Allen Downey is a professor of computer science at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts. Previously, he taught at Wellesley College and Colby College and held research positions at Boston University and the San Diego Supercomputer Center. In 2009–10, he was a visiting scientist at Google, Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has a PhD in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley and bachelor's and master's degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Allen is the author of several textbooks, including How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Python for Software Design; published by Cambridge University Press, Think Stats, forthcoming from O'Reilly Media, and The Little Book of Semaphores, published by Green Tea Press. All of his books are available under a free license that allows readers to copy and modify them. He writes a blog about statistics called Probably Overthinking It.
Allen's interests include cooking, gardening, and running. In 2011, he finished the Boston Marathon in 3:45 and ran a 5k in 19:55.
Project: Evolution of Road Networks
Road networks evolve over time, subject to geography, economic forces, and human activity. The goal of this project is to explore simple algorithms that model this evolution.
Favorite Four-Color Totalistic Cellular Automaton