Zach Smith
Zach Smith is a person quite interested in Common Lisp.

I had a homepage, and will have one in the future, but not right now.

I came from a C background. Work on my boss's 100k+ line of code project eventually became so mind numbingly boring yet impossibly hard that I started looking for something new. Went through Perl, Ruby and even a serious stint of Bash programming (seems silly now) looking for something better and finally tried CLISP. If I had found Python before a Lisp, I probably would have stopped there, and never left the imperative world of programming. I'm glad I found Lisp. I'm glad I was looking for an ideal and not something to get a job done. Learning Lisp has opened my eyes to a lot of things (not just computer related). Probably sounds like BS, but it's true.

It has been two years since I started studying Lisp. I am happy to say that I now use CL in my day to day job as a computational physicist and for hobby activities as well. While I use CL for many jobs, I find it ironic that one of the most valuable uses I have found is to use CL as a wrapper around foreign C functions. An FFI is typically used to access standard libraries and export very low level code out of Lisp. I find that the most useful feature is that CFFI can turn your C programs into interactive constructs. Most of the time a Lisp shell provides everything I need to debug a the logic problems I encounter and I rarely need to start up gdb.

Lisp is basically a mathematical notation to me now. I know the code I write in Lisp might not be blowing away benchmarks, but I am no longer afraid of designing a little Lisp sublanguage that can be translated to a different language, if speed/space really is a problem.

I have been toying around with writing a tutorial/text on using Lisp for scientific computation (similar to the results you get by google searching `OCaml' and `scientific'). I am hardly an *expert* in Lisp, but I see no one else working on this.

I like programming competitions like ICFP. I will probably compete this year (last year didn't go so well and I was all on my own).

I currently use CLISP, SBCL, CMUCL, ECL, and CCL in an attempt to stay implementation neutral. I am fed up with GCL, that hunk of junk seems to segfault on almost anything. As a FOSS supporter and an FSF member, I am only really interested in using/working with free (libre) versions of ANSI CL.

Projects/topics I am currently awed by: Axiom, ACL2, Ltk(The only GUI I can reliably get working)

Projects/topics I was previously awed by (still good stuff): Maxima, Screamer, Femlisp

Person Graduate Student