My first week has been a lot of trying to get settled into the lab- the first task I needed to do was complete the lab onboarding. I had to take two online certifications, one for human subjects research and one for HIPAA training. Even though my project won’t involve human interaction, it was interesting to learn about the laws and rules governing these areas.
After meeting with the PhD student that I’m working with, Nathan Dennler, we agreed it would be good for me to get some more experience with some of the fundamentals of neural nets, and to that end, most of my work so far has been on trying to code neural nets from scratch, starting with simpler fully-connected networks and working towards RNNs and LSTMs. While implementing them myself is challenging, it’s definitely helping me understand exactly how they work- given that this is what I’ve felt least prepared for, I’m really happy to finally be learning this. At the end of the week, I had the opportunity to (virtually) meet the rest of the lab for a “connection hour”. After I’m done with the implementations, I can start looking ahead to actually implementing the project- hopefully next week!