Summer 2004 - Research Project: Reinforcement Learning
Welcome to my DMP website
About Me Mentor Project Journal Final Report
About Me

My name is Melanie Coggan and this summer I'm lucky enough have been chosen by the Computing Research Association for the Distributed Mentor Project. I'll be doing research for 10 weeks with Professor Doina Precup from McGill University.

I'm an undergraduate student in Computer Science at McGill University, Montreal, my hometown. I've lived here all my life, and after having travelled here and there around the world, it's still my favourite place to be. I'm twenty years old and will be starting my senior year in September. My decision to go into computer science was somewhat based on random chance. I've always enjoyed computers, but I'd never programmed anything, or really known anything in any depth until I took a programming course at Marianopolis College. Taking this course was also random chance: it fit nicely into my schedule, and in fact I thought I was taking German for beginners (as it turns out I ended up taking this course at McGill, so not all was lost). I enjoyed the course a lot, and could see myself studying computer science for a long while, unlike all my other science courses: they were intersting, but not right for me. I guess I'm a really lucky person. Computer Science is really the school for me, and I'm happy that my path led me here.

Other than school, I have lots of interests. I love most anything that's involved with nature, like camping, or just going to the mountain (Montreal has a small mountain called the Mount-Royal) to read a good book. Reading is another one of my great passions, and I use the summer to catch up on all the books I don't have time to read during the school year, reading almost obsessively. I also have an little bit of an artistic side; but it's lazy and most of the time is deep inside, alseep; sometimes though, it wakes up and I end up with a nice new drawing or painting small metal figurines. Or sometimes I will drag it up and force it to help me, as I am doing to design this webpage.

Apart from work, this summer I have a few projects I hope I will get around to doing. The first is to learn how to bind books, with nice leather covers and maybe embossing. I'd also like to learn something about bow-making. I've loved archery ever since I first saw Robin Hood (the amazing Disney version), and just got my very own bow for Christmas (a gift from my amazing boyfriend - I have to mention that, it's such a great gift he deserves acknowledgement); someday I'd like to make one myself. I also plan on taking in a lot of the country-side, if I can find a car that will drop me off in the country and pick me up several days later (or stay there quietly while I hike).

That's about all I have to say about myself (mostly because I don't want to bore you with obsessive ravings about The Lord Of The Rings or Final Fantasy). If you want to e-mail me for any reason, you can contact me at melanie.coggan at mail dot mcgill dot ca.