Turning an interest in programming into an AI career

Bharathan is a senior in the Bachelor of Engineering program at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and recently shared how he was able to use what he learned on Coursera to land a Machine Learning internship. In his own words, he describes how he used his passion for computer science to launch a career in the Artificial Intelligence field.  

When I was 5 years old, I lost 85% of my vision and was later diagnosed with Macular Dystrophy. Since my diagnosis, I’ve been using a combination of Windows Magnifier and NVDA, a screen reading software, to access my school course materials and also to learn online. 

I was in the eleventh grade when I was exposed to programming for the first time, and from there I developed a deep interest in different programming technologies. 

A few years later, I was introduced to Coursera through Vision Aid, a Boston based NGO working in the interest of the blind and vision impaired. I enrolled in their Python programming class which used material from Dr. Chuck’s Python for Everybody Specialization

I really enjoyed the online learning experience and since then I have taken many courses including Stanford’s Divide and Conquer, Sorting and Searching, and Randomized Algorithms, Graph Search, Shortest Path and Data Structures, and Machine Learning as well as the Deep Learning Specialization from deeplearning.ai. 

The knowledge I gained through the Machine Learning and Deep Learning courses helped me land an internship this summer where I’m applying the concepts I learned to real-world projects.

The idea behind my main project is developing a Salesforce Conversational Analytics Chatbot. I think the most remarkable feature of this application is that the data never leaves the user’s desktop or laptop!

I am fascinated by the idea of machines being able to learn and do things as well as a human (and sometimes even better!). The flexible and self-paced courses on Coursera have been a great resource for developing my skills in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

In the future, I want to specialize in Artificial Intelligence and become a researcher that can contribute to the ever-growing field of AI.

Coursera is a great resource for honing my skills. Anyone who wants self-paced learning would easily fall in love with these courses.

 

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