Q: Why blog?

A:Let me start out by quoting the famous astronomer Carl Sagan:

“Arguments from authority carry little weight (in science there are no ‘authorities’).”

There are no authorities in science. I’m certainly no authority. Anybody who can make a well-reasoned argument based on sound assumptions and a logical thought process can be a scientist. Unfortunately, we live in a society where a huge segment of the population misunderstands what science is, opposes science research funding, and has the general impression that science and math are “hard,” ultimately the erudite domain of some unassailable priesthood. Worse, our public schools excrete science and math-phobic graduates, with some states (I’m looking at you, Kansas) bending the very definition of science.  I hope that with this blog I can share some of the joy of math, science, and empirical thinking and show that they’re something that everybody can understand, enjoy and find useful on some level. I want to make this blog accessible for anybody with a high school education. Science is for everybody!

Q: Where did you get the name “The Pickle Matrix?” What does it mean?

A: I stole it from an old episode of The Simpsons. Not only is it one of the greatest TV comedies ever, the show makes an astounding number of science and math references.

Q: What do you do in real life?

A: As I write this, I’m one of the lucky few 25 year olds on the planet who gets a summer vacation. I’m in that sweet three months between grad school and more grad school. In the fall, I’ll be starting a PhD in applied mechanics.

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