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I was born near St. Louis, then lived in Connecticut and Chicago before ending up in Houston for middle school and high school. Next fall, I'll be moving to Cambridge to start studying at MIT (I haven't decided what yet, but I'm leaning towards something related to math).

I first started programming in fifth grade, when for whatever reason I decided to get a Java book from the bookstore. This inadvertently ended up becoming the origin of one of my favorite hobbies. I mostly work with C and Ruby now, but I enjoy experimenting with new languages like Rust, Haskell, and x86 assembly (which I initially started learning as a joke). I also enjoy code golf, where the goal is to solve a problem in the fewest bytes of source code possible -- I'm a moderator on the Stack Exchange site about it.

Linguistics is another area I'm interested in, which started with the constructed language Lojban, of all things. I still like reading about and occasionally trying to make/learn conlangs, mostly toki pona, but I also spend a lot of time clicking through Wikipedia articles about various linguistics topics. I've gone to the IOL twice, which is an incredible event where you get to travel to foreign countries to sit in a room solving puzzles for hours (and meet hundreds of other people who are crazy enough to want to do the same thing).

I play the piano and the viola, although I'm not particularly good at either. I play piano as a hobby, mostly to be able to recreate songs I like, and also because it's just about the most useful instrument for music theory. Some of my favorite pieces I've performed in the viola section of an orchestra are Redline Tango by John Mackey and Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony.

My favorite genre of books is science fiction and fantasy. Among them, I especially like Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide series, Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, and A Fire Upon the Deep and its sequel A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge (although I haven't gotten around to reading the prequel yet).

Other things I do (poorly) for fun are play Diplomacy and chess variants (especially atomic, where every time a capture takes place, all pieces except pawns in a 1-square radius explode).