First semester in the books
For my last post of the year, I attached an academic poster that summarizes my final project for my Machine Learning class. It's a pretty technical run down of something related to my last post on compression and photobombing.
The paper explores a relatively new advance in matrix decomposition - namely using randomized methods. It's built on the SVD that we discussed last time with some enhancements, leading to significantly faster computation at a low cost of error. Feel free to read my actual paper here. It's also very much related to what these guys are trying to do.
So that's the end of 2015 and of my first semester in grad school. I leave you with some parting thoughts:
- Perspective and experience:
- I'm really happy that I worked for several years before going to grad school. I find myself appreciating the content more and approaching the whole learning process differently. It's clear to me what's important and what isn't. Much more efficient.
- Marks don't matter (ego aside):
- Other than a few career paths (Law, Medicine, PhD, MBA) marks don't matter. This is helpful to remember whenever exams start to pile on. Focus on learning (shocker!) rather than studying for test.
- Industry experience makes research relevant:
- Knowing real world problems, in real world settings, gives you an appreciation for how to apply abstract concepts (i.e. stuff you learn in the classroom) to the real world.
- Some aspects of academia are archaic:
- 50% exams? Very rarely in the real world do we encounter a situation in which everything rides on a 3 hour brain test. I propose more projects, weekly quizzes, collaborations, etc... rather than something which is heavily dependent on how much sleep you got that night and what specific topic you happened to be prepared for that day.
- Though there is something to be said for summarizing and applying all your knowledge all at once.
- Student schedules do not mirror the real world in any meaningful way:
- Not a shocker but I have 1 month off in the winter and over 3 months in summer. This is amazing but also crazy.
- I have no classes on Mondays... What?
I'm sure there are more, but that's enough for now. Looking forward to 2016 and next semester!