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Elvis Saravia

Researcher in Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing - Affective Computing - Computational Social Science - Computational Health

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The Bit Series Manifesto

I have been doing Computer Science (CS) for almost ten years and I have struggled to find books that effectively teach the fundamentals of CS-related subjects, such as Operating Systems, Data Structures, Database, and Machine Learning. As a CS PhD student, trust me, there are only a few books that are worth your time and money. The main reason for such shortcoming is that CS books generally become outdated and fail to effectively incorporate the newer concepts that are constantly emerging as technology evolves. In addition, the means of learning also keeps changing as now we are more used to different type of content that is easy to consume and engage with.

This has motivated me to start a series of computer science e-books that are easy to incorporate change. In other words, we don’t need to wait another five years to re-launch a book just because we needed to incorporate the latest programming techniques. With the current technologies, this should be a walk in the park.

Frankly speaking, this whole situation hasn’t held me back from progressing in the field of Computer Science as I have found alternative educational material such as videos, animations, and easy-to-read tutorials on the Internet. The challenge with such content is that it’s all over the place, making it difficult to find and put together. Moreover, some content may be unintentionally inaccurate, which is a typical scenario in the CS field. I envision a series of books, sort of like a CS bible, with proper indexing so that concepts are easily found and linked together for easy referencing. This indexing should also suffice to incorporate new terminologies and concepts without the need to delete or replace old concepts.

The other issue, and one that is often forgotten, is that we all want to learn to become more applicable in our corresponding fields. Therefore, it is important to create a guide that not only enhances your knowledge, but also improves your applicability. My attempt to solve this issue is to provide step-by-step examples on every concept covered in the manuals. A great start would be to consider frequently asked questions (FAQs). This is just one idea to counter the “becoming applied” problem. There are other strategies in mind, but they would certainly need further brainstorming.

As I understand it, the power of collaboration should not be underestimated and it should be used to initiate positive change. With that said, this series of books will not be possible without help from the community. My hope is that “The Bit Series” serve as a complete manual that is freely accessible, easy to use, and effective in teaching even the most difficult computer science concepts and algorithms. It should be easy to follow, such, that even a non CS-student should be able to quickly pick up on CS-related concepts with minimal effort.

For now, there is no time frame attached to this project but I am preparing one if you are interested. I am aware that this is a tough endeavor, but with the help of the community this should remain as another side-project that can benefit the next generation of computer scientists. I am in! :zap:

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Operating Systems - Draft
Machine Learning - Draft

If you need more information about this project, I will be releasing more information on my blog in the future. You can subscribe here or email me directly at ellfae@gmail.com. You can also find me on social-media, if necessary.