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John Woods
Works at West Virginia Robotic Technology Center
Attended The University of Texas at Austin
Lives in Austin, TX
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John Woods

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John Woods

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My first class recap at WVU Swing Dancing Club.
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John Woods

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Oops! Not supposed to take pictures in Google buildings. Sorry, folks! No more of those. #MentorSummit +SciRuby
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The guy who lent these to me didn't seem as eager to try out my glasses. #MentorSummit
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This is probably the coolest thing I've seen all year: http://exoplanets.newscientistapps.com/ (other than my research results, of course! #Dissertation2013  FTW!)
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John Woods

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I am extremely honored to have been selected as a White House Champion of Change, and grateful for the attention it will draw to +Texas Gun Sense and the important work our organization is doing to educate Texans about firearms policy.

This award is a little bit hard for me. It comes nearly seven years after Max's death, in the month of April, which is always difficult. Moreover, there are so many wonderful activists out there who do what they do not because they bear physical or emotional wounds — as I do — but because they have great compassion.

There are two names in particular which I want to single out. The first is +Katherine Haenschen, who will be attending the White House event with me tomorrow. Not only did Katherine push me to become an organizer, but she has been an unwavering source of support ever since.

The second name is that of +frances schenkkan, a co-founder of Texas Gun Sense and also the person who coined the term #GunSense (which is used throughout the gun violence prevention movement today). Without Frances, there would be no TGS; I am one thing (an organizer), but she serves TGS in a multitude of roles and brings so much experience and enthusiasm.

I want also to thank Max's mom. I already have three moms (Mom, Mom's partner, Dad's partner); but Max's mom might as well be my fourth mother. I would do anything to make sure that others don't have to go through what Max's family has experienced, and they are why I stay involved.
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John I feel honored to know you and I am very grateful for all the work you do. 
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At the +Google Summer of Code #MentorSummit. Excited to meet lots of new people and also +Raoul Jean Pierre Bonnal, fellow +SciRuby mentor.
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BAM. Got an introduction and a chapter 2. Still missing chapter 1. Page count is 89. Eighty pages today! #Dissertation2013
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In his circles
1,175 people
Have him in circles
2,130 people
Christine Vogel's profile photo
Sarah Dymowski's profile photo
Pedro Villalobos's profile photo
Negin Farsad's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Biologist / Informatics / Public Safety Organizer
Skills
Research, Ruby, C, C++, legislative relations, non-profit administration, Texas politics, political communication, teaching
Employment
  • West Virginia Robotic Technology Center
    Post-doctoral Fellow, 2014 - present
    I teach space robots to see.
  • Texas Gun Sense
    Founding Board Member, 2013 - present
    Former secretary; founding board member; current advisory board member
  • The University of Texas at Austin
    National Science Foundation Fellow, 2007 - 2014
  • Austin Swing Syndicate
    Board Member, Secretary, 2012 - 2014
    At-large board member, then secretary.
  • Students for Gun-Free Schools in Texas
    Lead Organizer, 2009 - 2012
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Austin, TX
Previously
Alexandria, VA - Arlington, VA - Blacksburg, VA - Moscow, Russia - Oxford, UK
Story
Tagline
Scientist/engineer by day, netroots activist and swing kid by night
Introduction
I work in space robotics at West Virginia University's Applied Space Exploration Laboratory. My expertise is in data mining, and my medium-term goal is to facilitate asteroid mining which will eventually help us build a space program in orbit (rather than on the ground).

I also direct the SciRuby project, and am the author of NMatrix (a Ruby library for matrix algebra).

I work some on campus safety and public safety issues. I founded Students for Gun-Free Schools in Texas, which has thrice successfully killed legislation that would force higher education institutions to allow guns in classrooms. In 2011, we killed a bill that many called a "slam dunk," despite an NRA supermajority in the Texas House and Senate. SGFS-TX has now been supplanted by the educational charity Texas Gun Sense, which hopes to create a vigorous Texas-focused debate on the topic of gun violence prevention.

I graduated from Virginia Tech in 2007, from whence I went straight to UT-Austin, where I finished my Ph.D. in 2013 (thanks to the National Science Foundation). For my dissertation research, I explored an area of the theory of evolution called deep homology; I predicted disease-causing genes on the basis of what they do in distantly related organisms like plants, bacteria, and yeast. If you're curious, search for "phenologs." The project combined machine learning with biology.

I co-founded the SciRuby Project, and am the lead developer for NMatrix, a dense and sparse matrix library for the Ruby language. SciRuby is working to make Ruby a viable option for scientific computing. We received Google Summer of Code support for the first time in 2013.
Bragging rights
Black belt in Tae Kwon Do, National Science Foundation Fellow, National Merit Scholar, Best of Austin Award Winner (2009, 2011), Friar (not necessarily in that order), PhD (Cell & Molecular Biology: Bioinformatics, The University of Texas at Austin)
Education
  • The University of Texas at Austin
    Ph.D., Cell & Molecular Biology, 2007 - 2013
    Dissertation topic: machine learning and evolutionary biology
  • Virginia Tech
    B.S., Computer Science, 2002 - 2007
    Minors in mathematics, philosophy, and Russian language
  • St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School
Basic Information
Gender
Male
I went and got 1.5 Lbs of brisket to go the other night. It was pretty good, but not outstanding; yet here, it probably comes down to a matter of personal preference, for I am not one who ordinarily enjoys burnt ends and saltiness, and this is some salty burnt-ended brisket. But it's well cooked and good and gluten-free. (Although I prefer the Whole Foods barbeque at 6th and Lamar, I'll likely be making the trip to Cafe Mueller more frequently, since it's just a five minute drive from my home as opposed to fifteen.) Downsides: They serve bread with the barbeque without asking, which is kind of an annoying surprise when you're gluten intolerant. The sauce also looks quite good but is not gluten-free, a disappointment given that most other BBQ joints have delicious gluten-free sauce.
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Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
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