Life update

I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be joining the faculty at Stanford, as Assistant Professor of Management Science & Engineering!

More commonly known around Stanford as MS&E, the Management Science & Engineering Department is an amazing family of world-class faculty in diverse fields, a motley crew of optimizers, social scientists, statisticians, computer scientists, economists, and more. I couldn’t think of a better group to surround myself with than MS&E (and Stanford more broadly), an ideal perch for pushing the outer limits of my research goals as I embark on my faculty career!

As some of you may know, the last year I’ve been visiting the University of Washington while my wife has been clerking for a federal judge in Seattle. Her clerkships runs for two years, and I have deferred my start at Stanford until Fall 2015 to align with her career calendar. I’m therefore also very excited to announced that for the next year I’ll be post-doc’ing at Microsoft Research in Redmond, hosted by the inimitable Eric Horvitz and working on a wide range of projects. Seattle is a wonderful city (with terrific climbing!), and these two years are embodying the best of what is sometimes called the “two body opportunity”.

It’s been said to me that applying for academic jobs corresponds to at least one paper you don’t get written. I can now report that this is likely to be a very conservative lower bound. Preparing and filing my applications consumed much of the fall, but the intense three months I spent interviewing this spring were among the most intellectually exciting months of my professional career so far. I completed 10 on-campus interviews, and with a typical two-day interview consisting of more than a dozen one-on-one conversations, it was nothing less than a privilege to spend the spring engaging with over 120 top faculty across academia. Yes, it was exhausting, and yes, I often had trouble keeping straight what I had and hadn’t said to whom, but I’ve emerged from all these conversations with a exquisitely sharpened perspective on the big picture of academic research. It has also given me a long list of research projects that I’m now working to prioritize. Not bad.

I am endlessly indebted to my Cornell advisor Jon Kleinberg and my UW host Carlos Guestrin for their amazing support and guidance through this year. I couldn’t have asked for a better pair of academic mentors. I’d also like to thank Cameron Marlow, Lars Backstrom, Brian Karrer, Dean Eckles, and the rest of my collaborators and friends at Facebook who have been such a big part of my graduate student career.

I’ve now arrived in Berkeley for the NetSci conference this week, which looks like it’s going to be excellent. On the horizon: June 20th I’ll be defending my thesis in Ithaca. June 24-30th I’ll be attending the AMS ‘Networks’ week in Snowbird. July 7th I start at MSR!

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