I was born and raised in Craiova, Romania. I went to school, from first grade until I finished high-school, at Colegiul National Carol I (see the first picture) that was known then as "Liceul Nicolae Balcescu".

My undergraduate education was at University of Bucharest, in the Faculty of Mathematics. I graduated in 1995 when I started as a Ph.D. student in the Department of Statistics at The University of Chicago. I spent the last year of my Ph.D. studies (1998-1999) in Iceland, visiting deCode Genetics. I joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in 1999, where I am now a Professor.

I have been married with Raluca since 1993 and we have two daughters: Ruxandra (born in 2001) and Andrada (born in 2003). We live in Hyde Park.