Semi-Structured Data and the Web – Day 1

I was greeted by a blanket of picture-postcard pristine white snow when I stepped outside this morning. No footprints, no slush, not another person in sight… fantastic. That’s what you get for being up and out at ten to six in the morning though.

It’s the first day of Semi-Structured Data and the Web, (effectively) my first MSc module. Having learnt from my last experience, I emailed the course directors a couple of months ago with their list of recommended pre-requisite knowledge and my description of my experiences in those areas, asking for advice as to whether I was suitable for the course, and what additional preparation I could take.

As much as I’d like to make a self-deprecating quip here, I have to say that one of the two lecturers for the course responded inside of an hour, with a pretty comprehensive point-by-point rundown of my questions, recommending areas of study to concentrate on. Top marks, and I’ve had chance to learn enough to know what the words mean, at least.

As usual, the pace of covering the material is pretty swift – although so far today, I’ve not felt either of the two emotions I felt pretty much constantly on the first day (and my last day, too) of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning back in October –  confusion and terror.

In fact, the prep tips I got seem to be holding up well. As we work through the material, I’m finding that instead of struggling to understand the language and concepts, I’m pondering my own questions on one slide that are answered on the next – hopefully, that’s a good sign! Time will tell.

This time, I’ve also got a partner in crime – the homework assignments have to be completed in pairs, so it’ll be interesting to see how that pans out.

Course content looks interesting, and of practical use. More to come later, for now it’s time to get some sleep… lots of homework to do.

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