See Aaron's Professional Page
I completed my Master's degree in Computer Science at Colorado State University with a concentration in Computer Graphics in December of 1994. My thesis was "A Tool For Visualization of Multi-Sensor Data For Automatic Target Recognition".
My Bachelor's degree in CS is from The University of Pennsylvania.
I originally wrote this page in 1994. I have since updated it occassionally but for whatever reason have decided to leave a bunch of it be, despite how dated it may be.
If you want to know more about me, here's some background. I'm currently in my early 40s and have lived in Wisconsin, Maryland, Philadelphia, Colorado, and now in the Boston Area since the end of 1994. I have one brother who lives in New Mexico with his wife and son. My father, now mostly retired, was a professor of Comparative Literature at the Univ. of MD, College Park, an author, and a documentary filmmaker with a focus on theater and literature. My mother is also retired but worked mainly in the development field for non-profit universities and hospitals. I pay attention to politics but am not active in them; my own politics are generally Libertarian. I am also very interested in the Law (especially Civil Liberties issues) and almost went to law school rather than graduate school in CS.
I am also highly interested in the future of the Internet. It is my sincere hope that the present wonderful qualities of the Internet (No pay-per-view style access costs, Many-to-Many communications for the first time in the hands of a large segment of the world's population, Anarchic government style in place only to keep information flowing easily) are not lost in the rush to money. Related to this, I appreciate the work of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I would also like to offer a special thanks to Dave Farber (formerly a professor at the Univ. of Pennsylvania [now at CMU] and EFF board member) and others like him for working towards a positive future for the Internet. The Hacker Crackdown, by Bruce Sterling, is an excellent book on the background of many of these issues and the organizations involved. Bruce has been kind enough to make it and many of his other writings electronically available for free. On a related note, the security writings of security technologist and author Bruce Schneier (particularly Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World) are very interested reading post 9/11.
A somewhat out of date copy of my Resume is available here if you're interested.
I also have a blog associated with this site, Musings of the Hearth, although I haven't been updating it much lately.
Probably my single most serious hobby/passion is Gaming. A lot of links to games that I play can be found in the Game Room. Of particular interest to me are Serious but Fun boardgames like Tichu, Titan, Euphrat & Tigris, Hannibal: Rome vs Carthage (wargame), Cosmic Encounter, Merchants of Venus, Mu, Wizard, Modern Art, Time's Up and many other cardgames, boardgames and wargames. I have in the past played roleplaying games and one collectible card game (CCG), Wyvern, but not for many years.
I also have a strong interest in Puzzles, particularly of the unique flavor (not a standard puzzle type like a crossword, sudoku, or logic puzzle although I enjoy all of those too) represented by the MIT Mystery Hunt and similar events. I have done the Myster Hunt every year since 2001 and helped construct and run the 2008 Hunt after winning the prior year. I usualy end up doing around 4-5 hunts of one sort or another each year, although all the others are much shorter things, usually just a couple of hours as opposed to the 36-48 that the Mystery Hunt takes. I am also a member of the National Puzzlers League, the "The World's Oldest Puzzlers' Organization".
If you have looked through these pages, you also must realize that I am a bit of a web-aholic. I discovered the World Wide Web in early May, 1994 and opened this house on May 15, 1994. It quickly expanded as I added on to it over a number of years (see the history page for details). There are a lot of links on these pages but at the same time this house is by no means just a simple hotlist. The links are chosen with care by me as useful and/or meaningful to me and hopefully to others. Everything about the house says something about me and, given how private a person I am, it is probably as close to extroversion as I come. I have a preference for personal, non-commercial sites and for those people and sites that have been around for the longest time. The web has grown enormously since May of '94 and is now exceedingly huge and commercial. In all sorts of ways, this is a positive change and it fortunately still remains a place where one person can very much have an effect. However, it is not nearly so personal as it used to be. At one time I could have confidently named almost all the major people/sites on the web and almost certainly had visited them all. Now, it is just too big and complex and commercial for that.
I used to do a fair amount of backpacking. While I was in Colorado, I did much more; particularly in Rocky Mountain National Park. In the summer of 94, I climbed Long's Peak which, at 14,255 feet, is the highest I have ever been while still on the ground. For an amusing report of a trip I was on that went wrong, read Zimmerman Trail, June 4-5, 1994. I have also done some kayaking and canoeing and would like to do much more. In the New England area, I have hiked in Baxter State Park in Maine, the Adirondacks in New York, the wonderful Green Mountains of Vermont and some in the Whites of New Hamshire. I've climbed the highest peak in all these states but that isn't saying much given that Long's (which isn't even close to being the highest peak in Colorado) is more than twice as high as the highest of these Eastern peaks. Also, in my most ambitious hike, in 1997 a friend of mine and I hiked the 93 mile Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park and together we put up this description of the trip.
During college and graduate school, I played a bunch of sports, although I was never that good at any of them. My favorite is probably Volleyball but I also enjoy Soccer, Football, and a few other sports. I also love the water and almost anything to do with it, including swimming, canoeing and sea kayaking.
I do a bunch of cooking and, in particular, baking (breads, deserts). You can check out the Kitchen for general recipes or my own set of Recipes, all of which I highly recommend. As of late, I have gotten more into cooking and upgrading all my kitchen gear. I particularly recommend the magazine Cook's Illustrated and accompanying PBS TV program America's Test Kitchen. I also like Alton Brown's show Good Eats.
Limiting my time for other things is the fact that I also do quite a lot of reading, especially of science fiction and fantasy although I am trying to broaden this more now. In the past, when I had a lot of free time, I could read a book a day. I have for some odd reason started trying to keep a list of every book I have ever read and the list in 2004 was around 1300. Try out the Library for some links to reading materials. The list of high quality online Books is already quite amazing and ever-increasing.
Much of it is really a waste of time but I also watch a fair amount of TV and see most major movies eventually (TiVo and Netflix have respectively made these much nicer and I highly recommend both). The Audio/Visual Gallery serves as an excellent source for a lot of this material and for links to my musical favorites. I very much enjoy theatrical productions with a special interest in Shakespeare, Brecht, and the ancient Greek playwrights. I actually get to very few unfortunately, but really enjoy the few productions I do manage to see. I particularly recommend the wonderful Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which I have attended several times and where the productions are all reliably excellent.
A favorite of mine that doesn't really fit elsewhere is the photography of naturalist Ansel Adams. The vast majority of his work is in black and white and yet somehow he still manages to capture beauty that is not readily visible even when you are actually there. I have most of his non-technical books. Adams was not only a great photographer but also spent amazing amounts of energy working to preserve the natural wonders that remain in this country.
Finally, I have something of a passion for quotations. Please look at a list of Quotations that are meaningful to me. If you have any comments regarding my selections please send me email as I'd love to hear from you. There is also a list of Favorites of mine covering books, authors, movies and games. Also available are a set of humorous Fortunes from the 'fortune' program, Secondary Quotations, and Quotes from Babylon 5.
Please send me EMAIL if you have any comments on or suggestions for these pages or if you just want to say hi or talk.