NIPS 2015 Highlights

This wasn't my first NIPS (I grew up in Denver, after all), but it was by far the largest. The fact that machine learning has become this popular really showed this year. People were everywhere. The deep learning sessions were crowded.

On the Subject of Machine Intelligence Popularity

A few folks have talked to me recently about whether or not machine learning is growing in popularity. Most are under the opinion that it's not at all, and sight things like the fact that neural networks have been around for ages, that Google's always been all about ml (PageRank for instance), etc. I decided to to dig into it a bit more, and here's the data.

char-rnn

Like most of the community, I've spent some of my free time during the past few weeks playing around with char-rnn. There's definitely something a little awe inspiring here. I won't waist your time talking about how it works, Karpathy has already done an amazing job there. I wouldn't just read through his blog post though, I'd urge you to take the time to read all the papers and other articles he's linked to. I promise, you won't regret it.

Email Sentiment Analysis

Below is the result of a weekend playing around with doing sentiment analysis over my own corpus of personal email. Email is one of the often overlooked goldmines of user data, previous work at SendGrid and Return Path have given me some insight into this.

The Builder's High, v2

This post is inspired by The Builder's High (as in these were my notes on it before I decided to turn them into a short article). While reading through Michael’s piece, I felt he was touching on something, but didn't hit it home quite the way I would, though I throughly enjoyed the read. So, I'll get high, and elaborate on my thoughts.

Headline

When I was in college, I made a small script that would try and analyze the amount of time one spent looking for articles, and the amount of time one spent actually reading. To my surprise, for myself and friends, it's about half and half. That means we spend nearly *half* of our 'reading' time just looking for something good to read...

The Bay Area, First Impressions

As I walk down the crackled sidewalk, the child in me still tries to avoid stepping on the lines. I breath in the half fresh, half polluted air. I walk by a homeless man begging, and toss him one of the clif bars in my backpack. Once I reach my destination, a coffee shop, I walk in to find countless people in converse shoes and hipster glasses. There's a large tub in the middle, filled with coffee beans. The beans are being slowly stirred around under heat, releasing the most wonderful aroma. I make my order, sit by the window, and wait.

Software Engineering Interviews

A little while ago I was graduating college, and looking for a job. During that time, I spent a lot of my days gathering knowledge that could help me during technical interviews. I wanted to be able to pull off the perfect one, and come off as professional, knowledgeable, and above all, kickass.