Vectors, Matrices, Sororities and The Power of Pizza

The Windows group of the White and Yellow Belts plaing with Python

Just when you think you have your town figured out, even more people came out for Week 2 of Lancaster AI and AI Saturdays this weekend and surprised us all! Both beginner and advanced classes got some new blood and even had to battle a sorority. Yes, there is a story here, hold on.

First, let’s talk about AI and data. For our white and yellow belts, the beginner and junior devs, we decided to switch some things up and focused in the morning on installing python locally along with Numpy and virtual environments, and then downloading a git project, using an IDE and editing code, and running the python files within. In the afternoon, we covered a number of videos on vectors and matrices and ended the day with an awesome intro AI video from Siraj, who simply has the best hair in the AI industry.

The Red and Black belts covered quite a bit of ground with a linear algebra refresher, an intro to reinforcement learning and Bayes’ Theorem, an intro to binary classifiers and the Perceptron, some intermediate Python skills, matplotlib for plotting results, Pandas for handling large amounts of structured data efficiently, and partially implemented the Perceptron together in Python. Wow, that’s a lot! Wes Roberts, the founder of, says, “Everyone is doing a great job and I’m impressed by how much we get to cover in each class.”

So, sororities…

Legally Blonde, Elle Wood and Bruiser, Delta Nu

So, how do sororities work into this? An entire sorority took over the room next to ours in the building and halfway through our morning session began screaming every 10 seconds about something they were excited about. Safe to say, it wasn’t our vector math. After a few minutes of this, our entire class responded with our own screams and cheers of, “Numbers!”. So, of course they got louder. We tried again, “Numbers!”, and after a few laughs on our side, they stopped not long soon after. I must say, I’ve never seen an AI class this excited about anything before!

And that level of excitement from a bunch of future devs leads me to pizza.

Yes, pizza.

I took a bit of a hike to get some pizza for lunch. Most of the team goes across the sidewalk to the cafe, but I needed to clear my mind after a long week, and I like to walk and think. At the pizza joint, I by chance ran into one of the class participants, and we spoke a little bit about AI. We got our food to go and on our way home, talked about all kinds of topics. AR, VR, technology, the future, and life in general.

This made me remember why people come to these classes, and more importantly, why they keep coming back. A lot of people think these courses work for their educational value, and yes, that is about half the picture. However, it is the relationships that are built between people eating lunches together, struggling on problems together, or yes, even taking on sororities together, that composes the other half. People will will quit on themselves far faster then they will other people when learning.

Like much in life, a good team can take you far.

Hopefully, we can keep bringing teamwork, fun, and great data science and AI to what we do here. Let’s see what week 3 brings.