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CLRS... the beginning! (and hopefully not the end)

September 28, 2023

Looking back at the 4 years I spent at UCLA, I'm grateful to the wholesome experiences and lessons that led me to where I am today; but, I have some regret with regards to my academics. I chose to cruise through the program and avoid difficult, theory-heavy courses.

Part of it is that I didn't have much time.

Like most US university students, I had a series of changes in my choice of degree.

From Political Science → Pure Math → Computational Math → Cognitive Science → to my final degree Computer Science + Linguistics.

Notably, I think pure math was a bit of trauma and a reality-check that I wasn't naturally inclined in theory and needed to spend extra time to catch up to my classmates. For a four-years-younger Aaron, that was a challenge not worth taking and from then, avoided theory like the plague.

Add on top of that, for most of the 4 years, I was working part-time jobs for usually over 20 hours a week; exercising my brain with video games; and practicing my potion-making (really, potion-drinking) abilities.

Anyways, I'll stop yapping.

I started reading a theory-heavy algorithms textbook!

Namely, "Introduction to Algorithms" by Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, and Clifford Stein (commonly referred to as CLRS).

I actually attempted "Principles of Mathematical Analysis" by Walter Rudin (commonly referred to as Baby Rudin), which is not on algorithms but on real analysis -- a pure math subfield -- but I realized I should curb my enthusiasm a bit and begin with something *slightly* more applicable. Of course, those familiar with CLRS will know that it is hardly considered applicable and is largely used as a reference book.

The reason to announce this on my zero-reader blog is to 1. keep myself accountable and 2. keep track of my progress. I also plan on writing implementations of the presented algorithms and some of my solutions to exercises and problems.

I initially thought my posting schedule would be a chapter-by-chapter basis, but this is not a strict rule. In fact, some chapters may be too long and dense to cover in a blog post, so I'll post on topic-by-topic basis, highlighting items I found interesting to note.

This will be an exciting adventure, and my main goal is to continue to tread, no matter how slow or fast. Consistency is my number one priority for this project.