Recent Posts

CMSC132, or Object-Oriented Programming II, is one of the most fundamental courses for a computer science student here at Maryland. This essential course continues with more advanced Java constructs like abstract classes, enums, and inner classes, but also addresses canonical topics like asymptotic complexity, recursion, graphs, and threads. The course’s instructors have noted that the course “covers a ton of material”, but you don’t have to stress because, aside from a few OOP concepts in the first few weeks of classes, nothing is gone into with overwhelming depth.

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Coding up a recursive solution to a problem you’ve never seen before might seem tricky, but there’s a step-by-step process you can follow to figure out exactly when and how to code recursive solutions. First, when? You can use recursion in any problem where the answer can be obtained in an easy way, assuming you know the answer to a simpler problem. For example, if you want to calculate the weight of the 50th floor of the empire state building, and you know that each floor is half as heavy as the one below it, then you could use recursion to calculate the 50th floor based on the 49th floor (which is based on the 48th … and so on), until you reach the base floor– whose weight you would need to know.

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A new site
6 November 2016

Migrated my blog and one post over from my old WordPress blog. New semester, new beginnings.

This post is assuming that you already have a basic grasp of what algorithms are, and you are proficient in the Java programming language. What is USACO? What is USACO, and why should you use it to start to learn how to program competitively? The USACO (United States of America Computing Olympiad) is a programming competition for high schoolers in the United States. The top scorers in the USACO US Open Competition are selected to be part of the National U.

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Recent Publications

  • Lisheng Dai, Kevin Chen, Brenda Youngren, Julia Kulina, Acong Yang, Zhengyu Guo, Jin Li, Peng Yu, and Shuo Gu. “Cytoplasmic Drosha activity generated by alternative splicing,” Nucleic Acids Research (2016). doi:10.1093/nar/gkw668 Abstract  pdf
  • Kevin Chen, Peter Arbaugh. “Evaluation of Refugee Migration using Gravitational Models,” unpublished. Abstract


I’m Kevin Chen, and I am a third year student in the CS department at the University of Maryland. ¶ My primary interests lie in systems and machine learning.


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