Greetings. Your time looks delicious.
Me at Duke Gardens in Durham, NC.
Infrequently Asked Questions
What’s the purpose of this long page?
If you read this one page about me, you would know me better than you know your neighbours. It can be hard to learn about a person from their social media profiles. You meet so many people in different situations, that most of them only know one aspect of your personality.
Okay who are you?
Formally, I’m the President of SANPRAM Transnational Corporation.
Behind the fancy title, I’m just a teacher, engineer and business executive. I have worked on projects like self-driving trucks, humanoid robot assistants, AI data systems, online education etc.
I’m passionate about education. I specialize in taking complex, bleeding-edge technical subject matter (e.g. AI, self driving cars, edge computing) and teaching it to complete newbies with no engineering background.
I have a Masters in Systems Engineering from Cornell University, and for my undergrad I studied in India and China. I’ve studied everything from semiconductors to public health, and from visual design to financial history. I speak around 5 languages and am on a quest to speak 8.
What have been your most rewarding projects so far?
- Coaching dozens of students to land their dream jobs.
- Building all sorts of bleeding-edge autonomous systems. Self-driving freight trucks, detecting seizures in the brain with AI, and robot assistants for customers in grocery stores to name a few.
- Writing a thesis predicting that the price of crude oil would stay low for 3 years (in 2015). My prediction came 100% true. Pity I didn’t short some oil stocks.
Did you know that diarrhea is hereditary?
Because it runs in the jeans. *Shows self out*.
What are you currently working on?
My core interests lie in global education, technology and trade.
At the same time, the planet faces an urgent problem of climate change and pollution – so I also often think about these challenges, especially with our supply of food, energy, materials and healthcare.
I have a low tolerance for unnecessarily sophisticated talk, so I have a popular blog where I explain complex advanced technology and business topics in simple English. I’m trying to help the millions of very smart people who don’t have engineering education or don’t use English as their first language. You can read my essays here.
I am also the founder of a new web platform called DenseLayers, on which people can help each other understand hard-to-read scientific research papers and discuss ideas. An intimate, behind-the-scenes view of all my work can be found in my public codex (the Codex Audentia).
Where can I learn more about your work, or send you a business inquiry?
I’m flattered. Most people simply email me and chat. To find my email address, you will go on a journey of heroic, swashbuckling adventure to the bottom of… this page.
What is ‘Systems Engineering’ all about?
Systems Engineering (SYSEN) is an extremely powerful engineering approach that is generally used for the most complex, large-scale and revolutionary projects – think spacecraft, autonomous vehicles, robotic surgery etc.
It helps you to build the best solution, at the lowest cost, in the most efficient and flexible manner. Especially when there are a lot of system requirements, many stakeholders, very diverse teams of experts working together, and high-stakes.
How was your experience in China?
Politics aside, it’s a big beautiful country, with a rich culture. And yet it seemed so mysterious. I found lifelong friends and lifelong lessons. Now I can use chopsticks in the traditional way, and I also know how NOT to use the word 小姐.
I also have long-term business interests in the East Asian region and occasionally write about it on my blog.
Are you a nerd?
If there was a worldwide competition to find the biggest nerd ever, I wouldn’t even hear about the competition. So the answer is yes.
What do you do outside of work?
I practice mainly one martial art, Judo, and can’t shut up about it. My favourite throws, if you’d like to know, are the Uchi Mata, Osoto Gari and Hiza Guruma, and while submission wrestling on the ground I tend to try to choke people, and I have no idea why. I think I’m inherently not an armbar person.
Apart from that, I love art and cinema from all corners of the world, though I’m biased towards Japan. I read a lot of history. I love cooking. I love traveling and meeting new people. I like working out and taking care of my body – handstand pushups, I’m coming!
How did you come up with that opening line at the top?
I spent 15 minutes generating as many title lines on paper as I could. This one popped out of my brain towards the end. Maybe you can call it a forced fart of creativity? I don’t know.