Biographical Information

I grew up in central Illinois and have only recently begun recovering. My undergraduate work was at Stanford, where I majored in physics. Physics is a fine major provided that you recognize that a BS in physics will not qualify you for any work requiring an extensive physics background. I recommend treating physics as a form of liberal education, more akin to english than to electrical engineering, and resigning yourself to grad school and, most likely, years as a postdoc.

Having discovered that real-life physics tends to be more about fiddling with algebra than designing warp drive engines, I switched fields and entered graduate school in computer science at the Unversity of Wisconsin, Madison. I soon identified computer graphics as a field suitably tuned to my interests, and have worked in this area for the past four years. It turns out to still involve a fair amount of fiddling with algebra. My work has revolved around animating humans, and if you want to know any more about this you should look here.

My primary hobby over the past decade or so has been martial arts. I took a year of tae kwon do in high school, aiki-jujitsu and a formal aiki weapons class (jo and bokken) in college, and capoeria in grad school, with forays along the way into thai kickboxing and brazilian jiu-jitsu. Still, I'm just a hobbyist, the arts I've studied the longest (aiki-jujitsu and capoeira) are not particularly useful for beating people up, and I only weigh 140 pounds, so I'm not much of a threat. If you are considering taking up an empty-handed martial art for self-defense purposes and are not willing to get beaten up fairly often, I recommend instead determining what weapons you are legally entitled to carry and learning how to use them.