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My name is Lionel Deimel, and I live in Indiana, Pennsylvania, though, until very recently, I was a resident of Mt. Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburgh. I am a computer scientist, writer, and musician who is presently an independent consultant. As a consultant, I have built and maintained Web sites and databases, advised on hardware and software purchases, repaired computers, and done a good deal of training. I am still looking for that perfect position that needs my special combination of computer, logic, mathematics, and communications skills.

I was born and reared in New Orleans, Louisiana. I was privileged to attend Benjamin Franklin High School, a public magnet school for gifted children founded before anyone talked about magnet schools. I did my undergraduate work at the University of Chicago in physics, and earned my M.S. and Ph.D. at Georgia Tech in information and computer science.

I have taught computer science at Georgia Tech, North Carolina State University, and Allegheny College. At the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) of Carnegie Mellon University, I promoted software engineering as an academic discipline, which was a natural career move, given my longstanding interest in computer science education. Over the years, I pursued research in automata theory, computational complexity, computer graphics, and human-computer interaction, with occasional excursions in odd directions, such as recreational mathematics. I have written extensively on computer science education.

Even as a doctoral student at Georgia Tech, I found myself doing a good deal of writing—technical papers, software documentation, handouts for students. Later, I became the default editor of papers on which I was a co-author. For many years, I served either as Director or as Chief Judge for the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Scholastic Programming Contest, for which I had to do very critical editing of contest problems.

At the SEI, I had more opportunities to write, and I became a serious technical editor. Not only did I edit material from technical experts, but also I took on the task of interacting with authors to shape and improve their output. My sometimes stormy relationship with the technical writing group at the SEI taught me a good deal about both writing and editing, as well as getting along with people in spite of differences. Being a technical editor often requires excellent negotiation skills.

I have often thought of writing a book, but I never seem to have both the time and an exciting topic simultaneously. When I get around to the task, the product likely will not be a novel, but who knows.

Since I began building Lionel Deimel’s Farrago, my writing has expanded beyond the technical. I now am as likely to be writing poetry, essays, or even music as I am to be drafting database requirements or program documentation.

I have been playing musical instruments since I was in the third grade, and I cannot imagine life without music. I justify calling myself a musician Bandsman through my service as an Army bandsman for three years during the Vietnam War; I played clarinet in Atlanta and Honolulu. I am a member of my church choir, and I have sung in many other church choirs and choral groups over the years. Lately, I have even written a few songs and (probably more successfully) hymns. My musical tastes are eclectic, but generally don’t include rock, certainly not the more aggressive forms of it, in any case. Some of my favorite artists are Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Judy Collins, Carly Simon, and Vonda Shepard. I am passionate about Bach and (especially) Prokofiev.

I am active in my church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where I was, for many years, Audio-Visual Coördinator. (I love equipment of all sorts.) I served on the Worship Commission—as secretary, I did more writing—and on Parish Council. I was on the committees that brought St. Paul’s both its new organist and new organ.

My interests in The Episcopal Church and the Internet led me to become involved in controversies within my church and the wider Anglican Communion. I became the first president of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh (PEP), a lay-clergy group dedicated to preserving a diverse and tolerant Episcopal Church. I was part of the group that created Via Media USA, a consortium of groups similar to PEP in various dioceses. I was also the founder of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition, an international group opposing the same traditionalists that led to the creation of PEP.

I seem to have too little time for my other interests, which include photography, railroading, and baseball. I am deeply interested in science and technology, as well as in public affairs. For many years, I have owned cats. My current cats are brothers, Charlie and Linus, who I adopted as kittens just after Christmas 2013.

— LED, 4/10/2014

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