Hello, thanks for stopping by! My name is Shizhe Chen. Most English speakers call me Alex.

I’m a first year computer science masters student at UCLA, having previously earned my bachelors in CS here as well. I’m fascinated by general reasoning systems, the road to getting there, and how to make them fair.

Okay, back to Earth.

For the past three years I was a student researcher / developer for UCLA’s Galactic Center Group, helping build the group’s next-generation tool to study the black hole at the center of our (as in humanity’s) galaxy. It’s a well thought-out tool for analyzing orbits and more than 100x faster than the program it replaces! I’ll write an article about it once it comes out; my work on it included implementing Hamiltonian Monte Carlo sampling, a continuous integration pipeline to build the tool into Anaconda packages, and a profiling framework that generated flame graphs to guide us to further optimizations. In addition, I also worked on deep learning on images to detect cosmic rays in the by OSIRIS instrument at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, as well as updating the group’s 20 year old Java tool with new features.

Outside of work, I was the lead software developer on Project Rapid at Bruinspace, a 2U “cubesat” that successfully launched into microgravity on a Blue Origin test rocket to test our magnetohydrodynamic pump prototype. I also briefly led a small team working on flight software for a sequel project named URSA, which will eventually test a research ion thruster in Low Earth Orbit. My proudest achievement with the team was naming the controller Beaglebone Black “flight-computer mc-flight-computer-face.”

Back to Earth, sincerely this time.

I recently finished developing the diyrotate webapp under the direction of Dr. Jon Aurnou (pictured here with bread). Put simply, it is a website where users can upload a video of a spinning table, and download a masked video of the same table not spinning after digital processing. To motivate spinning a table, check out DIYnamics.

Here are some interesting projects.

A better formulated sentence is contingent upon finishing future creative projects.

If you’d like to get in touch with me, please, do the following:

Python regex (?P<car>a.)(?P<cadr>c.)(.+) on this website’s domain; substitute named groups into “\g<car>sz\g<cadr>@ucla.edu” as if the backreference resolves to a single string match.

a picture of me