Nate Vack

January 25, 2010

in Student Posts

Hi all,

I’m Nate. In 2001, I graduated from here with a degree in Comp Sci. Afterwards, I spent a few years working at the Health Sciences Library, and a few years working at Wendt Library, gradually transitioning from a desktop support person to a web developer. Since then, I’ve moved to a brain imaging lab and now help build tools for scientists to use mainly in functional MRI studies. And in my spare time, I’m a co-founder of a small startup company, where we sell software for librarians to help in running and staffing a reference desk.

As far as my interest in vis goes, I’m very interested in learning to make tools for our researchers to better explore fMRI data — existing tools are of really low quality. I suppose this puts me on the midline between domain scientist and designer: I’m not going to discover any new principles of visualization, but I sure would like to learn to make better tools.

Skillset-wise, I have about 15 years of programming experience in various languages, though in recent times, I’ve gravitated towards dynamic-ish languages — ruby and python are favorites, depending on what needs to be done. I actually like javascript. I’m quite light on graphic and interaction design skills; I really don’t feel like I’ve ever made anything really beautiful, or with a particularly elegant interface.

And here is a picture of me, from when I became married.

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