a collection of random facts that make up my life

My name is Wm Leler. My first name is pronounced whim and yes, it is short for William. I live in Portland, OR, and spend time in Olympia, WA. My email is wm at this domain. Here is my interactive resume.

I'm a start-up junkie. I've held just about every role possible in a variety of start-up companies, including technical, marketing, and management. I was the founder, president, and CTO of Zat, a start-up company that made component-based application authoring tools for the Internet. In the summer of 2000, Zat was successfully acquired and I left one year later. I spent a year being retired and traveling. Then I jumped back in, consulting for emerging businesses; helping them refine their business model and obtain funding; and helping companies that had gotten themselves into trouble. Now the itch has gotten strong again, so I've gotten involved more directly with a few startups. I was also director of a non-profit, Open Tech Space, which provided technical resources for new businesses. I've also worked in large companies, including Google and Tektronix.

I program computers. I have a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My thesis became the first book on constraint languages, titled Constraint Programming Languages, published by Addison-Wesley. You can get a free copy of my constraint language, called Bertrand (after Bertrand Russell) here, and there is a discussion list here. My second book is about how to write computer graphics applications, titled 3D with HOOPS, also from Addison-Wesley. I've also worked with parallel computers (see Linda Meets Unix in the January 1990 IEEE Computer Magazine), and wrote systems to help write parallel software called Kernel Linda and Ernest. I've taught courses (at the graduate and professional level) in C++ and object-oriented programming, computer graphics, and parallel programming. I also led the project to build the first interactive workstation for interpreting 3D seismic exploration data for the oil industry. I'm now mostly building web applications (I've been on the Internet since 1982). Here's a cartoon about the internet, which I'm sure you can identify with.

I dabble in art. I have an art degree from Rice University, but don't have enough time anymore to do serious art. I used to do computer animations and stuff like that, but now I mainly take photographs. While still in college, I made what I've been told is the first ever computer-generated hologram. About every 5 years I go up to the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada and do art projects. In 1986 I was a resident in the artist colony there. In 1991 I did research on artistic approaches to virtual reality there, and the summer of 1996 I did art/computer projects relating to the web.

I love to travel, especially to unusual places. I have traveled to Antarctica and Patagonia, Mexico, New Zealand (spending a total of 5 months there), Australia, and Hawaii and the Galapagos Islands. Previous trips include China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Korea, Japan, and the US Virgin Islands. I also got to make return trips to Europe, Cuba, and the Southwest US. Here are lots of travel photos. This picture is a double arch in Arches National Park in Utah. In addition to living in the Canadian Rockies, I've also lived in Manchester, England, and in Guanajuato, Mexico. Lots of travel photos here.

I walk on stilts. I was taught how by a group in San Francisco called Wise Fool Puppet Intervention. Since then, I have walked on stilts in parades, at music festivals, parties, protests, and (most of the time) just for fun. This picture is from the class where my friend Lisa Martinengo and I learned how to walk on stilts. Normally, we wear costumes over the stilts (now that you've seen what they look like underneath the costumes, don't tell anyone!). There are pictures of me on stilts in the Burning Man photographs.

I have been trained as a professional massage technician. I love giving massages, but except for occasionally being auctioned off for a good cause, I don't do it for money. I mainly do shiatsu (accupressure), although I've also been trained in Swedish, Reflexology, and facial techniques.

I dance and make music. I love almost all kinds of dance, including rock & roll, polka, east-coast swing, hambo, waltz, scandinavian, zwiefacher, balkan, and especially contra and square dancing. I call contra dances, and have even written a few dances, and I play the bass. I've also written a course on how to play the bass. Once a year I play in a band called the Polkadoubts for a big polka bash. When I lived in San Francisco, we had music jams at our house about once a month, and the East Bay Pickin' Potluck several times a year. I love going to dance camps and to music festivals (like Folklife). My favorite bands to dance to are Anzanga (an African marimba band from Seattle), Brave Combo (Tex-Mex & International from Denton), and the Horse Flies (southern and punk acoustic from Ithaca).

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