• Predicting peak/load

    Fire. Hunger. Drought. Flood. We hold both problems of over-abundance and scarcity on the same planet. These are logistic problems. What are ways we can improve our predictions of systemic stress points in our systems? How can we leverage those predictions to arm first-responders with more time?

  • How is this relevant?

    Schools teach students how things work and skip the part where they explain why those subjects exist at all. If you're learning Calculus, understanding the kinds of problems which led to its invention should be the starting point, not the footnote. Maybe letting students decide what they want to learn based on the kind of problems they want to solve in the world will lead to happier and more productive communities.

  • How do we make it go fast?

    A standard car, with all of its intricate mechanical features, is manufactured every second. Information travels between continents at nearly the speed of light. Yet it takes days to send a wire transfer and hours to run programmatic test suites. Figuring out the theoretical maximum performance of a system and comparing it with its current performance is usually shocking. How much idle waiting can we eliminate by finding ways to make things faster at every layer?

  • Building communities where people are nicer to each other

    A compassionate exhale, a gentle smile, a synchronization of heartbeats. Kindness creates color and fresh energy. We can’t invent our way into kindness. We have to cultivate an environment which allows for it, and patiently help it flourish. It seems some communities are better at this than others. How can we make more of them?

  • What other things behave like this?

    The most moving parts of my career involve discovering symemetry in seemingly unrelated systems. Richard Feynman describes it best: "And then to discover, if you try to get answers, that they are related to each other – that things that make the wind, make the waves, that the motion of water is like the motion of air is like the motion of sand."

  • Games as a medium for learning about the world

    I love games. They create safe spaces in the world to explore and express. Not all games are made equal. Some are advertised as escapes designed with addictive barbs. Let’s make more games that make us feel things.

  • Using technology to prompt positive behavior

    Through my phone's usage data, I'm certain Apple can tell when I'm having an energized day or an off day. I wish we used more technology to prompt positive behavior. Maybe it'll help people get out of emotional rutts, or help people feel connected with each other by automatically setting reminders for important life events. Deep learning models are especially good at processing multi-dimensional information like this.