Starting with LESS

So, while there is progress on the Web App front of my startup, the task at hand is creating mockups and code the HTML CSS markup for it which basically can be translated to views.

So, Just before I start coding, I will read LESS, Bootstrap 3 and Modular CSS and build the markups elegantly and quickly. The main reason to do this is, we can iterate over the design/colors quickly in the coming times. I hope to finish this in a weeks time. If I feel, I cannot, I will use old methodology of writing spaghetti code for frot-end to make it work.

I start with Getting Started with Less.

This was easy and I am already in love with LESS. It makes a programmer feel empowered when it comes to coding themes and following DRY(Don’t repeat yourself) principles.

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Agile and Test Driven Development!*

Today I learnt in detail about Agile and the whole product development cycle in this methodology. I watched all the videos at AgileInNutshell. That lead me to read and understand Test Driven Development methodology.

The whole process is very simple to get to grips with, and it shouldn’t take too long before you wonder how you were able to get anything done before! There are huge gains to be made from TDD – namely, the quality of your code improving, but also clarity and focus on what it is that you are trying to achieve, and the way in which you will achieve it. TDD also works seamlessly with agile development, and can best be utilized when pair-programming, as you will see later on.

– Beginning Test-Driven Development in Python

I am really excited to inculcate these ideologies in my workflow and style of programming. This will definitely make me a better programmer, but might reduce my productivity. I am learning R and RubyOnRails. In both I will try to implement all the code that I write using TDD. There are lots of good resources out there. I have not yet settled on one that I will follow, but the starting book for ROR is RailsTutorial, which I preached TDD itself, so that is good for me.

Which technology stack to use?

It is the phase of my startup when I am deciding the technologies we will be using to build the Online Athletigen service. It is so confusing to decide on one. There are so many great stacks I could fixate on but all of them have their strengths and weaknesses and there is so much advice to confuse me even more. I boiled down to Ruby on Rails or Python Django, at first. I was going to build a small sample app in Django first and then ROR. I told myself, If I stick with ROR, to start I am going to read the book, Programming with Ruby and then follow the free book online on Ruby on Rails. One of my teammates, Daniel has been insisting on FLASK micro framework, but I knew it is a one file micro framework so I didn’t give it serious thought. When I did, I discovered Pyramid from a reddit post. I was amazed. I read about the web frameworks war and comparisons. I installed VIRTUALENV and started my journey with Pyramid from this introduction. I viewed a presentation on what Pyramid had to offer. The power and advantages of Pyramid  what convinced me that Pyramid is worth the investment. So, SQLalchemy and Pyramid is what I am going forward with. I installed PyCharm, don’t know why I waited so long to experience its awesomeness. Now, I am feeling well equipped to dive into the project. And there is always something unexpected that happens in early stages of a project. The project development took a turn and the stack changed completely to SPRING MVC + AngularJS. This change was triggered by a new java enterprise developer who joined our team recently and was not comfortable with interpreted and not strictly OOP nature of Python.

2014 Resolutions/Goal

So here are my resolutions for 2014. I am writing them in my blog so that I can reveal them to all, giving me a even greater incentive to stick to them.

  • Get involved in some NGO/Campaign
  • Launch a startup
  • Get in top 200 in Kaggle
  • Go to Europe in summer
  • Remove addiction to sugar
  • Launch an app/software in a market place
  • Write a journal/blog entry at least 3 a week
  • Finish at least 3 Novels/Books (facepalm)

Resources for Data Sceince

I created a mind map of the resources easily accessible for becoming a Data Scientist.

Mind MapIf the map is not clearly visible then here is a link on iMind http://imm.to/vQSjF, .

The links cited in the mind map are:

  1. http://scikit-learn.org/stable/presentations.html

  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w26x-z-BdWQ

  3. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/technology/06stats.html?_r=3&emc=eta1&

  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLiwCKpoW1Q

  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8hle-ni-DM

  6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxRMXhjXZos

  7. http://videolectures.net/mloss08_hunter_mat/

  8. http://www.engr.ucsb.edu/~shell/che210d/numpy.pdf

  9. http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~nando/340-2009/lectures/linalg.pdf

  10. http://docs.python.org/2/tutorial/

  11. http://seat.massey.ac.nz/personal/s.r.marsland/MLbook.html

  12. http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~nando/340-2012/python.php

  13. http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-best-open-source-machine-learning-libraries-written-in-Python

  14. http://tryr.codeschool.com/

  15. http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/sloan-school-of-management/15-097-prediction-machine-learning-and-statistics-spring-2012/lecture-notes/MIT15_097S12_lec02.pdf

  16. In the Data Analysis R section https://www.kaggle.com/wiki/Tutorials

  17. http://www.johndcook.com/R_language_for_programmers.html

  18. Prerequisite section http://mlthirst.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/video-resources-for-machine-learning/

  19. Basic ML http://mlthirst.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/video-resources-for-machine-learning/

  20. http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920018483.do

  21. http://www.amazon.com/Pattern-Classification-2nd-Richard-Duda/dp/0471056693

  22. Advanced ML http://mlthirst.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/video-resources-for-machine-learning/

  23. http://www.bioinformatics.org/wiki/Introduction_to_bioinformatics_(book_list)

  24. http://www.bioinformatics.org/wiki/Genomics,_genetics_and_related_sequence_analysis_with_computers_(book_list)

  25. http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/r/

 

This will be improved over time. But this is a good initial start for me to get the ground running. Please add feedback in the comments.

 

 

Review 2012-2013 @ SRE, McGill University.

ISAS – Audio Augmented Reality App for the blind

Project Page – [http://isas.cim.mcgill.ca/]

ISAS is an eyes-free mobile system designed to give blind users a better sense of their surroundings. The goal is to use 3D spatialized audio to reveal the kind of information that visual cues such as neon signs provide to sighted users. Once users notice a point of interest, additional details are available on demand.

My work was on the Android Port of the app. I got the bare bone structure of the android app at the beginning and now it is nearing completion. It will be released in the Google Play store next month. My report after first sem, can be found (here). I also got an opportunity to do a Poster Presentation at GRAND 2013 on my work. The poster can be found (here).

RTER –  Real Time Emergency Response

Live – [http://rter.cim.mcgill.ca/]

Project Page – [http://cim.mcgill.ca/sre/projects/rter/]

This project deals with the detection, observation, and assessment of situations requiring intervention by emergency responders, offering them access to high-quality “live” data that may be visualized effectively both by responders in-situ and by remote operators in dedicated control rooms. Its components will include multimodal data registration, interactive visualization capabilities, and live streaming of the integrated contents.

I developed the Android App from scratch. It is still under development as new features are being added continuously.

This is being developed under Mozilla Ignite Challenge. We were declared the winners by White House. http://whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/06/25/mozilla-ignite-challenge-winner-announced

Our Presentation :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2iTtdosbV4

News: http://gcn.com/articles/2013/07/24/mozilla-ignite-challenge.aspx

Walking Straight – Part of ISAS

My report on this is  (here).

The system detects crosswalk and helps the user align with the direction and position of walking.The detection of the crosswalk is based on bipolarity and regular geometrical features of the markings. Thereafter, relevant  pedestrian traffic lights in the environment are detected. On the green(go) signal, audio feedback is provided to the user to walk without veering. This method tries to compensate for the erroneous sensors on the mobile phones which were leveraged by Walking Straight application to correct the deviation of the blind while walking.

This was my solely research based contribution, others were more implementation based. I still have not been able to complete this work.

Montreal => My first impression

I had been waiting for a long time to put my first impression of Montreal here on my blog. Most of it is taken from the mail I wrote to my friends describing things which intrigued me.

I am in Montreal now and its awesome, simply the word is awesome. Here everything is very different from how I had been used to seeing or doing. I have a Mcgill Id card saying I m a trainee with them which also is my key to 12 libraries, doors of most of the buildings on campus. My mentor is very cool, relaxed and pro. He has cultivated good stress freework culture in our lab and is very helpful too. We have lunch together in the kitchen of our lab 😀 which has cutlery, microwave and fridge. We have talked about different topics and he is a New Yorker himself who bikes to his office in our lab :).  Every where they have the chilled water dispenser which throws the water upwards(which I find a bit weird and uncomfortable to drink from), as on our Delhi airport.  The lab is super cool, I have uploaded some pics on my google and facebook, please have a look. Here it seems that real money is spent on Research and Projects.

My LandLord is an french canadian guy, who is very different and loves Palak Paneer 😛 and loves to laugh :D. My housemate Sebastian Knotz, is an Austrian guy, who is going some civil service work for an year here. He is living in with his girlfriend. He is quite outgoing and social. I have developed good friendship with him and we often go out to clubs and house parties. The only Indian I know is Archi bhaiya, who is ‘Mummy Ji’. He is very accommodating, helpful and fun to be with. Doon school kae bande hai!! 😀

Name of my lab is Center of Intelligent machines (CIM), McGill. My project is a mobile application(on both platforms, iOS and Android) which helps blind users to explore their surroundings. It is not a navigation app, it helps blind users by providing added audio cues through special headphones so that they can hear the normal sounds in the surrounding plus the added info that the device generates depending on where they are walking. The Iphone part is pretty cool, and I am working on its android port so that we can have the same quality on both devices. Google is one of our funder and it has a blind employee who uses our app. I went to meet him the second day after I started here 🙂 The Google office was pretty cool too. It had the Google map of downtown Montreal imprinted on the floor with the reception centered at the address of Google, Quebec

One major difference is street etiquette. People here are generally very rich, or at least for us their way of living is. Public transport can be used by obtaining one card, OPUS card. You can travel anywhere, as many times as you want, you can just take a Months add-on in the card which is for 70$ on a 10$ card and u are good to go anywhere in Montreal. Its all very seamless and easy. Every time you enter the bus, the driver will bid you ‘Hi/Bonjour’ and a ‘have a good a day’ while your are leaving. But the most preferred mode of transport is bikes, bicycles if you may..   Every one is on a bike, a guy with an expensive suit, a beautiful lady with any kind of dress, may it be a single piece dress, jeans or skirt  or anything else, guys without any upper clothing to guys with full sports cycling gear on..speeding through the roads. Its awesome. All the pedestrians only cross the roads on zebra crossing and ya literally its the way I imagined, a car driver will stop the car in front of you and bid you to go first.. 🙂 Also, these bikes are very common inside building offices, my mentor, Jeff brings his on the 436th room on the 4th floor of our building. 🙂

Buildings etc..Houses have no fan and are mostly made of wooden flooring completely.Everyone leaves computers and laptops open, lights open (Huge wastage of electricity, which I dont like !! ). No one cares, as papa says, its a electricity rich country so, I guess it shows clearly :P. But Most of the houses have the brick layer outside which gives the city a beautiful look. McGill Campus is more like as we see in wonder land, or Hogwards. 😛 Here the grocery stores are huge..HUGE..I went to one and it had, like 6-7 choices of onions, have you ever seen any other kind except the one we use? There were 12-15 types and brands of milk, 1% fat, 3.25% fat, cream for coffee and what not.But things are quite expensive here a compared to India.  Also one og the Cineplex that’s like everyone’s favorite has 20 odd screens :O. There are many museums
and big parks you can visit and spend your weekend at.

Food
Here you can find all sorts of food. Specialty of Montreal is Poutine.I still have to try it. Pizzas suck here. They dont have good pizza places, goa was much much better :P. I had sushi, and its awesome. They do give you chopsticks as well which I learnt to use in like 5 mins ;). Bagel is very famous. The coffee places are awesome, you will find then flooded always. They have wifi, ppl do all sorts of stuff there; Study, Work, Surf the net, News and also make love 😛 My food experience is a bit lacking , I couldnt try much, but will be upto some good treats soon. Havent gone to any indian stores yet.  Yogurt Ice cream is also very common here.

I miss my friends and family a lot. I try to keep in touch with them as much as possible. Sometime its a bit lonely, but I keep myself busy to prevent myself from get that mood swing. I still imagine, if I had my college friendes here with me. Things would have been crazy and wild!!!!! I miss my college masti as well. 😦

Also, I know for sure I will change in a lot of ways after I go back. I am learning a lot here and its not only professional but about different cultures, etiquette, standards and much more.
Cheers!!

This is how it is.. 🙂