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Hi, I'm Michail Liarmakopoulos, aka Μιχάλης Λιαρμακόπουλος, aka Mike Liarmakopoulos, aka Liarma, aka mlliarm aka milia aka μιλιά.
I'm here because APL is F.U.N. and the APL community has been very welcoming.
- Software developer in the Big Data realm with a mathematics background (as in the old definition, where mathematics & physics were one unified field; see V. I. Arnold's article on that).
- Pythonista with an interest in functional (Scheme), declarative (Prolog, SQL), iversonian (APL, J) and rapid numerics (PARI/GP) languages.
- In my free time I enjoy going out with good friends trying out the local cuisine, reading books in English or Greek and Wikipedia lemmas in languages where I'm still at a level ∊ ]A0, A1[, such as: Español, Catalá, French, Русский, but which I'd love to learn bit by bit, expanding thus the interval to the semi-closed interval ]A0, A1].
- Finally, I really enjoy diving every day deeper and deeper in APL, as well as creating small programming projects that combine not so widely used languages (Scheme, Prolog, APL, J, PARI/GP) that solve some weird problem in mathematics or physics.
- I'm originally from Greece. My hometown is Patras, a nice city in south-west Greece on the Peloponnese.
- Spent the most important years of my life at the island of Crete where I studied Physics at a bachelors' level from 2000 till some point during the same decade (:'D). There I met some pretty smart and kind people that became my friends.
- After that I traveled a bit around Europe, semi-studying and looking for a real job. Countries lived from 2011-2013: UK, NL, DE.
- From 2013-2019 I was back to Greece, close to my folks, at Patras. There I studied Mathematics at a masters' level and after that I got a job at some bioinformatics startup as a scientific python developer, at the same town.
- On 2019 I got the job offer from Webhelp Spain, and moved to Barcelona with my partner and our cat.
- I've been living and working in Barcelona, Catalonia, since January of 2020, along with my longtime partner Nancy and our Greek cat Leros (Λέρος). Fun fact: I named Leros originally Euler, due to the great Leonhard Euler, because Leros is pretty smart. Then Nancy coined the nickname Leros because it's easier to pronounce and shout around than Euler. So yeah. Leros from the mathematician and not from the Greek island Leros.
- I went to a relatively good high school (if you forget about the bullies) and focused on hard sciences (Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry), as I sucked less there.
- In the last year's exams, I gave the pretty infamous, for the stress imposed to the students, Panhellenic exams on Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry and Greek composition.
- I gave this exam twice, because my goal had been from an early age (~16 or so) to get in a Physics department because I enjoyed creating small electrical circuits that would solve a very specific problem. I managed to get in the Physics school, where I found the electronics classes pretty dull, so I didn't learn much about that. Anyhow, as I said I gave the exams twice.
- The first time (1999), I scored 8/20 in Physics, about 14.5/20 in Mathematics, somewhere around 16/20 in Chemistry (that I hated, but found Organic chemistry problems having algorithmic solutions so they were okayish) and Greek composition 10/20. At that time it was allowed to us to keep 2 results of two of the courses and resit the other two. I kept the Mathematics (pretty difficult subject, and for a medium-level student as me, 14.5 was an ok grade) and Chemistry. The second time I wrote 18/20 in Physics and 10/20 in Greek composition.
- But how did 8/20 became 18/20 in Physics? Well, we had four set of questions. The two were purely theoretical and you had to remember by heart some parts from the book, that I found silly and was never good at remembering huge blocks of text. So the first time I wrote 0/10 in theory and 8/10 in problems. The second year I had one full year to learn this damn theory and get into the Physics department. And so I did. I wrote 8/10 in theory and 10/10 in problems. Ever since, I promised to myself not to sit to a class that required remembering loads of theory by heart, and didn't have any computation or mathematics in. I kept my promise.
- If I have to mention some people from this period of life that played major role in my future development they would have to be: my father Logothetis (from Naxos), my mother Chrysoula (from Palaia Epidavros), my great physics teacher Vaso Xouria and my uncle and mathematics teacher Elias Tourloukis.
- My father has been the theoretical mind, the academic scientist of the family and made sure both me and my brother Panagiotis would learn how to take decisions based on reason and not emotions. He studied economics and management at the prestigious ASOEE, and afterwards he furthered his studies in the '70s at the UK, at the university of Southampton and that of Lancaster, from where he got a MSc in Management sciences. After returning from the UK back to Greece with my mother, he was appointed as a professor of Management at the Technological Educational Institute of Athens and later at the '90s at TEI of Patras where from he retired sometime at the '00s. During all his years he's written several books related to management, a partial list of which can be found here, at the library of the University of Pireous. My mother has always been the practical mind of the family that brought the stability and harmony we needed. Both of them are well, and reside outside Patras, at a remote village of mountain Panachaiko. To both of my parents I owe my love towards books and reading.
- I was very fortunate to have excellent professors that shaped the way I think and do research.
- If I had to mention a few names here, it would be my teacher of Newtonian physics (Phys01, Phys02) and Newtonian Mechanics (ΚΜ1), Nikolaos Kylafis. I was tought Calculus by the very stimulating Taxiarchis Papakostas. I was introduced to the lovely field of Linear Algebra (with which I've fallen in love ever since) and to Probability theory by Iossif Papadakis.
- I was fortunate enough to have been taught dimensional analysis by the legendary Eleftherios Economou. I was taught Ordinary Differential Equations by Elias Kyritsis. Sat on two graduate Physics classes during my last year of studies (Quantum Many Body Theory and Analytic Mechanics) that were given by Gregory Psaltakis. He had shown me the beauty and unity of mathematical physics. I still remember his words from one of our discussions back then about my plans continuing my studies somewhere in a field related to computational physics. He had said something along the lines "You'll never fall in love with computational stuff". He was quite right. I'd never felt the love I've felt for the mathematics courses I was tought during my studies in any of the computational physics courses. But at that point, we had either Fortran77 or C, or Java. I disliked all three of them, but most of them Fortran77 (material of nightmares). Mathematica was a nice revelation, but pretty slow for demanding computations. Why on *Earth* none of our several US-educated professors hadn't even mentioned APL? I can't believe that none had heard about it. Why on earth should Fortran be the first programming language that they teach you as a freshman? This is like the ultimate plan to make someone run away from scientific computing screaming in the hallway.
- Finally, I did Physics experiments with Christos Chaldoupis and Dimitris Charalambidis. I was introduced to computational physics (using Fortran 77) first by Christos Chaldoupis mentioned earlier and then by Xenophon Zotos. The second one made my experiences with Fortran77 bearable. The first one showed me that I'm surely not fond of experimental physics, but I enjoy writing reports on the results of the experiments and doing the analysis, and lastly also introduced me (unsuccessfully) to the DISLIN Fortran graph library. It was something like matplotlib, but for Fortran.
- On Sept. of 2011 I got accepted at the Uni. of Edinburgh in the school of Mathematics to read Operations Research towards a MSc. Biggest mistake of my life. Should have dropped out the first month. Either I wasn't ready for living abroad, or I wasn't ready for studying in a school of Mathematics. I've never felt so miserable in my life before. That said, I'll keep in my heart Julian Hall that helped as much as possible, then and later.
- In my graduate studies at the Mathematics department pretty much was the place where I became the closest I could become to a mathematician. I remember Kosmas Iordanidis that introduced me to a facet of Numerics that I've never seen before, from the book of Demidovich. Panagiotis Alevizos that introduced us to Computational Geometry from Preparatas' and Shamos' pretty difficult to digest book. Thankfully Shamos' PhD thesis was an excellent read, and after creating a group study to pass this class and with the help of my dear friend and pretty bright young mathematician, TaiPanagiotis G., I managed to pass the class the 3rd and last time I gave the exam, just before got kicked out. Theodoula Grapsa that introduced us to Interval Analysis and Numerical Optimization. Omiros Raggos introduced me to Mathematical Logic and Prolog, and also gave me the opportunity to learn C++ by introducing during our computer labs sessions the undergraduate students of the department to the practical aspects of the language, the GNU/Linux console, the g++ compiler etc. To keep track of the labs and to share useful material with my students, I had created a website. Surprisingly enough, the website is still live four years since 2017.
- My final project was on Active Machine learning and my supervisor was Sotos Kotsiantis. If you can read Greek, feel free to have a look at my MSc thesis.
- I learned a great lot at this school too. Fun fact: I was awarded a Mendeley t-shirt by the excellent Library of the UoP, where I'd spent many hours reading books and solving problems, because according to their database in my last year of grad studies (2018) I had borrowed the most books than anyone in the campus (:O). Apparently Greek students don't enjoy borrowing books from libraries. This means that either they prefer e-books they can find online (unlikely), that they have a bigger library at home than the university library (highly unlikely) or that they don't like reading books (most probable). Well, I guess their loss.
- My goodreads profile. You'll find some pretty good recommendations there, for anything related to: mathematics, physics, computer science, philosophy.
- Most Greek friends call me Μιχάλη (some call me Μάηκ) and most non Greek friends call me Mike.