Blog

Let’s Do This: Second Semester at UIUC

Photo

(Photo of my roommates and I first day at UIUC)

As I sit here listening to Typhoon’s new album, Offerings, and reading linear algebra notes, it feels good to be back! There may be snow on the ground and I may have left a 70 degree environment to come here, but I am so excited for this semester!

Before I dive into my reasons why, let me discuss my amazing experience over break! First and foremost, I got to see family, including my mother and sisters, and friends that I have not seen in a long time. It was great to reconnect and experience moments with some individuals that will last a lifetime in my mind. Having the opportunity to go to Southern California and Southern Nevada made my break even more happier, as I was able to experience the outdoors more, which is something I needed so much. I had a great Christmas and New Year’s Day with my family, and I thank them for inviting me over and making the holidays fun this year despite the loss of my father. Last but not least, I continued to learn, meeting connections and learning more about analytics and blockchain technology. I have been working on a beer consumption analytics application for the last couple weeks in my spare time, and it should be done soon!

So now that I have talked about my break, I am going to give five reasons why I am excited for this semester:

  1. Courses: I am taking Computer Architecture, Numerical Methods, Data Structures, Blockchain Security, and Probability and Statistics Two. I have not really been a hardware guy in my lifetime, but I feel like this course will help me develop a passion for hardware and programming components. In addition, I am excited to see how Numerical Methods will teach me more methods of computation, and I get to use Python and its glorious packages I use everyday! I am excited to learn more about Blockchain in the Blockchain Security course! While a hard course, I think that Stats & Prob Two will be interesting like the first course, and it will only help aid me in my journey to becoming a data scientist!
  2. Incorporating advice: I spoke with a few connections over break, and learned a lot of things about getting involved in blockchain, data science, and becoming a better entrepreneur. I cannot thank those people enough for the advice they have passed on to me, and it is going to go a long way to help me become a better person.
  3. Fitness & going vegan: It has taken me three attempts, but I am finally on a consistent fitness plan this time around! I am glad to get some exercise in my weekly schedule and improve my mental and physical being via the workouts I do. In addition, I am finally home, and can go completely vegan! While I am primarily doing it to improve my health, everyday I am getting more and more interested in animal protection and caring. I am apart of r/Vegan on Reddit, and it is interesting to hear some of the scary things that go on in the agricultural industry today. I believe the combination of these two things will go a long way towards making my health extremely better.
  4. Finding an internship: Now that my beer analytics application will be completed, I think that I will finally find an internship this semester for the summer! I have given reconsideration to return home to Chicago, and I do not think it will be a problem because I love Chicago in summer. It will be interesting to see whether I end up doing analytics or software engineering! Maybe I can still land something in the Greater Seattle Area, Portland, or California area, but I will be happy to return home this summer too because Chicago is a great city with great companies that provide endless opportunities. I cannot wait to learn from whatever experience I end up receiving!
  5. Experiencing opportunities: This university has so  much to offer opportunity wise, and I can not wait to take advantage of whatever I can! Whether it is doing projects for an RSO, working on a programming project with friends, relaxing to some good music, or reading a book, I cannot wait to experience these activities. I hope to finish assignments and studying sooner this semester so I can experience these things more often. It is always good to take time to wind down, and I  need to do more of that this semester.

Well if you want to start your day or end of the day off similarly to me, take a listen to Typhoon’s new album, it is the music I will share with you in this post:

Spotify Link to Offerings

Youtube Link to Offerings

Have a great day everybody!

Dan

Leaving on a Jet Plane 

(Photo Mosaic I created in my data structures course at UIUC. Go Knights!)

Wow my first semester at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is over! It had its ups and downs but overall I enjoyed my first semester.

I met a lot of great people and professors, got to experience having my own apartment, and learned a lot about technical writing, computer science theory, software engineering (especially Android), and theoretical knowledge about Probability & Statistics!

Now it’s time for winter break! I am so glad it’s here! Right now, I’m heading to the West Coast to go home and visit my family and friends. I cannot wait to relax, study for job interviews, get outdoors, and overall have a good time.

I’m currently finishing up Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella’s book, Hit Refresh, which I highly recommend. He goes into detail about how he has hit the refresh button and Microsoft when it’s time to make a change for the better. And I’m doing the same in my life as well.

I haven’t had the best health this year, and so I am also hitting “Refresh”. I’ve started following a Vegan Diet and I am on an exercise plan to help me throughout my daily life. I’ve been open to the options of Yoga and Meditation as well. It’s time for me to make the best decisions I can in my life in order to live a healthy, (hopefully long), and loving life. I really believe these things moving forward are going to definitely change my life for the better.

In addition, I have also decided to just start appreciating everyday I have with everyone and make the most out of being ready for tomorrow. I lost my dad at a young age this year (57), and some of the after effects have given me a different outlook on life.

All I can say is love yourself, live out the life you want to live, and be the person you want to be. Surround yourself with positive environments and just love everyone around you. You’ll never know when they will be gone.

Well my flight is taking off now! Have a happy holiday everyone!

I leave you with one of my favorites:

Leaving On A Jet Plane – John Denver

Thanksgiving Reflections (2017)

(Photo of Lake Washington I took in August 2017)

Wow, I have finally created my own portfolio website, and have my own domain! I have been wanting to do this for awhile now, and the day has finally occurred.

For the last almost 2.5 years, I have been in college, and it has been an all-around amazing experience. I have deepened my passion for computing, mathematics, and statistics like never before. My classes have been interesting, I have enjoyed the professors I have had, and I also enjoy the peers I have met through college.

Outside of college, I have also met other people through networking events. Before I moved to Urbana, I went to a lot of events such as Built in Brews, which introduced me to a lot of wonderful people who work in Chicago’s tech industry. I have attended programming workshops and such, where I have met many different instructors who work in the industry and have taught me a lot about data science and web development.

2017 has not been a good year for me. I’ve dealt with losing my father, struggled with health, and have had to overcome some obstacles academically. But I am still driven. I have a goal: to graduate college, move to the Seattle, WA area (hopefully), and starting providing for my family and others around me in need.

That’s why this Thanksgiving I am thankful to be alive and be able to pursue my dreams. I have learned that life is short. I have not only lost my father at a young age (57), but also many friends that passed away suddenly. Everyday, I need to make the most of it and continue to move forward and live out to be the best person I can be.

That’s why I live by the motto, “Let your love grow tall” (Thanks Michael Angelakos). I have learned to love those around me and continue to love the beauty of life. The world is so incredible despite all the negative things I see on a daily basis in the news or on the streets. Make the most of it, and I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. Hopefully all your dreams and wishes come true.

-Dan