“The Life of Brian” – So Far…
At 20, eager to pursue is dream, Brian, such as many youth with ambitions dreams, moved to Los Angeles, California though not in search of big-screen fame. As any young man might, especially one from a place with a name such as Waukesha, he packed up his car and in January, 2000 the adventure began. Perhaps I shouldn’t say that the adventure began then as I suppose it is Brian’s mindset that drove him to that point; nothing is without reason. That story however will be saved for another time; suffice it to say that every effect has a cause and although each cause does not have a deterministic effect, the causes effect is based on a choice.
Shortly after arrival to the City of Angels, his car was stolen and he was left homeless. Now this might seem ominous to some, a dire situation calling for a return to safety, but everything is based on perspective; when you have little to lose, there is more to gain. Refusing to give up on his dream, he found shelter at a Christian men’s home and subsequently took a volunteering position at a local church. An endeavor of over two years, he kept busy helping in food giveaways while taking physics classes at the local city college.
I pause here as a prelude to something great. Before I continue however I take the time to reflect on my own grandiose dreams. Perhaps it is because I know the rest of Brian’s story, or maybe it is a bit of religious awe from my own memories with the church. I think though that much of it is because I, like many of the readers, don’t know why anything really happens; I myself am full of ontological questions. I however am also a dreamer, an idealist, and love a good tale.
Now, If I just told you that Brian was given a grant for a summer fellowship at Caltech, this might not seem a big deal – though it happening while at a church might make it more interesting, especially due to the continual war between the Church and Science. Caltech however was the culmination of his dream, it was the original reason for the move years prior. Even more strange however is that, three years prior to the move, Caltech was picked out of a rather large book of colleges after a voice inside told him that was where he was supposed to go. Musica Universalis. Though he didn’t do a project at Caltech until the subsequent summer of 2004, he spent most of the next five years doing undergraduate work at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as well as, in 2006 a DAAD fellowship at Technische Universität Berlin.
The story surely does not end there. Before proceeding however it should be noted that due to underlying physical phenomena, particularly of neg-entropy as seen in of statistical mechanics, that it is in the best interest of dissipative systems such as Brian to perturb far from his equilibrium state. In doing so, as seen in the principle of “order from noise”, the larger perturbations (noise) that affects a system, the more quickly it will enter an attractor and reduce its internal entropy; thus resulting in `order’. This effect is more commonly known as getting out of one’s `comfort zone’ and it is the kind of behavior was exhibited by Brian in his move to L.A. – the fluctuations of losing his possessions resulted in the increase of ordered information (knowledge). This effect brings us to; the ALGANT and `Sri Lanka Experience’.
After obtaining his undergraduate degree from Cal Poly Pomona in 2011, Brian wasn’t sure which field to continue his studies in. Reasonably he decided that Mathematics would aid him in any field he was considering, furthermore that traveling the world was an awesome idea! The following fall he started the European ALGANT program. After studying in Italy and Holland, Brian left for CMI (Chennai India); on arrival however he was asked to leave due to visa problems. What does one do when he is asked to leave a country in which budgeting will not allow the return to? Answer: ask to fly to the nearest country with on-arrival visa’s and hitch a ride in to town. After a month in Sri Lanka he returned to India and despite the late arrival, he finished the semester.
Now nothing in life is free.. Love you say? I should mention that “Love” is currently under heavy scrutiny by the scientific community as to whether it is indeed free at the quantum level. Brian’s Indian tour had cost him Leiden. Not only was Brian the first to go to the long time partner in India, it unprecedented in ALGANTS history for a master student to go to three institutions as opposed to two and subsequently split an academic year to do so. That being said, it was unknown that the institutions had overlapping semesters. Together with his slow start in Italy in transitioning from Computer Science to Pure Mathematics, Brian was left quite behind in credits.
To he that asks.. what is the point in hardships and suffering? I would say: so that you can learn to finish what you start – and also of course to reduce one’s internal entropy. This might be one point anyway, at least for Brian; fortunately he had some prior experience in derailments. Brian returned to the US, immediately found work, saved up and a year later he was back in Italy where he eventually became an ALGANT Master!
Brian returned to the US in December 2015 where he made his way back to southern California. However after several months and realizing that he needed to pursue his discoveries found during his latter time in Italy, he moved back to Wisconsin where he resided for two years. In July 2018 Brian once again packed up and drove to California in the Silicon Valley area where he currently works as a Computational Neuroscientist; a research associate in a lab part of Palo Alto University. Here he hopes to develop machine learning algorithms to discover causal connections between regions of the Brain particular to anxiety and depression. Having struggled with the former ailment he very much hopes to help in discovering treatments. He continues his endeavor of building the tools he believes are needed to model the “Mind”, diverging every so often to develop something he believes might be of use to people. Actually, you can see some of his current projects [here], and the recent release of a paper he believes might find a use in reducing computational time for all computers, both classically and quantum [here].
Like everyone – Yes I know I’m projecting here, but assuming nonsolipsism – otherwise what’s the point in writing this(?), there are other aspects to “The Life of Brian”. He has been a vegetarian for over 11 years, Hitchhiked solo through southern France/Northern Italy. Plays a ‘Guitalele’, has an interest in and once in a while trades cryptocurrencies. He also likes to cook shockingly good but bizarre food dishes.