Saturday, 26 October 2013

Disfrutando de la lectura

El año que viene haré otra exposición aquí en Berlín. La serie nació por casualidad, de una foto tomada hace seis años y medio de una chica absorta en sus pensamientos en la playa. Tiempo después mi hermana me dijo que, a veces, cuando estaba de guardia y era una de esas noches difíciles, se sentaba al ordenador a ver algunas de mis fotos porque tenían un efecto calmante. Siempre me ha gustado leer y me reconozco en toda esa gente que he fotografiado mientras disfrutaban de un buen libro, la mayoría sin darse cuenta de lo que ocurre a su alrededor y, por ende, no posando para la foto. La foto de arriba me la encontré al salir a la terraza. La vi enseguida en mi cabeza y fui corriendo a por la cámara antes de que el instante mágico desapareciera (algo bastante fácil cuando hay niños de por medio).

Supongo que he tardado bastante en reunir esta serie, pero creo que merece la pena imprimirlas y disfrutarlas en papel, aunque sólo sea por unos días. La exposición será del 7 de julio al 16 de agosto, en el mismo sitio que las anteriores, al fin y al cabo una biblioteca es un lugar muy apropiado para exponer fotos de gente leyendo.

I´m really happy to announce that the Serenity series already has comitted dates for an exhibition!. As mentioned a couple of times, I was by no means in a hurry to have this done. In fact, by next Summer the series will have been over seven years in the making, although most of the time I was not even aware of it myself. But I thought it was about time to print some of these lovely photos. If nothing else, it will be a good excuse to take some more photos between now and next Summer. The dates are from July 7th to August 16th, same place as before here in Berlin.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

The year of the MOOCs

Today I took the exam of the fifth #MOOC I have completed in the last year. Even I am surprised of how this last year has evolved. There was no plan behind this, it simply started as a birthday present from my wife in the form of additional "time off" to take one course from MITx and it quickly developed into an addiction, if such a thing makes sense when it come to education.

I was initially attracted to through the names of MIT and Harvard. Would I be up to the challenge? Well, it turns out I did well enough on #6.00x for me to be very satisfied. Lucky this did not exist at the time I was at college. I would have struggled with the lectures and the MOOCs :-)

After #MITx's 6.00x (Oct to Jan) I was hooked on MOOCs, so I went on to complete a couple more courses on a different platform, #Coursera. These were Georgia Tech's Computational Photography (April - May) and IIT Delhi's Web Intelligence and Big Data (April - June) before taking the highly acclaimed #Machine Learning from Stanford´s Prof. Andrew Ng , which offered a superb learning experience.

After the Summer break, I have completed Data Mining with Weka, from the Waikato University, which makes the fifth one, plus a couple of others I have audited for some lessons.

All in all I have invested a significant amount of my time on education through MOOCs in the last twelve months. I took much fewer photos this year, I read fewer newspapers and blogs, watched much fewer movies and, in exchange, I focused on something I am convinced it will have a long time benefit, my education. The courses were heavily weighted towards Computer Science, which meant challenging programming assignments beside simply watching the videos and reading additional information.

So what´s next? Well, there is a course about Semantic Web offered by the HPI which caught my eye because of something related to work. Plus there is the XSeries offered by MITx, which I will definitely endeavour to follow. Plus so many others that, again, the problem is making up your mind which one to take. Something I learned this last year is that two MOOCs at a time is one too many for me (tried Harvardx CS50x at the same time as MITx 6.00x and did not work since both demand quite a bit of time, plus I had trouble with Web Intelligence, Computational Photography and Machine Learning partly overlapping for some weeks).

So this was my particular year of the MOOCs. Very enjoyable...