In 1990 he was accepted as a Chancellor's Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and completed a bachelor's degree in Physics. Subsequently, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received a doctorate in physics in May 2001. From 1998 to 2002, he worked at the Santa Fe Institute, in the Evolving Cellular Automata Project and the Computation, Dynamics and Inference group. Afterwards, from 2002 to 2005, he worked at the Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
In August 2006, he became an assistant professor in the Department of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.