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Community Q&A – Daniel Turizo

Posted by John Kelly,

Daniel Turizo was one of the first people to complete the Easy and Hard problem sets in the Cody 5 Year Challenge. Daniel is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering at the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia. Please enjoy this virtual interview with Daniel Turizo

Thanks for agreeing to this interview.  How did you hear about the Cody 5 Year Anniversary Challenge?

I received an email from MathWorks about the Cody Challenge and said ”why not? It’s been some time now since I last entered [Cody].”

How much time?

It had been a bit more than two years since I last used Cody. I do not remember exactly how I first heard about Cody, but when I did, I registered immediately and started solving problems. After some time I had to stop using Cody because I became more focused on my electrical engineering studies.

You were one of the first people to complete the Easy and Hard Problem sets in the Cody Challenge.  What did you think of the Cody Challenge?

It was very fun! I think the difficulty of the problems were well designed. The first easy problems help to pump you up so when you crash into the really hard problems you don’t want to give up. I think the idea of making an easy and a hard group is also very good. This way people of all levels of programming skills can participate without feeling overwhelmed by the difficulty of the problems.

Did you recommend the Cody 5 Year Anniversary Challenge to other MATLAB users?

I mentioned it to a couple of students at my university, but they did not look interested at all. The electrical engineering program at my university requires the students to use MATLAB in various courses. However, very few students become really interested and want to go beyond what they have to do in their courses, me being one of those exceptions.

Did you tell anyone that you completed the Hard Problem Set?

I did tell my girlfriend. I had to tell someone you know.

Did you find the Hard Challenge to be difficult?

I remember there were five problems that took me a long time to solve: Birthday cake, Pandigital Multiples of 11, Five-dimensional maze, Five steps to enlightenment, and The sliding puzzle: 3D. Five steps to enlightenment and The sliding puzzle: 3D were especially hard and took me several days. In total, it took me a whole week of all-nighters to solve the Hard group, so in my opinion it really was hard!

There are a couple weeks left in the Cody 5 Year Challenge, what would you say to someone to try to get them to attempt the Easy Problem Set before the contest ends?

Do you like programming? Do you like challenges? This one’s for you. There’s no such thrill as the one you feel when you get that overpowered dumb of a PC to do exactly what you wish, and all programmers out there know what I’m talking about. The Cody Challenge is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a good round of programming. The Easy Problems give you the opportunity to know about the exciting and wonderful world of competitive programming, even if you are not an experimented programmer, you must give it a shot.  You will also have an opportunity to win some prizes :)

Are there any features you would like to see in Cody in the future?

I would really like if Cody would notify you if one of your solved problems had been rejected because of an updated test suite. That happened to me with one of the Cody Hard Problems. I obtained the Hard Badge on October 21, but lost it because one of the problems’ test suites was updated and ended up rejecting one of my solutions. I didn’t notice until October 31.

When you are not participating on Cody, how do you spend your time?

I spend most of my time studying and working on my thesis for my masters. Not the most interesting life if you ask me, but this routine will change soon as I am about to finish my studies.

What are you currently studying at Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla Colombia?

My field of study is power system stability and control. I am really fond of mathematics and programming, and I have participated in maths and programming contests here in Colombia during my undergraduate studies.

What are you hoping to do for work after you receive your Master’s Degree?

It would be great if I could keep working as an instructor at Universidad del Norte. I love teaching; maybe because my parents are both teachers.  It would also be a good opportunity to spur the programming vein of the students. Aside from teaching, anything that involves programming.

Do you also have a job on the side?

I work at Universidad del Norte as an instructor in different electrical engineering courses.  It’s a great way of alleviating the economic burden of the tuition fees.

When did you first get exposed to MATLAB and Simulink?

I was as an undergraduate student, in a course called “Computational solutions for engineering problems”. The course was basically about numerical methods and we did all the implementation of the methods in MATLAB.

Tell me about something interesting you have done with MATLAB?

I developed an interactive Smith Chart titled “Smith Chart with Real Time Data“, which can be found on File Exchange.

Another interesting application I have developed is an interactive calculator of symmetrical components, using the Fortescue Theorem. A demonstration can be seen here:

Finally, I recently developed a real-time simulator of a generating unit. The application shows voltage and frequency with real-time perturbations using a statistical model. The refresh rate and magnitude of the perturbations can be adjusted. A demonstration can be seen here:

What are your favorite non-software non-mathematical things to do?

I really love to play and watch tennis (I am a fan of Roger Federer). I also like to read and watch series. And of course I like to go out with my girlfriend and my friends.

Have you watched any good shows lately?  Do you have any recommendations? 

Recently I’ve been watching Bones. I’ve liked it for a long time and now that it’s finished I can watch it from beginning to end. However, if I have to recommend a newer show, that would definitely be Hannibal (the series).  It is a masterpiece on its own. It has drama, suspense, horror, and of course gore.  Each one of them in adequate proportions. The show is artistic in its own way and the acting is just superb. Mads Mikkelsen’s interpretation of Hannibal is exquisite, completely on point. The show exudes quality in every sense: visuals, acting, and writing.  Be warned that the series was cancelled after the third season. It is such a shame that such a top notch show did not get the attention it deserved. 

Thank you to Daniel for taking the time to participate in this Q&A Blog.

Also be sure to check out the Cody 5 Year Challenge which doesn’t end until New Year’s Day.

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