Brief bio — who am I?

See also current projects.

I was born in Portland, Oregon, raised in Estacada, Oregon. Graduated Estacada High School in 1980. Estacada is at the red dot, left.

Estacada is a lumber town rough thirty miles southeast of Portland. Beautiful area. Probably had a population of around 1500 when I was growing up there, recently broke three thousand. New York City, look out.


Attended Portland State University for three years as a chemistry major, switching to Oregon State University (OSU), first in computer science, then as an ultimate mathematics major, finally getting two degrees from OSU – mathematics and an combo degree OSU offers called Mathematical Sciences (see link) that combines math, computer science, and statistics. Having the right credits and only needing another class or two, did it.

Mount Hood, a dormant volcano, miles off Estacada.


Yes, it rains an awful lot in the  west-of-the-Cascades Northwest. And, borders on the Pacific, who gives us all that rain. Have many memories of watching the sun set, over the Pacific.

1600px-Trees and sky

Douglas Fir: They are everywhere, in rainy, volcanic West Oregon. 

Much east of the Cascade Mountains is high desertBasalt: all over, including at Lava Butte, which we upped in a car, several times, when I was a kid. Lava Butte erupted, perhaps 7000 years ago? Geologically, a young ‘un.


What the Estacada is, or at least was, about: lumber. Growing up there, logging trucks were something one accepts as part of reality, and sees nearly every day.


Crown Point in the Columbia Gorge, close to Estacada. A heavily wooded area, as the Columbia Gorge is the only “easy” way cross the Cascades, but the storms don’t appear to know that. Rain pours there. A lot. Was there, many times, hanging out at areas like Multomah Falls, Oregon’s highest waterfall:


After OSU … first job was in a dishpit, in Giant Forest, in  Sequoia National Park. At Rancho Self–Service Flowers that no longer exists (right), in Portland, Oregon. Was on an “island,” sandwiched between Burnside, Morrison, and 20th Avenue; that’s 20th, in front.


Then in Yosemite Valley, where met Peggy, who lasted about four months. We left Yosemite, ultimately landing in Wyoming, where in Shoshone, she decided to end us. Had little money, and, in short, when she dumped me on a road outside Casper, hitchhiked to Portland, Oregon. Thus began over three years on the road, hitchhiking thousands of miles and living out of my backpack, also spending two winters a ski bum in Colorado, traveling by whatever means I could — hitchhiking, busses, trains, and by one other means that is best not here discussed. Guess I was not “respectable,” and rare speak of the time.

There are no photos of me doing this, so stole a photo of someone’s right hand. Just looking at that photo fills my mind with conflicting memories, of things I saw that can not be described in the words of any language.

As consequence of years living out of a backpack, I laugh at “voluntary simplicity.” I don’t need to read Jack Kerouac – I lived it.


And, if you never hitchhiked, you will never understand. Forget it. Only those who hitchhiked understand it. I don’t claim to understand it. Never again do I wish to experience what I lived. It’s over.

Cutoff of I-84 from I-80, North Utah, one of countless crossroads out of which I hitchhiked. Headed north, through Ogden, where a cop popped me for illegal hitchhiking. Gave me a “friendly warning” ticket. Put it in a Linear Algebra text, but it later vanished.


Angel Lake, Nevada – didnt hitchhike there, but didn’t hit or leave by respectable means. This is a story that will not be here discussed — we broke so many laws, before and after.


Fall 1989 set off to study graduate mathematics at the University of Colorado, in the city of Boulder.

Summer 1995 received my Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Colorado, in the city of Boulder.

One shot at CU - Boulder

Six years. A lot of time at a desk. Links to my dissertation and an abstraction I did in Japan are here.

Shortly after my Ph.D., went to Poland to give a mathematics talk, bumming around Poland a month. Giving a talk on my thesis while staying a week or so in Tuczno Castle, swimming in Jezioro Zamkowe, to Wrocław. To Kraków to Wieliczka Salt Mine and less fun, to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Sobering. Through Zakopane to Morskie Oko, where goofed off a few, to Poznań, to Berlin and back.

      Morskie Oko, Poland.

Shortly after, landed in Japan, working for the University of Maryland Asian Division on Okinawa island, spending a summer in Sasebo, Japan (just north of Nagasaki on Kyushu Island), teaching mathematics and computer science to United States military. Yes, in Nagasaki went to the Atomic Bomb Museum, and, stood under the hypocenter. Sobering.

Typhoon over Okinawa, August 12, 1996 — I was in
that eye nine hours. Click 
here for full-size image.

Ruins of Nakagusuku Castle, on Okinawa, 

The Three Wise Monkeys, in Nikkō, Japan. Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil.

Colleen Jane Keller and I married, on August 17th, 2002, by the Saint Vrain River at the Folks Fest music festival in Lyons, Colorado. Colleen has no home page as yet.

Colleens daughter Katie, Colleen, Dean, Jackie who did the service. In the background is the Saint Vrain River.


August 17, 2002: Colleen pours dried rose petals on Deans head.


Deans brother Marvin being lazy after the service, listening to music at the Folks Fest.



Orchard Road, downtown Singapore.

Did a lot of traveling in my life, glad I grabbed the opportunity to do so:

  • Once went completely round the world with ex-girlfriend Ellen — what a trip. Egypt, pyramids, Karnak, floating down the Nile, to Hurghada. To İstanbul. To India, so much I saw, can’t dream of writing it all here. Nepal. Singapore. The train to Bangkok, the plane to Hong Kong, a plane to Guilin District — so much we saw, novels. Back to the USA.
  • Went round the world a second time, July — August 2009, passing through Russia where I often scarce spoke a word of English for days, then China and Japan; blogged the trip here. With Colleen, traveled Italy. Some blogging, of a trip to Maui, is here.
  • Also, Germany (twice), Poland, Japan (lived there near two years), Thailand (several times), Singapore (net of twice), the Philippines, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Egypt, later Russia, Beijing and Shanghai. Italy.


Isle of Skye, Scotland


Dean in front of (actually behind; main part of Red Square is straight through) Saint Basils Cathedral, Moscow. July 2009.


Riding a gondola with Colleen in Venice, Italy. June 6, 2014.

© dino 2018