Author Archives: willmanidis

About willmanidis

I am a Senior at Westtown School, former automation engineer at Rieker Aerospace, Gilbert Memorial Information Technology Award Winner, and Founder at TrackYourDisease

On false starts and long hours-Will

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I hope you aren’t counting on another computer science blog this week; because this won’t be one. I’m here to talk about totally unrelated things and AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire. I promise you, at least I hope, it will makes sense.

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Playing Tetris with Cyborgs and Other Assorted Problems in Neural Network Development

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I have spent a large part of the last few months haunting the same couple restaurants in blind meeting after blind meeting.  It’s part of playing the game– shaking hands and networking occasionally plays off. I often find myself explaining what I do for TrackYourDisease, and after months of hushed explanations over the same Baja tacos, I have given up on any truly satisfactory answer besides:

“I make computers think for me” 

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Exploring P vs. NP with Julia Child, and How to Win a Million Dollars

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I am a horrendous cook- despite classes, Anthony Bourdain’s entire body of work, and repeated attempts at cooking family dinner, I am still banned from cooking at home. However, if Julia Child taught me anything, it’s that following a recipe can get you an (almost) edible meal. In Computer Science we talk about algorithms as our recipe cards, sets of instructions (often equations) that take a bunch of ingredients and give us our meal.

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Soft Skills, Mild Diversions and finding inspiration | Will

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“It’s good work”

Over the past few years I’ve worked on many different products and projects; from the glass blowing machine that is hopefully still working away at some secret US facility, to an alarm clock I finished coding last weekend, to any number of robotics parts and mechanical installations. Whenever asked what these are like, my response has always been simple;  “It’s good work”.

I do not pretend to know for a second what good work is, or that the things that I have built have influenced the world in any significant way, however to me, anything new is good work.  Continue reading

Why Design is Hard (and why Iterative Design isn’t)

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Design is easy. Just reduce the clutter, use lighter weights of Helvetica Neue, and use some new modern gradients and suddenly you are the next Jony Ive, right? This week will be a lesson in admitting you know nothing, and ways around it.  Along the way, I hope you learn a little about design for disability and why it is so tremendously exciting.

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Why Stories Matter | Will Manidis

There were a lot of things we couldn’t do with our hundred pound hunk of aluminum, bolts, and old scrapped car motors; however losing didn’t seem to be one of them. They say you can’t ‘fake it ’til you make it’; however after making it to the World Championships of FRC Robotics with a dysfunctional heap of poor planning and design, I began to wonder if you really could. Our robot lurched across the field as if it was on its death bed every match, looked vaguely like a pile of scrap and had an affinity for unintentional right turns. However no matter how bad we thought we were, here we were at the World Championships; and that meant hours onto hours of individual match planning and strategy.

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Week 12: This was CS50 – Will

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Not with a bang but a whimper. CS50 is now over, and I am thankful I was there for it’s final moments. Chance led me to being in Boston the date’s of the final lecture, and with a short Uber ride twelve miles north, I found myself in the halls of Sander’s Theater.


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Week 8: Nearing the Finish Line – Will

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Welcome to Week Eight. This will be CS50s last week as a traditional course, this Friday I will turn in my last problem set and my assigned coursework will be over. What will follow is four weeks of free time in which I will have to complete my final project. Instead of walking through the last legs of C$50 Finance, which tedium reached nearly funny levels, I figure our time will be better spent looking ahead at the final project.


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