Ali Yahya is a partner on the a16z crypto investment team. Previously, he was a software engineer and machine learning researcher at GoogleX and Google Brain, where he worked on learning algorithms for robotic manipulation, and worked on Google’s open source machine learning library, TensorFlow.
Ali discovered the bitcoin whitepaper as a computer science undergraduate at Stanford University. He became fascinated by the computer science implications and went down the rabbit hole, but somehow missed the economics implications until a few years later, and so neglected to mine some from his dorm room, alas:). While at Stanford, Ali did research with Professors David Mazieres, Nick McKeown, and David Cheriton -- at the intersection of computer security, networking, and distributed systems.
Random fact: For three months in 2008, Ali slept an average of 2.5 hours a night by taking a twenty minute nap every four hours (polyphasic sleep schedule).