just one of

At some point in time, I had become aware of one the most beautiful words:


Sonder: n. (neologism) The profound feeling of realizing that everyone, including strangers passed in the street, has a life as complex as one's own, which they are constantly living despite one's personal lack of awareness of it.

For what it’s worth, if you measure a word's validity by its existence in the standard dictionary, sonder isn’t necessarily a "real" word. Rather, it was invented by one of the strangers it refers to.

Nevertheless, I find it is a brilliant reminder of one’s place amongst the other seven billion and some people carrying out their lives on this pale blue dot. That's what the counter is estimating above. I would rather someone take away and meditate on that sense of complexity and scale first, than any specifics about myself: just another one of them; of us.

World light map from NASA



Now

Here’s what one of them is working on now:

Most of my time is dedicated to conducting scientific research, primarily on brain systems underlying learning and memory. Working with the awesome Fortin Lab, and our collaborators, this includes neural electrophysiology and writing complex analysis to help understand this data. This also ties into my interests in artificial intelligence, where I’m a board member of ContinualAI, a research non-profit dedicated to building intelligent machines that learn like we do.

The global pandemic has affected a lot of our lives. I've volunteered part of my time towards COVID-19 research, with the aim to understand its strongest neurological symptoms: loss of taste and smell. This has been through work with the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research (GCCR), a worldwide effort of scientists, clinicians, and patient advocates.

More personally, I’m excited by the quantified self movement and using data driven approaches to improve my lifestyle and productivity. I’ve picked back up on my web design hobby, and have been exploring the southern California coasts and trails (for instance, the Santa Ana mountains, pictured below). You can find me snowboarding, running, tending to my pet snails and plants, working through the Tripitaka, historical research on my family tree, and, somehow, maintaining a social life | 201101

My academic friends may also want to see my CV here

Hear something you connect with? Want to know more? Think we can collaborate? Reach out!

Why a now page and not an about page?

California's Saddleback Mountains overlooking Irvine