My name is Ian Brandt. I’m the founder and executive director of Brandt Academy, a non-profit STEM academy where middle and high school students learn technology engineering from volunteer industry professionals. I’m also the founder and organizer of the San Diego Kotlin User Group, and serve on the board of directors of the San Diego Java User’s Group.
When I have time I contribute to several open-source software projects, and study machine learning, artificial intelligence, database engineering, programming language design and implementation, computer engineering, electronics, and robotics.
I’m also passionately interested in self-driving cars, quantum and other alternate platforms for computation, asteroid mining, electric space propulsion, next-gen nuclear fission energy, nuclear fusion research, and paleo nutrition.
My fascination with technology began when I was young. Ever curious, I wanted to learn how to make the early-generation video games my childhood friends and I would play. I purchased my first computer with a year’s worth of paper route savings, and started teaching myself how to program in BASIC and C from magazines and books. My efforts greatly accelerated upon gaining access to the internet in the mid-90’s, and grew into a career in the lead-up to the Y2K problem. All told I’ve now been programming computers for nearly 30 years.
Away from the keyboard I keep busy with an overly-long list of hobbies. I love hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, and beach volleyball. I enjoy reading and listening to audiobooks, particularly on the topics of cosmology, evolution, neuroscience, nutrition, leadership, personal productivity and improvement, start-ups, and business. I may have also read or listened to nearly all the Star Wars books. I play upright and electric bass, I’m slowly learning the piano, and I like experimenting with hardware and software synthesizers. Otherwise I’m often tinkering with cars, motorcycles, and radio control helicopters. I love movies, and follow Formula 1, MotoGP, NFL football, and America’s Cup sailing. Some dormant hobbies I hope to one day revive include sailboat racing, playing the cello, and light aircraft aviation.