Congratulations on reading the title without throwing up!

Early stages of a neural network learning what food is

Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are difficult to understand because, for many hyperparameter values, nothing interesting happens. You can quickly watch the discriminator learn which images are fake, with the generator simply not learning how to generate new images in the distribution of the training data. Further, setting up metrics to better understand the network performance can be difficult because there are so many variables that could be the one key to getting good performance, but finding that variable can be difficult.

A potential solution to the problem of finding good GAN hyperparameters…


I recently completed a project for Human Rights First, a non-profit dedicated to providing legal representation for refugees. Their requirements were to take write-ups of appeal documents and get useful information from them such as the name of the judge, the court location, and the defendant's country of origin. This writeup is a story of my path to making usable code rather than a strict technical specification of the code, but I have linked the repository at the bottom of the article if you just want to see that.

In classic computer science fashion, trivially easy parts ended up being…


DrivenData is currently holding a competition, where we try to predict Dengue fever cases in two cities. Dengue is a neglected tropical disease, so-called because it primarily harms poor people in tropical zones. If you had the good fortune to have been born in a developed nation, you probably have not had Dengue, nor would you know anyone who had that disease.

This is a difficult problem to solve due to the high level of randomness in how Dengue fever cases are confirmed. First, a mosquito has to become infected with Dengue fever, then it has to bite a person…


Rent is an unavoidable and sizeable cost for many people. I suspect that the county in which a person chooses to live would change their quality of life by affecting how much of their income goes to rent each month. In other words, living in counties with low rent would be better, all else equal.

Measuring the quality of life is difficult (How do you feel right now?). Instead, we will focus on how much money people have after paying rent. Rental costs are different across the country. …


Starting a long journey

There is a deluge of tutorials claiming to teach you deep learning in 15 minutes or less, promising to keep your career safe from the robots while skyrocketing your salary. This type of learning serves as a good introduction, but is unlikely to teach you what is actually happening when a computer program learns to recognize a face, or generate text. I learned of ‘Grokking Deep Learning’ from this lecture on the state of the art of deep learning, and I found this book to be the opposite approach; a deep dive into deep learning.

The book starts with almost…

Steven Lee

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