This is really great, thanks :D
Previously people recommended me Evpatoria Report based on my liking for Explosions in the Sky, Godspeed You!, and World's End Girlfriend. Any more excellent post-rock I ought to hear?
Totally unrelated: I really like metal. Here (Album art NSFW) are some of my favorites. More?
I've been reading this awesome web serial called Worm. Highly recommend if you want some action and suspense. There's a bit of rationality business in there as well, but it's spaced out and the story is long. I see it's been recommended previously on here as well.
If you like Haskell's type system I highly recommend learning category theory. This book does a good job. Category theory is pretty abstract, even for pure math. I love it.
Has anyone read The Reason I Jump? Was it good?
A shot of an abandoned chess board with the king toppled (optional: and a robot hand shaking with a human).
A chess board with one grain of rice on the corner, two next to it, then four, (...) until the board and surrounding world is rice.
I'd go for chess or similar since people already associate chess with "computers are better than humans at this game of smarts." Still, it's cliched so maybe you want something less so. As for the examples, 1 will look really campy, 2 is uninteresting, 3 is okay, and 4 is good.
Just to confirm, it's undergraduate CSE honors? Have you taken an AI course?
My initial impression is that you'll have trouble doing something specifically related to FAI, but it depends on your background.
External motivation is a huge part. Part of it is just the fact that my entire job right now is to learn physics and impress professors. Much of my learning happens in class, but much of it also happens in the labs that I work and from the grad students that I bother. Another overlooked advantage is the enormous group of peers who are learning the exact same material as me at the same time as me. Physics forums doesn't even come close to this utility. (edit edit: ##physics on freenode is pretty good source too)
This all combined is well worth the price tag to me. For others it may not be; I'm just one data point after all ;)
edit: lots of people don't take advantage of their university of course, but they tend to be the sort on the bottom end, not the top, which is who I think you're addressing.
I took intro physics and math courses 2 years ago and intro CSE 1 year ago at a large American public school.
The physics classes are easy. I mean, really easy. You don't need instructor interaction or TA help to perfect every test in intro physics courses. It's the same for intro calculus, with the caveat that you need to be good at algebra or quick with a TI-89 to perfect calc. I had a lot of fun in physics, and I had a great professor who effectively used clickers by passing around a sheet with big numbers printed on it. He'd ask us a multiple-choice question and we'd fold/display our answer.
CSE was a little different, since there's homework to be done and it was harder to get a 4.0. This one will vary from school to school more than physics I think.
I've learned more about physics from school than I would have learned on my own, and I think your comment is pessimistic. University has advantages over the internet, even if your goal is simply to learn material.