Reflections one year into a PhD program

5 Aug 2023
Computer-Science, Education, Career, School, Personal

I started my PhD program about a year ago. In my first year I have: Taken 4 “normal” 3-credit-hour classes Participated in 3 seminars Switched advisors Attended 2 conferences (PLDI @ FCRC, JuliaCon) Presented my work at JuliaCon It’s been a lot of work, and there’s been a lot of stress. I’m in a much better place now than when I started, and over all I’m happy where I’m at and where I’m headed. ...

Hike up Desolation Trail

26 May 2023
Personal, Hiking

I hiked up Desolation Trail with Scott Wiersdorf. It had rained a little bit the night before, so the trail was neither dusty nor muddy—perfect for hiking. Figure 1: Hike overview Lots of pretty plants on the way. Figure 2: This flower is called Arrow Leaf Figure 3: Some pretty ground cover Figure 4: A neat old tree that got split The way up was nice and scenic. Figure 5: View from the trail looking at Church Fork or Grandeur Peak—I forget which ...


15 Mar 2023
Family, Personal

My grandfather G William Wiersdorf passed away Monday morning. He was 82 and survived COVID, a decades-long existence with MS, and World War II. While his health wasn't the best, none of us were expecting this. You can read his obituary here. German obituary UPDATE 2023-03-18: I've translated my grandpa's obituary into German. Here it is: G William "Bill" Wiersdorf verstarb friedlich am 13. März 2023 mit seiner liebevollen Frau Kathy an seiner Seite. ...

Changes in Career Aspirations

3 Feb 2023
Personal, Career

It's interesting for me to reflect on how my aspirations have changed as I've grown up. When I was a little kid I wanted to be a computer programmer like my daddy. I wanted to have my own cubicle and a work station and write Perl programs all day long in Emacs. There was a phase where I had to shake my head at that—a cubicle-dweller? Seriously? After experiencing some open-office work spaces, the shoulder-high walls afforded a privacy and sound muffling that any hipster coder would be envious of. ...

Christmas 2022

25 Dec 2022

This year I discovered the profound joy of giving toys to a little girl. Our daughter is beginning to babble and walk, and nothing has brought me more happiness than playing with her and watching her grow in her capabilities. She's still young enough that she has no clue as to what is going on, but she did like getting some new toys wrapped in paper and bows! Christmas is so much better giving presents to your kids than it is getting presents as a kid. ...

Christmas 2021

25 Dec 2021
Personal, Faith

It’s my first Christmas being a dad. The end of the school semester was unusually stressful; I didn’t have much time or energy to anticipate Christmas. But I’ve felt a marked lack of eagerness for getting presents. That feeling wanes each year—something I’m grateful for—but this year I only felt an eagerness for a time of peace and celebration with my family. Peaceful it has been. My family isn’t perfect. (My baby daughter is about as perfect as they come, though! ...

A programmable programming language? I'll drink to that!

21 Aug 2021
Personal, Fun, Racket

My wife and I got a chance to go to a place that lets you paint pottery and then have it fired. The pottery is all pre-made; you just get to paint it. It’s been a very long time since I’ve worked with a physical art medium, so the mug looks kinda dumpy. I did alright with the Racket logo on the bottom-inside of the mug though! I’m working on some fun projects with Racket. ...

Health and Taking Care of Yourself

14 Aug 2021
Health, Personal

It’s going to be another long night. My baby has reached the point where she’s too tired to sleep. She alternates between screaming at 90+ decibels and sleeping fitfully. She only transfers from the crying state to the sleep state after prolonged, labored rocking and soothing. She transfers back to the base crying state on her own after a few seconds.