An academic professional

I’m three days in to my new role and, while there is some run of the mill development that I’m managing there’s also a very exciting project just starting that I’ll be taking from the very beginning based on a discussion I had with the CEO on my first day.

This new secret project means I’ve got to become an expert in Deep Learning and also all the changes in AI and since I wrote my own thesis.  I discovered very quickly that the way I knew was the “old way” and that machine learning has come on very considerably in a short space of time. So the past few days I’ve regressed into academic mode.

Fortunately as a student of the OU I have access to most of the scientific journals so I’ve been searching, reading, digging into references and making notes. Normally at this two day point I’d be confident enough to start making estimates and even consider putting a prototype together over the next few weeks to get a feel for the sort of team I’d need to build.  But not this time 🙂

While mathematics was always my strong point, until recently it was paused at A-level standard, except for some very specific parts that I needed to support my undergraduate degree and then doctorate.  My OU degree is helping certainly, but 3 modules in (equivalent of 3/4 of the first year of a normal maths degree) I’m finding that there are significant gaps in my knowledge, which is slowing down my research.  Ever the epitome of stubbornness, I’m pushing ahead.  I have two PhD theses and 12 papers to read to finish this initial research stage, plus the inevitable distraction of taking an aside to ensure I follow the maths.

I can’t remember the last time I felt my brain being stretched this much.  It’s an addiction I’d forgotten and am happily welcoming back into my life.


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Dr Janet is a Molecular Biochemistry graduate from Oxford University with a doctorate in Computational Neuroscience from Sussex. I’m currently studying for a third degree in Mathematics with Open University. During the day, and sometimes out of hours, I work as a Chief Science Officer. You can read all about that on my LinkedIn page.