Caltech Rankmaniac 2012

We are trying to educate people about being CS majors and getting our site to the top of a Rankmaniac 2012 google image search

Last day for Rankmaniac!!!

Hey guys,

Unlike my Senior associate, who only has golf today, I have a huge amount of work.  Fortunately, we are winning Rankmaniac 2012 on Google search.  That’s pretty good I think.  It probably won’t last, but we have some plans for maintaining our dominance.

We are the big lion:

Rankmaniac 2012 dominance

Rankmaniac 2012 Dominance

Anyway, the next to weeks are going to be awful.  We need to get CS projects in order for next quarter, I need to finish my PS 139 project (a study on election fraud) and I need to finish my CS 141 work.  OMG I have CS 144 due at the end of the week – blech… At least I don’t have any midterms…  I will power through like a true Rankmaniac.


Last Day for Rankmaniacs

Rankmanic 2012

This is how a rank maniac thinks

Happy Valentine’s Day, Rankmaniacs!

The rankmaniac 2012 competition ends tomorrow so we are in the final stretch!  Since my only class today is Golf, I decided to share with you some of the other awesome classes that Caltech students take while dwindling away their senior years.  This term I only needed two CS classes and a humanities of social science class.

Since this class (the one with the Rankmaniac competition), Algorithms, and Creative Writing only add up to 27 units and I need 36 to be a full time student for swimming, I added three 3 unit courses as filler.  First of all swimming – chill.  I would be on the team even if I wasn’t official signed up for the class.  Second is golf.  This class is awesome.  Twice a week I stand out in the sun and hit balls and talk with people.  Also we get to go putting and actually play golf at some point.  Finally I am in an art class – Drawing and Painting.  Every week the teacher brings this rankmaniac and a friend hot chocolate.  Then we look at picture books until we are inspired to paint whatever we want.  Halfway through class we give up and draw a model.  Not surprisingly, every time I go to this class, I forget about the Rankmaniac competition, homework, and the job search.  It is the most stress relieving class I  have ever been in.

And to make the picture somewhat relevant, yesterday it was raining and I skipped classes until it stopped. 😀

How Google Ranks Images

rankmaniac 2012

fun google logo for rankmaniacs

Hello again Rankmaniacs!

Here are some of the basic search engine optimization techniques for a rankmaniac to get ranked on Google images.

  1. Title and alt attributes.  These are meant to describe the image when it is scrolled over or doesn’t show up, so Google uses these tags as a way to identify the image.  So, in your html code write <img src=”image.png” title=”rankmaniac 2012″ alt=”rankmaniac 2012′.  (Scroll over the nice google picture and see what you get ;))
  2. Filename.  This wouldn’t seem to be important at first glance, but apparently use of the keyword in the filename is just an extra bonus.  So take the extra second to change IMG239_9024.png to rankmaniac_2012.png for the extra place in the rankings.
  3. Text around the image.  Captions and nearby text are another good indicator of what is in an image, so make sure the picture is near its description and use “rankmaniac 2012” around it often.
  4. Increased PageRank.  Optimize the entire webpage around the keyword – not just the images.  This includes having quality inlinks, relevant and original content, and constant updates.

These are just a few of the basics we have employed in the competition.  I hope they help you understand what we’re doing here 🙂

Important questions to ask before accepting

Hola Rankmaniacs,

Here are some important questions you should ask before accepting any job offers.

  1. Can I talk with a member of the team I am joining?  You probably already did this, but if you didn’t, make sure you ask this question – it sucks to be on a team you don’t care about
  2. What management opportunities or raise opportunities are there?  This is important if you are a real go-getter.
  3. What is the bonus structure like?  A big salary is nice, but getting a huge bonus every year is just gravy.
  4. If you are relocating, make sure you ask about the city.  A nice job is good, but living in a place with bad schools (if you have kids) and nothing to do is not worth it.
  5. What is the office culture like?  If you’ve never spent time in the office, make sure you get a feel for it before accepting.  It’s nice to have friends.

There are many more, but that should be good for now 😛

Dice Question

rankmaniac 2012

Simple puzzle for rankmaniacs 🙂

This question is pretty simple, but I was asked it nonetheless at an interview.  You have two blank dice and you want to be able to display every day of the month using these two dice.  How would you put numbers on the dice so that some configuration of the dice show every day of the month from 01 to 31?

Ready for another Rankmaniac 2012 Update?

rankmaniac 2012
Our Caltech Rankmaniac 2012 blog comes up 4th on google web search!

Hello loyal readers of our blog! Here’s an update on our class competition: Rankmaniac Reloaded.    We are doing very well in the image search (check the google site under the “rankmaniac 2012” page above to see exactly how well) and are also doing pretty well in the web search, as you can see above.  Not that the web search really matters for us Rankmaniacs this year.

So, what’s gotten us this far?  Lot of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques – constant updates of our webpages, link farming, title and alt tags for the images, and PageRank.  Funny how all of these things came together to give us the final boost we needed.

While this page has of course comes up when “rankmaniac 2012” is queried, we’ve even gotten a few hits for keywords “caltech”, “shortest unique substring”, and “Facebook weaknesses 2012”.  It’s pretty nice that we are being found for reasons other than our own 🙂

One problem we (and everyone in the class) are having is getting on Bing image search though.  We are indexed by and do appear on Bing web search, but we still aren’t sure how they rank images.  At this point in the competition, just getting onto Bing is equivalent to winning the Bing competition.  So, we’ll see what we can do in the next couple of days.

There are only a few days left in the competition, so this may be the last update before the final checking of ranks.  Come back later for more interview questions and CS advice!

Why Computer Science is the best major

CS is definitely the best major for these reasons:

  1. Highest starting salary – CS majors regularly get paid anywhere between $75,000 – $90,000 right out of college (Facebook pays as much as $110,000 plus bonuses and options).
  2. Workplace is super chill – CS companies often have free beer, meals and no dress code.  Trust me – it’s freaking awesome (unless you don’t like beer).
  3. The tech industry is booming – You will be able to find a job a lot easier than your friends.
  4. It can be pretty low stress – Compared to other jobs, software engineering positions have been continuously rated for their low stress levels.
  5. Give you a chance to be creative – You will be working on big projects – most companies give a lot of leeway to their developers.
  6. You can change the world – A lot of CS positions involve working on really big/important projects.  On top of that, with your skill set you have the ability to create the next Facebook or Google.
  7. Chicks dig CS majors – Chicks are attracted by our naturally white skin and fat wallets.  Beware of the CS effect on women.

Computer Nerd Rankmaniac 2012

Surprise Phone Interview!

Rankmaniac 2012 phone

How should a Rankmaniac handle a surprise interview?

Today I had a phone interview scheduled for this afternoon.  I woke up and went to the gym early to relax.  Planned on doing some background research (and finish off my problem set) during the day and be ready to talk talk talk later.

Instead I got back from the gym and as soon as I walked through the door my phone was ringing.  Fortunately I’m a rankmaniac and handled it pretty well (there was just some miscommunications about the time…)

Now I don’t have to spend the rest of my day worrying about it and can instead finish off my problem set (by the actual due date) and even start preparing the Rankmaniac Reloaded report for our group.  I guess I’m glad I got it out of the way earlier.

What we learned in CS144…

CS144 The Ideas Behind the Webrankmaniac 2012

What Rankmaniacs learn in School

We had a game theory class one day – apparently this will help us be better CS majors (and Rankmaniacs?).

What computer engineers should study…

Hi guys,

I just want to talk about what I think a true Rankmaniac should study to become a hireable/desirable computer engineer.

  1. Databases – This is super important.  Everything runs on databases.  Both webpages and stand alone applications use them and pretty much everyone who writes code will have to interact with them.  The only exception I can think of is people who work on video games, but even then there is a good chance you will work with them especially if your game has an online component.
  2. Web development/Networking – Besides video games, most new, blockbuster applications are on the web.  It is important to learn some web programming even if you don’t intend to work on web applications.  That way you can make your personal website and market yourself 😉
  3. Probability and Statistics – You’d be shocked how often this appears, especially if you are doing analytics.  I personally feel that a good knowledge of statistics separates an excellent engineer from a so-so one.
  4. Systems – A lot of systems concepts, like memory models, multithreading and caching appear everywhere.  Learning this will definitely make you a more versatile engineer.
  5. Machine Learning – Some may disagree with the importance of machine learning.  However, it appears everywhere these days.  Targeting ads, identifying fake accounts in Google or Facebook and recommendation systems all use machine learning.

I hope that you guys find this helpful.