Thursday, December 11, 2008

Yahoo! I made it!

So I did it, I survived and thrived! For those who don't know, I just finished up my finals (only two more semesters, 4 more classes). So by this time next year I should have a Bachelor of Science degree.

Anyway on to HA and my courses. My first course was the "Psychology of Learning". There I learned that more about machine learning. I did a journal critique on an an AI Magazine article: "Does Machine Learning Really Work?" by Prof. Tom M. Mitchell (1997). Oddly enough much of the machine learning information is being used (search engines, facial recognition, and data mining). I'm sure much of the software is using newer techniques. So I'm pretty sure that home automation can make a lot of use of AI technologies. So I picked up Tom's book and eagerly waiting on it. It may be an older book but Tom has updated the book and his web site contains quite a bit of extra information. I also checked out the reviews and it seems to be a good starter book on the subject. I figure I have a lot of learning to do before I can start writing software. My goal is not to make computers think but rather to take advantage of learning software to make HA more flexible.

The second, two classes (sort of a lecture and lab) are on Project Management. We used MS Project Management and I learned a lot. The first thing is that I have a long way to go to be a good project manager like my friend Pat Dunn. :-) But I did learn that such a tool has great power and can be useful (if properly understood) for a great many projects. Right now I'll need to investigate what open source software is available.


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