May 12, 2015


After a brief stint at Ray's Chevron post-graduation, I set off for Tempe, AZ where I learned dry heat is the best heat. There, I picked up degrees in math and economics at Arizona State, working for the state government on the staff of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee in the meantime. Anjanette and I shacked up in August 2006 and settled into married life alongside school and work.
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign economics PhD program has sheltered me from the real world since 2009. Despite the economist label, I profess ignorance about the stock market, interest rates, or unemployment. My focus is microeconomic theory and market design, so I'm occupied with incentives, strategy, and honesty. A typical day involves writing at coffeeshops or teaching game theory to incoming grad students.
Besides Tempe and Champaign, I lived in Berkeley over the summer of 2011 with a bunch of other nerds hosted by the Center for Applied Rationality and the Machine Intelligence Research Institute. Short jaunts to Puerto Rico, Spain, France, Sweden, and Denmark happened since.
I dove into the Burning Man community a couple years ago. This started with a trip to Burning Man proper on the alkaline flats of the Black Rock Desert in 2013. If you aren't familiar with Burning Man, it's... hard to describe. Nothing is for sale aside from ice. Everything runs on a volunteer and gifting basis. If music is playing, it's because someone thought it'd be cool to set-up a soundstage. If food is served, it's because someone gets a kick out of recreating the French Quarter and frying up beignets in the Nevada desert.
Last year, my camp also made it to regional offshoots in Appalachian Ohio and the North Carolina foothills of the Great Smokies. Last weekend, I was in the Ozarks. Our camp threw a few events, including an afternoon metal set as a respite from EDM and a "boutique" where people could freely take clothing for outfits. Our big draw was the "Now We Dance, Now We Fight" Dance/Fight Party. Set to a ridiculous flamenco song, I announce in a pseudo-German accent for people to dance or pillow-fight as the mood dictates. Tons of fun if you need some cardio while camping.
Anjanette and I will be in South Korea for the summer starting in two weeks, so no reunion shenanigans for us. As far as future plans, one year left on my degree and who knows where from there.

Joel conveniently neglected to say he lives a block away from us in Champaign.

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