Hi, I’m Cyril. A transplanted Nova Scotian, currently living in the Montreal area, working as a training and learning professional. I’ve worked over the past nine years as an Instructional Systems Designer designing courses and technical training materials in a variety of different subject areas, mostly in aviation. Prior to that, I worked for a number of years as a math, science, and stats tutor in the Montreal area for students ranging from high school to university.
Educationally speaking, I have an undergraduate background in Math / Physics and teacher training, as well as a Masters in Educational Technology. Though I hail from a math and science background, I aspire to a sort of old-fashioned Liberal Arts roundednesss, striving for that perfect balance between the sciences and the humanities. I made my way into pedagogical sciences and Educational Technology because I love, and am good at learning about new areas, and enjoy the challenge of explaining what I’ve learned to others. Instructional Design was a natural fit to this aptitude.
For the last two (almost 3) years, I have been spending a large portion of my non-work time renewing a long-dormant love of computer programming. I say renewing because this is not a totally new body of knowledge for me. My experiences with Computer Science and programming go all the way back to my high school days, taking the AP Computer Science class (successfully passed the AP exam). I fondly remember coding class work in Turbo Pascal and writing programs to draw fractals outside class in TI-BASIC on my old TI-82 graphing calculator.
This drive to dive back into programming after a few years away was motivated initially by a desire to learn how to build educational materials on exciting new platforms like Kinect, the HoloLens, and mobile devices. I was frustrated by the failure of the local ed-tech community to take up these technologies on its own, and decided to learn how to build my own tools. So I dove in during a brief lull between work contracts, studying through the emerging popular medium of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). As an educational technologist, I was fascinated by this new medium for delivering and experiencing learning, and continue to believe it’s the future of continuing skills development.
And so I embarked on this journey, learning new languages, new paradigms of computing, new methodolgies. And loving it all the way.
Lately, this studying has taken on a life of its own, becoming a passion of mine in its own right. This course of study has involved reading (Quora, StackOverflow, online documentation) and taking online courses through Coursera, Udacity, and other platforms. I’ve been studying subjects such as:
- Basic principles of computer programming
- Event-driven programming
- Object-oriented programming (OOP)
- Algorithms and data structures
- Functional programming (FP)
- Basics of parallel programming
- Machine Learning and Deep Learning
- Database manipulation / SQL
- Data Analysis using Python (Pandas, Numpy) and R (readr, tidyr, dplyr)
- Data Visualization using Matplotlib
This coursework has included a lot of programming assignments in Python, Java, Scala, R, and Matlab. In the coming months I hope to turn my efforts toward building and expanding interesting projects I can show off on this blog and on Github.
Right now my biggest interests, where I’m spending most of my time studying, lie in Data Science, Big Data, Machine Learning & Deep Learning, and Data Visualization. Over the next few months (spring – summer 2017) I’m planning on deepening my experience working with Python data science and machine-learning libraries (including Numpy / Pandas / SciPy / Matplotlib / Scikit-Learn / Jupyter Notebooks / Tensorflow), Deep Learning techniques, and Hadoop / Spark.
More broadly, I’m fascinated with learning and teaching, and the ways that technology can help on both fronts, whether in terms of presenting / displaying / organizing information or in terms of bringing people together to share, learn, and collaborate. Of particular interest to me of late are the educational and training potential of mobile devices, Natural User Interface (NUI) technologies like the MS Kinect, augmented reality devices like Google Glass and HoloLens, Serious Games and Gamification for Education, Training, and Performance Support, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), stereoscopic 3D, and informal learning.
In my free time, I love to read, cook, watch great movies and TV, walk/run, and spend time in the outdoors camping, hiking, and canoeing.