I recently went to my 10th-year Stanford reunion. I studied 5 years there to earn a BA in Economics and MSc & BSc Honors in Symbolic Systems, an interdisciplinary program on the sciences of the mind, i.e. cognitive science. Its alumni include co-founders of LinkedIn and Instagram.

I took classes in psychology, computer science, economics, linguistics, philosophy, neuroscience. One of my favorites was a seminar on the ethics of nanotechnologies, taught by French philosopher/engineer JP Dupuy.

I focused on Decision Making & Rationality, and did research in neuro- and behavioral economics for my Honors and Master theses. I also did research in psychology, linguistics and AI.

This is where I met my BIG co-founder Thomas Dillig. It was in the computer science class ‘Introduction to AI’ in 2005, the year when the Stanford Robotics team won the DARPA Grand Challenge, a 200km race in the Nevada desert for driverless vehicles.

I am very grateful for my Stanford experience. I learned much about cutting-edge topics still relevant today. I apply it at BIG with our work in AI, data, cyber security, innovation, human-machine interaction. Without the learnings, friendships and spirit of Stanford, BIG would not exist and I would not be who I am.