My advice to incoming University Students

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.

Make connections

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.

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What I learned from my Computer Science research experience

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)

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MULTIMEDIA ANALYTICS – The whys, wherefores and challenges.

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 shutterstock_95097235need 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:

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My favorite tech related books

I enjoy reading well-written books on technical topics in my spare time but when reading for fun I prefer lighter and wittier text than the standard school textbooks tend to be (but of course classical textbooks are a great resource for learning and I use them a lot when studying). I have gathered a list of my favorite tech or mind-enhancing books that I have read the past year. Enjoy:

C.O.D.E – The Hidden Language of Computer and Software, by Charles Petzold.

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