I was born and grew up in the same city as the World Wide Web, id est Geneva, in Switzerland. By nature, I am what people like to call a "geek" or a "tech nerd" and, by training, I am a behavioral economic engineer with a background in Applied Mathematics, Economics and Microengineering. I'm currently a DPhil (read PhD) candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, where I research the formation of reputation and trust in online economies as a Scatcherd European Scholar. My research aims at designing smarter and more trustworthy online rating systems, and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, UK. To be brief and to paraphrase a friend of mine, one could say that I like to analyse and optimize how humans and machines "work" together.
My Nerdy Life
Prior to reading for a doctorate at the University of Oxford1, I was a student at the École Polytechnique2, Palaiseau, France, where I accomplished both a Masters in Quantitative Economics and Finance jointly organized by the Department of Applied Mathematics and the Department of Economics at the École Polytechnique, and the Department of Economics and Finance at HEC Paris3, and a research-oriented Masters in Economic Analysis and Policy housed by the Paris School of Economics and the École Normale Supérieure4, Ulm.
During my stay at Polytechnique, I spent six months in India as part of a research internship. The research project was organized and supervised by the London School of Economics, the World Bank and the French Centre of Human Sciences in New Delhi. Based on the field work done in Palanpur, Uttar Pradesh, I wrote a thesis entitled Education in Rural India, Perspective from a North-Indian Village. The latter work earned the "Prix d'Option Scientifique" in Economics from the École Polytechnique.
I also hold a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Lausanne, Faculty of HEC, Switzerland, a Diploma in Economics from the University of Kent, UK, and I am a former Microengineering student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne.
I have more than two years of teaching experience (TA) at the graduate level in Statistics and Advanced Quantitative Analysis, University of Oxford.
Finally, I'm an affiliate member of the Network of Excellence in Internet Science since July 2012.
My Geeky Life
My life as a so-called "geek" started in 1991 with the Game Boy I received for Christmas :). In 1993, my parents bought what is considered as the first true notebook ever produced, a Compaq LTE, and so the first operating system I used was a Windows MS-DOS 3.31. A few years later, I wrote my first line of code on a machine running Windows 95, it was a simple HTML page. My first program was a simulation of a predator-prey ecosystem written in C.
I have worked in the past as a freelance web developer and consultant. Specifically, I developed websites and applications for businesses and organizations ranging from Law firms to international conferences. I also acted as an online reputation consultant, monitoring and protecting the online reputation of high-profile individuals in France, the United Kingdom and the United States. More recently, I made Google+ widget and founded Gmelius™ (>100K daily active users) and XpressYoo (coming soon).
Footnotes and Links
1 Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and consistently ranks in the world's top universities.
2 The École Polytechnique is the most prestigious educational establishment in France and is dedicated to educating students in Science and Technology at the highest level.
3 HEC Paris is ranked as the 1st Business School in Europe since 2006 by the Financial Times.
4 The ENS is widely considered to be the most selective and most challenging institution of higher learning and research in France.
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8 PC Magazine: Product review
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10 Wikipedia: Article for Gmelius
An up-to-date version of my CV is available on LinkedIn.
Selected Awards and Scholarships
Scatcherd European Scholarship
University of Oxford, 2009–2012
The Scatcherd European Scholarships are funded by an extremely generous benefaction from the late Mrs Jane Ledig-Rowohlt (nee Scatcherd), widow of the German publisher, Mr Heinrich Ledig-Rowohlt. These awards, set up in 1993, are open to all European nationals, and are awarded on the basis of outstanding academic merit.
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) studentship
United Kingdom, 2009–2012
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funds research and training in social and economic issues. I have been granted a three year award for my DPhil at Oxford.
Prix d'Option Scientifique en Économie (X2005)
École Polytechnique, November 2008
Awarded Paper: "Education in Rural India, Perspective from a North-Indian Village". Paper written during the research project "Economics Development of Palanpur over Six Decades". Project supervised by Professor Nicholas Stern (LSE), Dr. Peter Lanjouw (World Bank) and Professor Himanshu (JNU).
École Polytechnique, 2007–2009
A scholarship for students at the École Polytechnique who intend to enter research programmes.