July 26, 2021

About me

I live and work in Seattle with my wife Dr. Abra Shen, after growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area and studying in New York City. My technical interests include robotics, distributed systems, machine learning, programming languages, and databases. Outside of tech, I like cooking, reading, archery, video games, skiing, and the outdoors.

Over the course of the pandemic, I also built an online version of a Chinese trick-taking card game, known as “tractor” or “finding friends”. It’s gotten some traction, so that’s fun!


I’m currently working at Stripe as the engineering manager for the Money Controls and Tagging team, which owns systems that regulate money movement at Stripe. We’re hiring! Previously, I was a staff engineer working on various architectural components of the “Global Payments and Treasury Network”, with a particular focus on distributed systems (working with various JVM languages, Ruby, Spark, Envoy, gRPC, MongoDB, and other related technologies). You can find me on LinkedIn.

Past experience

I worked on the desktop sync engine and client-server sync protocol at Dropbox, as well as the growth platform and analytics team there. Most of my work was in Rust and Go, with a scattering of Python. My work included a full rewrite of the client-server sync stack (from Python to Rust) to be strictly consistent and highly scalable, an operational HTTP/2 client transport library, extended attribute support, extended Linux filesystem support, and a wide variety of other sync-related items.

While in school, I interned at Amazon Web Services, working on database consistency models, Dropbox, and D.E. Shaw & Co working on quantitative trading strategies.

I’ve also spent some time at Cypress Semiconductor, Maxim Integrated, and Analogix Semiconductor. More details can be found on my LinkedIn.


I graduated with my M.S. and B.S. in Computer Science from Columbia University, where I focused on computer vision, machine learning, and robotics.

I was also a teaching assistant for a few courses:

and was a resident advisor, community advisor, the VP Finance of the Engineering Student Council, on the Spectator Editorial Board, and otherwise involved on campus.


I’ve done some academic research into brain-computer interfaces and robotic grasping with Prof. Peter K. Allen in the Columbia University Computer Science department. These days, I’m still pretty interested in robots and try to keep up with the latest papers, although I (unfortunately) often fall behind.

Robert Ying and Jonathan Weisz and Peter K. Allen. Grasping with your brain: a brain-computer interface for fast grasp selection. International Symposium on Robotics Research (ISRR), September 12 to 15, 2015, Sestri Levante, Italy