Here's some more detailed information about me, in a question and answer format.
Caucasian male, 5'6'', 140#, brown hair (shaved head), grey eyes.
Tricky questions to answer precisely. "In the Navy" is a good answer to the second. My parents are both from northern Kentucky near Cincinnati, and I was born in Covington, Kentucky. Since my father was in the Navy at the time, I only spent a week there before being spirited off. Up until the end of elementary school I lived in Virginia Beach, VA, Patuxent River, MD, Middletown, RI, Monterey, CA, San Diego, CA, and Lancaster, CA. At that point (1982) my father left the Navy to work at NASA DFRC at Edwards AFB, but I kept moving; from 1983-1987 I lived with my father's parents while attending high school in northern Kentucky, from 1987-1992 I lived in Pasadena, CA while an undergrad, and now I live in Bryan/College Station, TX as a grad student.
Generally, though, when people ask me where I'm from I say "Southern California", because that's where my family lives now and that's the place I've liked the most out of all the places I've lived.
Up to 6th grade I was educated various public elementary schools. At that point I skipped junior high and entered the Covington Latin School, a small Catholic high school for boys (now coed) offering an accelerated program. (My father and his brothers also attended it, thus the living-with-grandparents period referred to above.) For college I attended Caltech in Pasadena, CA and got a B.S. in "Engineering and Applied Science", where most of my work was in computer science. I am now a computer science Ph.D. student at Texas A&M University (since I knew I wanted a Ph. D. I decided to skip the whole M.S. thing).
The areas of CS that interest me the most are computer-human interaction, and formal aspects of computing (automata, formal languages, computability, algorithm analysis, etc.). I have done all of my work in the first area, and within that area my interest is in natural language processing and hypertext/hypermedia systems. My Ph.D. dissertation work will involve investigating programming the dynamic aspects of a process-oriented, open, and distributed hypermedia architecture, in the course of which I plan to develop a language/environment to do this programming. I haven't done any work related to my theory interests but I have an intellectual affinity for that area.
As far as what I actually do to get paid, I'm currently participating in an interdisciplinary project involving the lab I work in (the Center for the Study of Digital Libraries) and a group of botanists affiliated with the biology and rangeland ecology departments. The project is specifically targeted towards providing online access to the contents of one of the range science herbaria (a collection of lots of preserved samples of different kinds of grass, mostly). However, my work has all involved producing Web resources of a botanical nature (for example, dynamically-generated maps of North America, Texas, etc., showing the distributions of various plant groups).
Read a lot, mostly science fiction, linguistics, leftist politics, and feminist writing. Play "traditional" card games (i.e. not collectible card games) and historical board wargames. Cook and eat south, southeast, and east Asian food. Participate in the Internet in ways relating to science fiction and board games. Watch TV (especially the PBS NewsHour and Babylon 5). Play ultimate frisbee and badminton. Watch movies (especially science fiction and foreign movies).
Things I would like to do include rollerblading, taking yoga or "soft" martial arts classes (like T'ai Ch'i or Aikido), playing in a chamber music group (I play the flute), learning lots of foreign languages, and meeting more people who share my interests and outlook.
For the former, quasi-leftist and crypto-socialist. I find the writings of Noam Chomsky very lucid and appealing. For the latter, ex-Catholic and quasi-Buddhist. I have few, if any, spiritual impulses, but I find reading about odd religions (for example, the Rajneesh movement) fascinating, and I do some Zen/yoga "sitting meditation" every day.
I use lots of "big words". I tend to restrict my diet to "Asian" cuisines. I don't drink caffeine, and I have never used nor plan to use alcohol or recreational drugs. I have a shaved head. I wear black clothes and mirrored sunglasses a lot. I plan to never have children, and have little patience for them as well as most household pets and domesticated animals. I don't drive or have a car (or a driver's license, for that matter), and don't have any motivation to do so.
Once I finish getting my degree I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do. One thing is certain - I want to get out of rural Texas, where I am now. I would like to move back to California if possible, or any generally dynamic and progressive urban area. I would like to keep doing computer science research, but it's getting tough to do that in academia, what with hundreds of Ph.D.s applying for every faculty position. Hence, I may have to sell my soul to some corporation. I very much want to get involved in a local community of people who share my interests and outlook. I also want to have a long-term relationship with an attractive, intelligent woman who shares my interests and who doesn't mind that I don't want to have children.