Tags: ersilia, machine-learning
I have recently been accepted into Outreachy’s Winter22-23 cohort and this blog is first of a series where I will document this adventure. Within this program, I am working with Ersilia which is a “non profit organization supporting drug discovery research for infectious diseases in low-income countries”.
Outreachy is a competitive program with the single aim of empowering underrepresented people in tech with many opportunities to learn and grow by contributing to open source software. There have been a number of fantastic articles written about getting accepted as an intern, and these were my anchor during my application as well,and so I will not repeat what has already been said, however a good TL;DR is:
I chose to work with Ersilia because of several reasons, some practical and some because of my values. I will get the practical reasons out of the way first:
As for my value system, I think Kurzgesagt’s take on “optimistic nihalism” sums it up best. If there is no meaning to the world then why not assign meaning to it and why not do it in a way that ensures collective benefit of everyone. I have experienced practicing empathy, compassion, and rational thinking to be the most rewarding ways of leading life. In this light I see machine learning as a tool being put to great use within Ersilia’s mission and I am grateful that I will get to make an impact in this venture.
Within next posts chronicling my Outreachy story, I will cover some open source jargon, chemistry concepts I have had to brush up on and what helped me, a 101 on how machine learning with chemical datasets looks like, and everything else that I hope to learn within the coming weeks.