I was born in Australia in 1984, and have lived here ever since. My education had a very slow start. As a child, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s and Tourette’s. As a result I was transferred from mainstream to special schooling before reaching my adolescence. After some years of self-teaching I initiated serious study with a year in adult education, doing bridge programs in maths and science, and completing English at 11th year level, my mediocre highest ever pre-tertiary level of academic achievement.
In 2006 I enrolled in Bachelor of Arts at Australian Catholic University (ACU) with the intention of becoming a psychologist. I soon abandoned this idea and chose subjects purely out of interest. I completed a minor sequence in psychology, choosing ‘Biological Psychology’ and ‘Learning and Perception’ as my advanced level units, taught by Dr. Robert Paddle, the most influential intellectual figure in my life. My major was theology, with a particular focus on scripture. Although my theology studies were somewhat rushed, I was privileged with great lecturers, including three world class Biblical scholars (Jamie McLaren, David Sim and Mary Coloe), and the Church historian Lawrence Cross. A notable side effect of the latter acquaintance was my baptism into the Russian Catholic Church on the Orthodox Easter of 2008.
As part of my degree I studied cross-institutionally at Monash University, completing what would have been a full history major, but for my enrollment at ACU whose degree could only recognize a minor sequence due to a missing core unit. My studies at Monash were largely Church history oriented, under the notable Constant Mews and Peter Howard. The most influential lecturer at Monash, however, was the brilliant and inspiring medievalist Clare Monagle. During this time I also undertook an independent research project on ravens, with generous and warmly appreciated help from one of Australia’s most renowned ornithologists Rohan Clarke. This led to my debut publication in the journal Australian Field Ornithology.
In 2012 I began my Honours in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney. My Honours thesis was focused on evolutionary theory and was supervised by Professor Paul Griffiths, a leading authority on the Philosophy of Genetics. I analyzed the debate over the evolution of female orgasm with a focus on the ‘byproduct’ theory. In the process, I made a significant historical discovery: that the original byproduct theory had been unanimously misinterpreted by the literature ever since its publication. Although this was not the main argument of my thesis, Griffiths encouraged me to submit this highly original contribution as a brief discussion piece in the journal Biology and Philosophy, the leading peer-reviewed journal in the biological subfield within philosophy of science. The article was accepted within 48 hours of submission, and several weeks prior to the submission of my thesis.
In 2016, I enrolled in a Master of Arts at Monash, and began a thesis on the history of the self-esteem movement in America, under the supervision of Timothy Verhoeven and Michael Hau. By this time, however, my priorities had begun shifting away from academia toward computing. Eventually, I realized that my career aspiration in the former was finished. I respectfully withdrew from the degree.
Overall, my studies were very successful, with straight HDs in psychology, Distinction standard in theology, High Distinction standard in history and an H1 class honours thesis. I also won special recognition, including the Dean’s List at ACU (twice), the Dean’s Recognition Award at Monash and the Walter Reid Prize at University of Sydney. I have now moved on to pursue a career in programming, and my open source projects can be viewed at cleanslatesoftware.com.