Introducing: nucleo

Don’t you love getting exciting packages in the mail that are full of electronic cool stuff?

I know I do.

Today, thanks to Arrow’s free overnight shipping (with a purchase of $20 or more), I received my STM32F042K Nucleo. Check out this cutie:

Isn’t he adorable?


My mentor, fouric, introduced me to the nucleo a while ago, but I haven’t been able to buy one until now (yay for no money!).

I found a few projects by a cool dude named fduignan on GitHub, who played around with doing some cool LED programming that’s similar to a project I’m wanting to start soon. What better way to learn a device, a new programming language, and how to build things than to play with cute microcontrollers?

I’ve teamed up with one of my friends, he helped me co-captain our improv team, and we’re going attempt building a laminar jumping water fountain. They look something like this. We eventually want to include RGB LEDs into it, so it’ll change colors, and then get those colors to change based on music that’s playing. It’ll be a challenge for sure, but we’re going to learn lots, and that’s the fun of it. I’m hoping to get the LEDs to work with the nucleo, if not, I’ll use my raspberry pi.

When we start the process, I’ll update here with pictures and the process. Hopefully I’ll get my breadboard and RGB LEDs from Sparkfun soon so I can start playing with the code.

Until next time!


Spaced Repetition Learning Systems

lá maith, good day!

Spaced Repetition Systems…what are those? SRS for short, Spaced Repetition Systems are tools to help you memorize anything you wish to have embedded in your brain for a good long while. Be it the nouns and verbs of a new language, definitions of terms from a class you are taking, mathematical equations, or the periodic table of elements, this is a great way to get started memorizing all those details.

When taking a new class and learning all of this new material, you take notes and mentally exclaim, “I am totally going to remember all this!”
Yet, three days later, you’ve forgotten most of that new knowledge (if you haven’t made an effort to retain it). While people say there’s a big learning curve to new subjects, there’s also a large forgetting curve that happens 24-36 hours after you have been presented with new information.

Spaced Repetition Systems take the efficiency of memorizing via flashcards and spread the memorization out effectively over shortened periods of time, allowing the information to seep into your brain at a non-overwhelming speed and increase the rate of retention.

I use the Leitner System, a simple implementation of the SRS concept. I wanted to get down and dirty with the project, so I built my own system out of cardboard and decked it out with washi tape when I finished, to make it look happy.


Not too shabby, eh?

It’s pretty shabby.

In case you don’t like the idea of making your own Leitner system, there is an online version by the name of Anki that works just as well.

As you can see, I marked each compartment with a “c1, c2, c3, …cN”, giving me seven mini-boxes. In a Spaced Repetition System, you start out with all your flash cards in the first compartment. Those cards you review every day. When you get a definition or concept right, you’re allowed to move that flashcard to the next compartment, where you review those card every three days. If and when you get them right again, you move those cards to the next section, where you review them every five days. If you get a concept or definition wrong, though, you have to move the card back to the previous compartment.
When you finally get to the end of the compartments and have reviewed those cards at least 5 times, they can be put into the retired deck to be reviewed once a month.

Here’s a visual:


I initially began using the Leitner System for simple definitions and words with a one sentence answer. As I began to realize its efficiency, I added more complicated subjects onto my flashcards; concepts that required me to explain them out loud like I was teaching this new idea to a five year old. This extended my ability not only to remember the concepts, but pushed me to create new ways to explain and understand what information I was conveying.

I have successfully memorized over 400 definitions, concepts, and programming instructions with the Leitner System. It only takes me, at most, five to ten minutes a day to complete. This is extremely useful when you’re venturing into a new and daunting field that requires you to remember hundreds of definitions on the spot, such as biology or engineering. The Leitner System and SRSs are an incredible tool to help learn a new language, memorize some babe’s phone number, self-teach programming concepts or terms, remember dates for history finals, teach yourself guitar chords, there are no limits. Anything can be put into this, and, if you put in enough effort, you’ll have a bunch of neat things embedded in your mind for any situation you find yourself in.

Happy learning!

thallia’s tree; a branch of knowledge

céad míle fáilte,  a hundred thousand welcomes!

I am thallia, a young and aspiring engineer. Electrical engineering and computer engineering have been my focus for almost a year now, alongside programming, mathematics, science, and a little dabble of natural medicine.

Soon I will be shipped off to college to pursue my career in electrical engineering–with that I want to further the research and technology to aid in naturopathic and other natural medical care.

The reason I chose to start a blog is due partially from influence of my mentor. I am a part of a team called Under the Wire, a small group of individuals with a passion for learning and, hopefully someday, we want to reinvent technology.

One of the concepts provided to us by our mentor is called infinity learning. A bit dramatic, I know, that’s what makes it fun. The concept of infinity learning is, ideally, where you are able to train yourself to remember the majority of anything you ever learn. A tool helpful to accomplish this is a blog.

The blogging format gives you a place to, “review, clarify, and document your experiences and learnings” (fouric, 2017). As you learn concepts, run into problems, or discover new things, a skilled way of making sure you understand it completely and correctly is to teach it to someone else; in this case, write it out and explain it to others reading the blog. When you have a limited understanding of a concept, sharing it with someone else requires you to have a fuller knowledge of whatever you’re trying to teach them, therefore pushing you to understand a concept to its full potential.

Using a blog format also gives you a copy of what you know, a frame of reference for if you forget a concept or piece of knowledge in the future.

With that in mind, this blog is where I’ll be posting things that I learn, projects that I’m working on, or problems I run into in the process of learning. I hope some of these posts will teach you a thing or two, provide you with things to think on, or serve as entertainment in general.

If you ever have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me! There’s a form you can fill out in the menu, located in the top left corner of this blog. If you want to read more about who I am and how I got interested in these subjects, you can go here!

Thank you for stopping by!