I am a Master of Engineering candidate at MIT with a concentration in Artificial Intelligence, researching generative models with Professor Antonio Torralba. I've previously interned at Airbnb, Facebook, and Robinhood, and will work as an ML engineer at Primer AI after graduation. My interests include deep learning, computer vision, distributed systems, natural language processing, donuts, blockchain engineering, and entrepreneurship.
My Master of Engineering Thesis Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are the state of the art neural network models for image generation, but the use of GANs for video generation is still largely unexplored. My MEng thesis improves upon previous GAN based video generation models by introducing the technique of model inflation and proposing the segmentation-to-video task. The model inflation technique converts image GANs into video GANs, and experiments show that model inflation improves training speed, training stability, and output video quality. The segmentation-to-video task is that of turning an input image segmentation mask into an output video matching that segmentation. I created a GAN model to perform this task and demonstrated its usefulness as a creative tool for turning hand-drawn sketches into realistic looking videos. The full thesis is available here.
Winner of Yelp Dataset Challenge Round 11 The Generator of a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) is trained to transform latent vectors drawn from a prior distribution into realistic looking photos. These latent vectors have been shown to encode information about the content of their corresponding images. Projecting input images onto the latent space of a GAN is non trivial, but previous work has successfully performed this task for latent spaces with a uniform prior. We extend these techniques to latent spaces with a Gaussian prior, and demonstrate our technique's effectiveness. This was our final project for 6.867, MIT's graduate level class on machine learning, and our paper is available here.
Winner of Binance Dexathon N Chainz is a high performance, decentralized cryptocurrency exchange. The most unique aspect of our design is the use of multiple blockchains to reach a unified consensus state: we maintain a separate token chain for each token added to the exchange as well as a match chain, which coordinates a loose consensus between tokens. The reference implementation includes p2p nodes, miners, a matching engine, chain coordinators, addresses and wallets, a client CLI, and an orderbook web interface. Our code and whitepaper are available at nchainz.com.
Web App with 10k Monthly Users Text Inflator is a web application that expands the length of a block of writing without adding any additional ideas, meaning, or value. While it is not recommended to be used for actual formal assignments, it was developed as a simple experiment employing tools from natural language processing. See it live at textinflator.com
Interactive Presentation App Showy lets you play your presentation on the device of everyone in your audience instead of through a projector and PowerPoint. Simply create your presentation using the Showy editor, share the link with your audience, and control your presentation from your admin page. It runs completely in the browser, allowing it to be completely cross-platform. Sign up at beshowy.com to create and show your presentations, or try out the demo.
Educational Physics Simulator for Android Physics Sketchpad is a physics simulator for Android in which one can observe the effect of different forces upon objects. It can be used as a planet simulator or projectile simulator if one adjusts the forces accordingly. Forces include gravity between objects, global gravity, collision adjustments, drag, acceleration, and more. Download it on the Google Play App Store, or read reviews by AppoLearning or Android 4 Schools.
Znapper allows friends to have category-based selfie battles. Simply challenge your Facebook friend to a new battle and take a selfie that matches the given prompt. Your friend will respond to this challenge with their own selfie that matches the prompt, and your mutual Facebook friends will vote for the victor. We made Znapper in 30 hours at the HSHacks II hackathon, and won the Most Creative grand prize. Releases for both Android and iOS are coming soon.
Brain Hacks is a cross-platform mobile application that measures the mental impairment of people who are tired, intoxicated, or concussed in comparison to their baseline. We are all familiar with these symptoms, but are bad at evaluating how much it is affecting us. Brain Hacks uses a combination of medically proven and heuristic tests to quantify an individual's mental abilities in four key areas that are the most apparent detriments to mental state. We made this app in 48 hours at LAUNCH Hackathon 2015. It is available on the Google Play App Store, and an iOS version is coming soon.
Auditionr is a site that allows directors of plays or movies to find actors for their productions. It was inspired by talks with friends in the acting industry who are frustrated by the fact that one's ability to be cast in a production is often limited by their location, connections, and luck. One of the largest advantages of in-person auditions is that the actors can see each other and play off each other's acting, so we replicated that experience by putting you in a live stream with people auditioning for other parts of the same play so that you can act through the script together. We made Auditionr in 36 hours at LA Hacks 2015 and won the Best Use of Respoke API prize. A full online release will be coming soon.
Western Civilizations, or Civ, is a challenging required class at my high school in which sophmores learn about European history, music, and art from the Greeks until now. Many believe the most challenging part of Civ tests to be the music listening section, in which different parts of pieces we studied are played for us to identify and write about. The Civ Music Tool simulates this section of the test by randomly generating snippets of songs we need to know and playing them back so the user can practice identifying them. This tool became immensely popular, with up to 70% of the class using it to study before tests, leading to my school's Academic Dean and Head of School catching wind of it and asking that it be maintained for use by future UHS students.
Crush Planner is an online task management system that allows you to not just finish your work, but demolish it. Create crush plans for homework assignments, projects, presentations, chores, or anything else and make it whimper in pain as you show it no mercy. It is currently in beta (i.e. has issues), and can be forked on GitHub.
Tired of all your friends doing better than you at 2048? The 2048 Hack Version lets you set the value of the generated tiles, allowing you to beat all of their scores. Alternatively, you could also set the starting value to a strange number or a word and see what happens. Just type the value in the box and start playing.
Hospitality industry has become extremely competitive and even resort destination spots such as Monterey, have experienced a downturn in revenues in the past several years. The owner of Quality Inn Monterey Fairgrounds decided that revamping of their ten year old website was one of the most important steps for obtaining a competitive edge. With that in mind, Egansoft researched and redesigned their site to stand out among its competitors in hopes of inspiring and drawing potential guests to their property. We have been informed that their occupancy rate has indeed increased significantly recently and we would like to believe that we have successfully assisted in their success.
The CISE Education Fund was established by the Consortium of Information Systems Executives as an IRS 503c charity to assist underprivileged students to pursue Information Technology and Engineering degrees. CISE members donate their time to the charity in multiple fund raising activities to assist under privileged students and 100% of the funds raised by CISE Education Fund are donated to students. I worked closely with the board of directors to design, develop, finalize and launch this site in 15 hours.
Cooper Law Offices is a legal firm based in Marin, California. Egansoft worked with their team to develop a site that provides an overview of their business and areas of expertise. They did not have any established logos or corporate designs for us to work with, so the possibilities were wide open for our own design recommendations. Mr. Cooper wanted a clean look and feel to the site that portrayed sound legal counsel and expertise in commercial real estate transactions, construction and issues, entity formation, as well as estate planning. As evident, we were successful in delivering on Mr. Cooper’s goals and expectations.
Econo Lodge, as the name suggests, is one of Choice Hotel brands that targets the lower budget traveler. As a sister company to Quality Inn Monterey Fairgrounds, Econo Lodge Seaside is faced with even greater challenges when it comes to competition as its location is less desirable than Monterey. Based on our success with Quality Inn, the owner, hired our services to develop the Econo Lodge site with a consistent look and feel of its sister property as well as cross-selling opportunities. This is where we had to be creative in our approach to successfully deliver an affordable but high quality product.
Marin Youth Court is an innovative approach to juvenile justice and an early intervention for first-time misdemeanor offenders. They strive to educate youth about the juvenile justice system, and through direct participation address each juvenile's responsibility for their behavior and holds them accountable to their community and peers. We worked closely with this organization to build an online presense in order to better reach volunteers, sponsors, and troubled youth, as well as educate people about the program.
To contact me, send me an email at contactnicholas (at) mit (dot) edu.