10 Linwood St. #304 / Malden MA 02148 / (617) 335-1321
mröb27 (at) gmáił.com (remove diacritics)
- to explore and expand boundaries through efficient and high-performance algorithms
- to invent, hybridize and build
- to serve the larger community through writing and teaching of broad intellectual subject matter
- to collaborate with artists of many types to create art that produces joy
I'd like to give you a different type of description of who I am, to put my accomplishments into a 3-dimensional picture. You'll get to know me better this way.
- I tenaciously pursue long-term projects: I began my reaction-diffusion project in 1994, kept coming back to it as computers improved, until in 2009 I discovered exotic patterns worth publishing. I gave a talk on this to Rutgers' mathematics department in 2010; my work on this continues
- I have an all-consuming passion for numbers, and very large numbers. I seek ways to explore their beauty and mystery, and evangelize them to others. Much of my website is devoted to this, and software projects have come out of this: my RIES program (which resulted in my mention in xkcd) finds formulas/equations in one variable given its root (solution), with results ranked both by closeness of match and increasing formula complexity. Within a week of the xkcd mention I created PHP/SQL backend so people would use RIES on their phones. Another example of my exploration of numbers is my mcsfind program, which is like RIES for integer sequences
- I've worked with amazing people. Neil Sloane is a world-renowned applied mathematician; I began corresponding with him about 25 years ago, and my contributions to his books and to OEIS (the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, a database highly used by mathematicians) led to my becoming a board member of OEIS
- I am an inventor and engineer. I made the Hypercalc large-numbers calculator for PalmOS in 1994 and eventually translated it into Perl. After seeing Blue Man Group I designed and built my own version of their PVC organ. I have created several partial and complete orrery designs from LEGO, an example of constrained design
- I love building and analyzing puzzles. I love Rubik's Cube type puzzles, built a couple of my own, and wrote software to find algorithms for their solution. Based on "2048" I created Q04B, my idea for a much more beautiful and engaging game with an elegant user interface
- I love the community of creative, passionate and like-minded artists and scientists. My recent "home online" has been a forum thread for xkcd, where I have posted original works: comics, stories, poetry, recorded songs, software and hybrid works
- RIES (inverse equation-solver; mentioned in xkcd in 2012; standalone C and server with backend in PHP/SQL)
- PDE4 reaction-diffusion simulator, website to exhibit results; screensaver; I published a paper and gave a talk to Rutgers' mathematical physics department in 2010.
- Sloandora, a system for user-guided discovery in the OEIS integer sequences database, 2009.
- The MCS project, including the mcsfind program, finds the simplest formula matching a given set of small integers.
- My own web pages are created in RHTF, a markup language of my own design that is "embarassingly readable" and more powerful than alternatives such as Markdown, Wikitext, BoostBook, etc.
- Contributions to several open-source projects: SheepShaver, xapple2 (an Apple II emulator), Golly (a cellular automata simulator), and others.
Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep (Swampscott, MA), 2006-2007.
Maintenance and repair of heating systems in homes and businesses
Filene's Department Stores, (now part of Macy's) (Hanover MA) 2003-2005.
Sales associate, later specializing in consumer electronics
Independent Research, 2002 - Present.
See extensive list of projects above
GCC Printers (Bedford MA), (formerly "GCC Technologies", Waltham MA) 1997 - 2002, Software Engineer
PostScript/PCL interpreter on RISC-based embedded operating system
PrePRESS Solutions (Billerica MA), 1996 - 1997, Software Engineer
High-end PostScript interpreter driving an imagesetter
Older independent open-source work, 1991 - 1996, Software Engineer
Several applications for Palm and Newton handheld PDA's; automatic mail-handling software for text pagers; custom email system based on open-source UUCP. Software development and technical writing for MacTech and PIE (Newton PDA) magazines
VideoGuide (Bedford MA), 1993 — 1996, Software Engineer
(later known as Guide Plus, part of Gemstar, then bought by Macrovision) This was a set-top program guide device. My code recognized and generated infrared remote-control signals; I also developed novel algorithms to quickly manipulate the large program database in memory with very low memory overhead (C and 68000 assembly in embedded OS and custom hardware platform)
General Computer Company (Cambridge MA), (later "General Computer Corportation" and "GCC Technologies", Waltham MA), 1987 — 1993, Software Engineer
Appletalk packet networking protocol and several other smaller modules for a laser printer operating system; drivers and modules for hard drives, printers, etc. on Mac OS. (C, 680x0 assembly, AMD 29000 assembly)