I was born in Chicago, but by the time I finished high school, I had lived in several US cities, and also in Ecuador, England, and Canada. I went to Harvard, where I was initially interested in computer science, but ended up majoring in math. After college, I taught at a school in Norway, wrote for a travel guide covering Cambodia and Laos, and worked on a presidential primary race. I decided that I wanted to combine my quantitative inclination with my interest in the social world, and particularly the fascinating technological changes that are sweeping through poor and rich countries alike. This led me to a position as a research assistant in a group that focused on applying quantitative techniques to the study of global health and then to graduate school.