Goals for the New Year

It’s probably a bit cliche to write blog posts about the new year on New Year’s Day, but it’s a ritual that I kinda like.

So I’ve already talked about the intro to programming book I want to write this year, and there’s all the drafts of papers that I was picking away at last term, so I want to get all of those things done this year but that’s not really all.

I want to do a lot more reading than I have been, both technical and non-technical. I’ve read so little fiction in the past year because I’ve barely had the energy to focus on anything when I haven’t been teaching. It’s a shame because I live in a city with one of the best library systems in the nation. I also want to read a lot more philosophy than I have. I think I’m missing a lot of the background from the more philosophic side of logic and the ways that trying to understand human reasoning inspires work in logic. I’ll be honest that I’m not entirely sure where I should begin, so if anyone has any recommendations I’ll be more than happy to take them!

I also want to sharpen my programming skills a bit since, well, I’m a good programmer and fluent in multiple languages I’m not really a master at any language in the sense of knowing the ins-and-outs of every advanced feature, trick, or technique. To that end, I really want to improve my mastery of

  • Agda
  • Idris
  • All the modern ghc-implemented Haskell extensions, since I’m mostly comfortable with Haskell 98 + multi-parameter type classes
  • C
  • Maybe OCaml and ML so I can understand the implementations of Coq and Isabelle respectively
  • Emacs lisp

Note I’m saying that I want to improve my skills in all these things, but I’m trying to be vaguely realistic about the fact that all of that plus my writing goals, a number of other research related goals, and ~1000 pages of papers to read (half of which is a couple of dissertations I want to work through) on top of this is being a medical leave means that I probably can’t accomplish everything I want in this year.

That’s a horrifying concept, really. In this time I’ve taken off to rest and heal, the idea of actually letting myself rest makes me feel sick.

So how do I figure out the real balance? I don’t know. Maybe that’s going to be a big part of what I learn this year.

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