I was born to Brian and Ellen Lindhurst on Thursday, September 12, 1968 in North Tonawanda, New York (a suburb of Buffalo, about a half hour drive from Niagara Falls). My parents still live in the Town of Tonawanda in the house they bought when I was 1 or 2 years old. I had a happy childhood.
From kindergarten until 5th grade I attended Glendale Elementary School, which is one block from the house I grew up in. Starting in 6th grade I attended Calasanctius, a private school for gifted students started by a Piarist priest. I got a great education there and would recommend it, except that the school closed around 1992 due to financial difficulties. There was some effort to start another elementary or preschool by former teachers; I don't know what became of that.
As I said above, I went to Calasanctius from 6th grade until the end of high school. One of the great features of the school was the annual trips. For 1-4 weeks (depending on age level), we piled into a bus the school owned and got to see the U.S. We camped in tents, cooked over Coleman stoves, and sometimes drove for 30 hours straight. On those field trips, I got to visit almost every state in the U.S. and many of the National Parks and large cities and learned a lot.
My graduating class size (in 1986) was 15. I was at the head of the class, but didn't speak at graduation. The graduation speaker was selected by popular vote of the class, and I wasn't interested.
In high school, I was accepted early at Princeton University and entered (and graduated) with the class of 1990. I lived in Butler College my freshman and sophomore years, first with Mark Jackman (who I still keep in touch with), then with Todd Sullivan and next to Cathy Mulford (they had lived downstairs from me my freshman year).
Junior and senior years I was a member of Quadrangle club, one of the eating clubs there.
All four years I was active in Infinity, Ltd., the Princeton Science Fiction Society. The club still exists, but I think the Infinity alumni are more active than the undergraduate members. We occasionally showed big-screen movies to raise money. They were usually SF movies, but we had our annual Bugs Bunny festival (with "What's Opera, Doc" as the finale). Interestingly, our biggest hit was "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."
At Princeton I majored in mathematics and took lots of computer science and philosophy courses. I think the most logical outlook is Descartes' doubting everything: we can't prove that anything exists (I haven't seen any convincing logical proof that the world exists, but I'm sure it does; that's probably the difference between faith and reason).
During my senior year at Princeton, I was faced with the harrowing prospect of graduating and entering the real world. I couldn't handle that, so I applied to graduate schools and decided to attend the University of Wisconsin. I moved to Madison in August, 1990 to go to graduate school in Mathematics.
My first year in grad school I had a WARF (Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation) fellowship and took lots of courses. After that, I had to work for a living as a TA (Teaching Assistant). I taught from 1991 to 1996, when I got a research assistantship.
One of the Ph.D. requirements is a minor. Because of my interest in computers, I decided to minor in Computer Science. After taking the required 4 CS courses, I discovered that I could earn a Master's degree by taking 4 more graduate-level courses, so I did. I received my M.S. in Computer Science in May of 1995.
In 1994, I began working with my major professor, Eric Bach. I have been studying algorithms for various number-theoretic problems, most recently finding square roots in finite fields. I became a dissertator in August, 1995, defended my dissertation on June 9, 1997, and will officially receive my degree in August 1997.
Soon after arriving in Madison, I joined the Hoofer Outing Club, a group that goes on all sorts of outdoor trips. Hoofers taught me to cross country ski, culminating in skiing the Birkebeiner (a 55 km race held in northern Wisconsin). I think I took about 7 hours to ski that distance.
While my parents were helping me move into my first apartment in Madison in 1990, my mother found the Lutheran Campus Center (and before you ask, I'll tell you that the group is not one of those highly conservative fundamentalist groups that's always in the news; it's quite liberal and forgiving). I've met many good friends there, including my wife, Lynne Larock.
Lynne and I met in the Fall of 1993 while she was working on a Master's in English, and started dating in March, 1994. Lynne graduated that August and moved back to Houston, where she had gone to Rice University for her Bachelor's, and found a job. We maintained a long distance relationship bolstered by visits about every three months until she quit her Houston job and moved back to Madison in August, 1996. Then she got a much better job at Epic Systems, a provider of software to very large outpatient clinics. On Sunday, May 18, 1997 I proposed to her, she accepted, and now we're married! The wedding was in Davis, California (her hometown), on December 27, 1997.
I started to use a Dvorak key layout in May, 1996. This page (as were most of my Web pages) was typed using the Dvorak layout. I'm as fast or even faster on Dvorak as I was on qwerty, and now I'm touch typing completely (in the process of learning Dvorak, I also learned to touch type the numbers and symbols).
During the first part of 1997, I dropped other activities to devote more time to writing my dissertation. However, I kept on skiing and skied in the Mora Vasaloppet in February. I skied the 42 km classic ski race, and enjoyed it despite skiing for 5 hours, 15 minutes, and 17 seconds. How else can you spend so much time outdoors on a beautifully sunny winter day?
The most important thing to happen was getting married to Lynne. The first 17 months of our marriage have been great, and I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life with the wonderful person I married (she appreciates my silly jokes!)
In August 1997, the math department in Madison was searching for teachers to teach algebra and trigonometry, so I accepted a position teaching algebra. I'd taught the course as a TA, and teaching as an FA (Faculty Assistant) was no different.
When the Fall semester ended, I looked for a job elsewhere and found one at Parametric Technology Corporation in Waltham, MA (about 8 miles outside of Boston). I moved to Waltham and started work in April, 1998; Lynne finished projects at her job and also finished packing, then joined me in May. It's hard to believe we've lived in Massachusetts for more than a year now!
Important: By birth, I am a New Yorker; Lynne is a Californian. Now we live in Massachusetts but WHAT ARE WE? We are saying, "Massachuters" for lack of a better term. Please, if you know what's correct, send mail and set us straight!
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