About Austin

an older picture of me

My name is Austin and I am a new PhD student at Cambridge studying machine learning. Right now I am excited about accelerating scientific discovery with AI.

Brief bio

Slightly longer professional bio

I have had a varied and interesting university career. At first I thought I wanted to be a chemical engineer… and then I realized that chemical engineers just move fluids through pipes and occasionally heat the pipes (sorry chemical engineers). Then I transferred into a program called nanotechnology engineering, which I found very interesting. This program taught me that:

  1. Chemistry, and nanochemistry in particular, is extremely challenging, and still not well understood from a theoretical perspective, owing largely to the difficulty of modeling these systems.
  2. Experimental work is not for me (I am too clumsy and don’t enjoy it).

Motivated by this, I transitioned into doing more programming. After getting some experience in the software industry (to learn best practices for coding and development), I am currently undertaking a PhD in machine learning. The research group I belong to specializes in Bayesian machine learning, which has given be the mathematical, statistical, and computational expertise necessary to solve difficult problems.

Outside of work

In my spare time I try to learn things (although I’ve had much less spare time in my PhD compared to undergrad).

Learning language is something I’ve enjoyed and want to continue with in the future, partly because it is a (semi-)useful and impressive skill, and partly because I like thinking about different ways ideas can be structured. I also try to optimize things in my life whenever possible. My language skills come and go as I study different things, but at certain points I’ve had a good grasp (aka intermediate proficiency) of French, German, Mandarin, Esperanto, and Toki Pona (not all at the same time though, I’m not a polyglot). Turkish, Japanese, and Korean are also on my study list.

Other points about me: