I'm a first year PhD student in MIT's department of Bioengineering. This content is questionable at best since I'm still figuring out the whole Wiki thing. For now you can download my CV. Feel free to read whatever happens to be here.
Skip to the Bio if you'd rather read my life story than my research.
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I'm from Seattle WA, in the Pacific Northwest. Early on I planned to be a computer programmer, and I taught myself several programming languages. That plan lasted exactly one week after I got my first programming job. If you've ever worked in a grey cubicle in corporate America then you understand why I got out. Otherwise just be grateful that you don't understand that particular type of pain. After a string of random events I ended up doing genetics and computational biology with Leonid Kruglyak at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. I spent three summers there working on all sorts of computational genetics (genetic linkage analysis, haplotype inference, phylogeny). Since then, all my research has focused on that stuff.
Looking at colleges it was a close call between Stanford and MIT. Taking it right to the deadline, Stanford won out because of more attractive undergrads and better weather. Turned out to be a good choice because here I am at grad school, and now I've been at both places. (don't be stupid, if weather or hot students actually mattered I'd be at UCSD right now. I chose Stanford for academic reasons) I majored in Chemistry with a minor in Bio. Prof. Richard Zare was my academic advisor but I never even looked at doing research in pure chemistry.
Along the way I spent a quarter in Oxford reading History of Science ("reading" is British for taking classes, as much as Oxford teaches classes). The "big picture" experience was a lot of fun, and it was great traveling around Europe.
In my sophomore year I got involved in biostatistics in medical research with Dr. Harvey Cohen in the Dept. of Pediatrics at the Stanford med school. All the details are in the Research. The experience completely reshaped my perspective on science, especially working with data from premature infants. The big picture hits you fast and hard when half the children in your dataset did not survive.
So that's how I ended up moving from Chemistry to Biostatistics to Bioengineering. Going into my Senior year at Stanford I applied for PhD programs in bioengineering. MIT felt like a great fit, and I deferred my spot here until 2006. At the same time I applied for the Master of Philosophy in Computational Biology at Cambridge University. I was fortunate enough to get a scholarship from the Gates Cambridge Trust that covered tuition and expenses, so in Sept 2005 I packed up and moved to England.