Engineering is all about learning how to learn, especially in first year. I can’t believe it took me four years and one month to finally figure out my most preferred style. This is something I’ve strived to learn about myself for years, and finally learning it now means I’m going to run with it.
The realization came thanks to a new course I’m taking, ECE 406. It’s a research class, meaning that I’m supposed to learn on my own time with weekly meetings with my supervisor. The course has been getting more and more prevalent in my mind since the beginning of classes, with my registration finally being processed today.
My supervisor sent me the course description and goals for me yesterday. I’m to build a chatbot that helps users learn. The scope and boundaries of the project are yet to be defined, but this newfound direction was enough for me to immediately go off.
I first began by reading about Education + AI. What’s already happening? What’s needed? I found a great article from MIT professor Dr. Woolfe that gave me an understanding of what I needed to include in the project to facilitate learning.
I quickly decided I needed to know more about the resources I have on campus and around Edmonton, I sent out a few emails which have already come back and resulted in a few meetings with people that can help guide my project. Both people I’ve yet to meet, and people I have met before. I’ve known that people and learning from people is one of my strengths, but it now has new meaning with the context and goal of the project.
I also began researching chatbot APIs and knowledge graphs to use this weekend at mHacks. I decided that I’ll use my hack this weekend to give me a jumpstart into my project, learning things about actually building the thing that I can use to build from. The ML capabilities of my laptop are not strong enough for the project, but they’ll be fine for the hack where I’ll stub an API (or a few) in place of where my own learning engine would be. The hack will be a great place to test the user facing side of the project and figuring out what the scope of the project should be and what is needed.
I’m currently writing with so much passion and energy despite it being midnight. I can tell that I’ve really found how to hack my brain into learning and I can’t wait to retest this with other projects.
Deadline + Mission + Network + Hackathon. Let’s see if the formula is bigger.