Friday, October 14, 2011

First AI homework done, Octave is nice

... but I obviously need a refresher course to get the intuition for what's right up. Good thing that the machine learning homework is really simple. Hopefully I'll get it done by this sunday, one week before it's due. One can hope.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

First day of real coursework

So today was the first day of real coursework. I've been through module 1 and some of module 2 of the AI course and started on the machine learning videos.

Both of these courses have in-video review questions, and that's in fact a good idea. In both of the classes the material so far is just repetition, but it's repetition of stuff I learned quite a few years back, so today's lesson is that this kind of repetition is something one should approach with some humility: I know this stuff, or at least so I believe, yet I've yet to score perfectly (on first attempt) on any (except one) of the review questions. I even managed to get most answers to the review-questions about tree and graph-search algorighms wrong. I didn't see that coming. However, I'm taking this in good spirits. This is fun, it's a bit more challenging than I thought it would be at this stage but that's ok :-)

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's the little things - Octave and Gnuplot on OSX

I look forward to do some work on the machine learning and AI tasks, but right now I'm struggling with the basic tools. In particular the fact that I can't get plotting to work with Octave on OSX. I can get Octave to work, I can get Gnuplot to work, but not to use Gnuplot from within Octave. It's very frustrating. I will of course crack this one one way or another, but this is the kind of hurdle I get no pleasure from jumping over.

Update: I found a solution on

It's simply to put this:

## commands executed on startup

into an ~/.octaverc file. It works for octave, but not for QtOctave, but that's acceptable.

Update 2: It even works for qtMatlab, now I only need to get the inferior octave thingy in AquaEmacs to work and I'm all set to work in perfect comfort :-)

Happy Happy Joy Joy

The joys of fatherhood: Yesterday I was helping my son to bed, talking a bit with him and reading from a book. He is six years old and has recently started in first grade at school. Two really nice things happened:
  1. For some reason we were talking about numbers, and I asked him if the number eight was a prime. He waited a few seconds obviously thinking, then smiled and said "No, because it is an even number" . His math teacher is really cute too :-)
  2. I've decided to feed him some antidote to children's television, so I'm reading Kiplings "Jungle Book" for him (not the Disney version). I haven't read that version myself before and it was a plesant surprise: It's very well written, witty and not very politically correct. Sometimes it's just plain brutal, but (except some blatantly racist parts that I quietly skipped when reading) it's also very tasteful. Hooray for old Rudyard ;-)