My regular readers may have noticed that my posting pattern is getting rather erratic. I wouldn’t want to simply brush off all this under the carpet called life. So here I am explaining what I’ve been up to and why my life is notching up another throttle.
Let me save myself from the very unfair (and possibly judgmental stare) that my readership is liberally eyeing me with,by explaining what I’ve been up to.
- I have signed up for two graduate-level classes in my third year. I really really really really REALLY wanted to study Artificial Intelligence since forever and so when I discovered that they were allowing a limited number of undergraduates to take the class I lunged headlong into it. Also, this semester a visiting professor from University of Michigan is here to teach it and he’s doing a fantastic job of it. However, this also means that I, a young blundering fool, must now keep up to the academic level established by graduate students (read: adults who [possibly] have their life together). It has not been easy, mind you. But I would rather have it hard than not have it at all.
- The second class is Natural Language Processing, which is being taught in a reverse classroom method this year. Which means that it not only has oodles of experienced grad students who are absorbing everything on the fly, but that my actual face-to-face interaction time with the professor is seriously limited. I’m a bit worried about this class actually because I wanted to make this my career, and I feel like I am floundering at the very basic introductory level class (which is still primarily for grad students, but how will I show my interest in the subject on my transcript if I haven’t taken the plunge?) It’s also on coursera, by Professor Michael Collins.
- Hackathons. If you’re an insider of the coding/geek/start-up/tech-start-up community, you might be all wise smiles and sage-like head nodding. If you’re not, let me explain. Hackathons are derived from the word “hacking” and “marathons”. They are literally between 16-18 hours of continuous code-writing in order to build an app or create software or make fancy tools. These are the estuarine waters where novice to experienced student coders meet company representatives of sponsors of the event. Sponsors are usually companies whose technology/code you would like to borrow or integrate into your code. Often, they will award a series of prizes based on creative usage of the data or technology they’ve provided.
- There are some major league hackathons that happen this time of the year in the region that I’m in. MHacks (hosted by Michigan), PennApps (hosted by UPenn), HackGT (hosted by GeorgiaTech) and HackMIT (hosted by MIT) are some of the very popular ones. They award apps with nearly $4000 dollars for their work. Although some offer even more $50,000 was offered this year by HackGT.
- Since Major League Hacks like those posted above invite every institution across the country, it’s a great meeting place to meet cool new people.
- Fun fact: I was privileged to attend HackMIT this year, where I built my first hardware hack. Basically, my team constructed a prosthetic arm using cardboard and motors and then we used a Myo armband to record human hand-motion and transmit it to the prosthetic in almost real time. There’s a video I would have loved to post, but I’m not quite sure I have the time to make it happen.
- Another fun-fact, I’m going to about two more hackathons this year: YHacks (hosted by Yale) and HackPrinceton (hosted by….come on, you should know by now).
- Searching for internships: I am literally scouring the web (and the websites of companies that I would LOVE to work with) for what they are offering and seeking from people like me.
- Lastly, getting health and everything back on track. I lose sleep a lot due to the aforementioned reasons, which just makes exams and tests and life incredibly hard.
Thus I must be off noble readers. I hope you’ll forgive me if the next post isn’t crisply lying in your reader feed (or whatever other mechanism you use to access my content). The month of October is crazy for me, but I promise things get better next month.
Cheers and love and prosperity and longevity!