John Muir and Stephen Mather

It was early in my grad school days that I started hanging out with him to share what little programming methodologies I knew. It was the summer of 2004, I think. He’d show up on time, do things very well (and if he made a mistake — like, misspelled a word, he’d erase the whole word and re-type it correctly every time), and on days he couldn’t make it, he’d send me a note ahead of time.

If not for those interactions (specifically, when we writing some code for computing square root of a number), it’d have taken a lot longer for me realize that including <math.h> in a C program by itself didn’t provide necessary mathematical functions – the compilation needed a -lm flag.

And when I moved on to New Jersey after I graduated, I had chance to watch a Yankees-Red Sox baseball game with him and dad in the Old Yankee Stadium. We went into the city early and walked around – he showed me the Seinfeld coffee shop. And when I moved back to the Yoop, he and his cousin once came over to watch Giants-Saints game on TV, and ate Maggi noodles! Giants didn’t do very well (it was the season Saints won the Super Bowl) and he wasn’t too happy that day. He LOVED New York and the Giants and Yankees. And never once he mentioned the fact that his Giants had ended my Patriots’ run for perfection in 2007 🙂