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About me

I was born in 1974 and grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. Science and teaching runs in my family: my father is a theoretical plasma physicist at the Naval Research Lab in D.C. and my mother teaches at Sidwell Friends School (attended by Sasha and Malia Obama and previously attended by Chelsea Clinton); my grandfather worked with Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of the first television system, and was in posession of the 2nd picture tube made (hand-blown by him) until donating it to the Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia.

 

UNIVERSITY LIFE
I attended the College of William and Mary in Virginia where I developed interests in physics, kayaking, rock climbing, and painting, and I played lead guitar in a local rock band called "Pictures of Larry". I graduated from W&M in 1996 with my BS in physics and then moved west to Boulder, Colorado. I entered the graduate program for physics at the University of Colorado and studied liquid crystals under Prof. Noel Clark (recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences). I travelled around the state bringing science shows on electricity, magnetism and liquid crystals to K-12 classrooms and I was lucky enough to meet my wife, Lori, while presenting a science show to students in her classroom. Outdoor sports are a way of life in Boulder and I spent much of my free time kayaking, backpacking, snowboarding, telemarking and rock climbing in the Rocky Mountains with Lori. I became interested in electronic music and assembled a home studio where I continue to record music based on my effects-laden guitars, my collection of percussion instruments, synthesized and sampled instruments, vocals and Lori's flute. You can check out some of these tunes in the Music link. I graduated in 2003 with my Ph.D. in condensed matter physics and set my sights for California.

CALIFORNIA
I published papers that were put on the covers of "Science" and "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" through collaborations done with UC Santa Barbara professor Joe Zasadzinski. This connection landed me a postdoc with him at UCSB where I switched fields to biophysics, studying the physics of biological membranes. On December 18, 2005, my daughter Skye was born in Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara. She is ridiculously cute and keeps Lori and I very busy. I picked up surfing my first month of life in California and have been stoked ever since. In the fall of 2005, I sent applications for faculty positions to 40 different universities and got interviews at several of them. When I got an offer at Cal Poly I dropped all the other interviews and accepted. Cal Poly was my first choice and I've been lucky enough to be here ever since! On July 18, 2007, my son, Nash, was born at French Hospital in San Luis Obispo. He was born big and happy and has remained that way since then. My kids are now playing music with my wife and me, and we're starting them boogie-boarding in the waves of Morro Bay. Physics is to follow...
 


 

My CV
Resume of my professional experiences