Hi, I’m Evelyn (she/her), and welcome to my new blog, Sunyshore. On this blog, I plan to write about my interests, including computer science, technology policy, effective altruism, and pop culture.
First, allow me to introduce myself. As an aspiring public interest technologist and effective altruist, I am passionate about finding the best ways to improve the world through technological innovation. I’m pursuing a Master of Engineering (MEng) in computer science at Cornell University, where I’m studying machine learning and natural language processing. From here, I plan to enter data science, data engineering, or backend engineering.
I’ve always been interested in writing, tech, and expressing my thoughts. Since I was a kid, I’ve experimented with many different ways to use the web as a creative outlet. Now that I’ve studied a range of topics—including computer science, technology policy, and effective altruism—both in class and on my own, I believe I can use my interest in blogging to contribute something positive to the world.
One of my main goals for this blog is to contribute to a better understanding of technology’s impact on the world and how we can improve it. Since the Industrial Revolution, advances in technology and economic institutions have led to unprecedented increases in global health, well-being, and standards of living. However, some new technologies have made this period of human history—what philosopher Toby Ord has called “The Precipice”—one of the most perilous for humanity. Also, more than 700 million people worldwide are still living in extreme poverty, and the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to undo years of progress in global poverty reduction. I believe that technologists have a responsibility to address these problems thoughtfully, using careful reasoning and evidence, in order to create the greatest positive impact that they can. To that end, I plan to write thoughtful, well-researched blog posts that address a variety of social issues through the lenses of effective altruism and public interest technology; my long-term goal is to synthesize these approaches to improving the world.
I also plan to write about topics in computer science that I’m interested in—including machine learning, AI safety, programming languages, and software engineering practice—and about my journey as a technologist. Although one of the main reasons I love technology is the opportunity to do vast amounts of good, whether through the work itself or through earning to give, I also love learning about how the technology works. For example, I’ve learned that many machine learning algorithms perform maximum likelihood estimation—that is, they compute the most likely parameters for a statistical model based on the data. In addition to technical topics, I’ll write about my experiences working in the software engineering field and post career updates.
Finally, I plan to write about my personal interests in a variety of other topics, such as pop culture, music, history, and nature. Pop culture has deeply shaped my values and interests: for example, the Pokémon video games and anime have led me to cultivate my appreciation for both technology and nature, as well as my interests in music and computer science. This blog, Sunyshore, is named after the fictional solar-powered city in the Sinnoh region. The world of the Pokémon main series is depicted as a technologically advanced, environmentally friendly civilization in which humans, Pokémon, and nature coexist in harmony; it’s the kind of society that I hope humanity will create someday.
Thanks for reading this first blog post, and I hope you’ll stick around for the next one—be sure to subscribe so you won’t miss it. Also, if you like this post, please share it with your friends. Take care!