The Charles river, majestic and glistening, separates Boston from Cambridge. A magnificent and historic city that is the heart of New England on one side. A set of enigmatic and noble centers of learning on the other. Any lackadaisical soul who unwittingly takes a walk along this river is certain to be wonder-struck at the sparkling image that lies before him. A sight that conveys great character and elegance. Even the air has an inexplicable mix of intelligence and purpose,. And so rises a deep and cherubic belief in all that is possible, that is noble and in everything beautiful that looms on the horizon.
I cannot express in words how singularly blessed I feel to be where I am and to be doing what I am doing. A worthy supposition is that of living a childhood dream. Even in these troubled times, when so many have so few, where hope seems to be the only pillar standing, there are those to whom much is given.
To be given a chance to live a childhood dream is not only a gift, but a responsibility and a calling. A calling to unleash every atom of creativity, with eyes rapt in attention and a mind determined to push and persevere. Even the vicissitudes of life – those uncontrollable contrivances borne out of pessimism and doubt will soon vanish. Things will fall into place. That is the design of nature. Such is the power of will.
Advanced Natural Language Processing
Taught by the extraordinary Regina Barzilay, this is the heart of computational linguistics at MIT. Learning the latest statecraft of algorithms for performing magical tasks with text is not only mesmerizing, but also a privilege. Statistical approaches to language processing is a discipline that is young and nascent.
That MIT has or has had several of the best minds in the field, such as the profoundly influential Shannon and the very smart Michael Collins is like learning how to make pizza from the finest chefs in Italy. Even if much of the work in the field is incremental, this has taught me how to mine text for sentiment, discourse analysis, and how to translate one language to another. There are great things that are yet to come using natural language processing and machine learning. I can hardly stop thinking about it.
Metaphors from the Infinite Corridor
At MIT, to walk through the infinite corridor is to pass through the power of science and ingenuity. It cannot be described as anything other than inspiring. Every walk through this corridor is a surge in determination – of watching people with boundless enthusiasm and dedication. The metaphor then, is a simple, yet powerful one – in this world of such plenty and such scarcity, there are limitless possibilities to make a difference.
As I look outside my window to a gorgeous view of the Charles, I believe in the goodness of this magnificent place.
I love MIT.