#ml#db#opti

[mostly written last sun 15 oct but I was lazy to finish up and post]

Wow time flies man it’s going to be recess week soon! This term has been great so far, we finally got to choose our mods and I think I made the right decision to drop networks (how the Internet works, IP addresses TCP UDP blah blah) and take optimization (esd mod, lots of math but with very relevant and interesting applications).

For opti we’ve had guest lectures by redmart reps and also a prof who’s worked with grab and didi (china version of grab) and who does research on optimization in transport problems. It’s really very cool imo to see how the stuff we’re learning is used in businesses, and the complexity of optimization problems in the real world is really mind-blowing. Before this I didn’t know opti is so directly relevant hahaha I mostly wanted to take it cos it involves more math x) but yep data analytics is now something I’m considering going into too!

Also the opti prof is v amusing, one lesson he was like: “ok now let me tell you about the midterm. there will be 6 questions”
Everyone: *starts to pay attention*
Prof: “The first question will be to convert min |x-y| to standard form. Yall should all know how to do this right, if not please go and revise”
Prof: “Ok then the rest of the questions are easy also except q6. Do you want me to give a hint for q6?”
Everyone: …?!
Prof: “Ok let me give you a hint”

Last week the prof ran some betting game (he called it an “auction” but it’s basically betting) where everyone can submit their bets, then the TA will randomly generate a winning team and award points to those who betted on it. The game is actually abit more complicated than this but this is the main idea. And points we win from this game will be added to our previous quiz score! Betting on your grades LOL.

I’m also taking databases which is at a pretty shallow level so far, but now onwards we’ll be doing more implementation so it should be useful!

Last mod is also the hardest one in sutd for me so far: machine learning. I came across this article yesterday about how spotify’s discover uses machine learning and basically everything there is what we’ve been learning in ML! Now every time I go to some random site and there’s a “recommended for you” section I think wow there’s actually a whole lot of computation being done to get that hahahaha.

My hass this term is “the question of being” though I don’t know what I’ve really learnt LOL. So far it’s been on the history of philosophy but deciphering the old texts is hard x__x my prof knows Greek and all of the old philo texts are originally in greek so he talks a lot about greek words in class but it’s hard to remember/appreciate them on their own. Last lesson we talked about the sophists’ and plato’s differing views on human knowledge, and our prof said that we live in a time where 1 ideology has won: the belief that through (technical and scientific) knowledge, we can obtain a total grasp of reality and hence create a perfect society. Was quite thought-provoking for me cos this idea is so ingrained that we don’t even think about it as an ideology; usually we just assume it to be true. Eg. if science shows A is bad for people, the government/law should act towards reducing or eliminating A, and this will improve society as a result. He said that this is problematic because we can never have perfect knowledge of reality! Humans use language to try to describe and understand reality, but what we’re really doing is building a map of reality. We are always living in our own “world” that we define, and we are always only looking at a map of reality, which can only get more and more detailed (through science) but cannot be perfectly coincident with the external reality. Thought it was really interesting that according to this view, there is an objective reality but we cannot know it directly, we can only understand it through this map that we build with our language.

K done with summary of school hahaha. Outside of acads, I’m joining back frisbee!! Because it’s fun and without a cca I feel too free xD I played for sunig B without much training and we did horribly but it was quite no-pressure and fun cos I got to cut! Afterwards my knee was quite pain though and I figured I sprained it somehow, probably cos not enough training then I suddenly go run so intensely whoops :x was limping around sch for a few days but it’s much better now!

Graduation is coming too fast ahhh now is the time to start applying for jobs alr! I didn’t even know need to apply so early but a lot of the banks/bigger companies have fixed recruitment cycles and now is the application period, some of the deadlines are coming soon or even over already :O yup so been thinking a lot about what I want to do/ what kind of company I want to work at. Last week I went for shopee visit and their office is super nice! And they have 2 pantries with tons of snacks and icecream including magnums!!!! I was v amazed hahaha. Still undecided whether I want to work in a big, established company (MNC) or a startup (but more established one still) but I guess I’ll just apply for companies from both and see how it goes. It’s nice that comp sci is very in-demand so getting a job shouldn’t be too hard, it’s just finding one that’s a good fit.

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