At school, I sucked at Math (or Maths, which is what we call in the UK). My teacher was a stereotypical maths teacher and I wasn’t the most engaged student in the world. At 15, I didn’t really care for algebra nor did I believe that it would have any impact on my future. The combination of a lack of motivation to put in a good effort along with a poor motivator at the helm (Thanks, Dauntsey’s) was never going to result in a future Alan Turing.

It would be easy to just close the book on Math, blame my teachers and run away. But after giving up being beaten up every week back in 2012, I had to start thinking about going to University and generally what to do in my life. I still haven’t figured it out yet, but I ended up with a first-class honours degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Auckland.

During my dissertation year, I studied the effects of the Internet of Things and wearable devices on elderly healthcare. The paper itself did alright (two marks away from an A+) and I’m currently working on a submission for a conference on it. During my literature review, I found that these devices could not only assess a patients current health condition, but also be used as a diagnostic tool to predict future health conditions. This was enabled by the use of Big Data and Machine Learning.

Originally, I had planned to study the effects of Machine Learning on either the stock market or the sports industry. However these topics had either been done to death or not touched at all, making it hard to gather enough material to ensure that my dissertation was both original and worthwhile. But this hasn’t stopped my curiosity for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

But there’s just one problem. A big maths problem 😦

AI and Machine Learning are both the now and the future. With threats of automation taking over jobs and the like, I don’t really want to face a future where I’m on the wrong side of this progress. So how the fuck do I undo the damage?

I found this series on Medium which I’d really recommend you read if you want to get back into the Math game. I started reading the No Bullshit Guide to Math and Physics by Ivan Savov (which is on the recommended reading list) and I’m really enjoying it. I don’t know what the fuck he’s on about sometimes and I’ve had to re-read shit over and over again just to barely understand a concept, but I’m optimistic about the future.

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A fun, yet confusing first step

It’ll take a long time, but I think I’ll get the hang of it. I hope to post my progress on this blog as I improve. My goal isn’t to become Alan Turing, I’d just like to be able to learn something cool and then build something that helps someone someday.

Now, what’s the deal with quadratic factoring?