Born and raised in Queens, New York, I’ve always loved nature but experienced it mostly from an urban perspective. After moving to Colorado for a research position, I was determined to go hiking and/or camping every weekend. Even though my tent sometimes looked like it was pitched by an amoeba with a broken arm, I get to enjoy some quality time with Momma Nature.

A city boy’s tent — a bit floppy but it sure rocks

When I’m not doing research, I often like to watch or make cartoons. Mostly classic cartoons, by which I mean really old cartoons, like Rocky and Bullwinkle. It was actually my ambition to be an animator that led to my current research: visual arts → visualization → user interface → user experience → human interaction. I had studied classical animation at NYU and RISD even as I pursued physics and computer science at Cornell and Brown.

An animated short I did about a squirrel I had found

I enjoy fiddling around with whatever musical instrument I can get my hands on. Sometimes, I may subject others to whatever it is I’m able to belt out, as well. I listen to most types of music but generally dance to the more esoteric stuff, like goth and Lindy Hop.

Fronting a goth band in the Lower East Side in Manhattan.

I also like playing (American) football and I think I’d also enjoy (the rest of the world) football…but I never really got into controlling a ball with my feet. I have done a bit of sailing and (saber) fencing but they aren’t things that happen spontaneously. I’m a believer that the world is to be experienced as much as possible and have wandered through 75 countries often with very little plans in place.

Busking in front of l’Opéra in Paris