About Me

About Me #

I’m Ashton Wiersdorf, and I’m a PhD student at the University of Utah studying programming languages with Ben Greenman. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah.

My most recent place of employment outside of academia was with Spiff, where they were nice enough to let me hack on their interpreter. Before Spiff I worked at a few other positions as a full-stack engineer.

I’ve sung with the BYU Men’s Chorus and I play the piano. Other hobbies include swimming and hiking—Utah has some of the most diverse landscape anywhere in the US: from dense forests to barren desert. If you visit, I highly recommend checking out some of the national parks.

I have been married to my wife Sarah since 2018; we met when we were in high school and she’s been my best friend ever since. You can see her blog here. We became parents in the summer of 2021 and couldn’t be happier!

I served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Germany. Consequently, I speak fluent German and have a great appetite for German food. My wife and I were able to visit Berlin for a few months in 2019. If you’re interested in visiting Europe, Berlin is a must.

This blog is primarily where I’ll post about research, school, and programming. I’m studying programming languages, though my interests are not strictly constrained to any one field. I like literature and philosophy, so there will be the occasional book review that I’ll post under my personal section. I change my mind a lot; I’m still learning, so things written here should not be understood as an immutable reflection of my opinions.

Colophon #

This blog is built by Hugo, and the theme is hugo-book. The main font is Charter. It’s hosted on GitHub Pages.

For analytics I use Goat Counter which doesn’t track any personal data. It’s basically just a way for me to see what’s popular and what’s not.

Most of the time I write my blog in Emacs. I use ox-hugo to export from org-mode to Hugo-friendly Markdown. I used to use the built-in org-mode export, but it messed things up like apostrophes and didn’t handle some other formatting as I wanted it to. ox-hugo does a much better job.

This is the third iteration of my blog style. Previously I’ve run blogs with Ghost and Jekyll. I moved to Jekyll from Ghost because I wanted a lighter-weight static site, and I moved from Jekyll to Hugo for the lovely themes and some of the more advanced capabilities it offers.