Happy news! As some of you know, I've been hard at work on my PhD for the past 5-6 years, and last week all that work paid off. On May 10th, 2018, I undertook the age-old tradition known as the "PhD Defense Examination." What this means is that I stood up in a room with my dissertation committee (4 professors from my university and one Skyping in from Stanford), and gave an hour-long seminar about my research. Here's the top of the title slide for my talk:
They grilled me throughout my talk, and for about half an hour afterward, but then they all agreed to sign the paper that says I passed the defense exam! This means the only thing left before I'm officially Doctor Brown is for the University to sign off on some boring paperwork. I wasn't actually expecting to fail the exam, but there's still nothing quite like the feeling of knowing for sure that you've passed:
I have a few more things to wrap up before I leave California, but next month right after the official graduation ceremony I'll pack up all my things and move back to my hometown, Colorado Springs, CO to be a professor of Computer Science at the university in town, the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
What this could mean for me and cryptocurrencies and Steem
At UCCS, I'll be a Tenure-Track Professor. This is a very interesting job in the American university system, because it means that I'll have a degree of flexibility over what I do with my time. Part of the job description is that I need to start an externally-funded research program of some kind. Typically, the funding source for these things is the federal government -- and I'll certainly plan to write grant proposals to the NSF, ONR, AFOSR, and others to get my research funded.
However, the other thing it means is essentially this: If I can get someone to fund my research, I can work on essentially whatever I want. Right now, some of the most interesting questions in my mind pertain to distributed ledger technologies (DLT) such as cryptocurrencies. My expertise gives me a unique perspective on DLT: my PhD work dealt with incentive mechanisms, game theory, and feedback control of dynamical systems -- all of which are of crucial importance to the proper functioning of DLT. I have three basic research areas in mind: Stablecoins, Ledger Architecture, and Governance.
So stay tuned to me in the coming weeks and months, as I expect to develop a series of proposals or whitepapers that I can present to the cryptocurrency community to solicit funding for this work. My ultimate goal is to establish a multidisciplinary research lab that can benefit the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Also, I'm hiring graduate students -- if you are interested in getting paid to get a PhD in Computer Science in beautiful Colorado Springs studying the game theory of distributed ledgers and cryptocurrencies, please contact me as soon as you can. If you're a good fit for my research lab, you can apply at any time and possibly start taking courses and working with me as early as August 2018.