Robert didn't start in machine learning. He started his career by becoming fluent in Mandarin Chinese and moving to Tibet to do developmental economics fieldwork. He later obtained a graduate degree from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
After switching to the tech industry, Robert's interests shifted to modeling data. He attained his Ph.D. in mathematical statistics from Purdue University, and then he worked as a research engineer in various AI startups (he is currently a ML research scientist at Gamalon). He has published in journals and venues across these spaces, including RECOMB and NeurIPS, on topics including causal inference, probabilistic modeling, sequential decision processes, and dynamic models of complex systems. In addition to startup work, he is a machine learning professor at Northeastern University.