Maybe my findings are unique to my own experience, or perhaps pointing to an actual fact about reality - but I haven't found the human experience to be accurately portrayed by the predominating mission-oriented narratives so commonly espoused in Western culture. We aren't born with some inherent mission or purpose, we just come into being. Life doesn't require justification.
I personally find color and vividness in interaction by arriving fully into the present, accepting humanness, and allowing mutual interests, inspiration and potentialities for cooperation and mutually beneficial action to arise naturally out of the conversation in an initial encounter. I think we invite one another to be authentic and honest when we arrest our egoic expectations and allow our inclination to interact in meaningful ways to emerge naturally.
My personal path has been exceptionally non-linear.
I've simultaneously embraced geekdom, as young gamer and computer enthusiast, while giving a great amount of dedication to physical well-being (having thrown myself into multiple sports: soccer, swimming, cycling, football). I learned web design from books while volunteering for the zoo out of a love for animals, and soon after assembled my first desktop computer from parts as I departed home for college. I completed undergraduate pre-med studies in 2008 with a Bachelors in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology. Then thoroughly disenchanted with the business-as-usual palliative approach to medicine, my inquiry turned towards a guiding question "what is true health and how is it achieved?."
This inquiry led me to become vegetarian and later vegan, to train and practice as a massage therapist, and to embark upon a lifelong dedication to yoga with a yoga teacher training in 2009. I began a daily meditation practice soon after with the supportive mentorship of teachers in the yoga community. Through the noble guidance of many teachers combined with regular meditation, I found the ethical teachings of yoga deeply transformative, instilling in me the inextricably interconnected nature of the lived conscious experience with the world in which it arises that supports it's existence.
I find the notion of a “means to an end” illusory. An integral part of any outcome or end goal is each conscious moment that goes into it’s achievement. Ethics are a practical means of guiding one’s action to achieve any end.
Seeking to awaken the latent potential of humanity, I’ve bootstrapped skills in graphic design, IT consulting, web development, marketing & management by serving as an community organizer, environmental activist, web designer, yoga teacher, manager, and IT and marketing consultant.
As I grew, the inquiry proceeded from deep within into the external realities in which I found myself - and along with it the guiding question began to evolve: “How do we discern truth beyond our sensed experience?“
This question led me to delve deeper into the data being gathered invisibly all around me. From my own quantified self personal projects, to finding solutions for my collaborators in the business consulting roles I occupied, I ultimately decided to return to academia to give this inquiry and my novice understandings of statistics and digital intelligence the opportunity to deepen.
With a sense of realism towards what could be quite rusty mathematical skill, I proceeded cautiously into a graduate certificate in data analytics program at Northeastern. Faring well with learning statistics and the R statistical programming language during the program’s two semesters, I decided to further what I found to be a fruitful new aptitude and pursue a Master’s in health data analytics. The Master’s program served to push my intellectual capacity to it’s limits (and sometimes beyond). Many courses, challenges, and portfolio projects later, I managed to complete the program and earn the Master of Science degree.
I hope that as you peruse this site, you find something that piques your curiosity and motivates you to contact me.
Feel free to peruse my résumé, LinkedIn, Rpubs, or Github accounts to learn more about my various endeavors.
If you’re interested in continuing to a more personal account of me as of this writing, please don’t hesitate to read more
I enjoy systems of understanding personality, relationships, propensities and life paths. Systems such as sidereal astrology, destiny cards, Meyers-briggs, the Big Five, the Enneagram I find fun to explore when getting to know new people.
My interests at present tend to be concentrated in a couple of areas:
Yoga: I’ve been doing yoga since 2009 and teaching since 2011. My home practice is a (mostly) daily Ashtanga practice, I’m proficient with the primary series (4 yrs of practice with it now) and starting to work on the Intermediate series. Yoga philosophy is also an area of interest. I have previously taught classes at Veda Studios and OM Sanctuary in Asheville, NC and at Northeastern University’s Marino recreation center.
Meditation: My practice became daily in 2013 at which point I started using Insight Timer to track progress over the years. A twitter account: @ascensionasana has a record of each session. If you use Insight timer, you can find me by searching for “Stephen in Waltham.” My practice is a modified practice similar to that expounded by SN Goenka that combines focused attention, with open awareness techiques derived from zen, as well as jhana and loving kindness techniques. I have a concurrent interest in Buddhist philosophy.
Veganism: I’ve was ovo/lacto/pescetarian between ages 21 - 28 and transitioned to a totally vegan diet in 2013. I’ve since aggregated a great deal of peer-reviewed studies, books, and information for advocacy efforts, and in mentoring individuals who are transitioning. Veganism is a primary interest relative to health data analytics because it vastly decreases the risk of being developing 5 of the 10 most expensive chronic conditions: Ischemic cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stroke, cancer 
Reading: I’m currently reading “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson. I recently finished re-reading (at the pace of no more than 1 passage a day) the Tao to Ching translated by Guy Leekley and listening to What Love Is by Carrie Jenkins on Audible. I’m also slowly making my way through the Majjhima Nikkaya, one sutta at a time.
Data Analytics: I continue to find more and more uses for R for tasks and decision making in my everyday life. Shiny dashboards, browser automation, reports & posters, automated investment trading algorithms, vetting potential employers, data extraction, cleaning and formatting, interfacing with APIs, and working with data in professional contexts are all common activities I use R & Rstudio for.
Web & graphic design: I serve as a webmaster for a retreat center in GA and continue to maintain a professional capacity as a web designer. I am proficient with Adobe Photoshop for most purposes, and can find my way around Illustrator pretty well. Wordpress is my CMS of choice.
Media: Comedy, documentaries and music fill much of my free time. Duncan Trussel is probably my favorite comedian. I’m a fan of Alex & Alison Grey and the visionary art movement. Cameron Gray is one of my favorite artists. Seven Lions, Jason Ross, Illenium & Porter Robinson are my favorite musicians at the moment.