- Spent the morning pairing with Marisa to debug bullet/asteroid collisions in the Asteroids game! It was sooooo fun! We ended up realizing exactly what was wrong after simplifying the game (using one asteroid with a simpler shape, logging coordinates, and ending the game at convenient times). The bullets are discretely moving at 5px/frame, so it makes complete sense that the collisions weren’t occurring frequently! I definitely have a renewed sense of excitement for this game!
- I had another one-on-one with Mary over lunch. We talked about what I’m working on and why, how to evaluate progress, why I shouldn’t be concerned about some things, and that I should do more of what I enjoy than what I think I should do for some hypothetical company.
- In the afternoon, I read about HTTP! I want to make some kind of fun HTTP server, but I haven’t decided what I’d like to do yet. Reading the specs made this project seem much less daunting.
- Talked to Marisa about goals for the Asteroids game. I tried to figure out why my bullet/asteroid collision detection isn’t working, with limited success. I hope she’ll have some insights into why the math isn’t quite right!
- Took notes on HTML/CSS things I thought I understood but didn’t (mostly related to positioning, box-sizing, specificity). I’m thinking about how I want to redo my personal website.
- Went to Gayle Laakmann McDowell’s talk on Cracking the Coding Interview. She has a lot of interesting tips about the interview process. I feel better about knowing what to expect and how I should break down technical questions. Takeaways: remember that everyone is supposed to struggle through the problem-solving process, work with a good example to develop the algorithm, you can’t possibly know how you did because evaluation is based on how you did relative to other candidates on the same question.
- Attempted to implement backpropagation for ML Week 5 Neural Networks: Learning homework, looping through the m training examples as suggested by Andrew Ng. The math wasn’t working out quite right, as gradient checking showed.
- Reattempted the backpropagation algorithm in vectorized form as suggested by a TA on the discussion board. This worked fine. It seems like looping through each example would work too, just that each operation would be done on a vector instead of a matrix with m rows. Finally done the homework!
- Worked on tic tac toe a bit so clicking on a square emits a ’click’ event, which is received by the server over the socket. The socket responds to ‘click’ events by playing a piece in the corresponding square of the game, and emits a ‘played’ event that sends the game as data. The client socket logs the game to the console on a ‘played’ event. I haven’t decided how I want to rerender the game onto the page yet. The socket stuff is experimental while I consider how I want to organize my application.
- Mary and I went over how I might abstract the traversal logic from my local version control system (VCS) into higher-order functions. I currently have two similar functions for copying a directory, and for clearing a directory. I didn’t do this yet, mostly because the way I’ve done part 1 of the VCS may be affected when I write part 2 on metadata.
- Most of my afternoon was focused on the Coursera ML Week 5 videos on Neural Networks: Learning and the backpropagation algorithm. I’ve done the quiz and homework up to backpropagation, and I think I’ll try to work on the rest throughout the week.
Things I’ve been working on in the past week include:
- Writing quick READMEs to wrap up previous projects
- A very naive rock paper scissors game (Node/Express)
- The beginnings of a networked tic tac toe game (Node/Express/Socket.IO)
- Coursera Machine Learning Week 4, Neural Networks: Representation
- Part 1 of a local version control system for the Friday challenge (Node)
The Hacker School party was a lot of fun! I talked to lots of great people!
These are photos taken in one of the photo booths. They turned out great! Thank you to everyone who worked on fun projects that made the night such a success!
(Top: me and Alice)
(Middle: me, Minnie, Ryan, and Max)
(Bottom: me, Brent, and Alice)
Today, 30 more people joined our summer batch. Everyone I talked to this morning was nice! The space is noticeably louder though. I’ll have to see what will help me stay focused.
Permutations and Scrabble tile representations! I’m having a hard time with combinations, so I’ll try to get more help tomorrow. I understand that some people can do the same thing in less time, but I’m moving at a pace where I think I’m making progress and understanding things better than I used to.