## Inspiration
"Aggressively taking the least shortcuts possible is the fastest shortcut." - [Hackernews user 127](https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=37358559)
"The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics" - [Paul Halmos](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Halmos)
## Process
Excellent process from [uwaterloo](https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/catalogs/tip-sheets/self-directed-learning-four-step-process)
1. Assess readiness
2. Set learning goals
3. Engage in the process
4. Evaluate learning
## Plan
My basic plan is to attempt to give myself the equivalent of an MSc program in AI/ML/Data Science, with all the associated mathematical and computer science foundations and filling in any prerequisite knowledge or areas where I am super rusty using primarily on-line resources.
This I will do by self-directed study, documenting this process to form a set of notes on the topics under question. To enhance my own ability to stay motivated and evaluate my own learning I have decided to "[[learning in public|learn in public]]" and make some or all of my notes available online. The goal is to iteratively become more rigorous as my skills improve so I hope to go back and refine or improve old material over time.
## Goals
The goals of this activity are:
1. To provide focus and structure to this activity to help me stay committed
2. To study deeply into areas I am interested in
3. To have a sound and broad mathematical background to my work
4. To get really good at AI and machine learning from both a practical and theoretical point of view
## First steps
I have begun this process by completing a couple of on-line courses on [deeplearning.ai]([https://www.deeplearning.ai](https://www.deeplearning.ai/)) and starting some background study, making my algebra less rusty and then doing the [Maths for AI and Machine Learning](https://www.deeplearning.ai/courses/mathematics-for-machine-learning-and-data-science-specialization/) specialization by deeplearning.ai on Coursera.
## Next
I’m pulling together a [[self study syllabus|self-study syllabus]] and am considering taking some online university maths courses to help to maintain motivation.
## Philosophy of studying maths
Check out [You are studying maths wrong](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEg9Q2hY2ks) .
My approach to maths is that maths is three things:
1. A body of knowledge that has been built up over thousands of years by some of the most amazing people. It is a privilege to study it and I aspire one day to make some small contributions
2. a set of skills used by mathematicians to discover this knowledge
3. a language used to communicate this knowledge to others
With that in mind, I want to not only learn more maths, but also to improve my fluency with and understanding of the language as well as improve my ability to use the skills practically. So I'm going to work in 4 streams in parallel:
1. from the ground up to improve the rigour of my understanding of basic concepts, trying to prove/derive every important result myself along the way
2. forwards from my current understanding doing lots of problems to work on my practical skills to enhance my practical abilities and increase my knowledge even when my foundational understanding hasn't quite caught up yet
3. on my ability to *communicate* maths by writing notes, getting fluent with Latex, getting better at using other mathematical tools such as Maxima, Geogebra etc. I will bias towards opensource tools wherever practically possible and try to make source files etc available where I can.
4. on practical programming/visualization/data science stuff that applies these abilities to real world problems
## On Hard Work
Check out [You are studying maths wrong](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEg9Q2hY2ks) (again) and remember there are _no shortcuts whatsoever_ in maths. The point of solving practise problems is not to get the answer to the problem. The point is to become a mathematician. (See the below about 1m in).
"The biggest factors that are going to affect your success are
- your mindset
- your discipline
- and your willingness to fail, and then to persevere even in spite of it.
Shortcuts _simply do not exist_ for Mathematics, but improving your process of studying will shorten the time it takes to achieve the goals that you want." I have watched and rewatched and re-rewatched this section.
![](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5rD0B-zfXw&t=62s)
[[If you come across these notes]]