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Austen was born in Rochester, New York, and grew up in the nearby small town of Kendall. In 1999 he moved to Sydney, Australia, where he became a citizen in 2003. He returned to Rochester for high school and his undergraduate degree, studying at Brighton High School and the University or Rochester.
At UR, Austen obtained a BSc in Physics, as well as BScs in Mathematics, and Enviornmental Science, with a Certificate in Biophysics and Clusters in Philosophy, Political Science, and Chemistry. He was also a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity, several honors societies (Sigma Pi Sigma, Sigma Gamma Epsilon, and the Order of Omega), and rowed crew for several years. Following the completion of his degrees, Austen stayed on an extra year as a part of the University's 'Take 5' program to study Environmental Economics and Political Science, graduating in 2011. In 2012, he obtained a MSc in Applied Mathematics from Northwestern University, and moved back to Sydney, where he is currently pursuing a PhD in Applied Mathematics part-time.
His past research has ranged from geophysics - performing paleomagnetic research on meteorite samples, to biomathematics - developing a model of the human optical accommodation apparatus, and his thesis studying early-stage HIV infection. In various capacities he has also taught mathematics, physics, environmental science, economics, and persuasion and leadership skills at a university level.
He is also a frequent public speaker, giving talks to academic and business audiences on topics ranging from political communication to effective altruism. He has MC'd several weddings, and even given a sermon on one occasion.
He lives with his partner Sarah, and their dog Charlie, and enjoys hiking and reading whenever he gets the chance.
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Austen Erickson Optimization Nexus
Austen is a freelance consultant who provides a wide range of services. While he started out in data science and analytics, his practice has expanded to included management consulting, persuasion and life coaching, business systems optimization, and political advocacy. His clients range from private business, to non-profits, to universities.
In addition to his consulting practice, Austen is a commissioned officer in the Australian Army Reserve, where he serves in the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.