4 Years Since Vocational Fair at UNAH-VS (2023-05-09)
I was motivated to engage in the vocational fair at UNAH-VS 2019 to undertake self-lead SWE and electronics projects to show the applications of mathematics as a personal challenge which I tell and depict in this article.
The vocational fair is usually performed once a year, where the community, like university stakeholders (students, academics, etc.), and other guests like high-school1 students, assist in exploring or presenting projects related to career offers.
The Vocational Fair has as its main purpose the orientation, advice, and socialization of the educational offer, as well as the academic services that the most important university in the country offers to aspiring graduates of secondary education, with the objective that future university students assume a successful choice of their career, taking into account their interests, aptitudes and vocational preferences.
Source: Feria Vocacional | UNAH  (under fair use, translated from Spanish to English)
Careers have the chance to show what potential new students can achieve or engage in regarding professional paths.
I set up a challenge for me alone to devise about 12 projects to show that day. In the end, I was able to undertake about half of them, and it was a total success.
All my projects (as usual) were completely original, and I could exploit many concepts behind them that motivated me to do all this.
Time and money were scarce, so I worked on what I could. At that moment, I was enrolled in Mathematical Programming I, Electrical Circuits2 for Systems Engineering, Administration I3, and Partial Differential Equations. I was also enrolled in Geometry I45 but canceled it.
I was also attending “Projoven” —an “English for Call Center” training at Altia Business Park—, which lasted 5 weeks until April, with 3 hours per day. It was an engaging activity where I learned about the call center industry and a few English insights 6.
Furthermore, I was attending to some events at UNITEC, located near the business and (Altara) mall area. Engaging in those activities during those months made me feel like an entrepreneur. Now, I have become one, or I can say I’ve always been an innovative entrepreneur.
I was also engaging in the new chapters of Dragon Ball Heroes that were appearing at that time 😆.
I worked with some projects or ideas I had already developed like Losnot in Paradise7 —a game with AI in Java that I developed the previous year for the “Programming II” course of the mathematics degree.
I developed new great ideas like PicRT Express8 —a UWP app that implements a bridge to call C++ from C# to use OpenCV for image processing on the high-level client app.
I also developed hardware challenges like an LED-based Pac-Man consisting of LEDs I arranged so it looks like a Pac-Man and one potentiometer to control with a 555 IC the speed at which they blink.
Regarding failed experiments, I’ve failed to build an FM Transmitter since high school. Issues like capacitance levels appear when working on protoboards, so I used to choose the PCB9 instead, but it never worked. Telecom is not an easy field 10.
Designing the circuits, ideas, and PCBs was a bit tougher as working with hardware is different from software.
For instance, I also implemented and explained the transistor as an amplifier and how to polarize efficiently.
So, for the hardware projects, I had to spend some money and go out to get them, which added another significant layer of complexity for me.
Another trouble I had was taking my personal desktop computer1112 and monitor13 to the university since I was personally looking forward to engaging without expecting any reward due to personal motivation, and that was the only option I had 14.
I developed PicRT Express in just 5 days, and I’d never worked with UWP before (and never will again 😂15), so it was easier for me than working with hardware.
It was an undertaking where I took care of everything because I love harder challenges that make me grow.
I made the presentations and diagrams printed on the bottom facade to explain the systems. I still have them on my open-source projects like Gencesk 2D 16 and PicRT Express.
I also had several software projects deployed into my computer to show, like source code and ambient music for the pulsing LED board that blinks in sync with the music.
That was a brief story of my challenges back in the day, and I will certainly keep working on important projects as promised to someone special 17.
AI for Games, Computer Vision, and SWE
As said, I had developed Losnot in Paradise a year before, where I leveraged the learning experience I had in a self-taught programming course where I chose to use Artificial Intelligence and Games to learn theory about AI for games.
Since then, I’ve been pretty enthusiastic about genetic algorithms as they attempt to resemble a (naive) version of natural evolution .
Regarding computer vision, as mentioned, I had to develop PicRT Express in about five days and had to learn new technologies during that time. Specifically, I was focused on implementing efficient native memory usage within a high-level UWP app18. So I could show how to apply mathematics to image transformations!
I even made the app responsive19, as I always strive for excellence in my work. That is, if I’m willing to do something, I always do it right. I don’t accept mediocrity in my standard.
These open-source projects, along with others, played a crucial role in advancing my career in machine learning. Particularly during my job at Truora later in 2022, I had the opportunity to work with deep learning models for fraud detection on ID documents. I already had a solid base and experience with many concepts, and then I just continued scaling that experience in the deep learning field.
That is, my endeavors always pay off the effort 🤗!
These were the insights I had for AI, computer vision, and software engineering with applied mathematics.
I showed some informal diagrams to depict what I did .
These are the hardware projects I talked before.
Look at the Projects
I took my projects out after 4 years, and here they are.
As you can see in the image, I designed the Pac-Man lights with simple materials and squared notebook paper.
Here’s the circuit of the LEDs that blink at the rhythm of the music in the protoboard.
Pulsing LEDs : Testing
This is the report:
Pac-Man Blinking LEDs
This is the circuit I designed, which resembles a Pac-Man and blinks at a given speed.
The next image dates when I was soldering and testing the components of the circuit:
The circuit still worked great when I powered it, and recorded a video of it:
Pac-Man Blinking LEDs | YouTube
This is the failed radio FM transmitter:
Vocational Fair Day
So, the day of the event took place 😎:
Vocational Fair UNAH vs 2019
 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (UNAH). (2022). Feria Vocacional. Retrieved May 9, 2023, from Feria Vocacional | UNAH
 Briones, TB. (2021). GitHub - tobiasbriones/losnot-in-paradise. GitHub. Retrieved May 9, 2023, from Losnot in Paradise | tobiasbriones | GitHub
 Briones, TB. (2019). GitHub - tobiasbriones/picrt-express-windows. GitHub. Retrieved May 9, 2023, from PicRT Express Windows | tobiasbriones | GitHub
 Briones, TB. (2020). GitHub - tobiasbriones/gencesk-2d at prototype-2018. GitHub. Retrieved May 9, 2023, from Gencesk 2D | Prototype 2018 | Tobias Briones | GitHub
 Yannakakis, G. N., & Togelius, J. (2018). Artificial Intelligence and Games. Springer.
High-school students are those who will soon reach higher education, like college or university ↩
I presented one of my projects to this course’s final project. The professor was one of the worst I had. He rarely appeared, had major issues with the class, and told me the project he wanted was something super simple, but I presented something way greater than his expectations 🤷🏻♂️, so he doesn’t even like great student jobs but fool ones ↩
This course from systems engineering referred to business admin ↩
The class was taught by an archaic professor who preferred teaching Euclidean geometry instead of the originally designated differential geometry. His mentality was always based on the idiotic assumption that studying math meant pursuing a teaching career because Euclidean is the geometry taught here to first-year students, so you have to learn it. Moreover, I hated Euclidean geometry, as it resembles more of a civil engineering drawing class that heavily relies on visuals to construct “proofs.” On the other hand, I’m into calculus or differential geometry, which offer a more abstract and conceptually pure approach to math ↩
This is like using Photoshop with the mouse to draw shapes, while I can get it with a Canvas DSL using actual source code. Another take, as an amateur pilot simulation player, is that I avoid “the visuals” in the pro of the actual aircraft instruments. That is, I always choose abstractions (the fear of many) ↩
Additionally, I used to enjoy food at the mall. Despite not having substantial savings, I never viewed money as a significant factor in happiness. Even to this day, I possess the ability to find contentment without requiring a large amount of money. ↩
A video game in which our friend LOS is lost in a weird jungle of a weird exoplanet and while you help him to face all kinds of obstacles I am responsible for providing an AI algorithm to tell LOS how to play and get out of there in his spacecraft! ↩
UWP app for educational purposes in Software Engineering and Applied Mathematics which edits and applies transformations to pictures. Two objectives are targeted: 1) The use of native code to perform large demanding operations, 2) The application of applied math into image processing ↩
I learned basis to design PCBs and electronic circuits at high-school where I studied (industrial) electronics ↩
Take into account that it might be illegal, even for educational purposes, to run these transmitters if their signal gets too far away or collides with legal frequencies or channels, which adds another layer of complexity to telecommunications engineering ↩
I’ve only had a desktop computer because I invested my savings in this PC since I was always pretty clever and knew a desktop PC is more powerful and cheaper than a laptop (what everyone has), and I was right. Now I’ve gotten internships or jobs at startups, I’m founding mathsoftware.engineer and MathSwe and still use this PC, on the other hand, I can buy a better workstation, but I haven’t done it because I’m careful with relevant design decisions with heavy investment ↩
Fun Fact 🐯: I’m still using the Optiplex 790 for writing this article ↩
The HP monitor got partially damaged about one and a half years ago, and I still use it as a second monitor, so same as the PC, I don’t get 3 5K 27” monitors because these decisions are not easy at all, even after growing a lot over the years: the good decisions I take always make me successful ↩
Unfortunately, it’s really hard to get support in a third-world country where people only want their egocentric affairs like getting their homework done for free, merely getting an approving grade on a course, mere service work credits with no added value, or getting rid of students like a bureaucracy-heavy school factory, but despite the difficulties, I always kept taking better decisions which were completely worth it: I’m here telling the story ↩
I really was a fan of UWP, and I loved it, but now it’s a completely different story, as the project was just another Micro$oft charade ↩
Gencesk 2D was a prototype game framework I used to build Losnot in Paradise. I learned to build game logic when I was tackling Android dev and Canvas in ~2014. I invented the name “Gencesk” out of “JDesk” ↩
I always meet persons who strongly believe in me ↩
I always tried to learn new tools and paradigms to have a solid experience on SWE, that’s why I usually learn weird tech like UWP, Swing, etc., to understand the underlying concepts ↩
Understanding the concepts makes you a great software engineer, so as you can see, I’m able to interoperate over diverse systems I’ve even never worked before with ↩