I graduated from NYU with a degree in Physics and Computer Science and a minor in Math in 2018. I worked at [Ouster] as a software engineer, first as an intern and then as a full-time employee. After Ouster went public, I left in July 2021, and I’m now attending Columbia University where I’ll be trying to study the intersection of computer science and society, from a highly technical perspective. While it’s somewhat of a hard-pivot, I’m interested in moving into privacy, decentralization, and computer-science mechanisms. I also generally align with effective-altruism ideas, and lately I’ve been trying to actually make them into effective altruism actions.
Why did I decide to go to Columbia?
I like a lot of different things, and unfortunately, time is limited and I can’t do everything. Columbia is an experiment for me to beta test a few ideas, so that I can better figure out what I want to hone in on. I will use this blog to post somewhat regularly on progress on my three experiments.
I intend to do a hard pivot from the more physics-y and performance-based computer science work I’ve been doing into something more related to the intersection of tech and society (some might call this public-interest technology).
In my time at Columbia I aim to explore a key hypothesis that I’ve been developing over the last ~3 years: there are very few technical problems in the world. I intend to blog about this more regularly, so if you find this underwhelming, stay tuned, I’ll be blogging and expressing my thoughts more regularly.
My academic goals during my Masters at Columbia:
- Decide if I want a PhD
- I do.
- Publish a paper as any author
- Publish a paper as first author at a top venue. [incoming]
- Give a formal talk on my research
- Given at Workshop on Differential Privacy and Statistical Data Analysis on my work on Individualized PATE.
- Improve my understanding of machine learning from a theory and practice perspective.
- This is an on-going and never-ending task, but I’ve certainly improved.
- Understand what the blockchain and form nuanced opinions on it.
- I wrote an SOK on ZK-SNARKs on the Blockchain
- I have drafted a policy paper on “Privacy on the Blockchain in the Presence of KYC laws”, please message me if you’re interested in a pre-preint.
- Have more than 100 readers on Substack
- Advise as a technical engineer for a company or startup
- Served as lead engineer for Shelton.AI for the first 6 months of its starting up.
- Advise for a privacy company.
- Collaborate with lawyers and write a law review paper relating to a technical topic, in order to identify if this is the path that I want to take.
- Create a academic community of graduate students with similar interests to mine
- I created and organize the group Technically Private. It’s a group of mostly graduate students across many universities, who talk about Privacy and Security. If you’re interested in joining - send a request to the above link.