About


Biography

My name is Mathias Gibbens, and I have been a software engineer at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM since Janurary 2017.

Previously, I was a graduate research assistant (RA) in the Computer Science department of the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. I pursed a graduate degree in computer science, with an emphasis on operating systems and novel network protocols. My advisor was Dr. Chris Gniady.

I moved to Tucson in August of 2011 from the Twin Cities (Minnesota) area where I grew up.

I attended college at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN and graduated in the spring of 2011 cum laude with a B.S. in Computer Science and a strong Mathematics minor. While at Bethel, I worked as a student employee at both the ITS Employee Help Desk and in Web Services as a developer. I lived in Nelson Hall my first year, which is obviously the best dorm on campus (well, maybe a little biased).

Prior to college, I was home schooled through the tenth grade, and finished my last two years of high school at a small, private school in St. Paul Park, MN. I graduated in 2007 with four fellow friends and classmates. Additionally, I was a volunteer system administrator for the school for many years.

Interests

Computers

I enjoy working with computers, specifically with the software side, but also the hardware side an extent. I'm a proponent of open source software, and proudly run GNU/Linux on my personal computers and servers.

My initial interest in computers began when an aunt gave me a copy of the book HTML4 for the World Wide Web when I was about 12. I thought it was cool how I could make small web pages and have the computer ask me for my name, etc using JavaScript. However, the computer couldn't remember my name when I refreshed the page. The book mentioned that something called CGI scripts and Perl could make the computer remember. So, about a year later I went to the local library and checked out the first book I found that had Perl in its title: Programming Perl. If you know this book, you know it's not written for a 13 year old who knows only a little HTML. But I didn't know that, and I made it about 20 pages in before giving up. So I went back and found Learning Perl, which seemed to be a better selection, since it had both "Learning" and "Perl" in the title.

In a few short weeks, I had devoured that book, and a little while later had Perl running on my Windows 95 machine. Then I returned to Programming Perl, and I was able to understand more of the first chapter. Both books occasionally mentioned this thing called "Linux" and how you could create web pages with Perl if it was on Linux. So I tired to get Linux on my computer. It turns out this Linux thing was an entire operating system, and not a program! With some help from my Dad, we got a copy of Red Hat Linux 5.1 installed on an old computer. From there, I played and learned, and as they say, "the rest was history."

Amateur Radio

I have an amateur radio license, K0̸WBG, and am involved with local clubs and help with testing sessions as a VE. You can visit k0wbg.com for more details.

Flying

I am working towards my private pilot's license and am involved with the Kirtland Flight Center, which is located on Kirtland AFB.

Volunteering

During some of my free time, I volunteer with the City of Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department. While I was living in Tucson, I volunteered with two great local non-profit organizations: The Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter and The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation.

Space

In addition to computers, I also like space -- of course, if you've ever visited my apartment you'll have picked up on this by my decoration choices. I'm interested in the exploration of space, both manned and unmanned. We have learned a lot in the past, and will continue to learn even more about the Universe we live in as we continue to explore. Oh, and I watched every space shuttle launch live via streaming from about 2002 through to the last mission in 2011. One time in college I even got the professor to interrupt class for 10 minutes so we could all watch live on the projector.

Reading

I enjoy reading a good book, whether it is fiction, non-fiction, or computer related. Some of my favorite books include The Lord of the Rings, the Complete Calvin & Hobbes Collection, and Programming Perl. You can see a list of books I've recently read here.

Video Games

I lean towards games which require critical thought and have a decent plot; ie, not just shoot-em up. Thus, my current favorite game is Portal, which is closely followed by Portal 2. I also really enjoy The Secret of Monkey Island series of games, especially the first one. Roller Coaster Tycoon (the original and second one) are also very good. If you're not aware, take a look at the OpenRCT2 project!

Movies & TV

In addition to reading, I also enjoy the occasional movie or TV show. In no particular order: Movies I enjoy: The Lord of the Rings, Batman Begins / Dark Knight, Apollo 13, The Princess Bride, and Hoodwinked! TV shows I enjoy: Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, MAS*H, Psych, Monk, Cheers, Frasier, The Muppet Show, Battlestar Galactica, Burn Notice, Star Trek (TNG, DS9, VOY), Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, and The Red Green Show