Los Altos, CA, USA



To utilize my skills and passion to make a positive difference in the world.


2020-4 - Self study in biology
Reviewing the academic literature

2016-7 - Self study in natural and artificial intelligence
Goodfellow et al. - Deep Learning
Sutton & Barto - Reinforcement Learning
Bostrom - Superintelligence
Russell & Norvig - Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach
Kandel et al. - Principles of Neural Science
Ballard - Brain Computation as Hierarchical Abstraction
Hemmen & Sejnowski - 23 Problems in Systems Neuroscience

2005-6 - Graduate student, Zimmerman malaria research lab, Dept. of Genetics, Case Western Reserve University

2003 - GRE General Test: essay 5.5/6.0, verbal 640/800, math 800/800
GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test: 700 - 96th percentile

1988 - Honors Computer Science, Adelaide University, Australia
IBM Prize for Honors Computer Science - top student of the year


I view myself as a generalist with a broad range of skills and experiences.

Biotechnology skills: Knowledge of bioinformatics, cell biology, molecular biology, and population genetics at the graduate student level. Undergraduate level knowledge of biochemistry, immunology, and physiology.

Computing skills: Strong knowledge of machine learning, operating systems, databases, networking, and web technology. Detailed knowledge of system hardware. Experienced at developing industrial strength technology. Extensive systems performance analysis and tuning expertise.

Management skills: Experienced at formulating and executing business plans and strategy. Experienced as a technical lead and business product manager. Comfortable working with senior management to meet specific financial goals.

Other skills: Experienced at starting both for profit and not for profit corporations. Basic knowledge of associated legal, taxation, and accounting issues.

Exceptional ability to solve complicated technical problems. Can rapidly assimilate and extend new concepts and ideas. Able to work independently or as part of a team.


Biology Researcher, California, 5/2020 - Present.

Performing independent biology research.

Philanthropist and Founder, Gordon R. Irlam Charitable Foundation, California, 7/2001 - Present.

Running a small private foundation active in global public health and the risks associated with smarter than human AI. Small scale funding focused on public policy. Spending time in Tanzania performing HIV/AIDS education. Visiting El Salvador to study microcredit. Related projects to date:

Failed Entrepreneur, 2/2006 - 6/2021.

Rapidly come up with new ideas, implement them, and send them out for evaluation. Keep doing this until find something that sticks and it makes sense to build a startup around. Projects to date:

  • AIPlanner (2018-21) - Deep reinforcement learning financial planning.
  • AACalc (2012-17) - Scientifically advanced asset allocation and annuity pricing.
  • FreeTable.org (2010-13) - A public commons for open data; two person team.
  • SilverCloudVideo.com (2009-10) - Web based live video startup; four person team.
  • GiveToFriends (2008) - Classified ads app for OpenSocial social networking sites.
  • osnlive.com (2007-08) - Open source peer to peer social network.
  • Resyndicator.com (2007) - Feed reblogging website.
  • Votocracy.com (2006-07) - Feature rich Internet voting website.

Software Engineer, Google, California, 5/2004 - 5/2005.

Improving the performance of, and adding new features and functionality to, Gmail, Google's web based email system. Developing system performance measurement tools. Assessing and optimizing system performance. Implementing remote mail fetch functionality. Technologies employed include Java, Python, and C++.

Senior Engineer and Founder, Postini, California, 3/1999 - 6/2001.

Technical founder of Postini, a 300 employee startup that was bought by Google for $625m cash. Postini provided spam blocking, virus scanning, and integrated email management services.

Responsible for technical architecture, design, implementation, and planning. The resulting system is highly scalable and handles in excess of 1 billion email messages per day. This made it the fourth largest email processing system in the United States (behind AOL, MSN, and Yahoo). Technologies employed include numerous Sun client machines, several terrabytes of EMC SAN based storage, Oracle databases, Apache, Perl, C, and C++.

Product Manager, RedHat / Cygnus Solutions, California, 10/1995 - 7/1998.

Managing the development of an open source Java compiler. Product targeted for use by embedded systems developers and based on the GCC compiler technology. Formulating business plans and strategy. Preparing product specifications. Determining project resource requirements. Specifying trade show, sales, and marketing collateral. Making customer presentations. Drafting contracts for deals of up to $2m in value. Also managing the development of a number of Internet derived open source software products: Apache, Perl, Tcl/Tk, and Expect.

Managing patents, copyright, trademarks, and licensing for a 200 employee company using open source business models. Especially skilled at formulating profitable business strategies that leverage the Internet and open source software communities.


Economics. Poverty. Public health. Open source software. Evolution. Existential risk.


Irlam, G. (2020). Machine Learning for Retirement Planning The Journal of Retirement, 8(1), 32-39.

Irlam, G. (2020). Multi Scenario Financial Planning via Deep Reinforcement Learning AI.

Irlam, G. (2018). Financial Planning via Deep Reinforcement Learning AI.

Irlam, G. (2018). Lifetime Portfolio Selection: A Simple Derivation.

Irlam, G. (2017). Human Capital, Social Security, and Asset Allocation.

Irlam, G. (2015). Asset Allocation Confidence Intervals in Retirement.

Irlam, G. (2015). Floor and Upside Investing in Retirement with Real Instruments.

Irlam, G. (2014). Floor and Upside Investing in Retirement with Nominal SPIAs.

Irlam, G. (2014). Floor and Upside Investing in Retirement without Annuities.

Irlam, G. (2014). Portfolio Size Matters. The Journal of Personal Finance. 13(2), 9-16.

Irlam, G. & Tomlinson, J. (2014). Retirement Income Research: What Can We Learn from Economics?. The Journal of Retirement, 1(4), 118-128.

Petry, Irlam, and Maggi. US Patent 7,761,498: Electronic document policy compliance techniques. 2010. <URL:http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=7761498>.

Petry, Irlam, and Maggi. US Patent 7,428,410: Value-added electronic messaging services having web-based user accessible message center. 2008. <URL:http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=7428410>.

Petry, Irlam, and Maggi. US Patent 7,277,695: E-mail policy compliance techniques. 2007. <URL:http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=7277695>.

Petry, Irlam, and Maggi. US Patent 7,272,378: E-mail filtering services using Internet protocol routing information. 2007. <URL:http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=7272378>.

Irlam, Maggi, and Petry. US Patent 7,236,769: Value-added electronic messaging services and transparent implementation thereof using intermediate server. 2007. <URL:http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=7236769>.

Irlam, Maggi, and Petry. US Patent 7,133,660: E-mail filtering services and e-mail service enrollment techniques. 2006. <URL:http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=7133660>.

Irlam, Maggi, and Petry. US Patent 6,650,890: Value-added electronic messaging services and transparent implementation thereof using intermediate server. 2003. <URL:http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=6650890>.

Irlam. Andrea: The Pig Lady of Panchimalco. 2000. <URL:https://www.gricf.org/el_salvador-2000/andrea.html>.

Irlam, Formaro, Bothner, Petit-Bianco, Grossman, Tromey, Akimine, and Knuttila. Cygnus Implementation of the Java Language: Architecture and Design Manual. Cygnus Solutions, 1998. <URL:https://www.gordoni.com/cygnus/design.html>.

Irlam. Controlling the Internet: Legal and Technical Aspects of the Domain Name System. 1997. <https://www.gordoni.com/thoughts/dns-control/dns-control.html>.

Tiemann, Irlam, Taylor, Evans, and Bothner. Evaluating Hardware/Software Tradeoffs. Embedded Systems Conference/West, 1997. <URL:https://www.gordoni.com/cygnus/evaluate.html>.

Irlam and Williams. Software Patents: an Industry at Risk. Submission by the League for Programming Freedom to the Patent and Trademark Office on Patent Protection for Software-Related Inventions, 1994. <URL:https://www.gordoni.com/software-patents/lpf/industry-at-risk>

Garsden, Irlam, McDonald, Smith, and Wendelborn. The Development and Efficient Execution of SISAL Programs. In Advanced Topics in Data-Flow Computing, Prentice-Hall, 1991.