a bit about myself

Hey. Nice to see you are interested in me. As you know, my name is Dan Pollock. I was born July 4th, 1978 at Civic Hospital in Peterborough, Ontario. I spent my first 19 years living at 491 Gilmour St, with my parents (Didi and Zailig) and my two brothers (Gabe and Josh). I was enrolled in French immersion at Prince of Wales Public School from kindergarten through grade six, and Adam Scott CVI for grades seven through OAC (grade thirteen in Ontario), before going off to the University of Waterloo.

work and education

I started my undergraduate studies in the Computer Science Co-op program. However, I soon realized that neither CS nor Co-op suited my desires particularly well. After three consecutive terms of school, I took four months off to work in Martin Yaffe's digital mammography lab at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. Upon my return to school, I finally settled on doing a double major in Pure Mathematics and Combinatorics. The summer before fourth year, I got a job at a Waterloo software company called Inscriber, doing some 3D graphics work. I continued working there part-time as I finished my degree. Eventually I started working full-time during my last school term in the summer of 2001.

My time away from school didn't last terribly long though, as I soon started to miss learning mathematics. During the winter term in 2002, I registered as a post-degree student, and enrolled in a course on functional analysis in the hopes of bringing up my average a bit, so I could eventually make a run at grad school. Somehow in the process of signing up for the course, a prof convinced me that I should instead apply for grad school. For some reason the Pure Math department decided to ignore my "low" average, and I found myself a grad a few months later. I'm not complaining.

I began the fall term in 2002 expecting to work full-time and take one course per term for a while, with the intention of paying down some loans and easing my way back into school. This, it turned out, was not to be so. I began the term attending two courses, with the intention of dropping one to leave myself enough time for work. I soon realized that this was not going to work out. I found that I savoured my time at school, and spent my hours at work wishing I was at school.

My boss was kind enough to release me from my contract so that I could return to school full-time. Shortly thereafter, Ken Davidson and Laurent Marcoux came aboard as my thesis co-supervisors. The following fall I completed my thesis titled "On C*-envelopes of a special class of limit algebras" and prepared to say goodbye to Waterloo after more than six years. The current, and mostly unwritten chapter in my life, finds me as a PhD candidate at the University of Victoria.


As I reached the end of my undergraduate career, in conversation with some friends, we all came to realize that soon we would be losing the Unix accounts at the University, so graciously provided to us by MFCF. This was clearly a bad thing. So, in an effort to preserve our collective need for Unix shell access, a reasonable web host, and a stable email address, we decided that purchasing a server and installing it at a co-location facility was one of those things that "should be done". And thus theorem.ca was born. (Well, originally undergrad.ca was born, but that is a joke that only UW math students of a certain era, now passed, would get.)

everything else

When not working, in class, or administering a small ISP, I have been known to run around like a crazy man. While I was at Waterloo I was involved in all sorts of campus groups. During my four year tenure as an undergrad, I held virtually every position at some point in the Math Society, chaired the Math Endowment Fund and the Math Grad Committee, I sat as president and Waterloo Executive Liaison of the KW Jewish Student's Association and oversaw the acquisition of a house for the club during my tenure as president, and helped found the University of Waterloo NDP Club. I also sat on the executive of the Debate Society and a couple other clubs.

I was a semi-regular contributor to mathNEWS and occasionally to Imprint, and participated in Math Frosh Week as a Leader, Head Leader, Coordinator and Icebreaker, and helped to organize the Math Team entry into the Engineering Scunt almost every term. I even managed to put together the first non-engineering team to win the event. With the founding of the UW Women's Fastpitch team in 2002, I helped out as an assistant coach, batman and photographer.

When I graduated, I was awarded an Honourary Lifetime Membership to the University of Waterloo Math Society to recognize my self-destructive commitment to procrastination.

When I actually had a few moments of free time, I have been known to frequent local pubs with friends shooting pool, playing foos or relaxing with a drink and some greasy food. I've also been known to read a book once in a while, play video games, Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, softball, squash, juggle or climb.

That's all for now.

Thu Apr 17 15:01:24 2014top