In UMD, I had a lot of fun taking part in the courses during my semester. Unknowingly, I took one of the hardest courses available in UMD – CMSC417 Networks. In this course, I was presented with 5 projects. For one of the projects, we were instructed to read a research paper and reconstruct the paper’s contents on code.


Another course I took is CMSC422 – Machine Learning. I felt that the professor (Prof. Soheil Feizi) was an amazing teacher, who broke down complex topics like Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) and Support Vector Machines (SVMs) to digestible content which was also fun to learn. Occasionally, we would giggle at the drawings he makes in class. The presentation of the content is lighthearted and approachable, and it was overall enjoyable to sit in his class.


Overall, the style of the courses were more self-directed as compared to the style of teaching here in SUTD, where teachers are readily available to help and direct students. I enjoyed the new form of learning in UMD because it has taught me to be more self-reliant on my skills to find and source solutions to the problems I have.

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