"The journey so far"

Le Tue 29 December 2020 Par Tony Spiker  | Cat├ęgorie : misc

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December 29, 2020

Lets start with what I want to be able to teach students to do: ~~Bend the infernal machines to their will!!~~ Ok well, maybe not that dramatic. But I think its better to be able to control computers than to have computers control you. Because if a computer is more than a tool for you to do your job, then eventually, the computer will do your job for you. However, if you view computers as a tool, and are able to use them the way a master carpenter uses their tools, then the carpernter becomes the essentail part of the equation.

In the beginning... Or the path so far

My friend John is who really got me started on this. He is a successfull logistics executive and now a data science consultant/Economics PhD candidate who taught himself to program to save himself from spending his days in the office doing ery mundane tasks. From this, he encouraged me to learn to program. John is mostly self taught, but he guided me towards a Python course on Coursera. While completing the class, I began to learn all that python can do, especially in the realm of machine learning, which I am now fascinated by.

But hell, it's been over 20 years since I have done anything close to the math required to understand the science behind maching learning, and the associated data science and statistics that drive it. So, after I finished my introduction to Python, I felt it best to delve back into Calculus. Coursera also has a great series of courses taught by Robert Ghrist at the University of Pennsylvania that really helped refresh my memory of what is going on with Calculus.

Have you noticed a pattern here? I might make this into another blog post soon enough, a significant amount of the information availible, especially for a bachelors, or even masters level of knowledge is already availible for free. Institutions only are able to charge what they do because they act as certification centers. Now granted, because those certifications(degrees) are desirable, they are able to enforce more rigor on their students than might be possible today with online, "free" learning. But the rigor can be self enforced by someone with motivation to learn.

I have a feeling there is something in the above paragraph that can be applied to learning at all ages.

So what's next?

I started taking an introduction to data science certificate, but found the level to be to easy, and a lot of the courses in that certificate get repeated for later specializations I found interesting as well. So...My next class is going to be a Python for Data Science and AI class, Which I am looking forward to after spending the last few months in Calculus. In conjunction with that I am going to be doing some linear algebra courses through EdX.

This little blog is to post my reflections on learning. Metacognitive thinking is an important step in the learning process, so my thoughts, my progress, etc.. will be posted here.