Machine Learning Student Profile – Liam McCord

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself.Liam McCord

Hey, I’m Liam! I’m 18 as of writing this, I was born in the United States (but my father is a kiwi), and I’ve spent 8 years in New Zealand so far. I’ve always been interested in learning about science and technology, so this course has been very interesting for me. I just finished Year 13 at Wakatipu High School, with the course taking place during the summer before University begins.


  1. What made you want to get into Machine Learning?

I’ve always seen Machine Learning as a general buzzword, and never really fundamentally understood it. The applications in almost every field are massive, and will only continue to increase as time goes by. I wanted to delve into Machine Learning to learn to create solutions with variable environments, such as simulations or pathfinding. I feel like it’s a great stepping stone into a STEM field, and that’s why I considered it in the first place.


  1. How did you hear about the course?

I was notified by a career counselor about the opportunity within my school, and was lucky enough to get a scholarship.


  1. What have you enjoyed most about the course so far?

Definitely the utility. Machine Learning is an amazing tool, and watching your model improve and predict correct answers more frequently is a rewarding feeling. Even just learning the basics allowed me to work my way up to more complicated and practical scenarios, but without the course I wouldn’t have been able to grasp those higher-level concepts.


  1. How have you found having a tutor?

Having a physical tutor makes a world of difference. An expert can communicate a subject in a much easier way than learning the topic through the internet, and being able to ask questions while you’re learning helps to fill gaps in your knowledge. Pradeesh has been an excellent teacher so far, and I would wholeheartedly endorse him as a machine learning tutor. There were varying levels of past experience with mathematics, coding, and machine learning within the class, but Pradeesh was able to effectively distribute his time in a way where I didn’t ever feel like I wasn’t learning something.


  1. What are your plans after the course and where would you like to work in the future?

After the course, I plan to head to the University of Canterbury to study engineering, possibly in Aerospace, Biomedical, or Mechatronics. My ultimate goal is to work on the design of spacecraft within an Aerospace company, or alternatively on prosthetics/bionics research.


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