Tom Ordonez

Data Science, Machine Learning, Software Engineering

Finding Time to Learn

This summer I dropped out of cybersecurity. I started well, reading all the assignments, reviewing my knowledge of C and started working on the project. However, I wanted to take Machine Learning in the Fall, and there was a slight chance for me to register and start preparing.

Machine Learning

I got the required material and started reading the two books "What Hedge Funds Really Do" and "Machine Learning" by Mitchell. I also signed up again (3rd time) for Coursera's Machine Learning. So far I completed almost 3 weeks of material. Linear regression and logistic regression.

Removed Mobile Apps

I took some time off and spent some time reviewing my mobile usage. I realized that I spend a lot of my free time on Linkedin, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. In that order.

I decided to remove these apps from my phone: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Now I only go to these apps on the web once a day at night or every other day. My twitter is automated to tweet Machine Learning 24/7. I was also using Instagram stories to share things I was working on. On Facebook I've been slowly removing myself from it, and I use it mostly for the FB groups.


Since removing these apps from my phone I gained about 1 hour every day, which I am investing in reading. Here is a list of books I got waiting on me:

  • Steve Jobs: Read the 1st chapter
  • A Mind for Numbers: Read half of it
  • A Team of Teams: Read almost all of it
  • A Whole New Mind: Haven't read
  • Sam Walton Made in America: Looking to read a 2nd time
  • Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella: Read some of it
  • Bottle of Lies: Haven't read
  • Buddha by Deepak Chopra: Haven't read

Since starting to read "What Hedge Funds Really Do", it spiked my interested in finance, the stock market, and quants.

The Quants

I started reading "The Quants", an amazing book so far. I read that the quants like to play Poker, so I am spending some time learning Poker (Texas hold'em). Also got the books "Essential Poker Math" and "Beat the Dealer." I installed a Poker game on my Linux, which records a log of every hand. It also gives some basic statistics.

Texas holdem Poker

I watched a few Youtube videos and learn about the Hall of Fame players of Poker. Registered to a Youtube channel. Big mistake. Suddenly the recommender turned to show me all sorts of odds videos. I unsubscribed from that Poker channel.

I've learned a lot since starting my baby steps in Poker. I am mostly interested in the application of Poker into business and strategy. Not that interested in losing my money in Vegas.

More Machine Learning

I learned from a "Mind for Numbers" that you have to do the hardest things in the morning. I have been investing time every day from about 6-8am to learn Machine Learning. Recently took a break for a few weeks, and looking to keep going during August. I'd like to advance a few more weeks of the Coursera class to learn Neural Networks, ML system design, and Support Vector Machines. My goal with this challenge is to understand the market, gain domain knowledge, and think of ideas to problems relevant to me.

Graphic Novels and Drawing

In addition to reading. I have been looking for a creative activity that doesn't require staring at the computer.

In another galaxy I used to collect graphic novels. I recently got two amazing books "The Inkal" and "The Metabarons."

I spent some time last weekend learning how to draw a Manga character. Took me about 30 minutes and I was actually impressed by my drawing skills. I always thought that drawing skills came from genes. I realized that good drawing can be learned.

Other Thoughts

It's never too late to learn anything. Last year I got a saxophone, adding to my collection of instruments. I'd like to learn to play some Jazz tunes.