I grew up in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, a small Midwestern town not far from Madison. Sun Prairie is where I spent the first 18 years of my life. Here are a couple of fun facts about Sun Prairie: it is the birthplace of the artist Georgia O'Keefe, and it is one of the claimants to the title of Groundhog Capital of the World. (Punxsutawney, PA gets better press, but their groundhog is less accurate than Sun Prairie's Jimmy!)
After high school I moved out to California to attend college at Stanford. Deciding to come to Stanford was one of the best decisions I ever made. I had a great time, met a lot of fascinating people, and learned a ton.
After graduating from college, I went to work as a software engineer for a start-up company called E.piphany. Working at E.piphany was a lot of fun because the engineering team basically consisted of a bunch of us kids fresh out of college, so we got to do pretty much whatever we wanted. Working in Silicon Valley at the height of the dot-com boom was an exhilirating experience. I got to watch while the company ballooned from under 50 employees to more than 1000, went through an IPO, and acquired a handful of other companies.
In Autumn of 2000, I came back to Stanford as a graduate student in Computer Science. Being in grad school is quite different from being an undergrad, but it's fun in its own way. You have nearly total freedom and get to spend your time learning about whatever interests you. Not a bad life.
I have now graduated, and I am working at another start-up company called M-Factor.
InterestsHere are a few of the things that I enjoy doing.
SoccerI love to play soccer. Some of the best highs that I've experienced in life have come on the soccer field. Playing for my high school soccer team was my favorite part of high school, and I still play in pick-up games whenever I get the chance. I enjoy watching soccer, too. I spent a lot of time in front of the TV this past June while the World Cup was being played in Japan and Korea!
GoIf you like chess, you'll love Go; it's a truly captivating board game. (It made cameo appearances in the movies "Pi" and "A Beautiful Mind".) The rules are extremely simple but they give rise to intricate strategies that are exceedingly complex and beautiful. I don't get the chance to play as much as I'd like to, unfortunately, but I'm always looking for opportunities to play. (My rating is around 12 kyu.)
BackpackingNorthern California is a great place to live if you enjoy the outdoors. During the summer I try to do a lot of backpacking, ranging from quick overnight trips to five-day-long treks. Some of the places I've gone backpacking recently are Mt. Ranier, Olympic National Park, Yosemite, Big Sur, the Desolation Wilderness, the Lost Coast, and Castle Rock State Park.
Rock ClimbingI've just recently started rock climbing, but I hope to do a lot more of it with time. I climb at Mission Cliffs in San Francisco, Planet Granite in Santa Clara and Belmont, and the Stanford Climbing Wall. So far I haven't done any outdoor rock climbing, but I'd like to give that a try sometime. I do mostly 5.8 and 5.9 climbs, occasionally making it up a 5.10 if I'm lucky.