About Me

I am a computer engineer, currently working at WYZGYZ (pronounced like wise guys). Before that I worked at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for just over six years. In Spring 2004, I graduated from Oregon State University with an Honors Bachelors of Science in Computer Engineering. I graduated cum laude with minors in French and Computer Science. While at school I was involved not only with my studies, but also with student government, engineering professional organizations, newsmagazines, and a few jobs.

I like ballroom dancing, club dancing, cooking, reading, playing games, programming, tennis, biking, building, traveling, watching movies, rock climbing, skydiving, and just living in general.

I love solving problems and building things, which is one of the reasons my job at WYZGYZ now and PNNL before is so cool. I get paid to solve complicated problems and build things that have never been built before that solve those problems. My projects become my babies, and I invest a lot of time and effort and thought into them.

For professional information about me, including my resume and a portfolio and explanation of my work, see the professional portfolio section.

Most of my projects are available through the projects page.

Things I do/did:

Movies – I have seen many many movies. Throughout high school I saw about 5-10 per week. In college this dropped a lot, but I still kept up. Now I have a subscription to Netflix so I’m seeing ~4 per week. I like it all. I get documentaries, action flicks, TV series, cartoons, drama, comedy, musicals, everything. Netflix doesn’t have any idea what to recommend to me. But this hobby hasn’t made me a hermit. I like watching movies with people. I took a class in college on music in movies, and it has since really changed how I watch movies. There are some movies, like Wizard of Oz, that I just can’t watch anymore because of the music. Because I’ve seen so many movies, I catch a lot of things that many people don’t, too. Things that may be just like other movies, and even sometimes even things that are only present for a fraction of a second. I have a lot of fun with it, though.

Rock Climbing – In college I got into rock climbing. I only ever did it indoors, but I practiced a lot. Bouldering, jumps, speed-climbing, anything that got me from one point to another without touching the floor. I’d go with whoever wanted to, or I’d go alone. It was a lot of fun, and I’d like to continue doing it if I can find a place. I love the way it makes the fingertips tingle.

Skydiving – I tried skydiving not too long ago, and after realizing how many little mistakes I made and how safe it is and how much of a skill it is, I decided to get better at it. Since then I’ve been working on getting my A license. The adrenaline comes not from the falling itself but from doing it right and improving my skills.

DDR – Dance Dance Revolution is a great sport. I started off in High School when my friend Scott Brauer introduced me to it. I continued playing after he got bored, though. By the time I was heading to college, I could already do two boards at the most complex level. In college I found Oliver Forral, another person in my hall who shared the same passion. We would spend a few hours a week playing and having fun and getting better and sweating like crazy. We only had the plastic mats to play on, which were kind of frustrating, but it was better than not playing at all. There was a competition on campus one day, and both of us played. I ended up taking first, and he got second. My prize was a PS2, which I still have and use often.

Breakdancing/Club Dancing – In High School I took forever to appreciate the dance scene. It made no sense to me. I hated it. Then I actually went and tried and had a blast. My strategy was to use my height to see over people’s heads to other people and emulate their dance moves. Since the people around me couldn’t see them, it seemed like I was being original. This worked in the beginning until I could dance on my own. I paid a lot of attention to the social aspects of dancing; I was watching people constantly. Eventually I moved on and started breakdancing. I would download video clips on the Internet and watch them over and over and over and try to emulate the move. There was a lot of pain sometimes, but I developed a reputation at school. When I got to college, it was not long before my reputation was developed there as well. I think my history of music has helped a lot: I can dance to any song exactly on the beat, choreographing to songs I’ve never heard before just because I know how music typically works. I haven’t been doing this as much lately because I don’t have the opportunity, but I’d like to start doing this more.

Ballroom Dancing – In my quest to become a better dancer, and take some classes besides the required classes for my degree, I took up ballroom dancing. I took Ballroom I and II, Latin I and II, and West Coast Swing, and had a great time in all of them.

Trumpet – I started in elementary school. I played all the way through high school, participating in all the bands from marching to symphonic to jazz to pep. Band trips were a lot of fun, playing the music was great, and the friends I made were really cool. In college I didn’t have time to play, but I’m practicing more now.

Cooking – After I got out of college, I started working. One of the biggest things about being at work instead of school is the difference in food. At school, there is tons of food around the dorms, and even when I wasn’t in the dorms, food never seemed to be a problem. When I started work, I would forget to eat a lot. Many days I would have only one meal at 7 in the evening after 10 hours of work. It was very unhealthy, and it started to show. I lost weight, I had constant stomach pain, I was in a bad shape. After an endoscopy, I decided that I needed to do something to make myself eat better. I decided to get good at cooking. This challenge was enough to make me cut most packaged foods out, get more fresh fruits and vegetables, spend more time cooking and experimenting, and in general eat more. It seems to be working. I usually cook enough dinner so that I’ll have leftovers for lunch the next day. I also practice speed cooking. In a small apartment, I have a tiny kitchen, so it’s not uncommon to see me cleaning with one hand, cooking with another, and opening and closing cabinets with my feet all at once. Cooking is all about timing, and I’m getting quick and accurate. I’m still bad about breakfast, but I’m certainly healthier now that I cook. I’m compiling some of the recipes that I use a lot in my cooking section.

Disc Golf – This very cheap alternative to regular golf is a great hobby. For the price of one disc (about $6-$10), I’ve been able to play disc golf in three states for years now. I play once a week.

Tennis – The summer of 2005 was my brief introduction to tennis. It’s a very fun game and is a good workout. I have my own racket, and when the winter weather receded from the tennis court, I’ll be back out there.

Ultimate Frisbee – This very athletic sport is very entertaining to me. I play once or twice a week and am improving quickly. There’s a lot of strategy and instinct involved, and I’m gaining the experience to be a good team player.

Softball – I’m on a softball league through work. My team is new, so we can’t really compete against the more established teams, but we’re out to have fun. I’m the pitcher. It’s a stressful job because I’m involved in almost every play, and it’s not my job to strike them out but rather I need to throw it so that they hit either a pop fly or a short grounder. Still, it’s fun and I enjoy playing.

Building – I love building. I’m an engineer! I love projects that involve manipulating things with my hands. I had a great Lego collection, and an Erector collection. I’m a born handyman (there’s a hangar in my couch that I used to fix a broken spring) and a hacker in the sense that I love to use things for other purposes than their original intent to solve problems.