I don't like my profile name but OkCupid won't let me change it. My name is Ethan, that is what I most prefer to be called.
I have spent most of my life in the Northeast, primarily NY. I worked in the publishing and finance industry for a number of years in New York City. This included being one of the original employees of a successful startup company. I decided to come back to school to pursue a PhD in computer science at UCLA, focusing on heuristic search, a subfield of artificial intelligence. I like to think I'm not too much an egghead even though the circumstansial evidence might suggest otherwise.
When I'm not working, I like to dance (swing,salsa) (but don't ask me to dance without a partner unless you want a good laugh). I had played the drums for most of my life but I seem to be on hiatus for the past few years. Hopefully one day I will get back to that. Athletically I run, workout, cycle, play softball, tennis, golf, soccer and other sports. Like everyone else, I enjoy travel. While I haven't done so in a while, I enjoy camping. I once went on a two month bicycle trip and camped the whole way.
In general, I tend to be someone you can rely on. I like to help the people I am close to when possible, whether it be sharing wisdom, with grunt work or in many other ways. People tend to find me somewhat interesting, I like to think my mind has some decent thoughts inside of it. I can be impatient, stubborn and argumentative but continue to try to curb this behavior. Hopefully the good outweighs the bad.
I am trustworthy, caring, and active
I am currently in my third year. The first year and a half were quite trying and I had a lot of doubt both with my abilities and the wisdom of going back to school. At this point, I have become quite engaged in my work and find myself more excited with what I am studying than anything I have done professionally since I was an undergraduate. That being said, I make a strong point to not let it consume me so I have plenty of time for other things.
Over the past year and a half, I have learned to live for today more than I was able to in the past. At my core, I still think in the long term but I am learning to enjoy the journey as well as the goal, or at least focus on the journey. It is quite daunting to imagine being so intimately attached to computers for the rest of my life. I like to tell myself stories about how computer science is a theoretical field focused on solving interesting problems organizing knowledge, understanding the philosophy of uncertainty and subtlety of thought. We all need to sleep at night.
The last fiction book I completed was Samedi the Deafness (written by the same friend). In the past, I have enjoyed among many others, The Woman in the Dunes, The Stranger, Candide, To Kill a Mockingbird, Patriotism, and The Bell Jar.
movies: It's a little embarrassing to admit but my favorite movie is "A Few Good Men", I can never get enough of it. I'm also partial to Donnie Darko, American Beauty, Forest Gump, Amelie, The Big Lebowski, The Silence of the Lambs, A Serious Man and Empire of the Sun.
music: Belle and Sebastian, Ella and Louis and lots of other big band music, Nirvana, TMBG, The Clash, The Beatles, Pearl Jam, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Paul Simon, Norah Jones, Nathalie Merchant, Sonny Rollins and lots more. My favorite song to play the drums along with (in a previous lifetime sadly) was the Spirit of Radio. My favorite song to dance to given the right partner is Fever sung by Peggy Lee. Given the wrong partner it is a disaster.
food: I am open to lots of cuisines of the world. There are a few things I try my best not to eat. The foods that most often show up in front of me I prefer to avoid are broccoli and shrimp. If I must eat it to impress a girl though, I will. (Oh man, that could come back to bite me in the ass)
2) A lovely lady (of course I am doing without right now but I would prefer not to)
3) Baseball/sports in general (play mostly but watching too)
4) Computer (but boy do I wish I could do without it)
I also spend a lot of time thinking about my work. I have been particularly intrigued by my current work. I find myself dreaming about it as well and sometimes waking up with new ideas. I once lost a padlock and it was missing for months. One day, I dreamed it was in my yellow bag. In the morning, I remembered the dream, looked in the bag and lo and behold, it was there. I hope such a discovery happens for me one day in my field. Yay subconscious!
It is quite refreshing to enjoy my work so much at this point after spending so many years dreading it. Often, when I run, I will intend to listen to music or a podcast but I never turn it on because my mind is racing through ideas instead. I can go for a 1 hour run simply never getting around to turning my ipod on. Recently, I was on a plane and thinking about a particular concept. I had explained something to my advisor using an analogy suggesting it was equivalent. I realized up in that plane weeks after the conversation that the analogy was not equivalent but was instead more powerful. These moments are what make grad school so rewarding.
- time with friends either at someone's house, a restaurant, a bar or some other miscellaneous place.
- Wasting time at home doing nothing too exciting.
- Chatting with friends who I have left in other cities around the country and globe.
- Out Dancing
- These days, playing in my friday softball league.