This web site is a compilation of my interests and web site design is one of them. My primary occupation is software engineer. I specialize in Microsoft Windows programming with Visual Basic, C++, etc. to provide solutions for data and voice network communications engineering and hardware configuration management. I'm also an amateur pianist and started piano study when I was 18. I played about 15 solo concerts in Virginia, New York, and Russia, and participated in 16 piano competitions for amateurs in Boston, Paris, St. Petersburg, Washington, and Fort Worth.
I participated in the Paris International Piano Competition for Great Amateurs in 1996 http://www.PianoAmateurs.com. It was my first competition and I was thrilled to hear other scientists, teachers, bakers, and engineers like me, who love music and devote so much time to it. At the final competition round (I was eliminated in the first round) a man behind me in the audience said "How is it possible these pianists play so well? They must be professionals." I said "You should realize that the average American adult watches TV for 28 hours each week (In 2010 it was up to 34 hours). What if they were to practice piano all that time?" He seemed convinced and sat down to enjoy more fine music. I spend little time watching TV to do better things and make my time count by completing specific projects. You'll find some of these in the Astronomy, Birds, Robotics, and Music sections.
You can listen to many of my piano recordings on the Music page. My Robotics page has videos of my favorite robots. The Birds page has audio recordings of many of my favorite birds. I recorded them with microphones and amplifiers that I built myself. The bird photos are not mine. Bird photos require very expensive camera lenses, which I never had the motivation to buy. My Astronomy page shows my most significant project, the Mars Atlas 2000. I created it between 1993 and 1996. At the time it was the first star atlas of Mars. I went to Russia the first time with 40 high school students. After that, I went about 15 times more. On the Russia page, you can view some of my photos from my trips to Russia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan.