me

My name is Kyle Woodward. I'm a 32-year-old resident of North Carolina, currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at UNC—Chapel Hill. I got my Ph.D. in Economics at UCLA in 2015; my undergraduate work was at Stanford University, to which I owe degrees in math, economics, and computer science. I am an active supporter of bicycle commuting. I spend my spare time making things like websites, furniture, beer, and economic models.

Dropping me a line is left as an exercise for the reader. (tip: Google can help if you remember calculus; Wolfram|Alpha can help if you don't)

captcha =

the site

The color scheme comes from The New St. Martin's Handbook, with slight adjustments to match my almae matres and employer. And wood, or perhaps a healthy brown ale. Kudos to the publishers for picking a naturally appealing palette.

The splash page graphic depends on your browser. If you've got a modern, WebGL-friendly desktop browser, you'll see a live rendering of a process finding the zeros of the complex function labeled below, and you can play along with your cursor. If you've got an old or busted browser, you'll see the complex function, statically rendered a decade ago. In the former case the zeros move predictably and linearly, in the latter they move according to boids-type rules; left- or right-click to advance the image. The concept caught my interest while I was reading an entertaining and thoroughly fascinating article by Simon Tatham on Fractals derived from Newton-Raphson iteration. If you're interesting in messing around with them yourself, check out the fractal generator.

The banner images are window decoration, generated by biased Brownian motion. A particle starts at the far left, in the middle, and wanders rightward uniformly over distances and within a particular cone. The algorithm is fairly simple and exists in the source of this very page as a sequence of Logo commands passed through Logo-to-JS conversion.

The splash page graphic is a grid of squares, randomly colored and peacefully darkening and lightening for no good reason; the inspiration is almost certainly PopSquares, which has been translated into a decent Android wallpaper. Technically the color changes represent the motion of an undamped spring, but the choice of motion rule is purely aesthetic.

Some time ago the banner images were a dynamic mow-the-lawn simulation in which each new visitor mowed a patch of a tiny yard. A fun, networked idea, but it turns out that traffic on this site is too low to sustain anything other than weedy overgrowth. This offended my basic need for order, and jiggering the parameters felt like cheating. Brownian motion it is, then.