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What I've been doing
Since April 2014 I've been working as a quant / stock trader / data scientist for a financial trading firm in New York City. Prior to this, in September 2013 I took leave from a mathematics postdoc at the NSF Mathematical Biosciences Institute in Columbus, Ohio, to build and expand the Center for Applied Rationality (CFAR) in Berkeley. Prior to that, in May 2013 I finished my PhD in mathematics under Bernd Sturmfels at UC Berkeley, with mentor Shaowei Lin. My academic research is in algebraic statistics, and I'm especially interested in applications of algebraic geometry to the study of causal inference and machine learning models. I switched from pure algebraic geometry to algebraic statistics in fall 2011 because machine learning has become so incredibly cool that I just can't help thinking about it.
Also during my PhD between 2011 and 2012, I cofounded the Center for Applied Rationality in Berkeley, which is now a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit with 7 full-time employees and many volunteers. CFAR runs workshops teaching techniques for rational decision-making and action-taking, on the basis of empirical findings in cognitive science, and of course, data collected from previous workshops. It's the best education per-dollar I've ever seen available, anywhere. Check it out.
"Critch" is my real last name, and it's what most people call me. I like being called Andrew, too, but there are so many of us, being a Critch is just easier! I also like how being called by my last name reminds me of my family.
Where I'm from and where I've been
I was organically grown in a tiny fishing village of about 250 people called Hillview in Newfoundland, Canada, where I learned how to be happy, and I proudly consider Newfoundland English to be my native language. I attended high school in Clarenville, Newfoundland (class of 2004), and went to Memorial University of Newfoundland for my undergrad (class of 2006). Then I started my PhD studying analytic geometry at the University of Toronto, but soon decided that I liked algebraic geometry more, so I got an MSc from Toronto instead (class of 2008), and started a new PhD in algebraic geometry at Berkeley. I moved to Rome in January, 2010, where I was a visiting scholar at Università degli Studi Roma Tre. I moved back to Berkeley in August, 2010, and to New York City in April, 2014.