About Me

I work at Check Point and hack on Freeversation in my spare time. I also co-founded GNOME Zeitgeist and have done a variety of freelance work, ranging from web development to algorithmic trading systems.

Personal details and education

I am 19 years old. I was born in New York and moved to Israel in 2006. In 2010, I graduated summa cum laude from Ostrovski High School, Ra’anana.

My hobbies include programming, writing, and jiu jitsu.

Contests

I’m passionate about programming, robotics, and physics. In high school, I was privileged to represent Israel in each field.

2nd place, 2010 International Firefighting Robotics Contest, Trinity College

I built a robot that navigated through a maze, found a candle, and extinguished the fire. Out of 34 robots in the high school division, only my robot and 4 others succeeded every single time. It was also fast and one of the smallest robots in my division. The robot performed bonus tasks, such as returning to the starting location.

Specs and details:

  • VEX micro-controller, programmed in C (Using Eclipse and the C18 plugin on Ubuntu)
  • Desktop Python scripts for calibrating and debugging the robot’s sensors
  • Beautiful hand-cut aluminum sheets and PVC boards
  • Homemade light sensors (for finding the candle) and white-line sensors (for returning to the home location)
  • Store-bought sensors, including Sharp 2Y0A21 IR distance sensors and a UVTron UV sensor.

2nd place, 2010 Safe Cracking Physics Contest, Weizmann Institute

My team built a safe that could be opened by solving two “physical riddles” in electromagnetism. Our team won 1st place in Israel and 2nd place in the world.

I was responsible for the safe’s programming and electrical systems. We used a VEX microcontroller, homemade optical sensors, and cheap lasers I cut out of laser pointers.

You can download our paper, which explains the physics behind the safe.

2nd place, 2009 Codeguru Extreme contest, Weizmann Institute

I wrote an assembly program that hunted and destroyed the programs of other players’ in the simulated memory of an 8086 processor. I had no prior knowledge of assembly language, which I learned in under one week for the purpose of the contest. The rules of the game were based on Core War.

3rd place runner up, 2007 Google’s Highly Open Participation Contest

I no longer consider this to be a very significant accomplishment, although I was proud of it back in 2007. I have left it in the list anyway, because it marks the start of a long involvement with open source software.

Open source sponsorship

I was privileged to be sponsored twice by the GNOME foundation. I attended the 2008 UX Hackfest in Boston (see my slides and blog post) and the 2009 Zeitgeist hackfest in Bolzano, Italy.