Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Started two new courses at Coursera

With work and married life, following a post graduate course is almost impossible here in Japan. But there are things I can do to improve my skills and knowledge. Doing nothing is inexcusable. So I started taking free online courses offered by the Coursera network at the beginning of this year. I managed to successfully complete all 3 of them that I started. (Algorithms: Design and Analysis, Part 1, Cryptography 1, Game Theory) Finding time wasn't easy, but I got through. I watched the lecture videos on the train and at lunch hour and at home. But I decided to take it slow from there onwards - take one course at a time. I didn't have many games to play during that time; Crysis 3 was only released after most of it had finished; so that helped a lot!

I gave myself a month long break before starting a new course. I played enough Crysis 3 during that period. And for the next session, I enrolled for the Machine Learning course which is supposed to commence next week. But a friend then told me that he is taking the course on The Hardware/Software Interface and asked me to join. The course content looked familiar and interesting. It was pretty much like the Operating Systems course I took in level 2 at University of Moratuwa, but not identical. Since I know C and I have an interest in this area, I enrolled for the course. It started yesterday (Monday) and I have already started watching the videos.

I have already watched the 1st week's videos on The Hardware/Software Interface course and now I am doing the assignment. The assignment doesn't seem that hard but I had to setup the virtual machine that we were provided with, to start the assignments. We are supposed to do the assignments in that environment and submit the work using a script supplied with the VM. It might be easier when everyone sticks to the same environment, but lack of freedom is not a good thing. 

This time I intend to correct the mistakes I made last time. I need to finish watching videos and doing the assignments as soon as possible. They all piled up towards the weekend and it was so stressful. Also, I need to take notes while watching the videos because I didn't do that last time and I had to go through all the video lectures once more when I was preparing for the exams. Wasted time!

I intend to do the part 2 of Cryptography and Algorithms when they are offered. I have already enrolled for those two. In the meantime, I have to learn some Python. Last time I did everything in C, C++ or C#.
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