I’m lead research analyst at Stanford Law School’s Regulation, Evaluation, and Governance Lab (RegLab). I spend most of my time developing and analyzing algorithms, typically with applications to some problem in public policy.

On the side, I co-host the Increments podcast, where Vaden Masrani and I yell at each other and others about philosophy and science. Research can be confusing; here are some books and courses which distract me from my own beffudlement.

You can contact me at benchugg [at] stanford.edu.


research interests

My primary interests involve developing robust sequential decision-making algorithms, particularly in settings where traditional assumptions are violated. I try and straddle the borderlands between theory and practice, but I’ve also spent some time doing purely applied work (typically with a policy focus).

I’m also interested in algorithm design and analysis more broadly, having previously worked on problems in graph theory, combinatorial optimization, and stochastic reaction networks.

Papers are here.


erratic bio

Prior to Stanford, I was a grad student at the Mathematical Institute at Oxford, where I studied topics at the intersection of spectral graph theory and geometry. Here is my thesis on the subject.

In 2018, I spent some time at RIKEN AIP in Tokyo, where I was lucky to work with Dr. Maehara as part of the Discrete Optimization Unit.

My undergraduate was spent at the University of British Columbia studying mathematics and computer science, where I was immensely fortunate to be supervised by Will Evans and Anne Condon.


increments

The podcast is mostly an attempt to break out of the academic echochamber and talk about things other than limit theorems and algorithmic performance. We have a few beers and chat about anything from moral philosophy and thought experiments, to the philosophy of logic, climate change, free will, dualism, and social media.
We also have an ongoing series on Conjectures and Refutations by Karl Popper.