Question Block: First Steps

At the end of the last term, I was exhausted. I had just finished multivariate calculus (see here http://questadmissions.com/2014/12/12/so-many-variables/ ), the last of four difficult and intense blocks. Although I love Quest and learning, it was time for a break. So I hopped on a plane, headed back home to Toronto, and caught up with a plethora of friends and family.

I had a very lovely break. My family had the traditional German advent goose dinner, I got to catch up with friends at a local board game cafe, went downtown for New Year’s Eve and saw the fireworks, and just kind of generally hung out with people.

However, even though I was not taking a course, my mind never shut off (which is a very good thing). I was reading books, talking with my friends and family, and contemplating almost all break. The focus of most of the endeavors centered around one question: what will my Question be?

As you might be aware, at Quest we don’t have majors. Instead, each student comes up with his or her own “Question”, a question that guides the inquiry for the rest of their Quest degree. Some examples of suitable questions could be “What is health?”, “How does media affect our perception of history?”, or “What is the underlying fabric of the universe?”.  Obviously the Question you choose will influence your education to a large extent. If is the first time that you focus in on a topic formally, and it guides what your keystone, the comprehensive final project that every Quest student has to complete to graduate, will be.

This was on my mind all break. Luckily, I already had a rough outline of what I wanted to ask, so my research and discussion over the break focused on becoming more familiar with the thoughts and discourse in the relevant areas. By the end of the break, I was ready to get back to Quest.

Tantalus

If you have read some of my other blog posts, you may have gleaned that I am interested in mathematics, logic, and what thought is (see here http://questadmissions.com/2014/10/16/turing-the-page/ ). Thus, it may come as no surprise to some of you that my area of interest is Artificial Intelligence, or AI for short.

I have researched AI extensively in the past, and have even coded my own neural net, which you can read about here http://questadmissions.com/2014/01/26/building-a-brain/  . Even though I have a decent understanding of the background in this field, it was great to see how quickly in the last two days of being in Question I have radically expanded my level of thought about the ideas in AI. In a lot of ways, this is what Question is about; finding something that interests you, and then forcing you to actively engage with the material in your area of interest and interrogate you pre-existing notions about that field. Even though Question block has just started, I feel that this process has already begun to happen.

AI-lowres

More updates in the weeks to come!

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