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Working in Mars Mission Control, JPL

Ronald Mak

Department of Computer Science
Spring Semester 2015

Office hours: TuTh: 7:30-8:00 PM
Office location: MacQuarrie Hall, room 413
Mission Control, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
NASA Mars Exploration Rover Mission
Click on the following links:

CS 149/SE 149: Operating Systems

CS 174/SE 174: Web Programming

CS 235: User Interface Design

Who am I?

I am the Chief Data Scientist at IDXP, a data analytics startup. Previously, as a Senior Computer Scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center, I designed and managed the building of a major software lab to simulate satellites orbiting in cluster formations. On an earlier mission, I designed and led the development of the middleware for a key information management system for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. As a Research Staff Member at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, I helped implement the Splash software platform that integrated multiple heterogeneous simulation models in order to research the nation's obesity problem. I was the Enterprise Software Strategist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for a major laser-based fusion energy project, the National Ignition Facility (NIF), where I helped design and develop a workflow system to consolidate and manage the scientific data generated by the laser firings. I've worked at high-tech companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, and Apple as a software developer, project lead, or engineering manager.

I have degrees in the mathematical sciences and in computer science from Stanford University. I've written books on compiler writing, software engineering, and numerical computation, and I contributed a chapter to the book Beautiful Code which won the Jolt Award. I find designing and developing software such as compilers and enterprise systems to be fun and challenging. So I'm the kind of geek nobody wants to talk to at parties. My one redeeming feature is that I am owned by cute cats.

Other courses I've recently taught at SJSU
CS 146: Data Structures and Algorithms
CS 151: Object-Oriented Design
CS 152: Programming Language Paradigms
CS 153: Concepts of Compiler Design
CS 157B: Database Management Systems II
CS 160: Software Engineering
CS 185C/CS 286: The History of Computing
The History of Computing Speaker Series