Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Semester one

Hi ya'll,

So the first semester as a Lecturer is finally coming to an end for me. This is totally crazy!

I never imagined I would be a lecturer, could it be the fact that I was maybe not the best student to have in any class; on account that I was a passive aggressive, narcissistic, and a little bit of a know-it-all kind of student? I don't know!

But the one thing I was a never was an over achiever, well not until I really encountered some students from Germany on my first trip there as an intern working for Daimler. That was the time i realised that what I was doing, merely coasting along and doing just enough to pass was not cutting it.

I mean, there were tests and exams that I would stop writing just because I knew that I had answered enough questions to pass (even the detail of the answers!). It even got to the point were I would only study half the material intentionally with the aim of seeing if I could successfully guess what the lecturer would as for exams (could it be that I was conducting little experiments and dangerously treading a thing line?). Well, most of the times I was right except for one subject in my Bachelors that I could not figure out. In essence I couldn't figure out what he (the lecturer) would ask for exams because I never attended his lectures, yet I was one of this best students when it came to assignments and tests. But that damn exam, I just couldn't figure out.

In retrospect I think that was the day I decided to start attending lectures. Aced the exam, but just enough to pass, then walked out (even though I knew every answer to all the questions twasn't interesting to me at the time). I sometimes wonder; if had I given more effort, would I have been an honour student?

Well, that was answered when after returning home from Germany I enrolled for the Honours Degree. Gave it the best I could, with backsliding tendencies of laziness at first. I quickly got accustomed to getting A's and being the top student in my year. It felt good!

I tried my very best not to answer as many questions in classes: because I once managed to finish reading all the assigned reading for a class in the first month of the semester, so I kinda had an advantage on tests, assignments and classes. It worked well and yes the Award for Best student in that study programme was awarded to me.

What I am getting at is that often times I saw myself in some of my students through this semester and it was looking into the inside from the outside, a sort of Deja Vu if you will.

I enjoyed the semester, I might have gotten attached to my students a little bit much and always expect the best from them, sometimes they deliver but at the end of the semester almost all of them I can successfully say have acquired a new sense of work ethic.

Maybe I am trying to correct the wrongs I did as a student to myself, by not fully recognising my true potential academically. But, that pushes my students to always give high quality work and for that I give myself a pat of the back.

In terms of pedagogy I am still learning how to fully deal with the different personalities. Often times the pedagogical approach was changed to accommodate as many students as possible. Most times it worked but other times not. I hope and know that the lessons learned from this semester will result in more fun classes and assignments for the students and myself.

With that I signoff and will be blogging on other matters.

Laterz,
G!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Programming on Supercomputers

Hi ya'll,

So as a pass time I have decided to keep myself busy with learning activities. One such activity is the IT Masters course on Programming on Supercomputers. The class is scheduled to start on the 17th of June 2015 and i can't wait.

Some of the sample content of this course is listed below:

  1. Porting code to the Xeon Phi
  2. Coding Linear Methods for Regression
  3. Model Assessment and Selection
  4. Additive Models, Trees and Related Methods
  5. Support Vector Machines and Flexible Discriminants'
  6. Neural Networks
  7. Developing using Prototype Methods and Nearest Neighbours
  8. Supervised and Unsupervised Learning

It is a 5 week long class and it has both live lectures by way of Webinars, alternatively the content will also be available as recordings for later viewing.

But the best part is that between "Lectures", there will be extra reading and practical labs to enable testing of a Xeon Phi and CUDA based system.

I can't wait GPU programming, this is just the start. Imagine what kind of supercomputing you can expect...

Laterz,

G!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Life Update

Hi Ya'll,

I trust most of you have been doing well. Ame ondili nawa lela.

So it has been a while since I posted anything on this blog and in all honesty I will make it a weekly thing from now on "That's what I said... 7 months ago". In any-case, I have been a busy worker bee, finally worked on my business ideas; well some of them at least, got a full-time job; pat on my back ;-) and traveled rather extensively (for how busy I am).

 But that is not the most exciting news as of yet. Lately, I regained my interest and passion for old cars and finally got my Classic VW Beetle fixed and running. The amazing feeling one gets from a tuned classic beetle Engine is crazy good. She runs as smooth as a baby's bottom and the rush you I get from driving it, I just can't explain. I am looking to name her, but I am thinking HEIDI mostly because it is German, sounds like a trusty person, did I mention its a German name?

Anyhow, at present I just have to sort out some registration issues and we (HEIDI and I) might start taking holidays together.

On the other side of things, I just bought about 5 new books by Namibian Authors, well actually just 4. The 5th book I worked for, how? Well, the bookstore that I buy my books from called Orumbonde Bookstore, which is located at the Arts and Crafts Centre in Windhoek, Namibia: Is run by a Gentleman by the name of Wolfram who also happens to be a scholar of African Studies. He wrote a book called The Colonising Camera: Photographs in the Making of Namibian History and book that looks at well how the colonial era dealt with images etc. I did a small job for him and he gifted said book to me. The exciting thing about it is that, it is the last book to have been printed and for sale. yaaayyy mee!

Ohh well, time to get back to work, Twas nice updating this blog again,

Laterz,

G!