Current residence: Tallahassee, Florida
Occupation: Robotics Scientist
Hobbies: Clarinet, primarily classical. I do gigs and perform in orchestras. Casual coding. I once wrote a computer program to crate train my dog. Success was mixed. Sous chef to my girlfriend—I chop, she cooks. Together, we make some good food. Probably because she handles the more important job.
Pet peeves: Condescension, clichés, and reckless abuse of percentages.
Three words to describe you: Intellectual, jovial, and driven.
What's your personal claim to fame?
Getting my robotics research made fun of on the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Stephen called me a "nerd" on national television. Bucket list stuff.
Who or what is your inspiration in life?
My parents are my heroes. No contest. They toasted my successes, comforted me in failure, and helped me back on my feet. I can't count all the ways they've supported me.
If you could have three things on the island what would they be and why?
Binoculars to try "birding." I've never done it, despite writing part of my dissertation on birds. Sounds relaxing. A graphing calculator; a good shelter is grounded in good trigonometry. Also, it should be grounded in dirt. And a thesaurus to give pity names to my strategic game moves.
Which Survivor contestant are you most like?
Stephen Fishbach. He talked about the game as a chaotic whirlpool of alliances, and his nerdy game analysis warms my heart. I don't do poetry, but I wouldn't object to being called a wizard.
What's your reason for being on Survivor?
To win and prove I'm not just a diploma or a résumé, that I'm a formidable person, qualifications or no. I also want to make my mark on this game and help innovate the way Survivor is strategically played. I need the game, and the game needs me.
Why do you think you'll "survive" Survivor?
I'll win with my intelligence, kindness, and creativity. I'll be quick to assess threats and avenues of advancement while cultivating positive relationships with everyone. If I'm in a tight spot, I'll adapt and figure a way out. What could go wrong?