Mel Chua

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Mallory Solomon Lim Chua participates in the Maker Movement


"Mallory Solomon Lim Chua. Most people call me Mel.

What... is your quest? To make a world where makers make themselves. (I need to come up with a more elegant wording of this.) The job I'd like to retire from is that of an university professor with two PhD's, one in engineering and one in education, teaching and doing research at the (currently shaky and fledgling) union of the two disciplines. My goal is to have as many interesting things happen between now and then as possible. (And, of course, to seek the Holy Grail.)

Random background: I am Chinese and my family is from the Philippines. I was the first person in my extended family to grow up and be schooled outside the developing world, and the first to develop hardware, software, and participate in internet communities. I grew up as a "disabled" kid with a hearing loss severe enough to warrant a host of technological aids, special classes, and a full-time sign language interpreter. I also grew up as a voracious library addict (at a young age, books were easier for me to understand than people talking) and a tomboy who hung out with the guys to talk about math and science (and occasionally play football). This has shaped many of my attitudes towards education, access, technology, globalization, and development. I am a hacker of hardware, software, brains, and the boundaries between them. Please feel free to grab me if you think I'd be useful for a task.

As an electrical and computer engineer, I work with microcontrollers and design simple peripherals and control mechanisms. That sounds a lot fancier than it probably should; basically, I make Things With Electrons Talk To Each Other. I'm still very new to the hardware world, and feel less comfortable in it than any other, but I've "learned enough to teach myself more," as a prof once told me at the end of my undergrad career. (My choice to major in electrical engineering is a canonical masochism story involving a dartboard and the decision to study the field I had the least background in and the most terror of.)

As a coder and Linux user (thanks to some high-school friends and a stack of Debian install floppies) I adore the command line and have picked up programming along the way, primarily in C, C++, and Python. I can usually pick up other languages fast (and forget them even faster) with the exception of assembly, which tends to drive me slowly insane if I work with it for extended periods of time. Open Source Software has also led me into the related topics of Open Licenses, Open Content, and (the young but burgeoning field of) Open Education." (