RC Day 1!

I've set a goal to reflect on each day at the Recurse Center; not all those reflections will be public, but those related to what I'm working on will be. The day started a bit earlier than I've been used to, and I enjoyed the orientation activities for the most part, although I wasn't entirely sure the format served the content well, particularly the social rules skit. It's quite hard to get real engagement and buy-in over Zoom. I met several new and returning RCers who are interested in Python and/or data science, including one R aficionado, and got encouragement to do a visualization of global cost of living, using the cost of a pint of beer as a metric. Of course it's been done before and finding/scraping the data won't be easy, but it does sound like a tractable project.

I also put out an enquiry about web fonts, to get a san check on one of my more esoteric project ideas: a font with glyphs that vary based on the date/time. For example, O could reflect the phase of the moon, T could be a seasonal tree (bonus points for N/S Hemisphere seasonality), line thickness could vary through the hour, etc. Obviously this would be more in the vein of an art project than a useable font but I think it would be interesting (and have some niche uses - mostly witchy ones.) So far, no typography nerds have revealed themselves.

Another idea I had was based on this Neural Network Zoo chart, implementing or at least rounding up examples / applications for each one. Perhaps this is more of a study guide than a project. And some of these networks look quite complex or specialized.

I have made good progress through the Coursera DL with TensorFlow specialization, though: 2 courses down, started the 3rd today. So far we've covered basic neural nets and image processing with convolutions, and next is text processing. I've also finished the 7 extant chapters of DL with Python, 2nd ed. I should probably review the 1st ed. for material that hasn't been updated yet. I tackled the 1st chapter of MLDP, which promises to cover quite a bit: map/reduce, parallel computinng, distributed computing, Spark, Hadoop, and AWS.

What I didn't do today was write any code, except a few lines for Coursera. I've also been stalled for a week on the first case study of DS BookCamp - although I gave a go at implementing my own solutions, I didn't expect my code to take several hours to run and assumed I was doing something wrong. Perhaps reader feedback will encourage the author to drop more breadcrumbs in the final edition. Nor did I get a chance to pair or connect with anyone outside of orientation, probably because I spent half the day with no visible avatar in the space. Turns out it's hard to get to know ghosts!

Tomorrow I plan to continue with Coursera and show up for MLDP group; try scheduling some time with a faculty member to narrow down my ideas into a workable project or 3; and attend the pairing workshop before trying it out.