About

about

I’m a student at San Jose State University in California (http://www.sjsu.edu/). I blog about things I’m interested in, things I’m working on, or things I find important.

I worked as a Software Engineer for 4 years (and one month) at a startup called Carjojo from February 2014 (a few months after its inception) until it shut down at the end of March 2018. Now, until I graduate from SJSU, I will focus on school, online classes, learning more about my main interests (described below), and potentially internships. I was primarily a back-end and API developer in python, C# (.NET Core), gnu bash, and PostgreSQL. I was also the main person responsible for onboarding new employees, and one of the primary system administrators. See my LinkedIn profile and my GitHub. See the Development Processes Wiki (https://github.com/mica5/development-processes/wiki) I wrote based on my industry experience working at Carjojo, which includes processes on managing a multi-developer revision-controlled codebase and managing developers using an issue-tracking system (Redmine in this case).

This blog isn’t perfect because “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.” (this quote has been referenced by many people throughout history; Perfect is the enemy of good, Wikipedia). However, I do try to make this blog accessible to a wide audience by breaking topics down into simple terms, or by linking to resources that can help you learn background knowledge to help you understand. If I wrote something you don’t understand, that probably means I made a mistake, and I encourage you to comment or email (contact@violet-mica.com) me so I can improve it. Being able to explain/communicate/articulate technical information to anyone, technical or non-technical, is something I strive for.

Values

  • Environment, sustainability (environmental, personal habits, etc.), zero/minimal waste (2019-03-29)
  • Good health, disease risk prevention/reduction: non-dairy non-egg pescatarianism, nutrition, time-restricted eating (approximately 16:8), washing hands, additional hygienic behaviors, getting enough sleep on a regular schedule (2019-03-29)
  • Social justice, feminism, anti-sexism, anti-racism, equality and equity of marginalized populations and minority populations, class consciousness, anti-hostility of women in the workforce, representation and support of women in professional jobs (especially technology and STEM/STEAM) (2019-03-29)
  • Community: supporting each other to make each other better, compassion (2019-03-29)
  • Accountability (2019-04-04)
  • Education: spreading knowledge so that people can see available options and make informed decisions about their lives (2019-03-30)
  • Respecting other humans: companies, especially social networking and shopping websites, often use addictive tactics to increase user engagement and virility with the intention of increasing profits. I strive to respect users and humans, including their explicit personal boundaries, and their implicit limitations as human beings, rather than exploiting them for personal gain. I think people should get what they need and want through respectful relationships rather than through manipulation. (2019-03-30)
  • Ethical conduct: considering the other values listed here (2019-03-30)
  • Self sufficiency of the basics in many aspects of our society: health, nutrition, information security, knowing your legal rights (2019-04-01)
  • Resourcefulness (2019-04-07)
  • Salience: working on the most important thing (2019-04-03)
  • Efficiency: for recurring tasks, getting each step down to a series of efficient steps. This may even include some parallelism, e.g. when cooking (2019-04-03)
  • Pescetarianism (non-dairy, non-egg, whole-food, no-added-sugars pescetarianism) (2019-03-29)
  • Honesty, accuracy, integrity (2019-04-07)

Interests

My main interests are in Data Science, Machine Learning, Statistics, and Data Acquisition (see my post “Data I Track” https://www.violet-mica.com/2018/01/15/data-i-track/, which includes links to additional posts where I have published some graphs/charts from data I collect). I am also interested in Information Security.

Goals

My intermediate/longer-term goal is to be able to build new machine learning models. I am considering pursuing a Masters or Ph.D. in Machine Learning, Statistics, or Computer Science.

My short-term goals are to be able to take apart a dataset, and be able to apply a variety of existing statistical methods and machine learning models to be able to make inferences and predictions, with a focus on informing decision-making. As of 2018-05-24R, I am reading An Introduction to Statistical Learning ISLR (co-authored by 2 of the original authors of Elements of Statistical Learning ESL) while taking the free online class and keeping Elements of Statistical Learning Edition 2 (Hastie, Tibshirani, Friedman) open on my desk, right next to ISLR. Once I finish this book, I will cover these books:

  • Python Machine Learning Edition 2 by Raschka and Mirjalili
  • Hands-On Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn & TensorFlow by GĂ©ron

Support texts include:

  • Python for Data Analysis Edition 2 by McKinney
  • Calculus Early Transcendentals Edition 8 by Stewart
  • Artificial Intelligence A Modern Approach Edition 3 by Russel and Norvig
  • Linear Algebra and its Applications Edition 5 by Lay and Donald
  • Probability and Statistics for Engineering and the Sciences Edition 9 by Devore

Some possible projects:

  • Assist on a Master student’s data analysis or machine learning project.

Some events I’ve attended

2018

  • IBM Community Day: Data Science (2018-07-24)

2017

  • SVIEF AI+
  • Google’s Silicon Valley DevFest – GDGSV – GDG Google Developer Groups, 2017-12-16S
    • Shirley Wu presented Data sketch|es: a visualization a month, in which she collaborates with Nadieh Bremer to create attractive data visualizations. They use multiple technologies (including machine learning algorithms) to do the initial work, and the visualizations themselves are built in D3.js.
    • Elinor Ostrom or Rachel Wu presented “The Reverse Turing Test: What are the ethical risks of AI and who is responsible?” and spoke about Goldman Sachs unethically using images of existing and previous employees for training a CNN to predict whether prospective employees, represented by images of themselves, would be good employees; unsurprisingly, the CNN is biased against people they have very little training data for, for example, minorities. I wrote a little bit on this topic in Machine Learning, self-explainability and ethics
    • Alex Castillo presented “NeuroJavaScript: Interacting with Brain-Computer Interfaces” in which a headset that detects brain signals streams real-time data to a command-line terminal or to a javascript page. See Alex Castillo’s NeuroJavaScript code on GitHub, and a similar prior presentation he gave on this topic on YouTube.
    • Kyle Shevlin presented “Just Enough Functional Programming to be a Danger to Yourself and Coworkers”. I followed along with his code examples (lecture slides) in python, but if I remember correctly, he wrote the code in JavaScript.

Some Terms of Conduct

You shall not use this site do anything (e.g. post comments) that will be used or characterized as:

  • derogatory, humiliating or condescending towards any person, group of people, associations, organizations or corporations.
  • expressing hate towards any one or group.
  • porn or advertises sexual activities even if it was legal in your state or country.
  • violating any US laws.

My taste in movies:

  • Sci-Fi, End-of-the world
    • The Matrix
    • Terminator 2
  • Memory
    • Memento
    • Embers
  • Other
    • Fight Club
    • Pulp Fiction

Potential blog posts: