When I was younger I wanted to understand Quantum Mechanics, so I went to M.I.T. and got a Ph. D. in Theoretical Physics. For a while I did research at places like Purdue University and I.B.M. Corp., then I taught at Brandeis University for a year as an Assistant Professor. At that point, I realized that academic life was not for me; there was too much emphasis on getting government grants and not enough on simply discovering the truth.
So, at the age of 30 I switched course and took a job with Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, Mich. In many ways, this was a dream job: I could still do research if I wanted, but I had a chance to look at "real life" problems that had an impact on today's world, like for example designing very high efficiency Diesel engines without polluting the environment, using advanced computer-based methods for designing and manufacturing the engines.
As it turns out, Ford was a rather bureaucratic company even though in my opinion they treat their employees very well. So, I decided to leave and do something more exciting. Since I had learned a lot about using computers to automate industrial problems, I became a consultant in computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) and joined a consulting firm in Berkeley, California. This was an exciting time, and I got to meet a lot of really interesting people, but I also discovered that I was not a good businessman - I like technical problems too much, and I would always spend time with the engineers instead of talking to their bosses about signing a contract.
I ended up at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, where I have been employed for over 20 years. I love my job there - I get to work on space missions like the Mars Exploration Rovers and trying to discover hidden oceans under the surface of Europa, the most fascinating moon of Jupiter. I would like to complement my work at JPL with some more personal, one-on-one teaching opportunities. Over the years I've raised five kids, four of whom graduated from UC Berkeley; my youngest just entered UCLA. I miss coaching them, and I would love helping a young student the same way I've helped my own kids most of my life.
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