Nikhil Bhargava, Developer in San Francisco, CA, United States
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Nikhil Bhargava

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Distributed Systems Developer

San Francisco, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
August 20, 2018

Nikhil enjoys building things more than anything else. After trying his hand at the startup game, Nikhil moved to Dropbox where he was a product manager for a few years. Since then, he has moved to MIT and finished a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence but still enjoys consulting and working on side projects.



Preferred Environment

Vim Text Editor, Git, MacOS

The most amazing...

...project I've worked on is SurgeProtector, an iOS app built on the Uber API that tells users how far they have to walk to avoid surge pricing.

Work Experience

Research Assistant

2016 - PRESENT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Built a front-end system orchestrating several planners for a joint excursion with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Schmidt Ocean Institute.
  • Actively publishing novel results on planning and scheduling under temporal uncertainty.
  • Helped pioneer infrastructure that allows for plug-and-play planning and execution in generalized contexts.
Technologies: React, TypeScript, Go, Lisp

Product Manager

2014 - 2016
  • Served as the partnerships liaison for software integrations with Microsoft and Adobe, creating inter-app user flows on iOS and Android.
  • Tripled commenting weekly active users during my tenure through rapid A/B testing and experimentation.
  • Helped orchestrate massive re-architecturing of underlying sharing paradigm, involved data scheme migration that touched virtually every product.
Technologies: React, JavaScript, Go, Python


2013 - 2014
Cadence Labs
  • Pioneered the initial WebAudio app that synchronized playback across browsers.
  • Developed iOS app that featured audio device management as well as synchronous playback.
  • Built prototype for embedded device synchronized remote playback unit.
Technologies: Objective-C, JavaScript, Python, Node.js


SurgeProtector helps users find the closest place to them that is free of Uber surge pricing. We soft-launched but were very quickly discovered and heavily featured in various press clippings.

EnergyLiteracy (1000 Cheeseburgers)

Helped develop the visualization behind MacArthur award winner, Saul Griffith's 1000 Cheeseburgers project which visualized US energy consumption at a level never seen before.


Go, TypeScript, Objective-C, SQL, Python, Java, JavaScript, Lisp, Swift


React, Node.js


Artificial Intelligence (AI), Distributed Systems


iOS, MacOS


MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB


Git, Vim Text Editor

2016 - 2020

Ph.D. in Computer Science

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Cambridge, Massachusetts

2013 - 2014

Master of Science Degree in Computer Science

Stanford University - Palo Alto, California

2010 - 2014

Bachelor of Science Degree in Symbolic Systems

Stanford University - Palo Alto, California

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