I’m going to start this post with a question: why are you all from China?
These past few weeks, over 80% of my viewers have been from China. YES I KNOW, I am tracking your location, but c’mon I literally worked for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory last summer. I made the transformation from regular engineer to Evil Programmer long ago. I am not entirely surprised that I’m getting a large amount of viewership from China because I’m writing about UC Davis, and either a large plurality or a small majority of our international students are from China. So I expected to be getting views from potential international students, but this is a bit more than I anticipated. Well anyways, I hope you are enjoying my blog! Please tell your friends about it :).
So, Monday morning I was a bit bored. And as everybody knows, the best thing to do when you’re bored is: decide that you are not working nearly as hard as you should be, and sign up a research position at a lab over the summer that eliminates your ability take summer classes, which would allow you to take easy, 12 unit quarters for the rest of college!
And that’s exactly what I did. Basically, I emailed all the machine learning folks who work at Davis. There are six that are really great. One of them told me I couldn’t do anything in his lab because I haven’t taken enough stats and linear algebra classes, which is definitely a valid statement! I really am not that useful as a machine learning researcher yet. However, I’m a quick enough learner that I think I can become one soon. Another one responded, saying that I could join his lab, but it would require that I work 40 hours a week, take no summer classes, and work at least three months. These are all things I am perfectly willing to do, so I am now a part of the Integrative Biology and Predictive Analysis lab. It basically uses artificial intelligence to conduct research on biology. I’ll be working with Python and TensorFlow, which I’m super excited about! It it so excruciatingly trendy that it almost seems like a parody of things that venture capitalists are throwing money at. Also, I just realized that all of my research opportunities seem to be related to biology, something you wouldn’t expect from a person going after a machine learning and robotics oriented career.
Anyways, it’s a SUPER cool lab.
One interesting thing about running OneLoop is that every once in a while, people assume I'm a guy. At first I was frustrated by it, but now I see it as an indication that I'm doing the right thing in life. This team member ended up not making the team for unrelated reasons (the team leads who made the decision never saw this email).
Also in regards to OneLoop, I am trying to get access to Davis’s Jupyter cluster. Jupyter Notebooks is an app that is incredibly useful for running simulations. You run code, see at the outcome, visualize data, and perform other tasks that are useful for simulations and data science in general. A Jupyter cluster is a bunch of computers that work together running Jupyter, and as a result they can run Jupyter programs much faster than they would alone. There are several teams, primarily brakes and propulsion, that run a large amount of simulations. Some of these simulations are quite complex, and take a while to run, and so far they have been run on member’s personal computers. This is a time consuming process, and now they are trying to run 3D simulations, which might take over a day! So I’ve been trying to get a hold of the cluster so I can run things.
I have no idea what I was thinking when I planned my class schedule last quarter. I have three finals and they are all on the same day, which also happens to be my 20th birthday. What idiot planned this? It’s going to be an interesting birthday, hopefully the tests go well.
May you be ever victorious in your endeavors!