I simulated black holes-neutron star mergers for the SXS collaboration as a graduate student at Washington State University. These simulations involved using advanced numerical algorithms with the Spectral Einstein Code on high performance computing clusters using hundreds of CPU cores. My undergrad was at Grand Valley State University where I studied physics and math.

I am also a professional chef. My culinary specialities are seafood and organic produce, although data suggests soups and sauces are my truer expression. My most natural state is in raucous, high-throughput kitchens. I’m fond of fermenting, pickling, brewing, smoking, and curing. While these require time, at go-time my cooking is geared towards speed, detail and efficiency.

I’ve been a Fedora Linux user for a while, since fc14. I enjoy tinkering with computers. I have built and restored many, as well as home servers, cryptographic miners, an automatic CD ripper, and made various media projects involving computer parts sourced from atypical places, e.g., the WSU Surplus Store. I have worked with every Raspberry Pi board since their debute. I have a server that I practiced maintaining a LEMP stack on.

Softer things.. I love hockey, fishing, sometimes leathercraft and woodworking, a fondness for translated lit, HBO, and cat’s cradle.

Some more thoughts..

I closed out my academic life at the end of 2017, finding a different path, yet still evermore envious of all of the incredibly mindful people I got to know through my journey. I am forever grateful for the guidance that David Austin, Milun Rakovic and Matthew Duez, my advisors, have given me.

I enjoy teaching, working through the hardest problems, complex puzzles, reading, basically all of the things an academic does, but when I measured myself–my work ethic, imagination, drive–I never truly felt I had their same gift in that space. It’s worth noting that gift is not synonymous with ’less effort’: archetypes in any discipline do not achieve without trying–you can’t. There are no Will Hunting’s in this world. It’s this nascent difference between life on easy-mode and the ability to work with ease. The Italian word for this, I learned, is called sprezzatura.

The only medium I ever found myself to have experienced this nature, deep within, was with food, and maybe most of my accomplishments there don’t exactly squeal ‘gifted’, but the way the processes click inside my brain is certainly my gift.

And so, with a fresher spirit, I began cooking in Northern California making delicious food with some incredibly amazing people. I’ve been the Executive Chef of Dawson’s Bar & Grill in Dixon, CA and Slanted Tree Kitchen & Taproom in Fairfield, CA where I’ve served a variety of cuisines, delicious beer and wine pairings, and authentic farm-to-fork meals every night, both at the restaurant and on location at Eatwell Farm.

I recognize that there is a forever difficult access problem shared between STEM and culinary. Cooking, coding, and calculating is all French to people, requiring a lot of will and patience, and a lot of suck. This comes back to my marriage of food and computers: recipes, like code, as well as the creative process, are better served in openness, source and all.

Part of this is emblematic of the food and beverage world itself, while also challenging is an oversaturation of information (in everything) to critical fatigue these days. While we can follow recipes as well as journals, what we lack is structural tooling:

$$food \in\{ \textrm{culture}\}$$

Something akin to sheet music, grammar structure, i.e., systems which let us experience flavor abstractly the way a musician hears melody, notes, through page, or how a writer masterfully articulates internal dialogue within her prose.

Useful for design, pictures and numbers alone fall short in the dynamic creative processes of these three expressions of culture. What’s unfair with food is the lack of an ability to construct our ideas visually in the absence of sensation. Yet, it is enough for me to remain hopeful, that these modes of culinary structures can be discovered and made more intelligible to us.

[ my resumé ]