I was born in Berkeley, Calfironia. My parents were graduate students. When
I was four, my parents grew disillusioned with the materialism of
their field (Economics), dropped out, moved up north to the woods and
continued spiritual searching. After a little Hinduism, Buddhism and
Taoism, they ended up Christians. Jesus was the last way they were
going to investigate, but He came to find them (and me) through the
I really appreciated the sincerity and seriousness of the Jesus Movement,
those hippies who decided to follow Jesus. If the maker of the universe
really loved us puny humans and wanted to save us,
it should be the most important fact of our existence. We all have a
part to play in this greatest story ever told.
Even as a young child, I wanted to know and understand everything. I read
the Bible multiple times, read theology, and learned apologetics.
Learning came naturally, but the much harder task was discipleship.
My own character was (and to a large extent remains) arrogant,
impatient, and selfish. God has been working on me using other people.
Rather than flee uncomfortable situations, I had to learn to stay,
to open myself to criticism, correction and (yes) love.
As a professor, I want my students to learn to love learning.
Computer Science is a great field for this. We teach problem
solving. We set problems for the students so that they can try out
and improve their skills. Students often want the answers to the
problems, but most understand that the answers are not what is
important but rather the skills to come up with the answers.
Similarly in life, good character shows itself in good actions, but
every situation is different. It will not be enough to know the
answers to some limited set of dilemmas. Rather one needs God's
guidance to learn to think of everything from the divine perspective.
cooking, fermenting, enjoying outdoors
Fantasy dinner guests
N.T. Wright; Madeleine Albright; James K. Smith
Best advice I ever received
accept a job in a city where my wife also had an offer.
My undergrad alma mater
University of California, Davis
My worst subject in school
If I weren't a professor, I would
Deed of Paksenarrion (fantasy) -- Elizabeth Moon; 'Til We Have Faces (myth) -- C.S. Lewis; The Gospel in a Pluralist Society (theology) -- Lesslie Newbigin
Nobody knows I
was on my high school basketball team
My latest accomplishment
Graduating another PhD student.
Extending the dependently-typed lambda calculus with variable-arity functions
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