It’s the beginning of 2018! Here are some stats and books from my 2017.
The biggest thing this year was that I quit my job and moved to the UK to do a Masters degree in AI.
Here’s an updated daylight graph:
Habits and achievements
Things I’m proud of
- Reading a lot of books!
- Not being nervous before giving my first talk at a conference! That made me feel awesome.
Habits I think are useful
- Started a personal wiki, and started writing reflections for classes, articles, books, and weeks.
- Making an index card every night listing a few little goals for the next day. I also write a few notes, and more recently doodled, on the previous day’s index card as a little journal entry.
- Better food habits. I started enjoying oatmeal and ate more leafy greens.
Most of my personal projects were around Jupyter. I also worked with numpy and scipy.
- One part is a wiki based on markdown files.
- The other part is a heavily customized Jupyter notebook.
- Searchable using custom searching utility that’s hooked into Alfred.
- Notebook markdown cells become flashcards.
- Blog post about this coming soon!
This blog’s deployment
I containerized building it.
I also successfully used my deployment scripts after not using them in a few months. I was able to figure it out and they still worked! Engineering win!
Implementing A/B Tests randomization
Here are some notebooks about it.
Learned a lot about numpy, scipy, and machine learning.
Places and events
- Maui. Albin showed me how to do beach vacations like a Swede: you, like, just sit on the beach in the sun and read. But my favorite part of the trip was seeing Haleakala Crater.
- Lake Crescent on the Olympic Peninsula. *Mount Eerie music playing.*
- More cities in northern Scandinavia: Narvik, Norway and Kiruna, Sweden. *Röyksopp music playing.*
- Vancouver, BC (technically I’ve been here before, but it’s been a long time!)
- Inverness, in the Scottish Highlands
- Women’s March in Seattle
- My dad and I saw the solar eclipse. Totality was just a few miles south of where we live! I’ve been looking forward to this since I was a kid.
- :( Columbia Gorge burning and it raining ash in Portland
- Rough Translation
- NPR Politics
- The Daily and UpFirst
- Pod Save America
- Also, audiobooks! I found out I can check out audiobooks from libraries using Overdrive.
Podcasts I started later in the year:
- Slow Burn (about Watergate)
- The Indicator (yay, more frequent planet money)
- I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats. (Jason Fink from Welcome to Nightvale, and John Darnielle from the Mountain Goats talking about creating!? I also read one of John Darnielle’s novels.)
At the beginning of the year, I listened to a lot of data science podcasts. My favorites were:
- Talking Machines
- Linear Digressions
In 2017, I starting to write personal reviews of books and articles. This was a good idea! It made me reflect. I can also go back and remember what it was like to read the story.
And I read 68 books! The full list is on Goodreads.
Here are a couple of highlights:
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
- The Broken Earth Series - N.K. Jemisin
- One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
- Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
- The Tin Drum - Günter Grass
- A Room of One’s Own - Virginia Woolf
- John McPhee’s books
I’m always searching for more books like Feynman’s QED. I found a couple:
- An Introduction to Information Theory: Symbols, Signals and Noise - John R Pierce
- The Annotated Turing - Charles Petzold
And sometimes I just read textbooks
- Introduction to Statistical Learning (this one is short and readable!)
- Statistics for Experimenters (this one is pretty readable too, but I classify this as a “Jessica is weird” reading book. I read the 1970s one and it was interesting to see the examples they used, like factories putting raisins in cereal.)
Data and learning
I’m learning more math. So I read a bunch of books on learning, and one on math! Here are some of my favorites:
- Weapons of Math Destruction - Cathy O’Neil
- Make it Stick - Peter C. Brown
- Deep Work - Cal Newport (I played the audiobook on double speed and wandered around Vancouver.)
- A Princess of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs. Did you know the author of Tarzan also wrote pulp fiction a century ago about a guy getting transported to Mars and having to save a princess?
Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest.
Other than that, I mostly listened to old favorites.