my first blog

a bit about myself and my plan for this blog


Hi there, and welcome to my first blog post!

As you probably already know, my name is Jonathan, and i’m currently in my 1st year of my Master’s in Computer Science at the University of Southern California (USC).

During my first year at USC, i’ve had the pleasure of taking 3 courses:

In addition to these courses, i’ve been steadily working on Robotics and AI research with the amazing Prof. Yue Wang.

I’m writing this blog for a few reasons, which i’ll outline below.

Reason 1: Openness

I’m a first-generation 🇲🇽 Mexican-American student studying Computer Science. For those who don’t know what “first-generation” means, it means my parents didn’t go to university, and I (along with my 2 siblings) are the first in our family to attend university. While this is exciting, it has come with a number of obstacles, such as lack of direct educational mentorship, an increased sense of pressure to perform well in school, and above all, impostor syndrome.

From a young age, my parents have been very supportive of my journey to pursue a higher education, despite themselves not knowing how to navigate the higher education system. I attended Grossmont Community College for 2 years in San Diego, California from 2018-2020, after which I started at UC San Diego for my Bachelor’s in Computer Science from 2020-2023. In June 2023, I fortunately earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from UC San Diego, making me not only a first-generation college graduate, but also the first in my whole family to earn a Computer Science degree 🎉

Now that i’m in my Master’s, I have reflected a bit on my educational experiences, and came to an unfortunate realization: I have not met many students with similar identities to me who are pursuing AI or Robotics. My educational journey has been exhilarating, and I hope that by starting this blog, I can promote openness to pursue a higher education in Computer Science / STEM (and even AI / Robotics) to individuals who have similar identities to me, but may not have the resources or mentorship to push them in the right direction.

Reason 2: Accountability

One of the best parts of studying Computer Science is that you almost always get to see a visual result of your work in real-time. This is especially true in my research, where I am lucky to work with Robotics simulators 🤖 and I can see my robot learning how to do useful things!

Sometimes though, there are ideas I have which might not directly be of interest to the research community. For example, I enjoy making simple, pedagogical implementations of algorithms and getting to explain how they work to others. I recently started working on a Neural Networks from Scratch project (based off the NNFS book), and soon i’ll be writing a blog post about it. This is an example of a project that will promote my learning and the learning of others, and by making blog posts about my work, it will enforce me to have accountability so these projects get finished!

Reason 3: Personal Development

Finally, the most obvious reason for me starting a blog, is personal development. The more I get to share my work and experiences through this blog, the better i’ll get at scientific communication!

As a novice researcher, I don’t get to write research papers that often (yet 👀). In the meantime though, if I can write blog posts where I share my scientific progress and discoveries, this will massively help me out when those research papers do come around and i’m tasked with writing about my work in great detail.

Conclusion and Plans

I’m working on a number of things at the moment, most of which I can’t share many details about. However, I will try to blog every 1-2 months in my downtime to summarize how things are going.

If it is clear that I am working on a series of blog posts, then i will specify the posting schedule for those posts when I make them.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and took something valuable or interesting away from it. Maybe you’ll start a blog of your own! 😄

Cheers, and till next time,