Last August I wrote a quick post about how I was going back to school to do Mathematics and Statistics… it’s official, I’m back in school. I’m currently taking the B.Sc. in Applied Mathematics and Statistics at the University of South Africa. Yay.
Th application and registration process came with a bit of drama. A lot of things happened, such as the South African President announcing free education, students protesting about free education and the staff going on strike (for money, not free education). For a while, I thought I probably wouldn’t be able to register but thankfully things worked out.
In my first post, I didn’t mention the reason why I chose mathematics, I think I just did that “Just because” thing. So, I’d like to correct that now. I chose Mathematics and Statistics because the future is data. These days people are producing a metric shit-tonne of data every second. Companies like Facebook and Google have been harvesting that data and making billions off it. Fields like Machine Learning have gotten more viable now because of the presence of such data. In fact, human culture is changing in response to data. We now have self-driving cars, facial detection is a solved problem, China is doing Minority Report style pre-crime screening and some guy created an app that inserts Nick Cage’s face into other characters in a movie. All these innovations were made possible because of the ubiquity of data.
At this point, to prevent me getting lynched by nomenclature-Nazis, I know the scientific definitions of data, information and the relationship between them. I know that my usage of the word “data” in the paragraph above is technically wrong, but I’m not changing it. I just thought I’d let you know that I know.
The future is data and for me, managing that data and squeezing every drop of information out of it for my own selfish desires sounds fun. But to do that I need Mathematics and Statistics. I need to understand the maths behind the algorithms used in ML and AI, because how else can I improve them? Lol.
Anyway, back on to the original point, I’ve started my program and thus far it’s pretty easy and understandable. I’m putting a bit more effort here to understand because experience has taught me that understanding is better than memorizing. Doing this program has also come with an unexpected benefit, I got Office 2016 for free and a free subscription to Office 365. Although when I think about it the cost is probably factored into my fees, so never mind. One other thing I got but didn’t need or want is another email address. Sheesh.
The last thing I wanted to mention is that when I turned thirty I sat down and made a list of things I want to achieve by the time I’m 40. One of those things was to get a Ph.D. and have all y’all call me Doctor.
Yes, but why?
For the lolz.
First step complete. Oh yeah.
NB: Also, there is no particular meaning to the apple, I just chose it because I can’t, not have a featured image.
King Pinn: I Salute You. I’m driving halfway across the country and this song is on repeat. Rest in Peace Tonderai Makoni. You were awesome.
After a few weeks off I’m back to business. This is just an update post detailing plans for the rest of the year.
At last we finally have the great reveal, our mystery project was implementing RSA encryption in rust.
We build the final piece of our mystery project, a function that computes modular exponentiation. Come on in, we have large numbers.
We build another part of the mystery project by creating a function that calculates the modular multiplicative inverse of a number.