Over the course of Winter Break I came to the realization that I did not have a concretely established goal in terms of my Undergraduate Research. Although I was given the task to perform various forms of automated code testing utilizing .Net's Pex, it was difficult to comprehend the expectation and overall purpose of such an exercise, considering my low level of programming knowledge. I've determined that I'd like my goal during my Undergraduate Research to be the pursuance of a primary interest of mine, which is Game Design and Game Programming.
Without a great knowledge of programming, my goals in relation to Game Design, or most things Computer Science related, are practically irrelevant, and as such I plan to greatly expand my knowledge in the programming languages of Java and C#. I've been studying C#, and can also utilize the tutelage of experienced C# programmer Charles, who also has similar interests in Game Design, to help my knowledge on the subject. Java is a language which has similar structure to C# and differs slightly in terms of convention and functionality, and it also coincides with my current academic pursuits. Due to their great similarities, learning these languages simultaneously will (if I can bypass the confusion caused by their likeness) provide me with skills of two of today's most commonly used Programming languages, from where I can begin more extensive research in this department.
As such, I will be spending a majority of my free time during the second semester of my freshman year practicing Java and C# programming, primarily through the aid of Rob Miles' C# Yellow Book and Stuart Reges' Building Java Programs. For all programs I perform, I intend on coding them in both Java and C# to ensure I understand the differences between them.
I believe that focusing on strenuously building my programming skills will allow me to be capable of properly utilizing Pex and starting my more detailed research in Game Design and Game Programming by the beginning of Sophomore year.