I am a gymnast-turned-acrobat that likes to think. I split my time between training, and coaching, and working on programming projects in a variety of domains.
I grew up and trained as a gymnast, and I competed for the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, from 2001-2005. I studied engineering and obtained a BSE in mechanical engineering and then went on to obtain an MSE in biomedical engineering, also from the University of Michigan. Upon graduating, I continued doing research in a biomechanics lab, focusing on computational biomechanics. The computational aspect of this work was most appealing and interesting to me, and this interest led me to my second stint of graduate school at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY where I received a PhD, focusing on machine learning and data analysis.
Since I stopped competing in 2005, I kept training on my own for the next 10 years. When I was nearing the completion of my PhD in the spring of 2014, I put together a demo tape for Cirque du Soleil just to see what might come of my athletic and acrobatic background. Cirque liked my demo tape, and two weeks after defending my thesis, I was in Montreal training for Corteo. I toured with the show for 16 months in South America doing a high bar act called Tournik, until the show closed in December of 2015. I am currently coaching for Cirque du Soleil on a big top show, and I continue to do research on circus-inspired problems that have elements of biomechanics and data analysis or machine learning.
Recent scholarly activity:
I am currently working on some circus-inspired projects, and in particular, one that helps to manage artist workload for group acts and cue tracks.
I am beginning to study handbalancing, from a more traditional biomechanics point of view. I am currently playing with some pilot data and I am looking for alternative funding sources to purchase data acquisition equipment.