Shikhar Jaiswal : Life-long Learning

Revival of the Blog

It’s been more than a couple of years now since I last wrote a blog post detailing my experiences in GSoC 2017. After wrapping up with that, I pretty much gave up on writing regular blog posts until now. So what changed in that time?

New Experiences

My first GSoC experience gave me a lot of confidence and exposure to the world of open-source and programming. As such, I went on to participate as a student in 2018 under mlpack and also interned at Hackerrank and OpenMainframeProject. I also wrapped up mentoring two students for mlpack this year. It has been an enriching experience for me to learn so much while collaborating with the best people around the world.

Changed Outlook

During my internship at Hackerrank, I realized that software development wasn’t something that motivated me heavily. Even though the people I met there were some of the very skilled I had interacted with, I found myself lost and unenergetic (which in part might have also been because of my picky attitude when it comes to working on problems). Since, I was also a GSoC student that summer, I ended up discovering my love for mathematics, and machine learning while contributing to mlpack. That experience only made me realize my affinity for theoretical work, which I later affirmed during my internship at University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies (USC-ICT).

While the work at ICT wasn’t super-theoretical as I had hoped, I thoroughly enjoyed myself working on open ended research problems, while writing code to test out different hypotheses. I’m heavily motivated for a career in theoretical research, and currently I’m building the prerequisite math background for the same.

The Future

One of the many reasons why I wanted to revive this blog is to help me exposit and explain the concepts that I spend time learning on in my journey, and help other academic nomads like me to get up and running with a theory heavy background, while not having been already superb at higher level mathematics while in school. As such, I would also try and post resources that I find useful, in hopes that they might help others in their journey.

Let’s Roll For Now, Shall We?