, I also need to finish the course; that’s exactly what I’ve done today. I took the oral exam together with my two colleagues with which I’ve done the assignments. The exam took about 2 hours:( Honestly, it could’ve went a lot better, but it turns out I did well enough to get an 8:D Thus I’ve passed this course:)

The exam for Systems Engineering didn’t go as planned unfortunately. I’m still being hopeful, but I’ll have to wait. It was only 3 questions (with each 3 sub-questions), but it consisted of a lot of reading work (which I had anticipated). I can honestly say that my writing hand was super tired after the exam:P

This quarter I decided to follow three courses besides Systems Engineering: Processor Design Project (track course, so not really a choice;)), VLSI System on Chip and Electronics for Quantum Computation (both specialization courses). VLSI SoC is basically for extra credits, since I’m planning to do an internship of 15 points (initially I planned to follow courses for 11 ECTS next year); without this 4 ECTC, I already have enough non-thesis credits.

Processor Design Project is quite interesting. There was one kick-off lecture, and there will be an intermediate meeting to see if we are on the right track, but for the rest there is nothing planned. We are given a processor design written in VHDL, and we have to make it faster in groups of three. This course follows Computer Arithmetic, so surely there are arithmetic optimizations to be done, but you can also think of architectural optimizations. I already have a group, and for coming Wednesday I will look at the source code and the course description, so that we can discuss it on Thursday.

VLSI SoC seems like a really interesting course, hence why I’m taking it for extra credits. For now, lectures are given (though not in the coming two weeks), but after that you have to design a System on Chip in groups of 2 (or 1). The deadline is very lenient; if you want you can send it in the summer, or even next year. I’m going to work together with Reynaldi again (same partner as Digital IC Design), and obviously we are trying to finish it before the summer. I will elaborate more on the project in one of my next blogs!

The quantum course is looking to be quite intensive and complex. I think it will be interesting though. The main reason I’ve chosen this course is because of the Quantum part, which is a trending and upcoming part of Computer Engineering. Did you know Intel invested 50 Million Dollar in TU Delft to design a working Quantum Computer? So yeah, Quantum Computing is quite big at the moment, so I thought it would be interesting to follow is course (unfortunately I didn’t follow introduction to Quantum Computing in Q1). For this course, there will be lecutres and lab assignments. The first lab assignment is due coming Friday and it looks quite complicated:O.

My schedule of this quarter is pretty empty. Tuesday I have 2 lectures and Friday I have 3; the rest of the days I have nothing scheduled. But surely project meetings will be scheduled on these days:( This quarter is looking quite interesting, so I am looking forward to it. However, it’s also looking intensive and I almost can’t wait for the summer holiday:(

As mentioned in my last blog, LCS (League of Legends Championship Series) Europe Finals came to Ahoy in Rotterdam. Together with a lot of people of the E-sports club in Delft (DSEA) I went to this event as a volunteer. It was really amazing and I’ve had a blast. Saturday I applied (not-so) temporary tattoos on peoples arms, and sometimes faces, and on Sunday I took pictures of the crowd with famous youtuber Sp4zie (you can probably see me in his latest vid). After the tattoos I watched the 3rd place match (see picture) which was awesome eventhough the team I was rooting for lost, and after taking pictures I watched the finals which was even more amazing, also beacause the team I was rooting for won. This was my first E-sports/LoL event, and I certainly hope it’s not my last. After the games, I took pictues of the crowd with the players and shoutcasters. A bonus: afterwards I also took pictures with the teams and casters (4 times haha). I also met and talked with a retired German player (CandyPanda) who was behind me in the line for ice cream, and I talked with the owner of the winning team. All in all, it was amazing and to all of you LoL fans: next time it comes to Rotterdam, you should go there; I know I will:)

Inside Ahoy. On screen the casters, on stage the players. That's a lot of people:)!

Inside Ahoy. On screen the casters, on stage the players. That’s a lot of people:)!

On the photo with Fnatic:)!

On the photo with Fnatic:)!

I have busy weeks coming up. I hope I will have the time to write another blog (again, shorter interval than between this blog and the last).


Small edit: I’ve mentioned that I want to do an intership first quarter of next year. In my next blog, when I hopefully have more information, I will elaborate on this!

Blog 8: I’m still alive;) Finalizing Q3

Hi y’all,

a long time has past since my last blog. Frankly, I haven’t done much else than following my courses (which took me enough time), but I thought it would be time for my next blog;)
I got back the two missing results from Q2, Profile Orientation (writing the essay) and Digital IC Design. I got a High Pass for the essay, meaning that it was better than average, yeey:D For IC Design, I got a 7.5, so I’ve passed it at least! I’m not quite sure what the separate grades (project and exam), but I’m pretty sure the exam is not that high. Therefore I have (almost) decided to retake the exam at the end of this quarter. Regardless, I have gotten all my points for the first 2 quarters, which is pretty awesome:)

Let me give you an update on my courses. First up, Computer Arithmetic. 4 homework assignments have been posted, including their answers. Honestly, I haven’t put much effort into these homework assignments, since the other courses were quite intensive. I have, however, followed all the lectures (minus 1 where I was late due to NS and half the lecture gone to waste because of a fire alarm going of wrongly:P). The exam is next week Wednesday, which I’ll naturally attend. Before the exam, there is a take-home exam due on the day of the exam. It’s basically a practice exam, but it is part of the final grade (40ish%). I have went over the lecture slides, and I will start today with the take-home exam. I’m confident I can make something out of it:)

Then Network Security. At the time of writing my last blog it was merely following lectures. Since then, I have done a lab assignment (which didn’t go as well as planned) on the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) in switches, and 2 exercise sheets. These exercise sheets consisted of `simply’ answering questions about the material covered in class (with the help of google;)). However, part of the 2nd exercise sheet was practical stuff. We had to write a program capable of 2 things: ARP spoof someone and overflow the CAM table of a router.

ARP spoofing in a nutshell is intercepting someone’s ARP request (PC asks which PC, with which MAC address, has this IP address) and acting like his target. This is done by sending an ARP reply (IP address X is at this PC with MAC address y) to the victim saying that you are the victim’s target (but you are not;)). Everytime the victim sends messages to his intended target, you are getting these messages. See the picture below:

ARP spoofing visualized. The attacker sits between two PCs. When Greend sends a message to Blue, the attacker intercepts (and thus can read) it and forwards it to Blue.

ARP spoofing visualized. The attacker sits between two PCs. When Greend sends a message to Blue, the attacker intercepts (and thus can read) it and forwards it to Blue (source: google).

Every router has a CAM table, which is used for forwarding packets. In a CAM table overflow attack, you are sending a lot of messages with as source different MAC- and IP addresses with as goal that the CAM table cannot store it anymore, effectively making the router into a hub (forwarding each and every message to all of its ports). In the picture below, a succesfull CAM table overflow attack can be seen:

Succesful CAM table overflow attack. Hub-like behaviour can be seen; packets with various source- and destination IP addresses are captured, including packets that are not coming from or are directed to the host computer.

Succesful CAM table overflow attack. Hub-like behaviour can be seen; packets with various source- and destination IP addresses are captured, including packets that are not coming from or are directed to the host computer (source: google).

I have written a program in Java (with the help of the pcap4j library) that can do both. It was not as easy to test, so I’m not sure I did it correctly, but I’m positive;) Eventhough it cost me quite some time to write the program, I have had quite some fun and I have learned a lot:) I’ve also been working on my essay. I have a draft version of just over 7 pages, which I still have to alter slightly (spelling errors etc.). The deadline is tomorrow, so I’ll finish this tomorrow. I have put a lot of work in my essay, and I feel quite good about it. It counts for 65% of the grade, so it better be a good grade;) A 3rd exercise sheet might follow, but after that I’m done with this course (there is no exam).

There are no more lectures for the VLSI test course. Besides the lectures, I have finished 3 homework- and 2 lab assignments together with 2 friends. The Friday after my exam there will be a visit to NXP, which I’m looking forward to. There will also be an oral exam, but I think that will be after the visit, so somewhere in Q4.

And lastly, Systems Engineering. The lectures have finally finished and I’m in a group of 11 people for the project next quarter. I have chosen for the project: a smart DC home (which I’ve done for my bachelor thesis as well). I’m in the group with 2 friends, so that’s nice;) We have including me and my friend three Computer Engineers which might be a bit too much:P We have held a few meetings to start with the project, and Monday we have submitted our first report. I think we worked quite efficiently, so I’m pretty confident that we will do well next quarter;) The week after the Computer Arithmetic exam, also on Wednesday, I have the exam for Systems Engineering. The day after, I have the Digital IC Design exam. I don’t think there is too much material for the exam, but it will probably be hard. I hope to spend 1 day on IC design, before studying the System Engineering exam; should be fine!

If I were to summarize this quarter, I’d say the beginning was quite relaxing (except the IC design stress:O). Unfortunately, most of the workload came in the second half of the quarter (because of IC design extending to the beginning of Q3 this was actually a good thing); VLSI labs, Network Security exercise sheets and Systems Engineering Project. However, I have had quite some free time here and there (especially the week after IC design), so I’m quite satisfied with this quarter. I’m really happy with the three courses I’ve chosen (let’s forget System Engineering); each of them was quite interesting and I’ve learned a lot. Computer Arithmetic was boring at times I should mention though, but it’s a prerequisite for the Processor Design project in Q4.

This week I will work hard on Computer Arithmetic; I will have to finish the take-home exam. The upside is that it should be good practice for the final exam;) After the exam, I will focus on System Engineering and hopefully 1 day for IC design. The IC design retake is just a bonus for me; I hope to improve my grade, but System Engineering is the main focus for that week! After the two exams, I have the visit to NXP which I’m looking forward too. But I’m most excited for the weekend after: together with a group of around 20 people, I will go to Rotterdam for the League of Legends LCS tournament:D It will be my first time visiting a LoL event, so I’m obviously thrilled:)

I will write about my exams, the NXP visit and the LoL tournament in my next blog. I hope the wait will be shorter than for this blog:(

See you next time:)

Blog 7: Getting back my life and start of Q3

Hi y’all,

the last 3 weeks have been the hardest ones of this year. Most of it, I have been finishing up on the project (two times extended deadline) while at the same time following lectures.

Let me first get Digital IC Design over with. If I think back to it, I’m still amazed we managed to finish it. Two weeks ago, in the final week before the deadline, we still had quite some stuff to do. Combining all the pieces didn’t take so much time, but sizing all the transistors, to get exact timing results took a lot more time than anticipated. Needless to say, we were happy with the week extension that was announced one(!) day before the initial deadline. At this point, all we had for the report was an introduction, so yeah. Anyway, after this joyful news, we took it a bit more relaxed for two days before going back to hardcore IC design. We oversaw many small things, which resulted in us (mainly my colleague though) having to size the transistors over and over again, which might not be hard, but it takes a lot of time and is so tedious. Moreover, we didn’t know that each component needed a pin for Vdd and Ground, so I spent a lot of time altering all the components of our system. At this point we are already in the last week, and it’s quite clear to us that there will be no time for the layout. Up untill the day before the deadline, we are trying to get our TDC to work with the provided testbench; this was (un)surprisingly harder than expected. We finally got it to work, and were planning to spend the last day on simulations and the report. And then: another extension untill the Monday. At this point, we just wanted it to be finished, we already put so much time on this project:( When we left Friday (later than 8 pm!) something still didn’t work completely. My colleague fixed it over the weekend, and Monday we ran simulations and wrote the report. On Tuesday, we showed the working of our design to the TAs, who told us that not many groups showed their designs up untill then. The TAs were pretty lenient and they saw our 5 ps resolution (yay:D).

Eventhough we have spent so much time on the project, and that we had countless of days where we stayed till 8 pm, I do not regret taking this course. I have learned a lot, and at times the project was actually fun:) I do think that the project was a bit too complicated, and that not everything was communicated clearly (Vdd pins anyone:P?). I also think that, because we were still working on this project 3 weeks into Q3, the project messes with the courses of Q3, which is not preferable. Next Monday and Tuesday there will be symposiums in which every group will present their TDC design. My presentation will be Tuesday, however I need to be there Monday as well. I’ll let you know how it went:)

Three weeks have already passed of quarter 3:O This quarter, I have decided to follow Computer Arithmetic (Track course), VLSI Test Technology and Reliability and Network Security (Specialization courses). I actually wanted to take Operating Systems as homologation (bachelor) course, but the exam conflicted with my compulsory common core course System Engineering. Jup, 4 courses again this quarter:P

System Engineering is about multi-discplinary design of systems. It is about high-level design and integration of blocks, of which you don’t necessarily need to know the complete functioning. I have two lectures (both starting 8:45:(); on Thursday a guest lecture is given that shows the place of System Engineering in the industry and on Friday a theory lecture is given in which the steps in System Engineering will be explained. This will be needed for next quarter; then we will work in groups of 11 students from different programs. In this project, we will have to design a system following some steps of System Engineering. Frankly, I don’t like the Thursday lectures, and I’m not thrilled for the project; the Friday lectures are okay. At the end of this quarter I will have an exam based on (mostly) the Friday lectures.

VLSI TT&R is about the testing of a chip. Did you know that functional testing of an 129 input and 65 output adder takes 2.15 x 10^22 years (source: Prof. S. Hamdioui)? Well, neither did I;) This course is all about making chips testable; how can chips be tested in a fast way, without costing too much while catching all the bad chips? Besides the theory, links are made with the industry. It’s a really interesting course, and so far I’m glad I took it. Prof. Hamdioui is very enthusiastic too, which helps a lot in liking the course:P There is no written exam for this course. There are three labs (groups of three), which consists of first applying the theory to test circuits and secondly of applying the theory on test circuits in software. At the end of this quarter there will be an oral exam, in which three students will have to design a test for a given circuit.

Network Security is quite an interesting course as well. The professor will, over the course of this quarter, go over all layers of the OSI model (including things as Wifi and tapping ethernet cables) and will show us why all consisting protocols are unsafe. He also requested us to send him encrypted (pgp) emails:P So far, the course has been quite intensive, but as I said quite interesting as well. There will be no written exam for this course. During the quarter, exercise sheets will be given that will account for 35% of the grade. Besides that, an essay (or a software/hardware project) has to written. The topic I have gotten is methods of Threat Analysis (such as Attack Trees, see below). I have started already, and almost finished the first (Attack Trees) out of three methods.

Famous Attack Tree example of Schneier. The top node is the goal of the attacker; the nodes below that are actions to achieve the goal. Source:

There is not much to say about Computer Arithmetic yet honestly. Until now it has just been following lectures and practicing with a homework assignment. These assignments are optional and will be explained in class. There will be practice take-home exam, which will be graded. After that, in the exam week there is a written exam which will be similar to the take-home exam. So far, the course has been quite intensive.

Such a long blog haha. I guess that’s it for now (felt good to rant about IC design:P). Oh one more thing; yesterday I had a shadow day. This means that a student joined me for my classes. That was my first time; think it went well:) If you think CE is something for you, but you are not sure, feel free to sign-up for a shadow day:)

Well, that’s it! Till next blog:)

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