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My experience as a fellow in the MLH Fellowship (while leading a project)

A quick recap…

I’ve spent the last 12 weeks participating in the MLH Fellowship, contributing to open-source projects like Babel, SheetJS, and Docsify alongside 10 other student developers. I mainly contributed to Babel Core (the compiler package that 7M+ people use every day) and SheetJS (Excel/Word-like functionalities in JavaScript).

I spent the first 2 months mainly working on low-level concepts like Abstract Syntax Tree (AST) bugs for Babel, and binaries/scripting for js-word- a greenfield project in SheetJS.

After familiarizing myself with the codebase and submitting several Pull Requests (PRs) to…


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You hear all the breakthroughs with artificial intelligence (AI), whether that’s beating five other professional poker players in a game of Texas Holdem, or Waymo’s self-driving car taxi service that’s quickly coming to production, or even finding faster ways to detect breast cancer.

The field of AI is growing exponentially, with discoveries like those happening frequently. But, what’s not that frequent compared to AI, is the progress in healthcare. Recently, there’s been this new field called pharmacogenomics, which is about studying “how genes affect a person’s response to drugs.

Just like how AI intersects with many fields, pharmacogenomics is the…


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With more and more discoveries made in AI each day, the applications of AI have been expanding. Take the example of AI Dungen 2 that uses Open AI’s GPT-2 (NLP model), an open-source text adventure game that generates effectively limitless open-ended storylines.

Or take the example of self-driving cars. The research being done by companies like Uber and trying to predict the intent of drivers through signal cues, or creating more efficient algorithms to fuse the data from different sensors to provide a more robust/detailed input to the computer.

In both these cases, the machine learning model needs to be…


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Photo by Olia Gozha on Unsplash

Being in the education system for the last 14 years has opened my eyes to different perspectives. For the most part, I’ve always wanted to be that kid who gets attention. Seeing others around me doing bigger and cooler things that I couldn’t do, just made me want to do it even more. It started off with the small things.

In grade 2, seeing high school kids have bigger backpacks and doing all this homework made me want to be in their shoes, too. Later in grade 6, seeing people on YouTube building computers made me want to build one.


Let’s face it. All of us are bad at spelling (maybe you’re the exception 🤷). Thier? Their? Definetly? Definitely?

In either case, our brains still understand that this is the word their and definitely.

Let’s try taking this example of a face.

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A normal face

What if I start moving the mouth to the forehead and the eyes to the chin? It might be harder to tell, but it’s still a face.


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Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Grade six was my final year in elementary school and it was also one of the most pivotal moments. Realizing the importance and value of my time early on certainly changed my mindset.

However, I would argue that it shifted in the wrong direction.

From grade six up until now, my mindset has always been to ‘work hard’. Sure, I’d heard the phrase “work smart, not work hard”, but this never made sense to me 🤷. I had no idea what ‘working smart’ meant. It was completely subjective!

As a naive student, I continued adopting this mindset and tweaking it…


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Transportation has been around for a long time. From riding horses 🐎, to the first car made in 1885, to modern cars today, transportation is a 🔑 component associated with our lifestyle.

If you look at the cars today, take a moment to think about how we got here.

  • The late 1800s-1900s: Cars were being introduced and powered by gasoline ⛽
  • Electric cars came along ⚡
  • Now, self-driving cars 🚗.

To this day, the majority of transportation vehicles are operated by a human, but with machine learning advancing super fast, we might not need a driver behind the wheel.

How?


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Elevate Business Track with Marcus Buckingham, author of Nine Lies About Work

“ There has to be a way to redirect employee’s driving ambition and to channel it more productively. There is. Create heroes in every role. Make every role, performed at excellence, a respected profession.”
- Marcus Buckingham

To have everyone “perform at excellence”, the roles have to be unique/different. As a high school student, the education system does a very bad job of making every one unique 👎🏻. Talent and interests are filtered out simply by how the education system is designed.

As someone who was very academic-oriented, I never thought I would have an opportunity to meet some of…


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The vehicle-to-vehicle communication network that we have been waiting for.

The market value for Self-Driving Cars (SDC) is growing exponentially and is predicted to be valued over $557 billion by 2026!

With the market on the rise, one of the drawbacks holding this industry behind is the stigma associated with driverless cars.

Think about it.

The idea of a computer driving a car on the highway! Sounds a little scary?


A general understanding of what self-driving cars are really about.

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Lyft’s self-driving car [Source]

Every year, there are around 1.25 million deaths caused by road accidents. That’s equivalent to 3,287 deaths on a daily basis! As a teenager just learning how to drive, this is a scary fact that lingers at the back of my mind. On top of that, there’s also a ridiculous amount of traffic that we have to suffer through, which just creates unnecessary frustration for most people.

This got me thinking … is there another way we can replicate the driving of humans, but 20x better?

This is where I…

William Law

18 y/o | Currently reading on infra/devops | Twitter @wlaw_

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