About

I’m a theoretical physicist at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, a.k.a. Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), where I do research at the intersection of gravity, quantum field theory, and quantum information theory. More information about my research, as well as links to my publications, can be found on my AEI personal page.

I use this blog as a medium for refining my own thoughts on, and understanding of, various topics that I encounter in the course of my research. This primarily consists of research notes, pedagogical reviews, and personal thoughts on:

  • Physics: a wide range of topics from quantum theory to black holes and back, typically with a eye towards deeper conceptual issues.
  • Minds & Machines: mostly machine learning and theoretical neuroscience, through the lens of physics and information theory.
  • Philosophy: meta musings on philosophy of physics, ontology, etc.

I am also transgender—a very broad term which encompasses anyone whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. More specifically, I’m non-binary, which means that my gender identity does not fit into Western culture’s binary categorization of gender. I mention this in part to build solidarity with other trans/non-binary people in STEM fields, as well as for its practical relevance to colleagues, namely: the correct pronoun to use when referring to me is the singular they.

Lastly, to avoid giving the wrong impression: the blog name is essentially a deliberate reclamation of the term “irreverent”: not insolence for its own sake, but that inspiringly relentless inquisitiveness on which both personal and scientific growth depend. Few have expressed this as eloquently or potently as in the following quote (which I’ve modified to use modern, gender-neutral language):

“If anyone, holding a belief which they were taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away all doubts which arise about it in their mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of people who call in question or discuss it, and regards as impious those questions which cannot easily be asked without disturbing it—the life of that person is one long sin against humanity.”

– William Kingdon Clifford (1845-1879)