In May 2013, I'll finish my PhD in mathematics under Bernd Sturmfels at UC Berkeley, with mentor Shaowei Lin. My research is in algebraic statistics, and I'm especially interestested 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.
Aside from my academic work, I also helped form the Center for Applied Rationality (CFAR) between 2011 and 2012, which is now a registered non-profit organization being run full-time by Julia Galef, Anna Salamon, and Michael Smith. CFAR runs workshops on rational decision-making and action-taking on the basis of empirical findings in cognitive science, and of course, data collected from previous workshops. 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 have been here ever since!