I'm currently a software engineer at Parametric Technology, working near Sacramento, California.
Before starting work as a programmer, I earned a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin--Madison. I'm interested in number theory and computation. For example, how do you tell if a 100-digit number is prime? Computational number theory also leads into cryptography. It's easy to multiply two large numbers together, but generally difficult to factor a large number. This asymmetry fascinates me and provides the basis for a popular way of sending secret messages (the RSA public-key cryptosystem).
My dissertation analyzes and generalizes algorithms for computing roots of certain equations (mainly square roots of integers mod p). In the analysis, I discovered some unexpected behavior when adding up the digits of certain numbers. Exploration of this puzzle led to some interesting results concerning the sums of digits of numbers in arithmetic progressions (chapter 4 of my dissertation).
As an admitted computer geek, I'm fascinated by getting a computer to solve an interesting problem and by the challenge of making computers easy to use. My implementation of Sokoban for the Macintosh shows this care: I've kept the user interface simple, but added powerful features that let the computer do the tedious work while leaving the player free to concentrate on the interesting aspects of the game.
Another fun program I wrote is Billionth Birthday. Did you ever wonder when you would be 1000000000 seconds old? Now you can find out.
For more information about me, look at
My list of papers (including my dissertation)
Last modified: July 25, 2002.Scott Lindhurst, ScottL@alumni.princeton.edu