About Me

I’m Ali. I’m currently (2019) a PhD student at Imperial College London, at the Computational Privacy Group. Here’s my CV for the daring. I ended up doing a PhD in the space that occupies the void between computer science and the “real world” in an attempt to re-align my energy and my career towards previous non-issues, like privacy, that are rapidly becoming full fledged, adult issues.

Before this shift and after my undergraduate degree in elementary particle physics, I spent 2 years split evenly between Cambridge, attempting to do a maths degree, and CERN (warning: crazing hair), where I was a research assistant responsible for the binary task of finding anomalous signals in the CMS electromagnetic calorimeter while entertaining my supervisors with my junior, but ultimately fruitful, attempts at actual science.

Aside from short-lived, but rewarding, periods where I have worked on projects with tangible, dinner party mentionable, impact, such as working with an education charity for almost a year, using Machine Learning to expand education loans, I have yet to taste the real world. Though many of my fellow PhD students (and some others) would strongly disagree. This is where this blog comes in.

Here, aside from the occasional opinion piece, I have gathered, a growing record of informal informational interviews where I find interesting and inspiring people with nonlinear career paths, and I essentially grill them about how they got to where they are. The hope is that by the end of this process, I will have entertained my interviewees while also, discovering the direction of travel for my career.


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