Let's see, what are the usual questions? I was born in Boston in 1974, and my family lived there for the next two years, but I don't remember any of that. "Cosma Shalizi" really is the name I was born with (says so right here on the birth certificate). My mother is from Italy, my father is half Afghan and half Tamil and grew up in Afghanistan. "Cosma" is one of a small number of Italian masculine names ending in A, and Shalez is my father's family's ancestral village, near the city of Ghazni. I grew up in Bethesda (where my mother is a biochemist at the NIH), a suburb of Washington D.C. (where my father is an economist at the World Bank). I went to college at Berkeley. In May of 2001 I got my doctorate from the Physics Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I lived in Madison for five years, and wouldn't mind moving back someday. From 1998 to 2002 I worked at the Santa Fe Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was part of the Evolving Cellular Automata Project and the Computation, Dynamics and Inference group, and I spent my first post-doctoral year in the Dynamics of Learning group. From 2002 to 2005, I was a post-doc at the Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Since June 2005, I've been a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. (If you want to know what I do at my job, see my departmental page.)