Chronicles of a writer abroad

Exclusive (and first ever) interview


Hi all! I know I’ve been MIA for a while now…I just finished a weekend writing workshop (our fiction tutor was the lovely author of this lovely book), we’ve been training hard for our races, and the fact that this blogging platform and my Mac haven’t wanted to play nice has caused me to attempt to post, only to turn away in frustration, several times (happily, I’ve just discovered that the solution is simply to use a non-Safari browser on my Mac).

But you’ll be happy to know that I have lined something exciting up for you…this is an exclusive interview with a very important person!

People always ask me what Stelian does, and I’m never really able to explain (sadly, this is because I do not really know). I decided it was time to rectify this situation, so I arranged to ask the man himself a few clarifying (as well as totally serious and unbiased) questions. By the way, if you’re reading this and you don’t know where Stelian works, refer to this set of photos for a clue. I don’t want to associate his name and workplace in this post, because I don’t want Google to offer this up as a serious interview with an employee of this company.

Without further ado:

Q1: So…what would you say you do here? By “here,” I mean at that place where you work.

I computerize intricate algorithms aimed at controlling ambulation on
appendages for characters in virtual worlds whose dynamics are governed by Newton’s three laws of motion. (Thanks Word Synonyms for making my work seem fancy!!)

O.K.: now put that in terms a person’s grandmother can understand, please.

Generally speaking, I help inch the research frontier ever so slightly forward, seeking to get (scientifically) where no one’s ever been before. While I am doing this, I keep an eye out for applications that could potentially be useful to the [name of company] Empire. And [said company] is certainly an empire, employing more than 140,000 people, and owning movie-making and animation studios, TV channels, several video game studios, cruise lines, and, of course, the theme parks. Check the wiki if you don’t believe me – that’s where I got all this info from.

People in my lab (and the company’s other labs, in other locations) work on
all sorts of exciting projects, in many different areas – computer graphics and animation (developing technologies for 3d movies and video games studios), robotics (for the theme parks) and video processing (stereo – think 3D glasses – is a big area of research) are just a few examples.

I am currently working on a few (top secret) projects. Some of them are geared
towards making the job of computer animators easier. Others will
hopefully help make the theme parks seem a little more magical. Unfortunately I don’t have any cool things to show yet – maybe in a year or so.

Tell us something interesting about your office/work.

We’ve got cool company art-work all over the walls, free coffee and drinks, great coworkers, a seemingly endless stream of ideas to work and collaborate on.

Last question. A little birdie told me that you showed a video of a dog humping your co-author to an audience of tens of thousands at SIGGRAPH, your field’s largest and most important conference. Is this true?

No, false. There were only about 5000 people in attendance. And the humpee
was just a lonely graduate student in our lab, not even a co-author. This was meant as a cautionary tale and a warning on the hazards of working with live animals. The mildly comedic reaction that this scene caused was merely a side-effect.

Okay, one more. Is your wife really a key behind-the-scenes player in your career success, as is frequently rumoured?
Behind every strong man (which I certainly am), there is always a woman, they say. I don’t know how they knew it, but THEY were right.

Feel free to ask our honourable interviewee your own questions in the comments!


4 thoughts on “Exclusive (and first ever) interview

  1. love it! Behind every strong man, though, is a strong and articulate woman!

  2. and by the way, you could interview MLH about her interest in combinatorics!

  3. Pingback: Lately « Milchtoast

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