LeadingAI’s AWS DeepRacer course is not a traditional computer science class. When I first saw the course’s overview, I was expecting three months of monotone lines of code and geeky discussions about python. I was completely wrong. By avoiding the traditional approach of brute-feeding students information, LeadingAI encourages students to critically think and be responsible for their own learning in the class. Because the coaches have inspired students to discover and troubleshoot by themselves, I have developed a genuine interest in AI and how it can be applied to various fields, like the medical field, which I aspire to go into.
Throughout this DeepRacer class, I have gained a better understanding of AI and a better idea of what I want to do in the future. I had very little experience in Python from the start, but now I am able to understand the basics. One important lesson that I learned is that in order to create a satisfactory DeepRacer model, I have to keep trying and not give up. The strengths finder test also helped me realize my strong points and gave me more confidence in pursuing a future career in the AI field. Broadening my knowledge, especially in this field, was a very worthwhile and exciting experience for me. I definitely look forward to participating in this class again.
I began my journey with the LeadingAI Deepracer team as one of the first students to join the program. The unique nature of the challenges and opportunities offered by both the competition and the LeadingAI lessons allowed me to grow and greatly expand my abilities both as a programmer and a student and leader. The variety of opportunities to explore beyond the given tools to make customization and improvements to model training and development were an incredible experience in hands-on problem solving, from Linux installation to Selenium automation. As Assistant Coach, I've had the opportunity to work with many talented individuals and pass on what I have learned through the LeadingAI program and my explorations of AI. Getting to help others through the same challenges I once faced helps me reinforce the content and become a better teacher. Finally, I have even been lucky enough to race in person and apply the theoretical models to a real-world environment. The accompanying real-world challenges in hardware and software offer yet more chances to practice problem-solving skills and have a lot of fun in the process. I know that the abilities I have developed through LeadingAI will serve me excellently studying computer science at Stanford University. My love for STEM has been driven by hands-on projects such as Deepracer, and I'm excited to be able to experience more similar opportunities in the future.
I was in a unique position when first joining the LeadingAI DeepRacer course. I was an assistant coach but I was new to the concept of machine learning and the AWS DeepRacer. For me, it was interesting to think about how I can teach a robot. I am more used to laying out steps that the computer will execute rather than learn from. It’s reminded me what it takes to fully learn something. To learn means to be able to reteach the concept to a person (or in this case a computer) who doesn’t have prior background to the program. It has shown me that fully understanding something means to be able to break down what I know in simple terms in order for someone / something to understand. More than learning about machine learning however, being able to hear about the students and the coaches were all very interesting. Everyone has different backgrounds and seeing how they applied that to STEM helped open new horizons to possible careers in STEM. The teams were all supportive. It was a positive learning environment where everyone was happy to help one another get better. Finally, being able to say that I’ve had a background in reinforcement learning has allowed me to explore other opportunities. I’ll be joining a machine learning research lab over the summer of 2022 at the University of Southern California (USC) and I think that my experience with LeadingAI has definitely helped me.
I liked this training because it is more hands-on than most school classes which helped me to gain a better understanding of the material that I was learning. I could experiment and use trial and error to figure out what worked which reinforces my own knowledge because I could see patterns and draw conclusions from those observations. Since I'm going into the Mechanical Engineering major and possibly field post-college, getting a good understanding of machine learning is important, especially understanding the concepts behind it. The leadership aspect was also useful in that it provided me with better knowledge of how I can apply myself to different situations and how I can be most effective. I think the training content and method went at a good pace, and I really enjoyed the smaller breakout sessions with our individual groups. We were able to communicate with each other and bond over similar interests in this training. This training is definitely important to do in high school because it lays the groundwork for students to become bigger leaders in college and stand out. They don't need to spend time figuring out how they can best apply themselves in college if they learn that in high school. AI is the future of a lot of technology and understanding it will help give a headstart into that up-and-coming industry. Leadership is important to everyone because anyone can be a leader if they wanted to, and knowing what you are good at is a big step into becoming that great leader.