Third quarter summary [Personal PhD update #3.4]

This update is long overdue, but it finally marks the finish of the third quarter in my Personal PhD journey.

One big reason for the delay was that I went on a 10 day trip to Chile and 5 of those days I spent completely off the grid trekking in Patagonia. I was able to do some limited studying on the planes from printed papers and the Udacity app, but the trip yet again confirmed that I prefer focusing on one thing at a time. If I am on vacation, I am on vacation.

Hopefully some day I will get to write a more detailed post about my travels, but in the meantime, here are some pictures.

After I got back from Chile, I had to catch up with my third quarter curriculum.

I managed to finish Udacity’s Intro to Descriptive Statistics course. On the one hand it was pretty easy and straightforward. On the other hand all those exercises and quizzes really hammered down the material, compared to, for example, just reading the formula for some concept once.

I finished reading the Deep Learning book draft. That was hard. I didn’t understand most of it, especially the math in the third part of the book. Though I think it was still good use of my time and I got an overview of deep learning.

I also read The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos. It was meh. The style of writing didn’t really speak to me. Perhaps a person who doesn’t know anything at all about science could enjoy the tone, but otherwise seems to me like a tone reserved for speaking to a small kid.

Here is summary of my third quarter.

Computer Science / Math track

The focus this quarter was statistics.

 Score: 1 out of 1.


Learning Spanish – I refreshed my Spanish before my trip to Chile using Memrise, Duolingo (reached 47 day streak right before Patagonia) and Coffee Break Spanish podcasts. Its incredible how 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there daily add up. In Chile I was able to successfully use my Spanish to get around, order food, buy bus ticket exchanges, even talk to police (all ended well 🙂 ).
Score: 1 out of 1.

Paper reading

It was a slog but I did finish Deep Learning book. Also read 2 other papers.
Score: 1 out of 1.


This is 4th update out of the goal of 6 (1 every two weeks).
Score 0.7 out of 1.

Overall score for the quarter: 0.92 out of 1. I am pretty happy about this 🙂


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