Timur obtained a physics Ph.D. degree from UC Berkeley. There he worked with Marvin Cohen and Steven Louie on first-principles studies of materials, publishing over a dozen peer-reviewed articles and one day realizing first-hand that the way we do research in materials and chemistry needs to be modernized. Timur graduated with honors from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, speaks Russian and Tatar, and can often be seen cycling up mt. Tamalpais and mt. Diablo.