Sorry for my silence in the last few weeks. I was completely preoccupied with preparation for a technical interview, which took place yesterday. I have now made public my interview preparation repository (on GitHub). It contains my code for some of the questions in the famous book Cracking the Coding Interview, 5th edition. Yes, the 5th edition, not the 6th … next time, I really should pay more attention to the version numbers of books before jumping the gun on buying them. But the 5th edition is still good, and I highly recommend using a recent version of the book to anyone who needs to prepare for a coding interview.

The repository only contains a fraction of what I wrote to prepare for the interview. I also had to review a lot of data structures concepts that I forgot. For instance, I never use linked lists in my research code (do any AI researchers use linked lists?!?). Consequently, I kept a Google Document with all of my typed notes from the Berkeley course, CS 61B. The best iteration of the class to review from is the Spring 2014 version, since that’s the most recent version taught by Professor Shewchuk, who has wonderful lecture notes publicly available. (Thank you so much!!)

There’s also been some other stuff going on besides my interview preparation. Most notable pertains to … politics. I was, of course, disappointed with the result at the federal level. I never thought that someone like Donald Trump could possibly become President of the United States, and it’s been painful for me to observe this happen given how strongly I opposed his candidacy from the start. I’m obviously not the only one here who opposed Trump; in the Berkeley computer science department, the faculty and students are nearly unanimously opposed to him, which says a lot given how computer science is supposed to be a nonpolitical field (as opposed to say, economics or political science). I am not aware of a single strong Trump supporter in the entire department, though I would not be surprised if we had a few of them (who are remaining quiet, for now).

While thinking about Trump’s rise to the highest elected office in the world, I began to fantasize myself being in his position. (Yes, I know it will never happen, so you don’t have to remind me.) What would a hypothetical Seita administration look like? I think it would be interesting to lay down some thoughts in a future blog post about the major positions I would take, and what issues would be important to me. Fighting climate change and radical Islamic terrorism come to mind. Hopefully I can write this up in detail over the December/January holiday break.

Then again, maybe it’s better for my education and my sanity if I stick to technical/research posts. Who knows?