In high school, I was really fascinated by human evolution (still am). I thought I might major in evolutionary biology.
I took Tom Kelly’s epistemology class, and I was sold. But I also realized the topics that intrigued me in the natural sciences and mathematics were mostly foundational questions – the types of questions philosophers were asking.
Not really a story, but a very fulfilling experience. I remember writing my Fall JP on “Disagreement” with Tom Kelly. This was probably one of the most academically enriching experiences I’ve had at Princeton. Tom was a great advisor and was always happy to talk through the issues. I definitely miss those conversations.
During the end of my time at Princeton, I started thinking a lot about decision theory, and the role of bounded rationality in the context of decision problems. My senior thesis explored a decision theoretic problem that both philosophers and economists had worked on in the past (my advisor was actually an economist – Wolfgang Pesendorfer). Since my interests aligned more with axiomatic decision theory, I proceeded to do my Ph.D. in economics, graduating in the spring of 2016.
I am an associate at an economic research firm in New York. My firm provides expert testimony and consults for law firms involved in antitrust and securities litigation. [This interview was conducted in June 2017.]
I guess my story can be summed up with a few words: you never quite know what you’ll end up doing. When I came to Princeton, I didn’t think I’d major in philosophy, and while I was at Princeton I didn’t think I’d be doing my Ph.D. in economics afterwards. When I was a Ph.D. student, I didn’t know that I’d end up working in antitrust litigation after grad school.
I think majoring in Philosophy gave me the freedom and flexibility to explore whatever interested me most and ultimately forge my own path. I believe it also equipped me with the skills to ask the right questions regardless of what I am doing. I’m very grateful for this.