The following teachers, instructors, and mentors are some of the people who were highly influential in my academic life:
Gary Whetsel: My 11th grade high school English teacher who woke me up from my academic ennui. He inspired me to take up serious reading again for the first time in many years.
A. Glenn Jones: My 12th grade high school Physics teacher. The first time I have ever had legitimate fun doing school work. Inspired my passion for physics.
Stephen P. Reynolds: My undergraduate research advisor and mechanics professor. Probably the smartest person I have ever met. After his first lecture I was convinced that I wanted to work with him, regardless of his field; turns out it was astrophysics.
Sandra Paur: My honors advisor in mathematics and professor. Her real analysis class was by far the most challenging, fun, and instructive class that I have ever taken or ever will take.
Sasha Tchekovskoy: My former colleague/mentor who showed me the ropes as a young graduate student. One of the most encouraging people you will ever meet.
Eliot Quataert: My PhD advisor. I probably wouldn't be at Berkeley right now if he didn't reach out to me just before I made my final decision. I didn't know what exactly I wanted to work on but I knew that I wanted to work with him. I couldn't ask for a better advisor.
Denise Ressler: My mom. Taught me the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic one-on-one even before grade school while reading an uncountable number of books with me.
Ron Ressler: My dad. Stuck with me through all the years of little league even though I was clearly out of my element. Made up some crazy bed time stories and gifted me with his sense of humor.