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About

I attended an all-boys Jesuit high school in Manhattan named Regis, an experience that couldn’t have been more incongruous with what Saved by the Bell promised me for years. Still, going to high school in New York City was memorable; taking Driver’s Ed in Chinatown during rush hour is downright terrifying and smells delicious.

I loved being in Manhattan so much that I did my undergrad at Columbia. There, I earned a degree in biomedical engineering, a major I recommend highly. It’s fascinating to see how many organ systems and tissues you can mathematically describe using simple DC circuit diagrams. And as a bonus, I found that my department was a national powerhouse in the assignment of macabre student projects; I once got to spend 3 continuous weeks modeling how many synthetic erythrocytes a hemorrhaging soldier would need for transfusion before he or she bled to death. Down on the Morningside range, I was also fortunate enough to get mentored by Chris Wiggins and Barclay Morrison III, who both taught me a lot about science gets done.

I spent my PhD thinking about how to leverage computational tools like hidden Markov models, and binary tree reconciliation algorithms against problems in evolutionary microbiology. I was particularly fond of microbial ecology and comparative genomics. With the help of my advisor Eric Alm, I graduated with a doctorate in Computational & Systems Biology from MIT in 2010.  I am presently a Junior Fellow at Harvard’s Society of Fellows.  You can read more about my research at my academic webpage.

Now, those paragraphs were all very academics-centric (I cribbed them from an application I submitted some months ago). Here are some other things I enjoy and don’t take place at school: tennis, squash, photography, backpacking, and travel. I also hang out a lot with my wife, Christina, and wish I could hang out much more with my little sister in Philadelphia, Stephanie.

In conclusion, if you’ve read this far, say hi in comments below or shoot me an e-mail on over to Ldavid AT mit DOT edu. It makes my day to get letters from strangers on the internet.


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53 Responses to “About”

  1. on 04 Nov 2006 at 9:01 pm Tom Timberlake

    Hi Lawrence,

    Please take good care of my daughter, Sonia, and make her wear a helmet when she rides her new bike or when she’s rock climbing.

    Thanks!

    –her Dad

  2. on 13 Jan 2007 at 5:25 pm Stephanie (not ur sis, but ur cuz)

    Dude,

    California rules ;) … and rumor has it EVERYONE thinks your “special” (hahah)!

    See you in Feb,
    -SA

  3. on 13 Mar 2007 at 8:46 pm Jason Comparetto

    Hey Lawrence,

    What’s up? Biomed engineer, eh? I ended up going Pre-Med at Penn State. Now I run a small motion-picture production company in Philadelphia Go Figure. One of us will need to find the cure for mankind–I’m glad you stuck with it!

  4. on 07 Aug 2007 at 11:00 am nicholas

    Hello Just read your blog and it is fantastic, hope all goes well and you work out what you want to do!!! Thanks for all the useful info as well

    Cheers

    Nicholas

    UK

  5. on 01 Oct 2007 at 2:46 pm Eric Brunson

    I love your navigation menu at the top. What a great idea, I wish I was so clever. :-)

  6. on 20 Dec 2007 at 5:45 pm lowell gould

    Hey Lawrence,

    Cool site. I really like the navigation header. Thanks for all your great tricks. As a quantitative geneticist, I can really relate to your efforts in computational and systems biology. Take care good luck.

    lowell

  7. on 29 Jan 2008 at 11:51 am Kailash

    Hey Dude, came across ur website while I was browsing the net. The navigation menu is awesome, gr8 idea. Keep up the good work.

    Cheers,
    Kailash

  8. on 09 Feb 2008 at 10:28 am HK

    Hi Lawrence!,

    i am a phd student in boston and after searching a ton of resumes, i found only yours useful! thanks a ton, i am going to use it.

    -best,
    harish.

  9. on 04 May 2008 at 1:06 am Richard

    Lawrence, I was captivated by your website and blog, especially about the symbiosis that forms bioluminescence in that adorable sea creature. I hope you don’t eat any of them, please. They are just too precious. The basis for all this stuff, of course, is quantum. How the whole is made of wholes. It is the nature of all things. Nature is self-referential and fractal. Everything emerges from nothing. The whole is made of entangled correlates, opposites in this case. Please keep searching for your bliss and try not to worry about tax brackets. Peace. – Richard (Lawrence is my middle name, the second of three first names)

  10. on 12 May 2008 at 11:16 pm Griff

    website hacks man. how did you customize your iweb so much for your groups site. I’m going to do it for my astrophysics group but am kinda new to web development in general. I have iweb but yours looks way better than anything like the templates.

  11. on 27 May 2008 at 8:35 am Dave

    Lawrence,

    I found your blog searching for wordpress tips. Your top nav is just beautiful. Have you written anything about how to do it? I’m also aspiring to integrate my gallery2 into my site as nicely as you have.

    I looked thru your tricks and didn’t find anything about how you accomplished these nice programming steps – did I miss something? If not, please share!

  12. on 05 Jun 2008 at 4:46 pm Kate Harris

    Hey Lawrence,

    I was checking out Eric Alm’s website and stumbled upon your site – I met you as a prospective student visiting MIT back in April. I’m happy to say that MIT won me over completely – I’ll be heading there this fall for the geobiology program through EAPS! I am ridiculously pumped. Any words of wisdom to offer an incoming student??

    Hope you’re well, Lawrence, and hope to run into you on campus sometime!

    cheers,
    Kate

  13. on 19 Jun 2008 at 7:22 am Lloyd

    Hey man, I stumbled across this site looking for matlab stuff. Props for the site man. Very cool. You cannot get more pro than music in the shower dictated by some random account holder over the net. Very impressed.

  14. on 21 Jun 2008 at 1:36 pm David

    found your site googling for perl tips. the top menu is genius. love the music feed to your apartment. best personal site I’ve seen yet.

    best of luck with school

  15. on 27 Jul 2008 at 12:42 pm Cristina

    hi!

    i ended up here looking for latex tips for my thesis… and i spent more time reading your blog than trying the tips… :-)

    thanks for the tips, and for the reading ;-)

    take care,

    cristina.

  16. on 29 Jul 2008 at 4:09 pm limpet

    Got some cool latex tips from your website, especially on how to singlespace itemized lists. Thanks.

    Lots of useful other tips here too…guys like you who share their information freely are the backbone of open source…thanks

  17. on 05 Sep 2008 at 6:08 pm lsi

    it would be better with other languages support, but thanks..

  18. on 30 Dec 2008 at 7:05 am Lucky

    I m here by searching some thing for perl …..I m linking u to my blog !!!

    Great work

    Keep it up dude :)

    Thanks
    Lucky

  19. on 08 Feb 2009 at 3:20 am vaxman

    great site!
    keep on!!

  20. on 11 Mar 2009 at 5:36 am Lieschen

    Love the style of the links up top. I’m a currently very bored grad student from South Africa popping in to say hi. So… hi! Found your blog when I was searching for some python info. Thanks!

  21. on 09 Jun 2009 at 11:18 pm Lulu

    Great web page! Both the design and the context are fascinating.

  22. on 02 Jul 2009 at 8:22 pm Kiaran

    Hi Lawrence,

    Found your website because I googled how to reverse python list. Then found myself reading your about me section.

    Good luck on your PHD. Sounds like a very interesting field! I work at Bioware Corp making videogames. Usually use C++ but needed Python to patch some things up.

    Best of luck!

  23. on 10 Jul 2009 at 8:49 am Pop V

    Hi Lawrence,

    I’m doing a phd in biophotonics. A similar experience to the posts above, I found your website while looking help in Matlab. I also really like your link icons. is it difficult to do? I’m trying to create a website which has a minimal animations for a clean for-the-eye sake. However I’m really drawn to your idea. Help or suggestion would be highly appreciated.

    Regards,
    Pop

  24. on 25 Sep 2009 at 5:04 am steve

    Lawrence-

    Stumbled upon your site while looking for info about upgrading my mac’s OS.

    What a great site! I’m bookmarking it and plan to check it out later when I have time.

    Take care!

    -steve

  25. on 01 Dec 2009 at 4:33 pm Carlo Francisco

    Hi Lawrence,

    My name is Carlo and I’m an undergrad at Wesleyan University, in Middletown, CT. I’m just posting to let you know that I’m working with your AdaptML program for bioinformatics research I’m doing over here. As a computer scientist with some interest in graduate school in the future, I also find your website very inspiring! Keep up the great work!

  26. on 01 Jan 2010 at 9:10 pm Wilmarc

    Hi Lawrence!

    Great site!
    I am just wondering if somehow you have Filipino blood or something.

    Keep those neurons working!

    best,
    wilmarc

  27. on 16 Mar 2010 at 11:27 am Ian Mulvany

    I just cribbed how to assign a variable from a command output in bash, thanks!

    Nice site, good luck with the PhD.

  28. on 24 Mar 2010 at 11:35 pm marcio von muhlen

    great site Lawrence! I had a great time speaking with you at the BE retreat. Looking forward to future conversations =).

  29. on 25 Mar 2010 at 9:20 am Chris Pirie

    Lawrence! It was great riding back from the BE retreat with you and Robbie. The conversation was truly insightful. Good luck finishing your thesis work and with your Society position at Harvard!

  30. on 13 May 2010 at 7:26 pm Jana

    First not boring page which helped to solve my LaTeX problem. On the other hand, I’ve spent here more time than I intended.:)
    This is one “Hi!” from Czech girl recently in Denmark.

  31. on 12 Jun 2010 at 9:54 am Martin

    Hey Lawrence,

    great page! Thanks a lot for your tutorial on MySQL/Matlab, it really made my day :) (And saved me about 10 hours of work, I guess…)

    Have a nice day,

    Martin

  32. on 17 Jun 2010 at 1:10 am Jason

    Nice man! Thanks for the matlab tutorials! I love to know little tricks. I visited MIT recently with my gf, I love Boston. You are one creative dude! I did the whole engineering route at PSU, also, finished with a Masters in EE. I recommend engineering to everyone. Now, after 6 years working, thinking to head to law school. Keep up the tutorials!

    Your cyberspace fan
    Jase

  33. on 18 Feb 2011 at 2:27 pm Linda

    Cool navigation menu at the top!

    I’m bookmarking your site under my “Cool Website Design” folder. I hope to try it.

  34. on 19 Apr 2011 at 2:08 pm Cletus

    http://desk.stinkpot.org:8080/tricks/index.php/2008/03/select-a-destination-blank-in-mac-os-x-leopard-installer/

    Thank you… thank you … thank you.. thank you. I have been pulling my hair out trying to figure out why my boss’ macbook won’t see the new hard drive. Now I get it. Thanks again. If you ever find yourself in Wash DC let me know… I owe you a cold beer for sure!

  35. on 11 Oct 2011 at 2:06 am karl

    thanks for the MATAB tips!

    I have come across this site during multiple, unrelated help searches… and each time you have solved my problem! thanks!

    karl

  36. on 22 Dec 2011 at 9:59 am lo

    Hey Lawrence,

    Good day!

    =Malaysia

  37. on 17 Apr 2012 at 9:32 pm Jiayi

    Hey Lawrence!
    Good Day!

    Jiayi

  38. on 28 Jun 2012 at 10:53 am eman

    Being a New Yorker myself, I found this line to be very funny…

    “taking Driver’s Ed in Chinatown during rush hour is downright terrifying and smells delicious.”

    I’d say that just about sums it up..!!

    The real trick is to drive thru Chinatown and Not stop to get something to eat.

  39. on 14 Sep 2012 at 1:21 pm Evert

    Found this site by looking for a way to print from the commandline in OS X, but this is one one of the most interesting about page I read to this date.

    Cheers!

  40. on 15 Oct 2012 at 3:34 pm Robert Wilson

    You’ve got a problem here:

    Fatal error: Call to undefined function get_tricksbar() in /var/www/tricks/wp-content/themes/mistylook-101/tricks.php on line 142

  41. on 28 Nov 2012 at 12:06 pm Bruce B Campbell

    Dear Stinkpot,

    I enjoyed your website – which I stumbled upon when looking for a matlab regex example. I will ask my unix security gooroo to try and crack your shower. If you find yourself listening to seventies music, then you’ve been comprimised! Haha.

    Best Regards
    Broooce

  42. on 05 Mar 2013 at 9:30 am Eric Grashorn

    Found your site while browsing for shell scripting tips, motivated to click on the “about” link by your navigation menu, inspired to leave a reply by what I read. Never done this before in my 10 years scouring the web for programming tips and tricks. Nice work!

  43. on 26 Mar 2013 at 2:28 am Tony Wu

    I’m currently learning to use your Software-AnGST and found your personal website here. Your website is really full of ‘fresh air’.

    All the best!

  44. on 26 Dec 2013 at 3:51 am sailaja

    HI, I found your tips on “how to place multiple images in latex?” very useful. Thanks for the same.

  45. on 12 Jun 2014 at 10:39 am Sebastian

    Hi, from RWTH Aachen in Germany.
    I just stumbled upon argmax in latex. Have a nice day!

  46. on 05 Jun 2015 at 9:00 am Digvijay

    Hi,
    Python tips are great.

  47. on 05 Jun 2015 at 9:00 am Digvijay

    Hi
    http://computerarea96.blogspot.in/

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