About Me...

I like to make things: things that are physical and things that are computational. While growing up I thought I wanted to make buildings and houses, so off I went to architecture school in Oregon. But I've also always loved math and science and I soon switched my major to physics.

After getting a BS in physics, I worked for a time at Hughes Research Labs (HRL) in Malibu, which was like working at a candy store for science geeks. But as one of the very few members of the technical staff without a PhD, I thought I should get one myself. So I went to UC Santa Barbara planning to work summers back at HRL.

That was not to be. After my first year of graduate school, when I should have been preparing for my qualifying exams, I instead got involved in a tiny software startup you've never heard of. Eventually, just as we were about to run out of food (we'd already run out of money), the startup got eaten by a much bigger fish that lives in Seattle. So I moved to the great Northwest. My wife, Karin, and I have now landed in Santa Cruz, a great town also on the central coast and close to the action in Silicon Valley.

As I said, I like to make things, both real and virtual. At one point I became very interested in writing code to make non-representational art created through algorithms. At the time there was really no software for this kind of thing so like all algorists (artist who use algorithms) I had to write my own, which was a great reason to learn Java. Most of the images on this site were made using that software package.

Other ways I like to make things: Lost wax bronze casting, traditional printmaking, HTML5 (I've been waiting for the Canvas element for a very long time), Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Android apps, house and landscape design, kinetic art machines, and writing science fiction...

Life is indeed too short. Do while you can.

- Tom Bates