This is me (wearing a half beard-moustache that I loved, but my wife did not)

On this blog (and in my old blog) I write about

  1. My physics and math study.  This was initially focused on Geometric (Clifford) Algebra, then covered material from the undergrad physics courses I was taking at UofT as a non-degree student (2010-2013).  It now includes material from the M.Eng ECE electromagnetics program I started in fall 2014.
  2. Tricks and tips of a career C++ Unix software developer, including debugger and text manipulation tricks that seemed notable.
  3. Occasional home improvement stuff.
  4. Occasional random rants and comments on world or local events or miscellanea.

My math and physics writing is somewhat selfish, written for myself to improve my understanding, and represents a running log of my personal learning progress. Please feel free to comment or write if you find any post confusing, helpful, spot an error, or have something to say. I’ll also take tips in bitcoin if you find something of value.

After a few years of taking undergrad physics courses as a part time non-degree student, I have now started (still part time) an M.Eng degree in electromagnetics as of fall 2014.  That program offers the sort of fundamental science background I’m interested in, as well applied computation courses, and has “relevant” physics grad courses available as options.  This gets me closer to my end goal of doing some scientific computing work, which would mesh well with my programming experience, but also require both actively learning and application of interesting science concepts.

A fairly extensive set of notes, lecture notes and problems for those classes, can be found listed on my Writing page. Despite the fact that I don’t usually write any more than 6 pages in any given day, the total page count now weighs in around 5300 pages.

My occasional programming related posts are usually related to work problems in some way, massaged to obfuscate the original code.

Some somewhat random stuff about myself

I’m a dad and stepdad and have two plus two kids at max capacity. I blinked and they somehow transformed from fit-on-my-lap sized to almost full grown. I have a wife who not only tolerates and encourages my studies, but is also awesome enough to think that math is sexy.

I enjoy my ’06 Shadow 750 as much as Canadian weather allows.  Sadly I use it primarily for commuting, and not for pleasure riding, and now live too close to work to get adequate use of it.

Regular expressions are beautiful things.  I’m a scripting junkie, and have wasted large amounts of productivity writing perl code to “save time”.

My ’97 ‘Engineering Science: Computer Engineering’ undergrad days seems like a very long time ago now.  I envision myself as the old man in most of my classes.

In April 2016, I joined lzLabs.  My work with them will likely be concurrency related, but may also end up with my hands in build and test infrastructure.

Before lzLabs I worked as a computer programmer for IBM Canada on the Unix/Windows version of DB2 for about 20 years.  This was programming in the lowest levels of guts of the product, doing system level stuff like asynchronous IO implementation and exploitation, Linux and 64-bit porting, concurrency infrastructure (lockless reader/writer mutex implementation, …), as well as work on the DB2 interface to the pureScale server (redundancy, failover, …).

I’m now a lapsed student of martial arts. I took Tae Kwan Do long enough that I earned a black belt by Canadian standards (despite the fact that our school did no competitive sparring, and I have very little flexibility).  Later I took some Wing Chun style Kung Fu at Chung’s Arts Academy in Markham.  That is a style that is very non-intuitive compared to Tae Kwan Do, and at one point in time I was able to go through some of the motions in a less clumsy fashion.  It’s interesting how different the spirit of Tae Kwan Do (stand back and kick) and Wing Chun (up close and personal) are.

I was raised in a Scientology family, but haven’t practised or studied it since I was a teenager.  This background gave me a curiously non-rational acceptance of ideas like ‘past lives’, and ‘out of body experiences’ despite not having any personal observation of either.  I don’t have any immediate desire to reconcile these ideas with the science that I am actively studying, but find the dichotomy amusing and ironic.