My Notebook

ucla so farrrr

2023-11-12 · 3 min reada brief not so brief update on lifeso here we are...I'll try and give a couple updates about my life here and my experience at UCLA!With being almost 3/4 done with the first quarter of college, I think I've come away with a couple takeaways. Serendipity is criminally underrated. I've taken an easy courseload and feel like I'm able to achieve so much outside of class because of that. I'm auditing two courses—Parallel computing and Reinforcement Learning with some of the smartest professors ever. By stressing less about studying and taking classes, I'm able to take advantage of thewn time to do crazy fun stuff. From going out to Malibu, to fixing up a CRT retro monitor, to working on independent research, I've been giving myself the time to explore what I really love. I feel like when people get into college, they get sucked into the "happenings". Sucked into taking hard classes, proving yourself in academia, making hundreds of friends, going to the coolest parties, they end up losing track of what matters. Overall what makes a good college experience is just having fun with it. Its honestly not that deep—do what clubs you love, do what projects you find interesting, do what YOU want to do. Going to UCLA, I've found myself so much freedom apart from just the small things—I can email labs/professors, meet up with random people, walk around wherever I want, I have the world at my fingertips.It feels like I'm at a point in my life where I can do literally anything. Any path I choose I know I can do, its just which one should I pick? As an inherently indecisive person I'm honestly not sure. My conclusion is to just follow what I find interesting in the short term and hopefully it'll take me somewhere interesting. Sometimes this backfires (I joined a consulting club for a hot second haha), but sometimes it goes absolutely amazing! I'm still trying to find my place at UCLA, whether its the nerdy CS people or social philosophy groups, I know I'll somehow end up in the right place. In a more directed way, I'm trying to organize a weekly Hack Night to bring together other cool similar people—hopefully it goes well, I'll write with updates on this later probably.Hacking and classes apart, I feel like I have a lot of downtime. I'm happy with how its gone so far, maybe a little bit more could have been focused on more personal projects, but overall I loved it!Now with the updates:
  • Presenting a paper @ NeurIPS23!
  • Emergent Venture Winner for funding to attend NeurIPS haha
  • Got access to arXiv so I can now have a place to put all my preprints
  • Joined PLUS lab to work on diffusion language models and hopefully in a couple days the Yang Yang chemistry lab!
  • Got invited to and hacked at a RedBull Internal Hackathon (worked on NDA stuff but still really cool)
  • Built a fun side project @ HackSC
  • Joined BruinSpace to build cubesats & BruinAI for the community as clubs
  • Hacked on a CRT machine
  • Slept on the roof of the engineering building

  • Hacked at an AI Safety house and baked cookies there
  • Built a funny bot to get through ticketing systems at UCLA
ANDDD thats about it! I'll try and update more later, but lets hope some more cool things happen!!
Thanks for reading! Liked the story? Click the heart
Created with ☕ by @neelr