Category Archives: Projects

Noob to Programmer in 10 Weeks

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I’m applying to an intensive 10 week course to learn programming from (almost) scratch. I have tested myself by learning HTML and CSS in 2 days, and doing a freelance gig, making a photoshop mockup into a valid HTML/CSS. After I realized I couldn’t learn PHP in time to convert it to a WordPress theme by the date my client wanted, I managed a team of programmers to bring the HTML/CSS into a WordPress theme.

In serious consideration of learning programming in more depth, I asked three of the best programmers around to assess my technical abilities and learning potential. Two of them did in-person testing with code puzzles…

1) Saturday October 8th, 2011: 1 full day of programming with Todd Perry (Mark Zuckerberg’s CS teacher, former engineer at Facebook, Quora, and Palantir)

2) Wednesday June 20th, 2012: 3 hours of programming with Nick Winter (CTO of

3) Several conversations about programming in 2011 and 2012: with Kyle Murphy (software developer at

After these sessions, all of them have been supportive in my pursuit of learning programming in an intensive course. So here’s my application…

Self-Tracking for Distinguishing Evidence-Based Protocols in Optimizing Human Performance and Treating Chronic Illness

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Dates: Nov-Dec 2011
Published in: Stanford University Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Spring Symposium Journal 2012

PDF Download Link


I Hack Health Blog

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Dates: Feb 2012 – present

This blog was born as a result of many people requesting my advice on health, lab tests, nutrition, and productivity. I decided to make the rewarding process of helping others into a more scalable endeavor by posting my thoughts publicly. Although I started with a narrow focus on medical lab tests and the healthcare system, I may branch into other related topics over time based on interest and demand.

At I Hack Health, I teach readers how to enhance physical and mental performance while navigating the modern healthcare system using tested techniques, eg. saving $3000 on a diagnostic test.

Using my perspective as a former national level athlete, health experimenter, Crossfit certified coach, and patient, I provide readers with actionable advice on managing their health.

Human Hacker House (H^3)

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Dates: Feb 2012 – present

This project was inspired by a thought experiment in answer to the question:

What problem, if solved by someone else, would make the world so much better? What would be the solution to that problem?

The Human Hacker House is a work-in-progress solution to the slew of problems in the American healthcare system, in particular: consumer access to the tools that foster discoveries in health and personal responsibility for our health.

H^3 is Silicon Valley’s first live-work hackerspace for health. In 3 months, I found 5 tenants, attracted 30+ community members, garnered $5000 worth of startup resources, and rental property for the space. 1 month after conception, we have conducted 3 experiments for physical and mental performance. I learned from my previous startup to focus more on applying Lean Startup principles and Steve Blank’s customer development processes while we are building a community.

UCLA Talk: The Future of Healthcare

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Date: Aug 6th, 2011
Location: University of California, Los Angeles
Event: Ancestral Health Symposium
Video: [4:20-11:00 min]

Although this talk was directed at a very specific audience, the general theme was regarding healthcare technology and re-framed as such below. The main points are:

1) From my experience as a patient, one issue at the root of the broken healthcare system today is that it is difficult for a proactive patient to find good care from doctors. Many doctors are averse to considering data collected outside of the doctor’s office or cost-intensive labs. This is despite that, most of the time, simple (and free) quantitative measures would suffice in determining the effectiveness of a dietary change, new pill, or other treatment regimen.

2) For healthcare innovation to happen in the direction of evidence-based healthcare/treatments, there are certain qualities that successful technologies have integrated into the existing, mainstream system. Those qualities are: Communication, Efficiency, and Empowerment.

a. Kaiser Permanente’s IT portal is an example of increased Communication between physicians and patients.
b. Sutter Health Clinic’s online system for ordering lab tests, getting doctor approval, and receiving test results is an example of increased Efficiency. It decreases time of the entire process from the typical 2+ weeks to 3 days.
c. Genomera’s online platform for open source clinical trials is an example of patient Empowerment.
d. Ancestral Health Insurance’s proposed system for letting members take responsibility for their own health is another example of Empowerment.

Given these existing successes, what are some other ways technology can innovate for healthcare? The discussion is just beginning.

Good and Bad Business Ideas

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Date: ongoing since 2011

Too often, an entrepreneur’s business ideas are fraught with emotions, illusions of grandeur, and leaps in logic that cloud our decision making abilities. The following way of evaluating business ideas enables one to make rational decisions about which idea or path to pursue.

My foray into entrepreneurship led to this ongoing list of business ideas, good and bad, ranked in order from high to low potential for success. Potential success rankings are based on various factors including market size, market’s willingness and ability to pay, manufacturing time, cost per unit, ability to differentiate product from competition, and level of personal interest.

Representing each factor is a question, eg. “Can I differentiate product from existing competition?”, to which the answer can be “yes”, “no”, or “maybe”, which are then translated to numerical ratings: “yes”=1, “no”=0, and “maybe”=0.5. The numerical “answers” to each question can then be added up into a total feasibility score, the higher score indicating higher potential for success.

UCSB Study Hacks Club

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I started UCSB Study Hacks, which is a club for college students trying to explore effective methods for note-taking, paper-writing, schedule-planning, and the like. Grad students and entrepreneurs have also found such methods to work great when applied to their own work.

The methods are inspired by Cal Newport, an MIT postdoc, founder of the Study Hacks blog, and author of the popular advice guides How to Become a Straight-A Student and How to Win at College.