The STEMpunk Project: Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Month’s progress

As I noted in my last update a number of non-STEMpunk obligations have cut into the time I set aside to write about my study of gears, electrodes, and circuits, but you’ll be happy to know that the actual learning continues.

Also noted in my last update was the fact that I switched the focus of the last module of this project to artificial intelligence instead of robotics. I therefore brushed up on my programming skills by working through the excellent Learn Python the Hard Way, along with a similar text for the command-line written by the same author. As of now I’m seven chapters into the seminal Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach.

I’ve written elsewhere about the ways in which this project has opened my eyes to the astounding complexity of the modern world. Much of the first few chapters of AIMA is devoted to a tool most of us use every single day: search. Like washers, retaining walls, and electric signs, I simply hadn’t paused to think about everything that goes into building a search algorithm. There are innumerable tradeoffs related to searching depth-first or bread-first, keeping track of previously explored states or not bothering, using different metrics for estimating the value of the current node and the cost of the current path to the goal node, and so forth, which face the would-be designer of a new search process.

At this point I shouldn’t be surprised any more when it turns out that something which looked monolithic and straightforward from the outside turns out to be so nuanced that it has spawned an entire field of academic research.

From my current point of view it looks like I’ll be working on this textbook for another month or two, and at some point I’d like to take the Udacity Artificial Intelligence course. A friend of mine who works at Google vouches for its quality. The only issue is that I don’t want to stall writing the STEMpunk book, so I’ll have to decide how far into next year I want to continue before I end up getting sidetracked.

Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “The STEMpunk Project: Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Month’s progress

  1. Hi , ı pretty much love and consistenly follow your posts and your amazing projects , ı just wanna ask some things to you ı dont know if among many work you can have a time to repsond back to me , first of all ı am an industrial engineering student , ı have passion about manufacturing and coding but ı really have zero experience on them ı believe in self studying but ı cant keep myself study ı alwasy keep saying that ı ll do tomorrow so what would you suggest people like me? how do you keep yourself working everyday and do you have a schedualed time ?

    thank a lot , sincerely

    ________________________________ Gönderen: Rulers To The Sky Gönderildi: 1 Aralık 2016 Perşembe 23:51:34 Kime: tgb_daisy@hotmail.com Konu: [New post] The STEMpunk Project: Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Month’s progress

    rulerstothesky posted: “As I noted in my last update a number of non-STEMpunk obligations have cut into the time I set aside to write about my study of gears, electrodes, and circuits, but you’ll be happy to know that the actual learning continues. Also noted in my last update “

    • It’s hard to give specific advice because the best strategy for one person will often fail completely for a different person.

      But there are a few things you could try:
      1) Get up as early as possible. I’m usually up no later than 6 a.m., and I get up at 4 a.m. if I can. No one else is awake, no one else is on Facebook, and you can often get several hours of productive work done before the sun rises.

      2) If you’re having trouble with the internet distracting you, try turning it off. You can learn most things from books and take notes on paper.

      3) Try not to get overwhelmed by large projects. Instead of thinking about ‘learning to code’, just focus on ‘reading three pages of this book about introductory programming’.

      Best of luck and thank you for reading 🙂

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