Alex Meiburg / Timeroot

Quantum ⊕ Physics ⊗ Algorithms

Hello!

I’m a PhD candidate at UC Santa Barbara studying algorithms for quantum physics. I am interested in a good variety of the different ways that quantum physics, information and complexity theory, and pure math intersect. I am advised by Bela Bauer and my research is funded my Microsoft Station Q. My undergrad was at Caltech where I earned a dual B.S. in Math and Physics.

Below I’ve gathered my more successful pursuits. You can also check out my blog, email me (click to show), or look at other links. Here’s a link to my resume.

Academic Works

Computer Security

In high school I co-founded 1064CBread, a competitive computer-hacking team. We won first place in PicoCTF 2013, which was aimed at high schoolers. We then decided to aim higher at the college-level CSAW CTF. To our surprise, we qualified for the finals, and got to fly across the country to NYC. After that we had a decently successful run, becoming finalists or winners in quite a number of competitions and winning prize money here and there. Although we’ve been less active in recent years, we were finalists in Hack-A-Sat 2020, an Air Force competition about satellite hacking, where we won $10k and a satellite.

You can find a lot of my writeups on my blog. The team also has a Github repo, and a CTFTime page.

I’ve also played with UCSB’s team Shellphish a few times, although I’ve never been a core member by any means.

Bugs

In 2016, I found a security vulnerability in Facebook Messenger and received a bug bounty for reporting it. They promptly fixed it.

In 2012 I found a trivially exploitable vulnerability in a popular online education platform. They have still have not patched it, despite a few reminders on my part.

In 2020 I found a vulnerability in a popular online cloud computing platform. It was patched quicky, but sadly I did not receive a bounty, and they’ve expressed that they would prefer I not talk about it publically – as some users likely using old versions of the software locally and could remain vulnerable.

Finance

I’ve enjoyed applying my math knowledge to win some money with Quantiacs. My code has managed several million USD for them over the years, and they came to Caltech and did an inteview with me. It’s given me a useful side-income. I think that a worrying large fraction of quantitative finance is essentially numerology, and that approaches should either rely on news and principals (which I will readily I admit I know nothing about) or principled mathematical foundations - not just drawing lines on a graph or magic numbers.

Here are some examples of “explanations” that I think are, frankly, garbage: 1, 2, 3.

I’m legally required, I think, to make clear that I’m not providing investment advice! - but if you want to talk math and stocks, I’d be happy to chat. Just email.

Video Games

I made a simple little game and got it featured on Steam! It’s called Quatris and it’s Free, wow, what a steal! I made it with my friends Charlie and Cole in high school but didn’t put it online until a while later. Hey, it even has achievements!

Puzzles

I enjoy attending MIT Mystery Hunt each year, and other, similar, events.