[Blog Reads] December 2016 – January 2017

l2017blogging Hi everyone! Sorry for the belated post. December is the month of exams and studying. It was also the end of my internship/part-time job as well as the time to submit my research paper for my undergraduate courses. Furthermore, I had been traveling a lot all across the world (more posts on them coming soon). In brief, I had been overwhelmed with things to do and barely had time to blog much. We are now one week into 2017 and I am excited to share with you the recent and interesting news from all over the web, published in either December 2016 or January 2017. Since I am covering for more than 6 weeks of articles, this post is going to be long! 😛

End of 2016 Recaps

Of course, there had been a heavy number of posts at the end of the month as everyone wants to review what they did in 2016. There are of course a tone of great post about the subject:

  • Best Data Visualization Projects of 2016 (link): Probably my favorite post on this list. Go check it out as everything is so amazing, innovative and beautiful.
  • A non-comprehensive list of awesome things other people did in 2016 (link)

  • Damn, We Wish We’d Written These 11 Stories (link)
  • NIPS Conference 2016 is THE event for data scientist around the world. It was held on December 10th, perfect to end the year! The 2016 edition was held in Spain and maybe bloggers used the opportunity to share what they learned there:
    • 50 Things I learned at NIPS 2016 (link)
    • Highlights of NIPS 2016: Adversarial Learning, Meta-learning and more (link)

  • The major advancements in Deep Learning in 2016 (link)
    • Subject covered are: supervised learning, unsupervised learning, GANs, InfoGAN, Conditional GANs, Natural Language Processing, etc.

2017 Means New Start!

This is How to be Super Productive Every Day Without Losing Your Mind New Year means new resolutions! I am sure everyone is starting new challenges and missions for themselves and I found this blog post useful to stay focus through it all. Go read it, but here is a quick outline of the main points:

  • Focused Mind
  • Master Your Time
  • Meaningful Final Goal: The Reason for All Your Actions
  • ONE thing everyday
  • Don’t Work on a Task More Than Once

17 Ways To Be A Lot Happier In 2017 This post is also wonderful for being concise and straight to the the point. Furthermore, I totally agree with each point of the author.

  • Take Good Care of Yourself First
  • Stop hoping other people will change to appease you.
  • Work on changing yourself.
  • Embrace all emotions.
  • Take your time.
  • Be mindful of what you consume.
  • Put down the phone and enjoy what’s happening right now.
  • Accept the fact that blood is not always thicker than water.
  • Forgive even when you’ve been wronged.
  • Look for the lesson in everything.
  • Understand it’s not always about you.
  • Don’t be a doormat.
  • Don’t be too proud to apologize.
  • Understand everyone has their own perception.
  • Realize social media is not reality.
  • Never assume someone already knows how you feel.
  • Stay in your own lane.

Your Ultimate Guide for Waking Up Early This post not only talks about the benefits of waking up early, but also teach you how to do so. Some of the most important or interesting points in my opinion: goals, night routine, sleep quality and morning routine.

Big 4 News (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon)

Building Jarvis No surprise this post made the list! It has been a hot topic for the end of December and with good reason. Building an AI is no easy task, even for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. I always questioned if he has lost his touch with coding over so many years working in management. This proves us wrong and that he is constantly trying to improve his skills and stay in touch with the demand of the industry. He also extensively used Facebook API.

Mark Zuckerberg Is The Most Powerful Person On Earth But Is He Responsible I follow Zuckerberg on Facebook and I am always inspired by him. His philanthropic initiatives for education and health, his dedication to finish each of his challenges (reading, running, traveling), his passion to finish his home AI Jarvis, and much more. This post discusses on the important role Mark Zuckerberg have over the internet and the world as one billion people on earth are active users of Facebook. Like any big company, Facebook is becoming a threat to freedom and accurate information transmission.

The Robotic Grocery Store of the Future is Here With the current buzz over Amazon’s new intelligence grocery store AmazonGo, this post comes in handy to understand how all of this actually works.

Why I Studied 8 Months For a Google Interview The author passed 8 months to prepare for his Google interview and share his experience. I love how in his post, he doesn’t hesitate to talk about his mistakes. It is so inspiring to see someone’s dedication and strong effort toward success. Go to his Github account to see his curriculum here. It is beautiful to see so much dedication and to strike to understand each of these subjects properly. My favorite part is his advice to stop reading books early and start coding ASAP. I totally agree with this advice.

The Great A.I. Awakening An interesting post about the current use of Artificial Intelligence at Google to optimize their famous product, Google Translate. It is a long post that goes through every topic of AI and Machine Learning.

Data Visualization


UI Interactions of the Week #51 Medium remains my favorite spot to find inspiration for UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) design.

Data Visualization and Machine Learning Projects

Here is a list of cool data visualization projects that had been published recently. Yes I know, I have an addiction with mapping projects. 😛

  • Visualizing taxi trips between NYC neighborhoods with Spark and Microsoft R Server (link)
  • Tourists Vs Locals: 20 Cities Based On Where People Take Photos (link)
  • Traffic signs classification with Deep Learning. (link)
  • Six maps that show the anatomy of America’s vast infrastructure (link): This covers airports, bridges, waterways, electric grids, pipelines and rail roads.

  • Plotting Earthquakes with D3.js + Leaflet (link)

  • Decoding the Thought Vector (link)
  • Fast Face-swap Using Convolutional Neural Networks (link)
  • Data Driven Christmas Card Animation with Voronoi Tiles (link)
  • Deep Learning Enables You to Hide Screen when Your Boss is Approaching (link)

These post are about more general projects and ideas. The posts are more explanation oriented.

  • AI Machine Attempts to Understand Comic Books … and Fails (link)

  • How Self-Driving Cars Work (link)
  • The Moving Sofa Problem (link)

Artificial Intelligence

A Secret Ops AI Aims to Save Education Georgia Tech teacher Ashok Goel was teaching an Artificial Intelligence course online and decided to reate an AI called Jill Watson to answer to the questions from his huge online class.

Asia’s AI Agenda A nice document talking about all the AI buzz in Asia.

Interesting Posts (Election related)

Who Voted for Hillary We are in January 2017 and people are still talking about the November 2016 Election! User Jeremy Sklarsky listed here all the available statistics on who voted for Hillary Clinton. It is interesting to see that only 54% of women voted for Hillary as I would expect a way higher number, especially considering gender equality was a very important point of her campaign.

Wall Street wants algorithms that trade based on Trump’s tweets Talking about the elections, Trump is bringing a whole new volatility to the world with his random Tweets. Currently the Wall Street Traders are trying to use this information to their advantage as the any word from the President-Elect can change the market pricing.

How the Trump Campaign Built an Identity Database and Used Facebook Ads to Win the Election I remember reading a similar post about Obama’s win in 2008 and 2012 so I believe that all presidential candidates chose to use a ML based program to assess its voting audience. With how surprising the Trump win turned out to be last November, I thought this post could be an interesting read for most people curious on data analytics and prediction in general.


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Hi! I am a McGill University Alumni and work in the Data Science field in Toronto. I love to eat, travel, read and blog.

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