I'm always a bit perplexed when asked to reflect on my story; I scratch my head and wonder how I ended up where I ended up. My life began in what was then a third-world country transitioning to an industrialized/developed country: Taiwan in the 1960s/70s/80s. I was the youngest of 4 kids; my parents had been sent to Taiwan as missionary church planters from Finland, so I always felt like an outsider: one of a small fraction of Christians, and one of a few dozen Finns in a country of 20+ million.
I spent most of my formative years attending a boarding school based on the U.S. system, with a few hundred mostly American schoolmates, all of us outsiders in Taiwan, with me an outsider amongst outsiders.
After high school, I came to the U.S. for college, met my wife of now 31 years, and ended up staying for grad school, getting a pretty cool job at a tech company, bouncing back to grad school, working on some more cool projects at the same company, and finally landing in a faculty position teaching and researching computer design at UW-Madison.
All those years I struggled with imposter syndrome, continually striving to prove myself professionally and personally. Twenty-four years later, to my amazement, I am still at UW-Madison, and I finally feel like I'm no longer an outsider or an imposter. I have a wonderful, loving, extended family, grown children of my own, a fantastic church that is on fire for evangelism (you've seen it--the little white church on the hill--if you've driven past Lake Mills on I-94), great spiritual leaders and mentors, and probably the best job I could imagine ever having.
How did this all happen? God has been good to me. Very good. I strive to do my best in response to His unconditional grace and goodness by living my life in a way that furthers His kingdom and spreads the good news!
"Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love..." Joel 2:13
reading, jogging, motorcycling
Best advice I ever received
If asked to do something six months from now, answer as if you are being asked to do it next week. You won't be any less busy in six months. By Prof. Mark Hill (paraphrased).
In college I drove
A beater with vinyl seats and no A/C
If I weren't a professor, I would
Anything by Anne Tyler. If forced to choose: Saint Maybe
Heist movies. "Logan Lucky" and "Hell or High Water" are two relatively recent exemplars.
My latest accomplishment
Saddle Sore 1000 in June 2022? 🙂 https://ironbutt.com/themerides/ssseries/
Broadly, computer architecture. Specifically, the design of high-performance, low-power, and reliable processor cores; networks-on-chip for many-core processors; and fundamentally new, biologically-inspired models of computation.
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