Welcome Nathan Rogers

Based in Denver, Colorado, Nathan Rogers is a new member of the Dyalog team. In previous lives, Nathan spent six years as a member of the United States Armed Services as a Satellite Communications Operator, studied music theory and performance at the University of Northern Colorado, and built desktop and web applications across numerous languages and frameworks in a variety of domains.

Nathan first came into contact with APL when discussing code obfuscation with other programmers, and a coworker mentioned K and APL. APL became an immediate obsession, and Nathan became a regular in the Stack Exchange chat room “The APL Orchard”. He quickly began spending all of his free time learning APL, building familiar applications and tools using this quirky language, and reading about its fascinating history. He finds it funny in hindsight that he was introduced to the language in a conversation about code obfuscation, only to now be an APL evangelist, believing the concepts of APL to be as fundamental to elevating the world of computer programming as the Arabic numerals were to the study of Mathematics. After a year or so, Nathan was put in touch with Morten Kromberg at Dyalog. The two began pair-programming projects, which quickly proved fruitful and led to Nathan joining the team soon after.

When Nathan isn’t working on consulting projects, or tools for Dyalog, you can typically find him behind his keyboard building his own tools and toy functions in APL, with two aims in mind: convert as many traditional programmers as possible to APL, and bring his knowledge and experience to bear on modernizing APL and its tools for the current and next generation of new programmers.

Welcome Richard Park

Richard Park is the latest addition to the Dyalog team and is based at Dyalog HQ in the UK. Richard has been living in the same house in Bramley his entire life and recently returned to the village after one successful degree in physics at the University of Manchester, and one unsuccessful degree in education at Manchester Metropolitan University.

How Richard and Dyalog came to meet is a story that deserves to be told, albeit a bit embarrassing for poor Richard!

One day, while walking his dog and father, Richard rang the office doorbell to inquire about any software-related opportunities that might be available. He had developed an interest in computers from using them at young age, building circuits for A-level electronics and learning about the physics of computers (as well as computational physics) at University. If only Richard had been able to convey any of that to Jay Foad, who answered the door, instead of standing like a “gormless idiot” (his words) whilst his father jumped in and asked about internships and job opportunities…

Richard went home that evening and browsed the Dyalog website… the Pandora’s box of APL edged ajar and he began to imbibe the symbols. He also sent an amusing email explaining the earlier awkward encounter and clearly showing that he was not a “gormless idiot”. This resulted in a meeting with the CEO and CXO, Gitte and Morten, in October 2018. After that meeting Richard showed enough aptitude and interest, while pair-programming a simplistic physics simulation with Morten, that they decided to keep him.

Given that Richard’s previous experience includes programming an autonomous robot for the QMC team in the 2012 and 2013 Student Robotics competitions and using MATLAB and CERN’s ROOT library to process experimental data and run simulations, he was very surprised that he had never heard of APL before. He sees a potential in APL to develop domain specific programming languages and software packages to help teachers convey concepts in a way which more closely matches the syntax and jargon in which problems are already described.

In his new role at Dyalog, Richard is developing teaching materials and demos to promote APL.

Pool Stories: Fergus back on Form

It has been almost 2 years since our last post about Jo Fergus (daughter of our Customer Account Manager, Karen Shaw) the pool player who Dyalog have sponsored in the past. When we last updated you, Jo had just had her daughter, Remy, and made the difficult decision to take some time out from pool to concentrate on her new family.

On June 30th 2018 she married Tom Fergus, Remy’s Dad, in a small ceremony at Trowbridge County Hall and became Jo Fergus. The wedding came as a bit of a surprise to friends and family who thought they were attending a birthday lunch but the sun shone and a fantastic day was had by all. Jo started to miss playing pool and in 2018 she went to the Wiltshire county pool trials and was invited back into the Wiltshire Ladies A county team. After a successful season, in which they didn’t lose a match, the team has qualified for National County Finals taking place at the beginning of March. Jo has also joined a team playing in her local pool league.

In 2019 Jo took the decision to test herself and her pool skills and signed up to the 2019 IPA Ladies Tour which will see her play at 5 events across the UK. There are only 32 places on this Ladies tour and it will give Jo a chance to play against high level opposition, which she feels will improve her game. Ranking points will be awarded and the top 8 in the rankings after Tour 5 will automatically qualify for the first ever IPA Ladies Blackball Premier League.

Dyalog are proud to be sponsoring Jo for this tour and it is planned that all Ladies finals will be live streamed on freesports.tv so we have our fingers crossed she makes at least one final!

Supporting the Community – Update

You may have been wondering what has been happening with Jo Shaw (daughter of our Customer Account Manager, Karen) the England pool player who Dyalog have sponsored in the past, so we thought it was time for an update.

After getting a new job in December 2014, Jo moved from Hampshire to Wiltshire and joined the Wiltshire Ladies county pool team. After a successful first season with them, Jo again qualified to play for England as a reserve player in May 2016 but the exciting news that she was expecting a baby meant that she was not able to take up her place in the team – unfortunately the Nation’s Cup event was happening at the exact same time the baby was due. Jo also found that she was not able to practice or play pool during the later stages of her pregnancy as she was just not able to bend over the table(!) so this meant she had to take a back seat with the Wiltshire Ladies county team too.

Jo’s daughter Remy was born on 18 October 2016 and Remy has been a keen supporter of Wiltshire Ladies since she was born – she even has her own team shirt!

Jo and Remy have recently been to the EBPF National Finals to support Jo’s Wiltshire teammates as they became National Ladies Champions for the first time. Jo was disappointed that she wasn’t able to play a bigger part in the victory but being a mother is now her top priority and she was pleased that her team did so well.

After a lot of thought Jo has now made the very difficult decision to take some time out from both county and national pool to concentrate on being a mum. She plans to be back in a year or so once Remy is a bit older and Dyalog fully expect her to win back her place in the England team – we will be there to support her when she does!