Why I took Winter 2020 off?
For the past three years, as a University of Waterloo student, I have gotten the opportunity to partake in four different co-ops/internships alternating between school terms. I have found these experiences to be so invaluable to my learnings as an engineering student and just as a human and I am so grateful for each one of them. However, because of this busy schedule of going back and forth between school and co-op, I found that I had very little time to explore some of the projects/passions/interests I wanted to. The idea of a sabbatical had always seemed interesting to me; one of my professors took a sabbatical and talked highly of the various benefits. Finally, I really wanted to try what Marc Andreessen here says: https://pmarchive.com/guide_to_personal_productivity.html. I figured that if anytime would be prime time to do something like this, it would be now since the opportunity cost will just keep on increasing as responsibilities start to pile up. Therefore, due to these reasons, and a few other factors, it really felt like the stars aligned and the timing felt right for me to take this winter term off.
What will I do with this time?
The main projects that I will be focusing on during this time can be clumped into two categories: technical and non-technical.
- Machine Learning: I have been trying to level up in ML for a while now. I still want to keep working on this goal and hope to finish up work on fast.ai to improve my skills in the field while working on a few projects.
- Brain Computer Interfaces: Ever since I have been introduced to the tech behind BCI, I have been very captivated by their potential. I hope to further explore the inner workings of the tech.
- Coding: This is a little more generic but I would just like to become a better programmer, be that developing proficiency at a certain language or getting better at problem-solving.
- Reading/Writing: This is something I have not been able to do for a long period of time. I intend to change that and attack the ever-expanding reading list. I’m also planning to keep active with this blog and starting a newsletter soon - stay tuned :)
- Wellness: My physical health and diet has deteriorated over the past year; I hope to change that
- Travel: I will be travelling for a little bit come March. The tight timelines between school and co-op don’t allow for much extended travel and hence this goal.
Where will I be based?
For the first two months, I will be based out of my hometown, Grande Prairie, Alberta. After that point, travels will take me to Southeast Asia.
P.S. : If you have experience in BCI/ML and want to work on projects together, that contact page is not too too far away :)