Anson Ho

Hi! I’m Anson Ho, a recent physics graduate at the University of St Andrews. I’m passionate about artificial intelligence and scientific research, as well as trying to tackle some of the world’s most pressing questions through effective altruism. This blog contains expository writings and updates about my work, and you can find more in the following links:


Currently I’m particularly interested in conducting research in the following areas:

  • Scientific applications of AI
  • Reinforcement learning
  • The mathematics of machine learning
  • AI safety

These are still subject to change depending on how the research landscape develops over the next few years, and as I learn more about these topics.

My final year thesis was on the Design of photonic crystal waveguides using neural networks, as part of the nanophotonics group under the supervision of Dr Sebastian Schulz. Specifically, I developed an artificial neural network to predict the performance of photonic devices directly from their structural parameters. This allowed for the space of all possible designs to be mapped out orders of magnitude more quickly than existing techniques, and is a promising way of optimising similar devices.

At the moment I’m working on a summer research project with St Andrews’ organic semiconductor optoelectronics group and Heriot-Watt University, supervised by Prof Graham Turnbull. The project work involves the design of Monte Carlo-based optical models to understand the high light capture efficiency of red coralline algae, as well as image analysis using 3D tomographic reconstruction software and convolutional neural networks.

Effective Altruism

There are many serious problems in the world, but only finite time and resources - the focus of effective altruism is thus to figure out how to do the most good given what we have.

I’ve been a member of Effective Altruism St Andrews since September 2020, and helped with the One for the World St Andrews tabling team. I also contributed to the writing of the data and information policy document for Students for Global Health UK.

My main interest in EA is in the development and implications of AI, although I’m also interested in working on science policy and farmed animal welfare. You can view my EA profile here.


  • Issue with code that I’ve written: open an issue on GitHub
  • General comments/questions, or anything about this blog: spectroscopycafe at gmail dot com
  • Professional correspondence: Either (1) anson dot ho dot work at gmail dot com, or (2) whah at st-andrews dot ac dot uk