(Co-written by Angello Parrolivelli, Joon Lee, and Kevin Moreland)

In machine learning, a neural network is used to learn about a data set to find otherwise hidden patterns and correlations. It is inspired by human biology, and is composed of many units called neurons that are represented mathematically like this:

How to keep up your stoke without treating your heath like a joke

Next time you’re out surfing, check out the lineup. How many people are wearing ear plugs? Surf hats? Sunglasses? If your local break is anything like mine, probably not many. But why not? Surfers are at a high risk for eye, ear, and skin health complications. These complications are preventable, and with the products I discuss below you will be better prepared to protect your health and maintain your surfing lifestyle!

(None of the below are paid advertisements)

Protecting the ears

A recent study conducted in Australia found that 70%…

An overview of one of the earliest and most impactful programming languages

When you think of old programming languages, which first come to mind? Personally, I first think of FORTAN, BASIC, and COBOL. However, much to my surprise, Fortran (previously named FORTRAN), is still in use today and is actively updated (the most recent release was in 2018). In fact, Fortran today is used commonly for efficient computing in science and engineering contexts.


Fortran was developed in 1953 by scientists led by John Backus working at IBM. Before its development, programming was done in much lower level machine code. This…

An explanation of BCNF and a walk-through of its decomposition

Normalizing a database table is important in order to remove redundancies, avoid update, insert, and delete anomalies, and preserve functional dependencies. This ensures that your database structure is simple and easy to manage without unexpected, harmful errors occurring.

BCNF Rules

When we decompose a relation into BCNF, each functional dependency F->A (read as “F determines A”) must exist so that:

F is a super key (it determines the value of all the attributes in one of the relations obtained from decomposition. For example, if EmloyeeID->EmloyeeName,Department, then EmloyeeID is a super key in…

How I did it, and how you can too

Whether you’ve been binging the posts on the Cal Poly parent’s Facebook page or hearing horror stories from 5th and 6th year super seniors on how ‘impossible’ it is to get classes at Cal Poly SLO, you’ve come to the right place. As a graduating fourth year majoring in computer science, I’ve dealt with all the headaches of registration and wait lists. …

What are Turing machines, and why are they so important?

Imagine it is the year 1936. “Pennies from Heaven” by Bing Crosby is the biggest hit of the year and prohibition ended just three years ago in the United States. It will be another 40 years until the Apple I (Apple’s first computer) is produced. In this pre-digital time before Amazon has figured out same-day delivery, Alan Turing has presented his idea of the “Turing machine,” and the wheels have been set in motion for our modern computerized world.

If you are new to theory of computation concepts and want…

How RSA works and how you can make your own basic implementation

What is RSA?

RSA is a commonly used public-key cryptosystem, which means that when two users want to exchange a message using RSA, they do encryption with the opposite party’s public key, and decryption with their own private key (in a bit I’ll cover how these keys are calculated, and how to do this in Python). …

Kevin Moreland

I am a fourth year computer science major at Cal Poly SLO, and I'm excited to learn new things and share my process with others!

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