Watched The Boxer today to get some fix of Daniel Day Lewis. It was an overall good movie with emphasis on IRA aspects as opposed to boxing. Apparently DDL trained in Boxing a year for this role and was claimed to be good enough to contend with actual boxers in the UK. This sorts of stories seem to be true with every DDL role which is part of what makes him intriguing, and surely seems to carry over into his roles as well.
Had my first in person discussion sections in well over two years! Was very nice to be in the classroom again. We have a new setup where the discussion sections are limited to 15 students, which I think provides great opportunities to give feedback. I found in the past that the 30 students were always more difficult to give adequate help to. Maybe answer ~1-2 questions per student, whereas now it can be more of continued dialogues about the problems and the course concepts.
Didn’t get too much research work done today though. I’ve been sort of spinning wheels on this one potential issue, but I think I’m understanding better the situation that it fits into and I have some clearer ideas for what I want to try tomorrow. Basically, I’ve been doing these tests to see if using a certain approximation method would be viable, when in reality I should just be testing it in its desired use case to see if it even works there, as that is the bottom line that I care about. Theoretical justification can come later.
A part of the above that I want to do is draw a diagram of the entire algorithmic process I’m doing from data input and processing to analysis on the output of the learning algorithm. I want it to be as granualar as possible in such a way that I can generalize various aspects to make modular components which will make interchanging pieces easier. Not to mention having a diagram is really helpful when talking about various parts of the process with someone else. Also useful to show how much time various parts are taking to know where efforts are best spent to get speedups from. The hard part about this is that I have to do it all so being organized can be tricky. I’m getting better though! Using more and more checklists is really helpful (great advice from Adam Savage that has taken me a while to really adhere to)
Daily Reading Still chugging away at The Lathe of Heaven. A friend had suggested that this story was like a typical “3 wishes” story where you inevitably fail to achieve what you want with your 3 wishes since unintended consequences of the early wish(es) lead you to using the other wishes to correct - but the cycle is never ending. Not sure if that is what is going to be the main thesis, but it is for sure happening.