Moya Writes Things a personal website

About

Last updated: Aug 17, 2023

Hi there. My name is Moya.

Some Quotes I’ve Liked for Decades Now #

The Job Stuff #

NOTE: I consult at $400/hr2. Reach out with an email titled “Consulting Reachout - [Insert Project/Company Name Here]” to the email here to chat.

After failing to get laid off 3 times3, I voluntarily quit in July 2023. If you’re curious about why, see this copy of the Motiviations part from my quit post.

I’ve got a project that I’m working on. Ask me about it in person. Might be a big swing and a miss, but gonna go for the swing anyhow.

Prior to that, I spent a smudge over eight years walking the research-to-production pipeline but backwards at Facebook. Lot of this is in my LinkedIn but I semi-refuse to take that site wholly seriously, so there you go.

The following isn’t the most serious either, but maybe slightly more useful (separateing out the LLM stuff cause it’s the hotness):

  • Research engineer, FAIR + GenAI. (Nov 2022-Jul 2023)
    • Large language model pretraining. Mostly looking at infra + experiments on data, including setting best practices and (re-)spinning up some systems from scratch. Somehow ended up part-time sysadmining an AWS EMR Apache Spark cluster.
    • Nomadic-ish (Assorted Western Europe, Spain, Africa)
    • Llama 2
  • Research engineer, FAIR (Facebook AI Research). (Sept 2020-Oct 2022)
    • Dorked around with chatbots, reasoning, and other parts of natural language processing including some conversational assistant tech-transfer. Was part of the oncall for the OPT-175B train.
    • Most work on these teams (other than OPT175 + BB3 deploy) was the “standard” small-group style of academic-research. Got a lot better at research rigor, lab management notebook, etc here.
    • NYC.

Before that, I worked in applied research computer vision on large scale AR localization, face filters, and computational photography; before that, I was on a spam team working on political ads abuse + API abuse in general. This was all in the Seattle office. See this old CV from June 2022 for more of the details there.

Before joining Facebook (and the corporate world as a whole), I did my undergrad at Caltech. 45

The Life Stuff #

I spend a lot of time doing everything and nothing.

I genuinely enjoy tech and have since I was a kid, so a good amount of time is spent dorking around reading tech journalism, especially going ons between tech and policy/society/business/etc and comparing/contrasting it with what I’ve experienced first-hand.

Laundry list of other things I do #

  • Outdoors-y fitness-y things: Hiking, climbing, backpacking, travelling
    • Distance racing: Seattle marathon 2016, Havana half-marathon 2017, Istanbul marathon 2022 (others)
    • Fun hikes: Enchantments Thru Hike (2020), Mt Adams (2021), Mt Toubkal (2023), Half Dome (2023)
  • Music: Piano (good), flute (good high school level), guitar + ukulele (better-than-total-beginner)
  • Reading
    • Mostly non-fiction, occasionally good sci-fi (<3 Ted Chiang)
  • Random classes I’ve taken:
    • Improv, Musical Improv, Woodworking
    • Wilderness First Responder (cert + recert)
    • Scuba Diving (Advanced Open Water; will get this to Rescue Diver at some point)

I also hope to do more writing, which is the purpose of the existence of this site. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Friends #

Places that let me hobo:

The This (Site) Stuff #

Spun this up in about a day with github pages using the Poole Jekyll template, with some minor modifications (mostly CSS, also footnotes + emojis) to fit me. Click here for the underlying repo.

The image in the sidebar is a photo of some fireworks that I took as a high schooler, back when I had a bit of a photography phase. I had a shoddy digital camera but figured out how to play with the exposure time; I was plesantly surprised when one of my random “let’s shoot at a firework while shaking the camera” images looked vaguely like it could be a bird. Link to original (on Flickr) here. 6

Also I’m mostly definitely not a graphic designer. Plz halp. (See contact info below.)

Contact #

me(at)moyachen.com

  1. My literary tastes as a high schooler is somewhat summed up as “required books for school, plus ‘classics’, plus a bunch of things by snarky old white dudes”. I already liked Vonnegut then (“snarky old white dudes”) but also had some solid opportunities to read more of his things in college, thanks to the old sci fi library in the Caltech SAC basement. I could also maybe include about a half-dozen Dune quotes, but those can be weird without lots of context since… despite being a political speechwriter, Frank Herbert’s style is sorta muddling even when it’s wise.  2

  2. Discounts depending on personal interest. As a courtesy, I do an initial “fit-check” call at $150 for an hour. 

  3. 32 weeks (16 base + 2 x 8 years of service) of severance would’ve been great. Some folks ask why I didn’t sandbag myself to get the $$ - turns out, I’ve got too much of a conscience and feel enough guilt for my coworkers (not to mention anxiousness over my own unproductivity) to go that long. 

  4. A Mole (gdbg, ttboai) if you must know. :hugs: 

  5. Someday I’ll write a blog post about turning down MIT and other “huh how was that” decisions like intentionally avoiding living in the Bay for a long time. We’ll see. It’s all sorta worked itself out now, so maybe not. 

  6. Incidentally, I wonder if being a Flickr user first is why I ended up getting into Instagram relatively late in the curve of things 7 — I’d already satisfied my picture sharing urges with Flickr, and was never quite bought into the lead-by-aesthetics of Instagram. (Though, I definitely appreciate its value!) 

  7. …and only as a result of it being the primary way to contact my little sister… God I hate the messaging app ecosystem fragmentation that exists right now. 8 

  8. Incidentally, despite this unnecessary (and slightly over-the-top) usage of footnotes, I’ve never actually finished Infinite Jest