Cameron's Blog - 2018 Retrospective

2018 Retrospective

It’s a new year, and I’ve gathered some notes from the year gone by.


  • Became a C# software developer.
  • Went to Miami.
  • Passed CFA Level One.
  • Learned Rust, got better at Julia, introduced myself to OCaml, Haskell, and Chapel.
  • Started a PhD.
  • Visited my grandmother in upstate New York with my brother.
  • Built and designed a tool to detect outlier performance in investment activities.
  • Endured a lot of Southern Oregon’s wildfire smoke.
  • Moved from Medford, OR to Eugene, OR.
  • Finally got a piano in the house again. It is super out of tune so I’ve mostly been playing honky tonk blues and stuff.
  • Started working on Turing.
  • Drilled through a bunch of 220v electrical lines.
  • Attended the Pacific Northwest Finance Conference in Seattle.
  • Had my first ever office hours.
  • Rowed 5km in 23:03.
  • Deadlifted 220lbs.
  • Made it through the first academic term with some pretty good grades. Courses taken so far are:
    • Math Camp
    • Core Microeconomics 1 (Consumer theory, mostly)
    • Econometrics 1 (Mathematical statistics)
    • Accounting Theory and Disclosure (disclosure theory, what accounting does, etc.)
  • Not insane yet.


  • Learn more about market microstructure. It’s a fascinating field and nobody is going to tell me everything I want to know, so I have to make an effort to do so myself.
  • Keep up my programming skills. Don’t get stale.
  • Really get better at understanding the nuance of MCMC methods. There’s a lot of beauty there that needs to be unpacked.
  • Row a 5km in 22:30.
  • Save up enough to purchase a desktop computer.
  • Be better about remembering stuff.
  • Write at least one post a month.
  • Read academic papers more deliberately. Keep better summaries and focus on what matters.
  • Broaden my repertoire of left-hand licks (grooves? base lines? I have no idea) to include things requiring greater hand independence.
  • Do great in all my coursework.


I do a type of pseudo-bullet journaling, where I write down a couple of points from various days. Here are some of my favorites. I tend to swear a lot on in my journal, so I have censored them in accordance with the fact that I’m sort of a professional adult.

  • January 11th - “C# isn’t a terrible language.”
  • January 14th - “Had brownies for lunch and breakfast.”
  • January 15th - “steroid injections hurt”
  • January 21st - “Flying is stupid and I hate it.”
  • January 23rd - “Passed CFA level one, which means I have to keep going. ****.”
  • January 26th - “Being paid money is nice.”
  • January 28th - “I want to make a cryptocurrency exchange where the rules change every day. That’d be fun.”
  • February 3rd - “Liz made some bomb-ass chili for dinner.”
  • February 17th - “Tried to refinance the car, failed dramatically.”
  • February 20th - “Bricked my Linux partition after trying to remove Python 2. Time for bed.”
  • March 8th - “Seems nobody has tried to break into the house yet.”
  • March 20th - “Another day, another step towards an inevitable death.” Hilariously, this is immediately followed with “Nothing interesting happened today.”
  • March 27th - “Worked on code all day. It was nice.”
  • May 24th - “Made Assist reading time go from 13 minutes to 30 seconds.” The assist is a giant CSV parser we used at work, for background on this.
  • June 10th - “Filled the pond with vinegar.”
  • July 12th - “Biked in $104^∘$ weather. It was OK.”
  • August 10th - “Made fancy mac + cheese.”
  • August 24th - “I am officially unemployed.”
  • September 11th - “I hate bus people. I should take my bike more.” This didn’t happen much. I live 12 miles one-way from school, and it’s about two hours of biking a day to commute that way. I have done this kind of thing in the past and it is not great. Good way to lose 80 pounds, though.
  • September 14th - “I made lava cake. Lava cake is dope.”
  • September 27th - “While putting up a pot rack, we hit an electrical line.”
  • October 11th - “Drank beer and worked on data structures.” I am unclear about what this means.
  • November 18th - “Drilled through another electrical cable in the wall, this time for the dryer. **** everything.” Hilariously, this was a second attempt to install the pot rack introduced on September 27th.
  • December 9th - “The mice in the ceiling continue to be spectacularly annoying.”