Improving Deep Neural Networks – Ng’s 2nd Course [Nov. 2017]

For my review of the first course, see this post.

In that post I was saying that I’m flirting with the thought of paying my way through the specialization ($49 a months) after the 7-day free trial. And that’s exactly what I did.

Then I enrolled in the second course of this 5-course Deep Learning specialization and it took about 5-6 days to finish it, at a semi-relaxed pace. My final grade was 100%.

After these first two courses, I sort-of have a strategy which seems to be convenient for me. I try to watch all the lectures of a specific week in one or two sittings. This helps me achieve a good overall perspective of the material and it’s also very helpful when I do the practice quizzes. Now, a few words about the course…

Ng’s Neural Networks and Deep Learning – Some Thoughts [Nov. 2017]

I stopped taking courses on Coursera circa 2016 because I grew dispassionate about their payment models and because they stopped providing statements of accomplishment at the end of the course.

Ironically, the same payment model seems to have reignited my active interest in Coursera. About a few days ago I entered a 7-day free trial in the Deep Learning AI Specialization.

It took about 5 days to finish the first course Neural Networks and Deep Learning taught by Andrew Ng, adjunct professor at Stanford University and co-founder of Coursera. The course is 4 weeks long.

Given the level of complexity of the course, it would have taken me at least a month to get through the lectures, quizzes and programming projects, if there were no-strings attached. I take pride of the fact that I actively motivated myself to spend a couple of hours everyday working through the materials.

In the following lines I’m going to share a few thoughts after taking this first course of the specialization.

Artificial Neural Networks with Python – [New Series]

I haven’t been posting a lot of stuff on the blog lately, but I have been quite active online. I’m posting almost daily on my steemit blog and I also work on videos for my Youtube channel. Some of the videos are just stuff from my life related to nutrition and fitness while, others are programming videos.

Recent Physique Update and Lifestyle Changes – [September 2017]

This is a quick video of my physique as of September 2017. Since my last one from early August, I have made some significant changes in my lifestyle.

First and foremost, I stopped intermittent fasting and I’ve been eating at least 3 meals a day every since. With IF I tend to lose fat on an ongoing basis and that’s not what I want for now. On the contrary, I want to put on some weight and I don’t mind if part of it is fat.

Nutrient Dense High Protein Lunch – [New Experiments]

Let’s start with some context…

For now, I’ve stopped intermittent fasting. I tried many variations of this type of meal timing and all of them, with adequate customization, seem to work. The one that appears to be most convenient for me is 18-6 with 2 meals; the last one I experimented with was one meal a day.

New York City Personal Video Compilation – [Landmarks]

My Steemit Crypto Experience – Personal Reflections [One Year Later]

It was about a year ago (circa July 26, 2016) when I decided to join, a social platform that rewards its users for posting, commenting, voting, and curating content.

You can think of it like a facebook that rewards you with crypto-currency for your participation.

Atop of that, there is no central authority behind the ‘wheel’, like with conventional social media. Of course, there are games of power; but most of what happens on this platform is relatively transparent and all ‘transactions’ (transfers, withdrawals, etc.) and ‘operations’ (comments, posts, votes) can be viewed by anyone, by using different tools or by accessing the Steem blockchain programmatically (which I’ve been doing a lot).

This type of decentralized social media is likely to catch, in my view. We are averse to being controlled, but most of us are unaware of our actual ‘puppet’ status. I don’t believe in conspiracies, but I know that for-profit companies need to successfully meet their financial agendas. To get a very small sense of you being exploit, I’d recommend listening to this discussion between Sam Harris and Tristan Harris.

Phising for Phools – The Economics of Manipulation and Deception [Animated]

In this animation I share a few thoughts and take-home messages from reading Akerlof and Shiller’s book, Phising for Phools:

Mid-Summer Physique Update – [July 2017]

This is a another very quick physique update video I posted yesterday on my Youtube channel:

ACTN3 Gene and Sports Performance – A Look into 1,750 Genomes [OpenSNP]

While phenotypes are most often defined by a combination of genetic mutations (SNPs and other), there are single gene modifications that seem to have powerful phenotypic effects – think of diseases driven by single nucleotide polymorphisms. In such circumstances, you can’t do much on the ‘nurture’ side of things – when the ‘nature’ or the genetics side of it is so determining.

We’re going to take a brief look at a phenotype that seems to be strongly affected by mutations in the alpha-actin-3 or ACTN3 gene. Specifically, we take advantage of the ‘opennes’ of the OpenSNP platform where users share genetic and phenotype data.

Even more specifically, we’re looking at rs1815739 (SNP) which refers to the coding of a premature stop codon in ACTN3, which is a muscle protein located on chromosome 11. This genetic mutation seems to affect muscle performance.

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