Thursday August 1st

A talk and Deep Learning

I’ve been wrapping up stuff

  • I was able to officially tell my landlord I’m moving out (we were both pleased, as my neighbourhood is rapidly gentrifying, and she could seriously be charging more for my place lol). She’s been amazing, and I’m really going to miss having her as a landlord. It’s rare to find someone so caring and sensible all in one.

  • I found a place, signed a lease, so am just working on getting utilities transferred over and closing off the ones from before. My friend had told me about a moving company, but once I started speaking with another PhD student a year ahead of me, I realized that I don’t need anything and scrapped the moving company completely, opting to just get rid of everything/ sell it/ give it away.
  • It was interesting to see how that shocked some people in my family circle (“what will you do with all your books!”), but I feel relieved by everything.

I went to a Deep Learning talk

  • And got to meet Andrew Ng. It made me super happy; I guess I’ve been searching out Research scientists, here in the Bay. The best part is that he is as lovely as you would ever imagine. That’s always my fear, because not everyone is as great as their reputation (in fact, having lived in LA, I can say for a fact that most people aren’t).

So inspired

  • I stumbled upon an opportunity to give my own talk

  • It was on a time you made something break, found a bug, etc. Basically, focusing on failure. Since I am a huge champion of advertising failure and learning from things (which is a great attitude to have for going into a PhD, quite frankly), I volunteered to give a talk.
  • I think that my life has been an example of just being flexible and accepting failure and making the best of it. Particularly the green-card part. The journey to getting my green card was filled with so many twists and turns it’s like something out of a movie, but I came out with one. That was also important going into a PhD programme because relationships can sour between advisors or people of power in these programmes, and I don’t want to be (or rather, didn’t want to be) tied to a visa, with the added stress of being in a PhD programme. So I’m really happy it turned out this way.

  • (photo courtesy Liz Krane aka learningnerd via’s Community Show and Tell Meetup)

People seemed to enjoy the talk

  • I met a GHC contributor, advertised for my internship company, met some people who really enjoyed the talk and great people in general at the Meetup. One lady asked me if I was an alien from space when I told her I was giving a talk on Haskell, and that I use it at work.

  • However, by the end, more people were inspired to try Haskell, were curious about it, and wanted to know more. If that’s all I did, I’m super happy about that. I don’t want to pontificate about what is the best language. I enjoy Haskell, and if I can share that joy with others, too, even if they don’t like it, maybe they’ll walk away with something positive from the experience, that they’ll take with them along their own journey.

  • That being said, I am not a Haskell expert. I’m still an intern, after all, and Haskell kicks my butt every day. But it feels worth it. So worth it. It’s been worth everything and I can’t wait for the next step of the journey.

And that’s it

Written on August 1, 2019