Background on Haile Selassie and Ethiopia

For the past month, I first started by researching Haile Selassie to get a good sense of background for my main research topic, the role of culture in global Diasporas. Haile, the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974, worked to modernize Ethiopia for many decades before shortage of food and political conflict forced him out of office. He was Ethiopia’s last emperor, tracing his line back to Menelik I, who was the descendent of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. I found this background information more stimulating than I expected it to be. I took on the freshman Monroe project to expand upon my narrow interests in International politics in a more specific way. Growing up in a Chinese household and being raised in the United States, I have never been exposed to northern African culture or history. It is unique to delve into a research project where I am completely out of my comfort zone.

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In Summary: Words and Pictures Tell the Story of a Place

Bear with me, cause this post is gonna be a long one.

As the summer has come to a close, I must present you with the fullness of my research. I have constructed a timeline of the events surrounding the architecture of the Fan, and hopefully shed some light on the reasons for such architectural evolution as was present during the Fan District’s construction.

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Thoughts About the Future

I started this project because of the frustration I had with the protests and other movements that cropped up after the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice. It seemed that the use of social media to organize and inspire was great for short-term work that centered on expressing pent-up emotions and drawing attention to the problem, but that the platforms offered little in the way of in-depth discussion. Too often, news articles would focus on the organizers themselves and look at their personalities and histories as opposed to the issues they were trying to draw attention to. Too often, social media platforms encouraged the spread of misinformation and fear mongering, with hate from both sides coming into play.

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Post 2: Basic Structure of a Neural Net

In the past week, I’ve been reading and watching a lot about the way neural nets function. In addition, I’ve been trying to get my own neural net up and running. It’s been very challenging, but I found a new resource that’s been incredibly helpful: Andrew Ng’s Coursera series on machine learning. This course takes a slightly different approach from what I was using before – there is a heavy focus on learning somewhat modular algorithms that can be combined to create more robust models. I would strongly recommend the course to anyone with a good foundation in math and programming and an interest in predictive models. I didn’t expect this at the outset, but I have learned most quickly from this online course.

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