Help is On the Way

Today was frustrating, to say the least. I’m taking computer courses. This I need to put into context. I’m 52 years old, I already have a profession that I enjoy, and I don’t need to be doing this. But I am. This particular course is about how computer languages are structured and it’s being taught online. The class started at 9h15, and by 10h30, I was lost. Let me be precise here; before 10h30, I sort of vaguely understood the general topic that was being discussed but I was still far from really getting it. After that, it was like listening to, say, a lecture by aliens about their local sports. I think it was math. Or that is to say, I think if you’d studied math, it might be understandable. I haven’t and it was hours and hours of suffering. The subject was semantics, and I understood a bit of the operational semantics lecture and then it all when down the tubes when the teacher tried to show how to write the proofs.

The good news came at the end. We are not going to have to take an exam over this, so I can just listen and try to glean what I can from it, just for the pleasure of trying to suss out how we create computer languages so that a computer can do things. In itself, it’s pretty cool. I was afraid of having to do something with the knowledge, though, like write a proof myself, or explain a proof, or worse, explain a proof that has errors and try to explain the errors, in some stressful exam situation.

What we do have to do is a presentation, and I’m totally into my subject so it’s fun. Natural language processing. I’ll probably do something about robo-journalism, and maybe a little foray into something else, like how to map the semantics of a word. (I sound pretty impressive, I think, when I throw out words like “mapping semantics”, but it’s pretty simple. There’s a good article here: https://towardsdatascience.com/real-time-sentiment-analysis-on-social-media-with-open-source-tools-f864ca239afe)

In any case, I had help. Foro was there, and he’ll explain it all to me later.

Foro and friend, studying hard.

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