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Who is Davis King?

I am a computer scientist and computer programmer living in Atlanta, Georgia. I have a wide range of experience, with previous work on Wall Street and in Washington, and with both a liberal arts and a computer science degree.

In my spare time, I like to sail, especially to race sailboats. I am a keelboat instructor for the Georgia Tech Sailing Club, teaching advanced sailing on the water and in the classroom.

I am originally from Jacksonville, Florida, home of the Jaguars.

I was a Ph.D. candidate computer science in Georgia Tech's GVU Center. The ultimate goal of my research is to help create new forms of art, entertainment, and interaction for the coming broadband Internet, by making it easier to use computers to create, edit, search, and transmit complex forms of content such as 3D models, video, and animations. For my PhD thesis, I am developing better compression algorithms and better shape measures for 3D models and other geometric datasets.

I also done research on international economics, user interfaces for distributed and collaborative environments, data visualization, and technology policy. I have extensive coursework and programming experience in computer vision, image processing, optimization, and other aspects of computer graphics.

My research interests include computer graphics; computer vision; mathematical modeling; computational finance; computational biology; and the legal, political, and artistic aspects of computer technology.

I got my varied experience largely because at one point in my life, I couldn't figure out whether I wanted to be a scientist, an artist or writer, or an entrepreneur, and I therefore tried them all. Finally, I realized that in the computer industry, everyone has to be a little of all three, so, here I am.

I earned my undergraduate degree from Princeton, where I balanced my interests as a major in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and as Princeton's first liberal arts student to earn a certificate (similar to a minor) from the Program in Applied and Computational Math. My studies in the Wilson School focused on political theory and democratization and on technology policy, and my studies in math focused on dynamical systems, especially complex adaptive systems.

While at Princeton, I spent some of my summers teaching sailing at Camp Sea Gull in North Carolina, and some in Washington working for my Senator and on the National Audubon Society's Everglades Restoration Project. I was a member of Princeton's Tower Club.

After Princeton, I worked on a trading desk at a small but innovative investment firm in New York and London.

I have been programming computers for over twenty-three years, in languages from Applesoft BASIC, Pascal and logo to C++, perl, and Java.

I also like to learn new languages regularly to keep my skills sharp. My usual way to learn a language is to pick a sufficiently complex program I'd like to write, get some sample code, get a good book on the language that emphasizes its style and guiding principles, and just start coding. To learn perl for example, I coded up a half-edge data structure and a variety of graphics and compression algorithms. Perl has turned out to be a great way to prototype and test new algorithms in a hurry.

Some of my favorite programs I've written are a multiplayer, distributed stock trading game I wrote in order to learn C, and a public domain adventure game I hacked to use my apple II sound card a long time ago. Open source wasn't much of an issue back when most of the software ran on a basic interpreter...