This winter I’ve been teaching math with my dad (how lucky to get to try that!). In his teaching, he stresses the importance of reading. When we are young the majority of the math books are problems to solve. We learn that math is about solving problems. Later on, the textbooks change and become more and more text. This is when more people start having a problem with math. By only trying to solve the problems, first of all, the majority of the book is skipped (ever read one-third of a history book and expected to do well?). Secondly, it’s as hard as trying to read the text in a foreign language without learning the words first. Intuition can help to understand things, but there is no intuition for knowing that a right angle is 90° or that a rectangle has four right angles or what absolute value is. It’s just a concept to learn and memorize. I was teaching 12-year-old girl math and asked her what she did if she didn’t know or remember some math concept. She was not sure. Then I asked her what she did if she didn’t know some word in English. The answer was easy, look it up and repeat it 100 times!
“Look it up and repeat it 100 times!”
Being on the other side of the table, now teaching, has made me think a lot about how to study. I already wrote one article before about studying (Studying vs studying) so I had given this some thought but this time I am focusing more on math and the overall studying process, step by step. I gave a lecture about it to our students and they were happy about having this discussion. It also helped later on when I could remind them of this tip or that tool that would help them in some situations. Here is the summary of my thoughts:
I decided to divide the studying process into
READ -> UNDERSTAND -> REMEMBER -> USE
These steps don’t happen completely linearly, they mix but what is sure is that you have to start by reading(or hearing) the material and the main goal is to be able to use it. For each step, I will give a few points and thoughts on how to make it easier and more effective.
I just noticed that I have started all my posts by referring to the season and then I notice how long it is since I last wrote a blog post. Well, now I at least have a new goal for the new year, and that is to write more frequently, especially since I am continually learning new things these days.
Not am I only learning about new things but also revisiting familiar tools and techniques. Since graduation, I started working as a junior software developer where I am mostly programming in C#. The first programming language that I learned was C++, but in my second semester in computer science, I got familiar with C# and the ASP.NET MVC framework. Since C# is related to C++ and has a similar syntax as Java, I did not learn C# like I was learning my first programming language. I learned the most basic syntax that was useful for the ASP.NET MVC framework since the focus was more on the framework rather than learning a new programming language.
To recall, the ASP.NET framework is a part of the .NET framework from Microsoft and is only used to develop web applications while the .NET framework supports the implementation for many types of applications such as websites, services, and desktop apps. Like I mentioned before I used ASP.NET framework in my first steps in web development where the focus was on the MVC framework.
Being a student in computer science or related field makes it ideal to have your own website to host your CV. I just did so a few months ago and must say it’s also a lot of fun to design a website where the main subject is… yourself!
To make it an easier setup for others I wanted to share my process.
Get a domain
This is something you can do far in advance. Just make sure that perfect domain is yours. This is surprisingly addicting, there are still loads of domains I want to invest in. The website I used is https://www.namecheap.com/
August has always been a special month to me for various reasons. It includes my birthday, and for the past 20 years, mid-August has been the time of excitement and new beginnings, the start of a new school year! This is the first time in twenty years that I will not be attending school. It feels weird, but at the same time, it feels good.
From my twenty-year experience of attending school, thereof six years of University, I have developed my studying skills and learned to make the most of the University years. In this blog, I will share with you some of the things I wish I had known at the start of my University journey.
The University is as much a place to network and make connections with people as it is to learn. In University, you have access to great professors in your field, as well as many of the future leaders of the profession, so make sure you get to know your teachers and fellow students. A good relationship with your teachers can be valuable when you need recommendations for scholarships, further studies or a job. Your relationship with classmates might lead to job opportunities as they might recommend you for their new job or have you in mind as a part of their new start-up. But how to make connections and build relationships in University? I have two easy tips for you.
July is upon us, and the summer in Iceland continues to give us endless beautiful rainy days. The school has ended and this semester was my final semester in computer science at Reykjavík University. This last semester was very challenging, and I wanted to share my experience over the final months of my studies.
Being confident and mentally strong has been a challenge throughout my studies, constantly doubting my abilities and skills in comparison to other students. The first month of the semester I completely lost track of my workload. I realized at the end of the month that I had assigned myself with more projects and courses than I could manage. Organizing my time and the things I need to get done has always been one of my strengths when it comes to studying. After a couple of weeks, I started to feel that strength slowly slipping away when I realized that I had no time to do anything else but to study and prepare my teaching.
In my studies, my fellow students or a Google search has introduced me to many handy websites and online tools. There are some that all computer science students know like Stack Overflow, Google Drive and GitHub and then there are others that not everyone has had the pleasure of trying out. Here is a list to go through and add to the bookmark bar if any are missing.
Tool for making diagrams fast with premade examples.
Possibly no need to introduce. Makes it easy to create and share Kanban style boards.
You can read Þórhildur’s blog about Trello here.
Computer Science is a very practical field and I like the emphasis my university places on teaching practical computer science skills. However, I recommend every computer science student planning on higher education to try to get some research experience during their undergraduate studies. First, it is helpful to know already at undergraduate level whether you enjoy research, for example to be able to choose appropriate higher education. Second, doing research is a great learning experience that is very useful for future career in both the industry and academia.
This semester I worked on an independent research project in the field of Multimedia, Data Science and Machine Learning, with my friend Þórhildur. I want to share both the Computer Science knowledge and the soft skills I learned from the process, so that I can hopefully inspire others to take on a research project. (The idea of the research can be found in this post)
Multimedia is a data that consists of a combination of different content forms such as images, video, text, audio and interactive content. Multimedia collections are becoming a central information resource for a growing number of domains, which increases the need for fast and insightful multimedia analysis tools. Since today’s multimedia collections are very large and ever-growing, the tools also need to be applicable to large-scale data. For example, the data obtained from social media platforms is almost all multimedia, the largest publicly available multimedia collection compromises 100 million images from Yahoo Flickr, called YFCC100M. However, there are many much larger multimedia collections that are not publicly available, like Facebook’s over hundred billion images.
But what is the best way to extract knowledge and insight from multimedia collections? The dominant approach revolves around search. Search is suitable only for cases when the user has a clear information need and is able to formulate it as a precise query. However, often the analyst wants to explore the collection, looking for the question to ask, and structure or categorize the data herself. Thus, multimedia systems should support interactive, open-ended tasks where the objective is the analyst’s knowledge gain. Below is example of few domains where this kind of interactive multimedia learning is important:
Trello is one of my favorite online project management tools. I use it for my daily tasks, organizing school projects and at work. SUP46, Start-up people of Sweden, hosted an event in Stockholm were Justin Gallagher, VP of Product, shared Trello’s success story, tricks, and tips for Trello users and various user stories.
But what is Trello exactly?
Trello describes their application as an easy, free, flexible, and visual way to manage projects and organize anything, trusted by millions of people from all over the world.
Originally, Trello was developed at Fog Creek Software. Fog Creek has developed applications like FogBugz, Stack Overflow, and Glitch. At Fog Creek, there are regular Creek Weeks, where the people at the company explore potential products for the future. A prototype of Trello was created to solve high-level planning issues inspired by Kanban, Scrum and multiple numbers of sticky notes. In January 2011 the idea was pitched. Shortly later, a full-time development of the application began.