Venice, Italy

2023: My Year In Review

What Did I Do This Year?


2023 was a year that I won’t forget—one full of opportunity and promise. As I sit here reflecting on it, I notice that I’m writing in the office of a new apartment while visiting family bustles about in the background. Later tonight I’ll be playing video games online with friends, while tomorrow I’ll be headed to camp in a national park (I’m not sure which—it’s a surprise organized by my wonderful partner). Security, family, friends, nature—all in the course of two sentences and twenty-four hours. How many blessings can one person have? Despite all the effort and intentionality I put into my life, I know that I am lucky for what I have.

As another year winds down, I want to take this opportunity once again to reflect on the year I’ve had—who I’ve shared it with, what I feel I’ve accomplished, and what I hope to strive for in 2024—its through line being gratitude.

Personal Accomplishments (Unordered)

💰 Last year (2022), I paid off my private student loans. This year (2023), I paid off my remaining public student loan debt. In total, I paid off $194k of student loan debt in the span of six years. I wrote about this saga, my goal of paying them off before I turn 30, what it meant to me, and how I accomplished my goal here.

👨‍🏫 I taught Intro to Machine Learning for Business at Chapman University’s Argyros College of Business and Economics to ~35 students this Fall semester. It was both grueling—including driving 90 miles there and back twice a week—but also fulfilling. I loved the students and believe I made a difference. For access to the course content, see my GitHub repo.

Teaching at Chapman

📇 I wrote about Large Language Models and AI Agents for O’Reilly! This was a dream come true and as you’ll see below, I only hope to write more. For more about my report on large language models and AI Agents, see this post.

🐥 I’m an uncle! I am very grateful that my niece, Shoshana was born. I’ve visited her now twice since October, and I intend to do so more in the coming year. 

Shoshana and Me

✍️ I wrote more posts (5) than I ever have! I hope to write more in the coming year. 

🎂 I turned 30! You may not think it’s an accomplishment—but I think it is. And so it makes my list. 

Turning 30

🗺️ I had a big European travel year! I visited: Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, and Austria in August. I also visited Canada for work, as well as a few cities I’ve never been to before: Boston and San Fransisco.

Ljubljana, Slovenia (August)

📚 I attended another college course at USCD this year. I have enjoyed this tradition of continuing my education despite having a full-time career. I credit my mother for instilling this drive in me.

🧬 For some people, work is a means to an end—for me it is the thing itself. I generally enjoy the process and, as I approach my second year working as Principal MLE @ Workhelix, I am still just as grateful for the time I’ve had, the team I work with, and what we are building.

Ice cream in Toronto—a must.

📣 I gave a few talks this year on Large Language Models. I’ll be sure to post them in the New Year!

🐶 We successfully fostered a dog and found him a loving home! He was very cute (and energetic…)

Toast, being cute.

🤝 I’ve also had the pleasure to assist and advise work on projects involving Large Language Models! This has been great and I look forward to discussing all my learnings soon.

What do I want to accomplish next year?

📖 While I’ve had a good education, for most of my life I’ve avoided formally reading philosophy. I’d like to change that this year. I have some plans. Hopefully I can manifest them.

🔧 More personal projects! I’d like to build more at home and flex this creativity muscle. I may start with home networking and expand from there.

🌏 I have tentative plans to travel to Asia for the first time. I’ll do my best to make this a reality.

📔 Another class! I would like to continue my streak and attend another class (probably in math or something technical) at the local university.

🐥 I’m definitely going to see my niece more this year.

📝 I definitely want to write more, ideally for O’Reilly again since I enjoyed working with them so much. My focus will likely be on Large Language Models. But I’m also hopeful for a formal paper… more in the New Year.

We’ll see what 2024 brings. Happy New Year!

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