A picture of Trevor Nguyen sitting
                                        a bench with a cute smile as if he's not
                                        bothering anyone.

Trevor Thai Kim Nguyen

thinks he's a computational neuroscientist

I am an undergraduate honors student at the University of Texas at Austin studying computer science and neuroscience. I'm passionate about understanding neurological diseases on a fundamental level and hope to apply to computational neuroscience PhD programs in the 2021-2022 cycle.

For anyone wishing to contact me about anything, please email me. I'm not yet at that point in my career where I'm too busy to respond.

When a neuropsychiatric disease completely changes a person's cognitive experience, what was the fundamental cause?

I want to study the brain and its diseases from a principled approach. I want to be able to ask the right questions that can tease out the differences between causes.

Relying on a harmonious blend of experiment and theory, I hope to make inroads toward a unified theory of cognition that explains why so many neuropsychiatric diseases have intensely heterogeneous clinical presentations and comorbidities.

learning and growing

I am developing new realtime in-vivo electrophysiology analysis techniques for high-dimensional probes in the lab of Loren Frank, PhD at UCSF. I have learned a lot about the clusterless decoding analysis technique as an alternative to spike sorting. While all my work has been computational due to the current global pandemic, I've had the opportunity to understand the nuances of in-vivo electrophysiology from experienced colleagues.

I write code for the data acquisition software platform at SpikeGadgets in San Francisco. I'm working on improving the ability to do realtime data analysis of in-vivo neural signals to enable more labs to run closed-loop experiments. I've gotten a glimpse into what it's like working in industry as a scientist and have enjoyed the PI-like mentorship from my CEO, Mattias Karlsson, PhD. My work is part of a joint project with Loren Frank.

I studied theoretical synaptic plasticity rules in the lab of Mike Mauk, PhD at UT Austin. I worked on large-scale cerebellar simulations and learned a lot about the philosophy of modeling in theoretical neuroscience. I became aware of the importance of high-performance computing in theoretical neuroscience and got to tinker a bit with the lab's computing infrastructure.

I participated in the UT Southwestern STARS Summer Research Program. I worked on differential gene expression analysis and alternative splicing analysis for single-cell RNA-seq data in the lab of Gena Konopka, PhD at UT Southwestern. I explored applying different existing analyses on our lab's data and became intimately familiar with the importance of writing sanity checks and understanding the data.

samples of my work

Sometimes I might publish code publicly on my GitHub, but oftentimes I do not.

I don't have a blog, but my real personal website is located here.

You can see my CV.


I served as the president of Synapse, a neuroscience organization for undergraduates at UT Austin. Through this organization, I'm able to help other neuroscience students discover their interests and get connected into research.

I really like programming languages and once volunteered for a remote Haskell conference as a track owner. I've learned over time there are strengths and weaknesses as well as a time and a place for each language. I'm a Haskell fanboy, but lately I've been interested in Julia's strength in scientific computing.

At UT Austin, I am part of two honors programs: Turing Scholars and Dean's Scholars. If you happen to be a high school student applying to college, feel free to reach out and I'll do my best to answer questions or point you to people who can.

I started a coding summer camp with two high school friends the summer after our senior year of high school because we were disappointed by the quality of education we witnessed at other summer programs. I developed the original business idea, designed curriculum, managed purchases, helped create marketing materials, and helped launch our website.

I co-founded a startup with two other high school friends to fight online harassment. I developed our machine learning API to categorize abusive text beyond simple sentiment analysis. Our startup advanced to semifinals in Y-Combinator's W2017 funding round.