About Me

Some people say they’re nerds because “nerd” is cute, endearing, or chic.  I am not one of these people.  In a nutshell, I’m a rational idealist and amateur polymath.  On the list of things that get me excited, you’ll find everything from thermodynamics to law.

I trained in Materials Science and Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, where my primary interest was the processing of refractory ceramic-matrix composites for use in engines.

Despite my nominal training in engineering, other fields – particularly philosophy, law, and economics – have always had an important place in my life.  After my graduation from UC Berkeley, I went on to begin doctoral work in Economics at the University of Texas at Austin.  My research interests are primarily in Governance Economics: “the study of good order and workable arrangements”.  I’m interested in questions about collective decision-making and how to determine and execute social preferences; how complex economic phenomena emerge over time; how private agents interact with governments; and how individuals and institutions overcome contractual hazards.  I’m also interested in the role meta-cognition – individuals’ awareness of their own thought processes – in strategic settings, particularly as a heuristic supporting cooperative behaviors.  My career goals include work in Economics, with a special emphasis on organizational structure, contract design, and policy.

On the side, I enjoy writing editorials on economics and politics, studying moral and political philosophy, and generally just learning how things work.  I’ve been published in numerous local, state, and national media outlets on a diverse range of topics, including an interview with 2009 Economics Nobel Laureate Oliver Williamson.  I also volunteer as an editor for Wikipedia, primarily to expand and improve Economics topics.

Eventually, I’d like to open a mead hall and design a computer game.  Why?  The same reason I do anything: because I can.

If you’re interested in my life story, check out my bio.  You can find also find summaries of my academic, leadership, and work experience.

If you want a peek inside my brain, you can read my blog, Tilting at Windmills, or get some information about the blog.  I’ve also got a section for some of my research ideas.

If you’re interested in some of the highlights of my work, you can find them over in my portfolio.  If you’re interested in contacting me, you’re welcome to do that too.


What people are saying about me:

“…a breath of fresh air.” – Oliver Williamson, Nobel Laureate in Economics (2009)

“Trenchant.” – Joseph Farrell, Former Chief Economist at the Federal Communications Commission