Alexis Gallagher, Developer in San Francisco, CA, United States
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Alexis Gallagher

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Software Developer

San Francisco, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
May 16, 2014

Alexis is a senior iOS engineer, who loves intuitive, beautiful UI. He is a back end engineer, UX designer, loves mathematics and theater. He is highly creative, collaborative, reliable, with professional experience in numerous areas (science, finance, etc.). And a scientist by training.


Canadian Society For Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Amazon Web Services (AWS), NGINX, Clojure, Objective-C, iOS
McKinsey & Co
Java, JavaScript, iOS




Preferred Environment

Git, Emacs, Xcode, Linux, MacOS

The most amazing...

...thing I've invented is a mathematical formalism for analyzing and describing the evolvability of organisms.

Work Experience

iOS designer & engineer

2013 - 2014
Canadian Society For Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
  • Designed and engineered native iPhone and iPad video streaming client, using Obj-C.
  • Designed and engineered API server, for encrypted video streaming with secure access control, using AWS, Clojure, nginx.
  • Localized database and all UI for French and English.
  • Built suite of command-line tools for system administration(Obj-C).
  • Implemented AirPlay, encrypted video, hardened in-app security assets, password hashing.
  • Developed scripts for automated deployment on AWS.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), NGINX, Clojure, Objective-C, iOS

Senior Engineer

2011 - 2013
McKinsey & Co
  • Led iOS engineering team on an in-house portfolio app, for displaying and contextualizing web apps, used by senior management in pitch meetings with Fortune 500 clients.
  • Led iOS engineering team on in-house portfolio app, used to represent McKIinsey's software skills, highlighted as exemplary by the CTO.
  • Designed and engineered a survey-taking app, using a direction manipulation interface to drive user engagement.
  • Built a customized Xcode build system, using a single-page JS web app to allow business users to request à la carte builds.
  • Designed and engineered rapid prototype of a workflow management iPhone app for construction sites.
Technologies: Java, JavaScript, iOS

Postdoctoral research fellow

2010 - 2012
London Institute for Mathematical Sciences
  • Used Common Lisp and Mathematica for data extraction and analysis of thermodynamic model of wikipedia article evolution.
  • Used Mathematica and C++ for evolutionary research on random walks in hypercubes.
  • Performed analytical mathematical research into hypercube walks.
  • Created re-usable MMA library for graph theory research (still used in Stanford).
  • Researched organismic evolvability.
Technologies: C++, Lisp, Mathematica

Senior C++ Risk Engineer

2009 - 2011
Deutsche Bank
  • Performed analysis and implementation of pricing logic for convertibility risk on Brazillian FX swaps.
  • Created numerous enhancements to proprietary C++ trade capture tools.
  • Performed analysis and implementation of pricing and risking logic for FXGamma.
  • Coordinated with front-office traders and middle office settlements.
  • Created enhancements on analytic, StochVol, and MC pricing systems.
Technologies: Option Pricing, SQL, C++


2003 - 2009
Oxford University
  • Invented genospace algebra, a graph-theoretical propositional calculus for analyzing organismic evolvability.
  • Developed conceptual unification of types of evolvability (trait, individual, organismic).
  • Created diagrams and proof system for calculating evolvability.
  • Implemented genospace algebra using Python graph search.
  • Created a novel algorithm for searching for connected clusters in genospaces.
Technologies: Graph Theory, Calculus, Mathematics, Python

Evolvability: A Formal Approach
My PhD dissertation addresses the question: What are the logical requirements that need to be in place for evolution by natural selection to produce complex life? It develops a novel mathematical formalism to treat rigorously an area that had been covered mainly through verbal speculation. It also touches on many interesting questions, such as whether there is likely to be life on other planets, or life evolved within a computer.

CSAPS Video Library

This app is used by hundreds of cosmetic surgeons in Canada to browse and watch encrypted streaming videos of plastic surgeries so they can maintain their medical skills. It has high security requirements, a high-polish design, and a custom back-end. It is also localized in French and English, implements AirPlay, and more.

McKinsey and Company

I led the development of two portfolio apps used by McKinsey & Co. to sell its software services. These codebases have been forked and reused within the firm dozens of times, so that this work is now used globally in elite business settings around the world. However, because of the firm's confidentiality requirements, I can only present this work in a controlled environment where I can offer a sanitized demonstration. (Sorry!)

Draggable, Physical, Contextual Drawer View
Unlike every other Drawer View, this component uses child view controllers to allow users to drop a contextual summary drawer over any other view controller. It also lets the user drag and drop that drawer across the screen and includes simulated physics—built before UIDynamics made it too easy!

ALG Keyboard Following Controller

The ALG keyboard following controller has one job: ensuring that a view pinned to the bottom layout guide with a layout constraint will follow the movement of the keyboard as it comes and goes.

This is just a tiny helper, but I share it as an example of my taste for well-refactored, modular code with attention to UX details–such as how it uses class animation methods to access the truth timing curve for the keyboard's movement.
2003 - 2009

PhD Degree in Mathematical Biology

Oxford University - Oxford

1994 - 1998

BA (Honors) Degree in Physics

Harvard University - Cambridge, MA


Xcode, Emacs, Mathematica, NGINX, Adobe Photoshop, Git, Sketch


CherryPy, CubicWeb


Swift, Objective-C, Clojure, JavaScript, Java, Lisp, Python, C++, Common Lisp (CL), SQL


Functional Programming, Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Object-oriented Design (OOD), App Development, Agile Software Development


iOS, MacOS, Linux, Amazon Web Services (AWS)




Scientific Computing, Nagare, Software Development, Remote Work, Offshore Development, Development, Option Pricing, Mathematics, Calculus, Graph Theory

Collaboration That Works

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