After the lecture from Professor Wright about bio-fuels and actually completing some of my machine learning homework yesterday, I’m back to thinking about machine learning. I, surprisingly, was able to compose a data-set of 1000 examples that performed poorly on the nearest-neighbor algorithm and perfectly on decision trees. (Also did well on naive Bayes and poorly on multi-layer perceptrons, although I’m not sure how…) Foolishly, I actually typed in every single example (so 1000 examples with 5 attributes each… 5000 items to type in). It’s dumb. I’m a CS major, so I should be able to quickly write a script that makes a CSV file instead of typing it all by hand, but I’m too lazy to actually learn how to use a script to output a CSV file. 🙁
Professor Wright mentioned genetic (tree?) algorithms. Unfortunately for me, that was the topic on the (only) day that I decided to skip my ML class (in addition to all the classes I’m skipping by participating in this REU). I kind of want to go back to look at the genetic algorithms. I keep thinking about all the information in class that I’m missing by doing this REU, and I’m getting frustrated by it. I’m not an intuitive or gifted programmer, and I didn’t start programming until I entered college; I’ve always felt behind my peers at my university, and so I need to thoroughly understand these concepts just to keep pace. In a way, this REU is simultaneously wrecking and facilitating this goal. My GPA will be dead this quarter because I don’t understand a third of the material from class, but I get practical coding experience (if you count research as practical). It’s taking a step back and then forward.
The next few days will consist of little sleep b/c I have to push out the last of these assignments… two short responses, a final project report, a final, and that last, dreaded lab. Aside from me ranting about my schoolwork…
I’m horrified by how lost I get- yesterday, I couldn’t figure out how to get to a grocery store, so I think it took me a full hour longer than was strictly necessary. The bus system here is incredibly inconvenient (although they do seem to adhere to schedule). I’m surprised that I got so lost because I usually navigate myself well in cities, but this is a different sort of environment. I’m very excited for when we get our bikes (if we ever do). I plan to bike for a really long time, get terribly lost in a corn field somewhere, have a picnic, sketch all day, and then spend all evening (and night?) navigating my way back to IA State.
I tried the rock-climbing wall at the gym for the first time today and was surprised by how difficult it is to climb. This makes me worried for the ropes course this Saturday. Inshira also gave me some tips on how to play basketball. I got my picture taken today! I dislike it, but I’ll live with it. I got an official email saying that my school would pay for my trip to the Grace Hopper Conference this September- I’m excited to see more women in tech and visit my sister in Houston. Finally, I’m kind of worried about my roommates- they’ve been here for a few days, and none of them have any food in the fridge. Are they eating? I really hope so.
Per Stephan’s post, I’m also curious to see who’s reading these! If you get through reading this ridiculously long post, you should comment with your pet’s name, or a pet that you’d like, and ask me about my dog. I’ll show you pictures of him 🙂