A Day in the Life of a Harvard Computer Science Student

A Day in the Life of a Harvard Computer Science Student

August 20, 2019 100 By Stanley Isaacs


Hi there my name is John fish, and I’m a Harvard student I’m a freshman studying computer science And this video is going to be a day in my life and the first thing we’re doing today. It’s about 7:30 a.m. I’m gonna go grab some breakfast So Annenberg is Harvard’s freshman dining hall, and honestly, it’s like something out of Harry Potter. It’s pretty cool. Morning Luke. Okay, it’s now 8:15 a.m.. And my first class begins at 9:00, so I have like 45 minutes. I do have homework for that class that I haven’t done yet, just like a little bit like a page. So I’m gonna do that, it’s Swedish. And then, the other thing that I like to do with my mornings is just plan out my day so I have a growth book, it’s what I call it’s like a little daily planner agenda where I write over my schedule for the day my goals my motivation stuff like that, so I’m gonna do that and I’m gonna do my homework. and then we’ll get to class. All right, so just walking you through kind of what my scheduling might look like for a day. This is my schedule for the day. You know, wake up, do some homework, go to Swedish, go to math, have some lunch, go to lecture for my CS course today It’s a guest lecture which should be cool. Then I work out, eat some dinner, go to work and then go to bed hopefully like 10:00 p.m ..um..That’s the goal that’s one of my goals for today is to hit nine hours of sleep. I’ve already meditated which is great. I want to read around 50 pages of my book throughout the day and then of course I want to film this video, so this is a daily planner that I have personally designed and that I’m actually making, I actually just Had a company produce a bunch of them and they’re going to be shipped to Amazon. Hopefully within the next month and they’ll be available on Amazon Prime and stuff like that and so if you want to buy one I Definitely recommend signing up for my newsletter the link for that is in my description and you’ll be able to Pick up one of these when they come out. Oh, and check out the cover on that bad boy look at that Mmm, ooh Embossed logo, okay. I should do homework Alright so off to Swedish now It’s actually like 9:02 But I’m gonna be on time because one of the interesting things about how Harvard classes work is that they all start on Harvard time, which is seven minutes past the hour Or seven minutes past when the class is supposed to start, so I’ll be there on time even though I’ll probably get there like 9:06. There’s Widener Library by the way. It’s a pretty cool library Alright, so that was an hour of Swedish. It is now 10:00 a.m, so I’m headed off to linear algebra. It’s across campus I’m gonna kinda have to rush to get there in seven minutes, but usually I’m able to do it in like six or seven So many tourists All right rolling back from lunch now I’ve got an hour for my class which is a guest lecture at the computer science course Which is what the title of this video is a computer science student. That’s me and so Yeah, I’m gonna kill some time. Maybe start an essay, maybe work on a problem set, maybe edit a video I got a lot of things on my to-do list. So the lecture today is for my functional programming class it’s called CS51 And it’s a guest lecture which is kind of cool. He’s from Jane Street. Which is like an investment firm I believe they use OCaml, which is like one of the only actual firms in the world or companies that Uses the language which is the language that we use – it’s a functional programming language, so I’m really interested to hear I don’t even know what the lecture is gonna be on But I’ve heard that it’s supposed to be one of the best lectures of the year for the course So I’ll actually go to this one in person. Just gonna head over there in like 50 minutes and in the meantime probably going to edit a video Very very cool lecture and not just because they gave us free shirts although that was cool, too Thanks, Jane Street. But just a cool lecture Yeah, I thought it was actually pretty insightful in terms of just like cool like programming practices that he gave us Things like how to write code that literally you can’t express errors which I thought was a very interesting concept the idea being like you need to design your Types, so OCaml is a typed language And when you’re designing your custom types Doing so in a way that is literally impossible to write invalid or to write an invalid state In the examples that he gave with that were really interesting so Now the next thing that I have to do I have to go work out And I’m not allowed to talk about that on camera on my youtube channel, so instead, here’s just some cinematic shots that I took of Harvard and its surrounding area. Alright, I’m back from working out. Time to go grab a bite to eat for dinner and then attempt to grind for a little bit Okay, so it’s now 7:20 p.m.. And I’ve got a bunch of work to do so what I’m going to be working on right now is I’ve got an essay that I need to be writing for tomorrow. Just like a little rough draft I don’t even think it’s due until tomorrow at midnight, and I’m gonna be starting at psets I have nothing really due tomorrow which is great But I’m just gonna be be working on a bunch of different things. Okay, so the essay that I’m writing It’s a literature review that is based off of this book flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi I think that’s how you say his last name, but correct me if I’m wrong. The fundamental premise of the book is How do you find happiness in a world where we really struggle to do that? It seems like everyone wants to be happy Right, but over the thousands of years that we’ve progressed We haven’t really become that much happier as people and so the question is well, what does make you happy and In flow that question is answered with the idea of meaningful work That is if you have a task that fulfills… Csik Mihaly breaks it down into eight different things eight different Categories that have task fits and then it’s a flow activity and semion flow So you can apply this to anything and Csik Mihaly applied that to an entire life Saying that if you create one goal for your entire life And then you structure your life around that it with Goals and with sub goals and so on then you can have one life that is just a flow experience and therefore it will be an enjoyable experience and a happy experience Now what I’m looking at in my essay is how do you apply that to the student – to the education system? Because I believe that the education system is… well, it’s pretty messed up to be honest I feel like a lot of students are miserable and That shouldn’t be the case like school should be an enjoyable experience It should be fun and I think that you can make it fun, and I think that there’s a way to do that with flow So I’m gonna go write my essay and then once I’ve written my essay there will be a video as a component to it That’s actually part of the course which is really cool We go to one of the studios on campus, and we fillm a mini TED talk. So if you’re interested I’ll upload that video to this channel, so if you’re not subscribed definitely subscribe because well Hopefully it’ll be a useful video essay for you, and if not I upload video essays every week So I’m sure there will be something in there that you find useful. Anyways. I’m gonna go write this essay Okay, the essay, it’s going pretty well. I have been writing for about an hour I am I’m getting a little tired though, so I’m gonna change gears I’m gonna do some math for a bit because I’ve got a problem set due in a couple days So I’m going to do a little bit of linear algebra for year series – for year – FOUR years. I’m gonna some some linear algebra Now another thing that I can imagine a lot of people are wondering is that for a computer science student I didn’t do a whole lot of coding today, and that’s actually true, and it’s kind of a factor of Harvard being a liberal arts school So the courses that I’m taking our Swedish, Expos, which is a writing course Linear algebra and CS51. That’s it There’s just four courses And if you’re coming from a technical college background like me coming from Canada Where pretty much every school is a technical college, and you take like eight courses a semester, and they’re all pretty much given to you Yeah, it’d be kind of ridiculous to be taking a course like Swedish or to be taking a writing course but I kind of love it because Yes programming is fun But I think that overall The point of school is to make you develop as a person like you’re you’re trying to make people that are better members of Society and I don’t think that Becoming only a better coder will make you a better person necessarily I think that there’s so much more life than that. So it’s like 9 o’clock – well, 9:05, and I’m going to start reading and brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed to try and be in bed for 10 o’clock because, maner of the sleep waking up at 7:00 just Gotta go to bed early. But before I head to bed I’d like to talk to you about the sponsor of this video. As a computer science student sometimes Listening to the lectures isn’t enough for me to understand the things that I’m trying to learn. To actually understand a concept I have to reinforce what’s being taught by doing problems And that’s why I love the sponsor of this video Brilliant.org. Brilliant has a wide variety of interesting math and science problems and courses that can help you to both Reinforce what you’re learning and to learn new things for example when my CS51 class went over red black binary trees I was able to work through the course that Brilliant has on them to clear up my confusion from the lecture and best of all when I got problems wrong I was able to Look at a detailed solution and understand what went wrong in my thought process and then fix it Then when it actually came to implementing a red black tree I didn’t have to go searching through all sorts of reference materials. Brilliant had taught me all of the concepts that I needed to know. It’s genuinely a really effective system So if you’re interested in signing up for Brilliant.org, check out the link in my description to sign up for free and Also the first two hundred of my viewers that decide to upgrade will actually get 20% off their premium annual plan It’s now 10pm So I’m gonna head to bed because I’m getting up at 7 tomorrow and one of my goals for the day was to hit Nine hours of sleep. Yeah pretty pretty uneventful day pretty average day I hope that you enjoyed this video of a day in my life I hope that you got to see a little bit of insight into what it is to be a student in freshman year at Harvard and Yeah, thank you so much for watching. I will see in the next video Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already because I make videos every week sometimes probably more, okay, bye