John Leo's Life Synopsis

I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and spent all my life until college in the Midwest: Minnesota, Illinois, and mainly Indianapolis, Indiana. Then I moved to Boston to attend MIT. While an undergraduate I lived at the wonderful Epsilon Theta coed fraternity in Brookline.

Initially I intended to be an organic chemist and design giant molecules. But I quickly figured out that I didn't like chemistry after all, and was in a dilemma over whether to major in math or computer science. Thanks to 6.001 I chose CS and entered the 6-A program, working for Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Palo Alto, California, but I never did resolve the dilemma, which is probably why I ended up in theoretical computer science. I eventually got a B.S. in Math and a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science, all in 1990.

While in Palo Alto I fell in love with Japanese culture and started learning Japanese. In the summer of 1990 I worked at NTT's laboratory in Yokosuka, Japan, and from 1991 I worked for two years at Matsushita Communication in Yokohama, Japan designing road traffic control algorithms before returning to MIT.

I left MIT for good after a year and worked from 1994 to 1997 at Oracle Corp. in the SQL Decision Support Systems (DSS) group, which concentrates on SQL optimization, execution, and query parallelization.

In December 1997 I moved to Siebel Systems, Inc. and worked in the Object Manger group of Core Technologies.  I worked there until July 2002.

My Math/CS dilemma is still not resolved, and around Fall 2000 I started to think of going to graduate school again, this time for a PhD in pure mathematics, with the intention to teach at the university level afterwards.  To prepare for this I took undergrad complex analysis at Stanford over the Summer in 2001, and then graduate algebra and undergrad differential geometry at Berkeley in Fall 2001.  I then audited several math courses over the Winter and Spring quarters at Stanford.  I started in the PhD program at UCLA as a full-time student in Fall 2002.

I married Kyoko Watanabe on June 4, 1991 and our son Kyle was born on December 19, 2000.  We lived in downtown Palo Alto for eight years until 2002.  Since then we have lived in the Westwood area of Los Angeles.  I hope to graduate with my PhD in March, 2008.

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