9 things to do while waiting for your models to converge

There comes a time in every data science project’s life where a data scientist must wait for their model to converge. We’ve all been there. You’ve done the research, you’ve built the algorithms, and now you’re ready to sit back and relax a bit. Let your model do the work to prove itself as a viable product. Unfortunately, it takes time for models to converge and it is not always under our control as to how long it takes. It could be a few minutes, or it could be a few weeks.

Here is a bucket list of things to do while waiting for your model to converge. From the first minute to the third week, you’ll have ample opportunity to waste time, do good, and even develop yourself as a data scientist.

1. Guess the correlation

Not quite ready to jump into your next data science project? That’s understandable. Kill a few minutes to an hour on this stimulating yet entertaining game. “Guess the correlation” is quite self-explanatory. Try to guess just how correlated the two variables in a scatter plot are. The closer your guess is to the true correlation, the better. Guess the correlation between 0 and 1. Rack up points by being accurate, and get more with consecutive correct answers. Try to beat your own score, or send it to a colleague and see whose correlation reading is better. One minute can easily become an hour. This game is debatably one of the most addicting statistically based games (after poker I guess). cnvrg.io data scientists scored a high score of 62. Think you can you do better?

2. AI Music!

Have you ever wished your data science pipeline could have a soundtrack, but you didn’t have enough time to mix it? Problem solved. Use AI to set up a custom DJ set for your workday with rave.dj. Enter the website to find two options. You can either choose a playlist to mix together, overlaps, transitions and all, or you can create your very own custom mashup. Rave.dj automatically overlaps songs for the best possible mashup. For the playlist it automatically transitions songs as if a DJ were doing it herself! Now, while you’re waiting for your DJ set to converge (takes about 30 minutes) you can move on to the next step on the bucket list. But, you’ll be all ready and pumped for your next big project.

3. Research with Arxiv Sanity Preserver

As we all know, data science is filled with a never ending desire to learn. After all, it is a science. Now is a great time to catch up on all of the most recent academic articles in the data science field. But, there are so many discoveries it can be overwhelming. So – to preserve your sanity – there is an arxiv sanity preserver! Arxiv sanity hosts academic papers and displays them in a much more user friendly way. Instead of reading 28 pages only to learn that a paper is irrelevant, arxiv sanity shows a preview of a paper with a thumbnail and abstract. You can also search by topic or author, or relevance. If there is a paper that was particularly interesting, you can search for papers similar to it. Research is time consuming, but an extremely important part of data science. And, don’t forget to document anything that might be used in a future project so you can reproduce it! You can see our post about the importance of research in reproducible data science for more tips on that.

4. Spurious Correlations

After a day of rigorous research, you can now reward yourself with some more statistics humor. Warning: if you’re not amused by darker humor, this site might be considered a little cryptic. As the name suggests, spurious correlations is a wonderful compilation of charts presenting closely correlated data of things humorously unrelated. On a deeper note, it can remind us that correlations are not always as they appear. Another warning: if you are a huge Nicholas Cage fan, you might find a few of these charts particularly upsetting. You’ve been warned.

5. /r/MachineLearning

Reddit can be a rabbit hole, often leaving you preoccupied for hours and hours. On a busy work day it’s hard to validate spending time or Reddit. But, despite some irrelevant subreddits, it is a platform contributing genuine discussions and answers from the data science community. r/machinelearning can get you all sorts of answers to your questions. You might find that you know the answer to a question. By answering with your expertise you can contribute a lot to the community.

6. Check in and track your models

Don’t forget through all your fun to monitor and track your models! One way you can do this is by setting up an Excel sheet to record parameters, metrics, and code versions etc…
Download our model tracking template in Google Sheets. Here we have all the fields necessary to get you started and keep you on top of your models.

Download Model Tracking Template

Alternatively, cnvrg.io has a monitoring portal so you can store, manage and track models or experiments in real-time. It’s equipped with charts and graphs so you can easily visualize your models, track progress and compare experiments automatically.

cnvrg.io real-time visualization dashboard

7. Become a thought leader

In today’s day-in-age, it’s not always enough to just have a career. It’s also important to promote your “personal brand”. On a serious note, it’s pretty important as a data scientist to get your work promoted. To do this, you have to actively become a thought leader. Some ways you could do this is by writing a guest post for a publication like KDNuggets, Towards Data Science, Datanami, Forbes, Inc, or The Next Web. With just a few hours of effort you can be a thought leader, and the Kim Kardashian of data science.

8. Give back with your data science skills

As a data scientist, you have the skills to solve some of the worlds pressing issues. Now is your chance! DataKind is an organization with branches around the world. It brings together top data scientists with leading social change organizations to collaborate on cutting-edge analytics and advanced algorithms to maximize social impact. With just a few hours to spare, you can join a DataDive and help a social organization with some of their toughest problems. DataKind has tackled issues like homelessness, updated social service technologies, even identified corruption! You can see some of their other projects here: www.datakind.org/projects

9. Book a last minute flight

Well, if you’re working on GANs or trying to retrain ImageNet from scratch – this can be a great opportunity for a 1-2 week vacation 🙂 With enough spontaneity you could pack your bags and fly just a few hours before your flight. Go to momondo.com. Set arrival to “anywhere”… Choose what type of trip you’re looking for. You can choose from beaches, ski slopes, natural wonders, and even UNESCO sites (if #8 inspired more volunteering). Book your tickets, pack your bags, and don’t look back.

Looking for something else to do with your time?

Grab a virtual coffee with a cnvrg.io expert