The Third Door by Alex Banayan

“Wow just wow “is my reaction to just having finished listening to this book on Audible. Prior to going through this book, I had seen articles about Alex years before, and was impressed by what he was achieving at such a young age. Upon completing the book, I am feeling more inspired and determined to pursue my goals. Not going to summarize the book here, but I definitely do recommend you check it out if you have big aspirations for your life. Entrepreneurs, dreamers, and anyone else either starting out or early in their career will definitely benefit from this book. ๐Ÿ˜€

Goals for 2020

It’s February but thought I’d write down some of my goals for 2020 and hold myself accountable.

  1. Complete degree.
  2. Increase proficiency with Machine learning / Deep learning.
  3. Gym – get in the best shape of my life.
  4. Secret Goal: code name. N.
  5. Skin – get great skin.
  6. Do something about my eye bags ๐Ÿ˜›
  7. Secret goal: Become SC.
  8. Read 5 books.


If I can hit all of these goals, that would be a fantastic year. Let’s get to work. I’m excited ๐Ÿ™‚

The Harvey Mudd Story: From 10% to 40% female in CS in three years

Maria Klawe presents the problem of gender diversity in Computer Science programs – namely the underrepresentation of women. Maria talks about her endeavor as School President at Harvey Mudd College in bringing female representation in CS from 10% to 40% in three years. This is a very important problem as this underrepresentation also carries forward in the industry. Some of the things that the CS department did was to adapt the introductory course to make it more application focused (switched from Java to approaches to problem-solving in Python), eliminated student macho behavior by segmenting into groups based on prior experience, took first-year female students to Hopper conference and provided summer research experiences to females between first & second year. I enjoyed this talk. The concepts presented here are applicable to anyone trying to foster an inclusive workforce.


Notes from the talk:

Why so few enter CS
- Females think CS is less interesting than other areas
- Females think they will not do as well in CS as in other areas
- Females (and males) encouraged to major in what interests them and what they are good at.

Why some leave CS
- Lack of confidence
- Lack of sense of belonging

The Harvey Mudd College Story
- Undergrad only
- 750 students
- 90 faculty, seven departments
- Science and engineering
- Every student takes a CS course in their first semester

Female students at HMC over all:
- 22% in 1997
- 32% in 2006
- 45% in 2012
- Entering class in 2012 was 47.5% female

Female faculty at HMC over all:
- About 20% in 1997
- 35% in 2006
- 42% in 2010

What the CS department did...
- Changed the intro course
- Eliminated student macho behavior
- Took first year females to Hopper
- Provided summer research experiences between first and second year

Changing the intro course
- Old course: learning to program in Java
- New course: team-based computational approaches to problem-solving using Python
- Grouping by prior experience
- CS 5 gold, CS 5 black, CS 43
- Elimination of macho behavior for CS 5 and CS 60

What carries over to the other institutions
- Make intro courses the most fun ever
- Eliminate macho behavior
- Build confidence
-- Team projects
-- Assignments in labs
-- Encourage
- Take students to Hopper
-- Hold a local Impostor panel
- Offer females summer research experiences
- Recruit biology, chemistry, psychology majors into CS
-- Double majors, joint courses

Bringing back the blog

As some people would know, in the past I’ve had various online presence with varying degrees of success. Some were even sold, but that is for another story. I’m thinking I want to get back in the groove of publishing something here from time to time. Blogs I feel provide good canvas to express your ideas and creativity, without the need to chase for “likes”.

The picture above is a throwback from December 2017. It’s the last day in my 300 square ft. apartment I lived inย grinded in for 3.5 years when I first moved to Seattle. Moda Apartments in Belltown. This is me moving out, on to much better tings. Dream big, hustle harder. More to come. Stay chuned. #nofilter