Rocket scientist and evolutionary systems biologist by day, violence prevention activist and swing kid by night
I work at Intuitive Machines, an engineering think tank in Houston, Texas, where I am in charge of payloads for the Axiom commercial space station module and the navigation filter (an EKF) for our Terrestrial Return Vehicle and one other spacecraft.
Previously, I did a post-doc in space robotics at West Virginia University's Applied Space Exploration Laboratory on autonomous rendezvous and docking as well as proximity operations with respect to non-cooperative objects (e.g. asteroids, satellites, etc.).
I work some on campus safety and public safety issues. I founded Students for Gun-Free Schools in Texas, which has thrice successfully killed legislation that would force higher education institutions to allow guns in classrooms. In 2011, we killed a bill that many called a "slam dunk," despite an NRA supermajority in the Texas House and Senate. SGFS-TX has now been supplanted by the educational charity Texas Gun Sense, which hopes to create a vigorous Texas-focused debate on the topic of gun violence prevention. Even in the wake of the passage of campus carry, Texas Gun Sense continues to push for universal background checks.
I graduated from Virginia Tech in 2007, from whence I went straight to UT-Austin, where I finished my Ph.D. in 2013 (thanks to the National Science Foundation). For my dissertation research, I explored an area of the theory of evolution called deep homology; I predicted disease-causing genes on the basis of what they do in distantly related organisms like plants, bacteria, and yeast. If you're curious, search for "phenologs." The project combined machine learning with biology.
I co-founded the SciRuby Project, and am the lead developer for NMatrix, a dense and sparse matrix library for the Ruby language. SciRuby is working to make Ruby a viable option for scientific computing. We received Google Summer of Code support for the first time in 2013, and it has been renewed every year since as of this writing (September 2016).
Black belt in Tae Kwon Do, National Science Foundation Fellow, National Merit Scholar, Best of Austin Award Winner (2009, 2011), Friar (not necessarily in that order), PhD (Cell & Molecular Biology: Bioinformatics, The University of Texas at Austin)