People

This page lists other people whose websites you might be interested in visiting if you found my website useful or interesting. I begin by listing some people I’ve collaborated with closely in the past or have regular current interaction with, and can provide more color on. At the end, I list some others whom I don’t know that well but whose work I’ve found interesting and enlightening.

Issa Rice

Personal website: issarice.com

Other online projects: Cause Prioritization Wiki

As of February 2015, Issa is a second-year student at the University of Washington, Seattle. He works on the Cause Prioritization Wiki, reads LessWrong, and is very active on Quora.

I first came to know Issa on January 1, 2014, when he contacted Cognito Mentoring, an experimental mentoring service that Jonah Sinick and I had announced on LessWrong on December 28, 2014. We had some email correspondence in the next few months. Starting around August 2014, after Cognito Mentoring had gone in standby mode, I began more one-on-one online interaction with Issa and I played a key role in influencing him to start the Cause Prioritization wiki, which he officially launched in November 2014.

See also Issa’s lengthy piece on Cognito Mentoring and his note on cause prioritization on his personal website.

Katja Grace

Personal website: katjagrace.com

Blog: Meteuphoric

Other online projects: AI Impacts

Katja is involved with effective altruism and LessWrong. She’s an expert on the anthropic reasoning problem. She’s currently working for MIRI.

My first substantive contact with Katja was in May 2013, when she got in touch with me for a Workflowy on the costs and benefits of open borders and migration liberalization at large. The updated version is here, and you can see a list of similar links on Katja’s site here.

With some assistance from Paul Christiano (mentioned later on this page), Katja began work on the AI Impacts site in 2014 and has been blogging regularly on it in 2015. Although I haven’t played any direct role in the site, I’ve encouraged Katja to work on it and also given her some suggestions.

Sebastian Nickel

Personal website: sebastiannickel.com

Blog: NickelBook

Sebastian Nickel holds degrees in psychology and in mathematics. After making a living as a freelance translator alongside his studies for several years, he is now transitioning into the field of natural language processing. He has also taken up distance studies of computer science at the graduate level.

I first encountered Sebastian in the comments section of a Facebook post by Bryan Caplan. We became Facebook friends on October 26, 2012. Since then, we’ve interacted a lot on Facebook and worked together in many small ways. Sebastian has written blog posts for openborders.info, and in November 2014, we co-launched the Libertarian Effective Altruists Facebook group. We’ve both learned a lot from each other on how to use Facebook.

Jonah Sinick

Personal website: jonahsinick.com

Other online projects: Cognito Mentoring (with me)

Jonah did a Ph.D. in mathematics and has recently switched into the programming, machine learning, and data science realms. He has also been involved with effective altruism and has contributed to LessWrong.

I friended Jonah in November 2011 on Facebook after interacting with him on GiveWell’s mailing list. We began interacting more substantively in November 2012, and in December 2013, we decided to try out Cognito Mentoring together. We shifted the project to standby mode in May 2014, due to a failure to obtain enough traction. Working with Jonah was an enjoyable and stimulating experience.

Others

  • Paul Christiano: Paul is an IMO Silver Medalist and top-notch math/CS thinker who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in machine learning at the University of California, Berkeley. He is active on LessWrong and with effective altruism.
  • Peter Hurford: Peter is also involved with effective altruism and LessWrong. He currently works as a software engineer.
  • Brian Tomasik: A former software engineer at Bing, Brian is deeply committed to improving the world and has thought a lot about it. One of the areas he considers most important is reducing animal suffering, but he has written about a wide range of other topics.
  • Ben Kuhn: Ben graduated from Harvard in three years, and currently does machine learning research at Theorem LP, a company that does algorithmic trading in the fixed income space. He has been actively involved with effective altruism and LessWrong. He was in charge of the Harvard Effective Altruism Club, one of the first and most successful college effective altruism groups.
  • Luke Muehlhauser: Luke is Director of the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) and is active on LessWrong as lukeprog. (Disclosure: I did contract work for MIRI between January and July 2014).
  • Julia Galef: Julia president and co-founder of the Center for Applied Rationality (CFAR), an organization that helps promote rationality for people to be more effective in their personal lives and as contributors to society. CFAR was a spinoff from MIRI and shares an office with MIRI.
  • Zac Gochenour: Zac received a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University and is currently a visiting assistant professor at Western Carolina University. His research interest is the political economy of immigration. I know Zac because of mutual connections at GMU as well my interest in migration.
  • Amanda E. House: As of November 2014, Amanda is a second-year student at the University of Kansas. She is interested in software engineering, machine learning, and the startup world. She has been quite interested in the problem of friendly AI.
  • Maria Teresa Chavez: Maria is a precocious homeschooled person from Guatemala with a deep interest in mathematics, computer science, and biomedical research.
  • Christopher Olah is a former Thiel Fellow. He’s a great autodidact currently pursuing machine learning research. The blog section of his website is full of high-quality insights in the domain.

Basic information