My Interests

This page lists all the things that I spend my time doing when I'm not working. Usually this time is spent reading, surfing the web, cooking, playing games, programming, or watching something.


I enjoy cooking often. You can find my recipe list here.


I read a lot of books, most fantasy and sci-fi. My favorite authors, linking to my favorite book they wrote, are:

Less Wrong - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

The Leviathan Chronicles - Technically not a book, but easily as good as one. Also free.

Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis - Wrote the Death Gate Cycle. They've written a lot of other works but of the ones I've read the Death Gate Cycle is the only one that stands out.

Jacqueline Carey - Wrote Kushiel's Dart and subsequent series.

Brandon Sanderson - Wrote the Mistborn series and The Way of Kings.

Peter V. Brett - Wrote the Demon Cycle.

Iain M. Banks - Wrote a series of books set in the Culture universe (my favorites being Look to Windward and Excession).

Brent Weeks - Wrote the Black Prism, although I didn't like the 2nd book as much as the 1st, so I'm not sure how I currently feel about the series.

Frank Herbert - Dune

Terry Goodkind - The Sword of Truth

George R. R. Martin - Song of Fire and Ice

Robert Jordan - Wheel of Time

J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter

Rubik's Cube

I have an awful lot of Rubik's Cubes that I have acquired from a wide number of sources (mostly career fairs) and teach people whenever I find someone willing to learn. This has happened less often in grad school but I taught a lot of people in high school and college. It's also fun to make patterns. I keep one on my desk and scramble and solve it when the mood strikes me. It's also great for plane trips to pass the time.

Board Games

I played a lot of board games in high school and when I was an undergraduate at Caltech. At Stanford I sometimes play with the Stanford Gaming Society or with my friends when they come to visit. I would like to find more games I enjoy, recently I have been playing a lot of Dominion.

Word Games

When driving or walking long distances, waiting for things to cook, or when otherwise unable to play board and card games, there are a bunch of word games I've played over the years. The ones that have stuck around are:




Card Games

My two favorite "standard" card games are:

Peanuts - This game is great with a lot of people (~8) but I've had fun with any number of players. It's really fast to learn and not too stressful to play. It can also be a good team game.

The Great Dalmuti - An excellent strategy card game that I played a lot of in high school. Games play really fast and you can make a Dalmuti deck out of normal playing cards.

I play a lot of Magic: The Gathering. It's a pretty complex trading card game but it's really fun to make decks that combine cards in amusing and powerful ways. I mostly play large multiplayer games and tend not to have good single player decks. The design process for Magic is also extremely interesting and is a unique entity in the history of game design.

Role-playing Games (table top)

At The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics I had a lot of fun played a wide variety of RPG's. I used to just play but my senior year I GMed a few games. I like GMing good games but it can be a real drain to organize and prepare sometimes. The games I have played over the years are:

Mage: The Ascension - Easily my favorite magic system. It's a really imaginative game with infinite potential. Unfortunately no one can ever fully realize that potential. But it's there, really. I've GMed several games of Mage.

Legend of the Five Rings - Cool samurai RPG. Really balanced system, very fun world to play in. I've only ever known one GM but it's been one of my best experiences as a player.

Feng Shui - Very free-form, light hearted, action heavy game.

Dungeon's and Dragons - The classic game. I never really played it until my undergrad at Caltech. The countless layers of rules can be oppressive but fun to navigate sometimes.


I don't like all Anime, but there is a lot that I really enjoy. Usually I watch at least partially serious plot-driven Anime. My favorites:

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Death Note


Now and Then, Here and There


TV Series

I didn't watch too much TV in high school. Later in college I had a lot of free time so I caught up on what I'd been missing. My favorite series:


The 4400

Stargate SG-1

Stargate Atlantis

Battlestar Galactica


Dune (sci-fi miniseries)



I spend a lot of my free time programming. The projects page talks about most of my recreational programming projects.