In a nutshell, I am from Argentina, were I did my undergrad in Computer Science. I attended graduate school in Columbia University where I got my PhD in 2005. After Columbia, I moved to Westchester County, (30' north of NYC) to work as a researcher in IBM Research Watson. In the mid-time, I met my wife, left IBM and went to Montreal, Quebec, while she was doing her PhD in McGill. We are now back in Canada, enjoying beautiful Vancouver, in British Columbia.
In Argentina, I was born in the city of Mendoza, a city famous because it is the capital of the province where the Mt. Aconcagua is located. The Aconcagua, with almost 7000 meters (22850 feet) is the taller mount in the Americas.
My parents make crafts, both of them are into woodworking. We lived for four years in Patagonia in the early eighties.
Nevertheless, I was raised in another city in Argentina, Córdoba. There I went to a traditional (more than 300 years old) public secondary school, the Colegio Nacional de Monserrat where I studied Latin and Ancient Greek.
In Córdoba I also did my undergrad, at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. I pursued a Computer Science career with a strong emphasis in Logic and theoretical background at the Fa.M.A.F., Facultad de Matemática, Astronomía y Física (Mathematics, Astronomy and Physics School). The outcome of those five years of studies was a title of Licenciado en Computación.
My undergrad thesis (in Spanish) was under the direction of the Dr. Javier Blanco on the building of a parser for a subset of the Spanish language in Haskell, a lazy functional language, using monads as parser combinators. The linguistic background used was the one of the lexical functional grammars (LFG).
Besides that, I worked one year in web programming at NC Editora and taught three semesters as a part-time instructor at the Universidad Empresarial Siglo 21.
Also known as "achievements".
As a generalist, my interests range across the whole technology stack. That has been true since young age and at the end of my undergrad that allowed me to score top 1% in GRE CompSci in 1999. Yes, old news but I still have warm feelings about it.
I went through PhD very fast (five years, of which the first one was working on a different topic with a different advisor) and I got hired as a full time researcher by IBM Research straight out of school (sure, the fact that I wasn't interested in going tenure track helped me speed up my time through grad school and I had very good alignment between my project at Columbia and the team at IBM, but is nice I managed to avoid doing some rounds of post-docs).
I worked for a number of years with a sizable team of smart and practical reseachers working as peers. As a result DeepQA and many other cool things happen.
While I struggle to learn languages I have studied many so far and I plan to master a few more before calling it quits. Besides Spanish (my mother tongue), English, French, Portuguese and Italian, I am working on my Mandarin. If I can become conversational in Mandarin, that will mean I can speak the three most spoken languages in the world. A nice thought to remember when you wake up in the morning!
I moved to Quebec, a place where I did not master the language and knew nobody and in five years I earned the trust, respect and friendship of some of the greatest people I have met in my life. And I also earned a honest living doing AI consulting, which is not as easy as it sounds (particularly the honest bit).