I was born in Los Angeles in 1980, first child of a librarian and a pediatrician. A couple years later, we moved to Cincinnati, where I would spend the rest of my childhood.

As a kid in the Midwest I was proud of being born in California, although I didn’t remember anything about it. It just made me feel special.

When I was growing up I read a lot of books. I still read a lot of books.

I liked solving math puzzles, and I was pretty good at it. In high school I went to the International Math Olympiad, and in college I was a Putnam medalist twice.

At first my career plan was to become a math professor. But about halfway through college, math classes started to feel a bit boring. It was also 1999, the dot-com boom was exciting, and I thought maybe artificial general intelligence was possible soon. I switched into computer science and liked it a lot.

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