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Nikita Shmakov

Software Engineer

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Report for November 17-30

A couple of months ago I got an idea to stop working and do some self-education in subjects like literature, philosophy, history, math and physics. And I’ve made it. Two weeks ago I quit one of the best russian IT company, Yandex. Trying not to relax I decided to study every day on weekdays, to run in park every 2-3 days and to maintain a report in Google Docs.

On a first day, I studied up to 3 a.m. It was a sunny day with the great opportunity for observations of the Sun through a telescope. It was absolutely amazing! :) You can see the spots on the Sun! In the evening I watched Pléyades and Orion Nebula.


Over the 2 weeks I read The Spire by William Golding, The Gadfly by Ethel Lilian Voynich, Fear and Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard, 2 novellas of Gabriels Garsija Markess and completed reading of The Universe Within by Neil Shubin. In the future, I will focus on the more philosophical literature which is difficult to read after work, so the next monday I will start reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann.


I started with history of Russia. As a person with left-winged politic views I am most interested in history of USSR, but began from Novgorodskaya Rus’ anyway. On the last session I was reading about Catherine I and Peter II (XVIII century).


I engaged by the book on theoretical mechanics by Leonard Susskind. It contains simple explanations of mathematical and physical concepts and exercises for each subject. At the moment I remembered trigonometry, vectors, differential and integral calculus, curve tracing, dynamics and some other physical subjects and concepts.

Running activities

My total run for this 2 weeks is about 24 km. It’s quite cold in Saint Petersburg now (from -5 to -10 C), thus it becomes more difficult (and lazier :)).

View from the park '300 years of Saint Petersburg'


I completed 7th and 8th weeks of Introduction to logic on Coursera. Also I was trying to learn Cryptography but realized that it’s not interesting for me right now. Next week is a start of Data science courses on Coursera, will deal with them too.

Here in brief is what I did the previous two weeks. Maybe I will write more reports, stay tuned :)

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