Hi, I’m Alexander – rocket scientist turned artificial intelligence engineer1.

Why did I become an engineer? Because engineers advance technology and technology advances civilization. I am most interested in the fundamental properties of both intelligence and computing, and how their interplay may advance engineering physics. To this end, I focus in areas of artificial intelligence (AI), cyber-physical systems, and probabilistic computation, mainly with scientific applications – more on my Research page.

Brains ‘n bits

I’ve spent much of my career at the intersection of AI and neuroscience… I founded Latent Sciences to develop a patented AI platform (i.e. a probabilistic programming domain-specific language I built) for predictive and causal modeling neurodegenerative diseases, which was acquired into an enterprise AI company.

Prior to addressing neuro challenges with AI, I’ve spent much of my career going the other direction, aiming to derive the properties underlying intelligence towards building artificial general intelligence (with Vicarious and Numenta). (more on my Work page)

Space exploration

Prior to pursuing AI, I was a spacecraft engineer, working with NASA, Blue Origin, Astrobotic, and Technion. Much of my work was in robotics, space systems, simulation (e.g. spacecraft launch systems and the Hyperloop), and rocket propulsion.

Computational sciences and ML

I studied computational mechanics and robotics at Carnegie Mellon (under advisors Red Whittaker and Kenji Shamada), engineering management at Duke University, and mechanical & aerospace engineering at Cornell. Much of my research focused on computational design and optimization algorithms, from space launch vehicles to energy systems.

I’m an AI Advisor for NASA, specifically the Technical Lead of “Digital Twin Earth” with nasa.ai, building efficient AI-driven simulation and decision-making tools in climate science.

For my work in AI-for-science, I’ve been an honoree for the Forbes 30 Under 30 List in Science and the Patrick J. McGovern Tech for Humanity Prize.

Much of these experiences and insights are currently driving the new venture Pasteur Labs (and sister org Institute for Simulation Intelligence): simulation.science

And beyond…

Beyond AI R&D, I’m an advisor (for several VCs such as Germin8, various startups such as MobileODT), an angel investor (in deep tech with truly novel AI/data solutions), and ML+SW consultant –> lavin.io/consulting.

Away from the computer I’m a runner, yogi, outdoors explorer, and dog dad. My bookshelf ranges from Sean Carroll to DF Wallace to Richard Dawkins to Cixin Liu.

You can find some of my AI writing and rambling on Forbes and Twitter.

  1. See this writeup from Carnegie Mellon: “Launching A Path From Rocket Science to AI”↩︎