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NexStream Interviews: Michael

By Lilian Xu

Michael Wang is an 8th-grader who has taken our ML-100 and ML-200 courses.
In this interview, Michael will talk about his experience in NexStream classes without any prior computer science knowledge. He also talks about his favorite projects and becoming a Stream Assistant.

Q: Could you introduce us to your background or experience in Machine Learning?
A (Michael): Before I started NexStream, I didn’t know anything about it. I really enjoyed all the projects with NexStream, like using the Raspberry Pi camera for object recognition and also using Google Colab to do down sampling.

Q: As someone who was completely a beginner, was it hard for you to start at NexStream?
A: For me it was not difficult, since I have always liked computers. I played with LEGO robotics in 4th grade quite a lot. It wasn’t exactly hard, I just had a lot to learn.

Q: What’s your favorite part of NexStream online classes? Is it hard to coordinate?
A: I have never experienced in-person NexStream courses. However, the online classes are going well, the courses are awesome, and you can do all the projects by yourself. 

Q: You mentioned in a video on the NexStream Youtube page that you were looking forward to becoming a NexStream Stream Assistant (SA). Can you explain the requirements for this job about what you actually do in class?
A: I was excited because it sounds like a cool job to be a teaching assistant. You help the students while they are working to debug and solve problems they are having a hard time on. The requirements are that you need to understand the curriculum well. I had to finish ML-100 and ML-110 (which are both in the ML-100 Stream). 

Q: Going back to the Raspberry Pi camera you mentioned in the first question, would you mind explaining a bit about what that is?
A: It is a small, form-factored computing device. It’s a small computer about the size of a credit card. It uses a Linux system. You use it the same as any other computer except it is less powerful.

Q:Which courses are you planning to take moving forwards? What kind of content are you looking forward to the most?
A: I plan on continuing down all the ML Stream courses with NexStream. I am currently taking the Python course which is ML-200. I am looking forward to the next flows like ML-300 and ML-400. All the courses I’ve taken so far have been really fun!

Q: Do you think NexStream would be good for people that just want to learn the basics? For example, I am not too deeply interested in computer science, but I want to learn the basics.
A: Yes, I think if you want to learn the basics, you could just take the first stream. For instance, you can take ML-100 for basics of Machine Learning, and ML-200 for the basics of Python.

Q; Do you have any suggestions for our company to improve our class structure for the students, especially during COVID-19 (distance learning)?
A: Yes, the only downside is that there is not much interaction between students and teachers, as well as between peers. We have an introductory activity every class (such as coding challenges), and we are supposed to work together, but hardly anyone talks. A suggestion would be to motivate the students to participate more. Better activities would also be beneficial, instead of just coding challenges.

Thank you to Michael Wang, a NexStream Student and soon-to-be Stream Assistant. He began machine learning here at NexStream and plans to follow the rest of NexStream’s courses.

NexStream is constantly working hard to improve our courses and experience, and we are striving to find a way to get students to participate more. For more insight from an Instructor Assistant on improving our curriculum and activities, please view the NexStream Interview with Instructor Assistant Tygan Zeng on our Youtube page or blog page.

Flow

About the Author

Lilian Xu is a Junior at Canyon Crest Academy in California. She is interested in pursuing medicine in the future. Currently, she mainly manages our Facebook platform and writes STEM-related blogs. Through this internship, she has honed her writing skills, learned about interview etiquette, and explored the STEM fields more deeply. In her free time, she enjoys baking, ice skating, singing, and graphic design.

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