Please join us in welcoming Alpheus “Alphy” Madsen, Full Stack Engineer to the Givelify family! Learn more about Alphy in his own words.
“For an English class, I read “Jurassic Park”, and from that book, I wanted to learn more about “chaos theory”. In the process of doing so, I learned that mathematicians loved mathematics because it was beautiful, and I decided I wanted to become a mathematician. Since then, I majored in mathematics and continued on to get a Ph.D. — and I found that yes, mathematics is indeed very beautiful. Even so, I decided I didn’t want to be in academics, so I started work as a web developer, and have since done a lot of web development, worked briefly as a research assistant, and spent some time extracting data. I have also done some cutting-edge cryptocurrency development. Philosophically, I would describe myself as a Platonist: I believe there’s a world of ideas that is completely independent of the physical world, yet can also be used to understand our physical world. Whenever we use our imagination or think logically, we can explore this world of ideas, and perhaps even discover new territory in this world. I also believe in free will, but mostly because I’ve noticed that when I don’t believe in free will, I have a greater tendency to believe my flaws are unchangeable and that I cannot improve myself. I have come to realize that the ability to evaluate my own behavior and try to think of ways to change it for the better is the essence of free will. I am passionate about open-source software and hardware, learning new things (particularly if they are “off the beaten path” ideas), and preserving natural rights. I look forward to using my experience and possibly some of the interesting ideas I’ve explored to help others be able to fund their passions.”
We asked Alphy to fill out a “Welcome to Givelify” survey. You can view his responses below:
What causes do you care about? What non-profit organization do you actively support?
OpenWest and miscellaneous local Meetups. (Mostly attending, but occasionally speaking as well.) I currently volunteer for the Life, the Universe, and Everything Science Fiction and Fantasy Symposium. I support the National Rifle Association, and I appreciate the gun safety training they offer.
What music is on your favorites playlist?
I particularly like Rachmaninoff and Brahms in particular and symphonic music (including music soundtracks) in general. Every so often I encounter a pop song I enjoy. “Royals” in particular comes to mind. I also enjoy Weird Al, and “filk” music (which is a science fiction and fantasy music genre); “Fire in the Sky” (about taming fire and exploring space), “The Eternal Flame” (a song about the Lisp computer language), “Bashing the Balrog” (about a fantasy team taking on more than it can handle), and “Grandma Went Out with a Bang” (hard to explain) are some of my favorite filk songs.
Who would you most like to meet and why?
I’d like to say “No one, really”, but that’s mostly because I’m both too shy and too intimidated by fame to develop desires to meet famous people. Having said that, I’d like to meet Alan Kay (living) and John McCarthy (passed on) to discuss their experiences in developing new computer languages. I’d also like to meet Kurt Godel (passed on) to discuss how he came up with his Incompleteness Theorem.
What TV show do you never miss?
I don’t watch much TV, but my family enjoys watching “Studio C”, a sketch comedy show. We usually try to stream each new episode the night it comes out, but if life catches up with us, we’ll be sure to catch the episode in a week or two.
Best advice anyone has given you?
I don’t know if this is my own thought or one from my Heavenly Father, but one night, as I was walking home, I was thinking about how I didn’t like differential equations and was wondering if I should switch my major from Mathematics to something like History or English. The thought came to be “If I switched my major every time I encountered something I didn’t like, I’ll never settle on a major”, and so I decided to stick with Mathematics. A year later I was taking Linear Algebra, Real Analysis, and Physics for Scientists and Engineers, and I loved every minute of it!
What would be your go-to karaoke song?
“Fire in the Sky”.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
I’d like to be able to fly. Perhaps someday I’ll get a pilot’s license, but if I can fly without the aid of machines that would be even better!
Do you have any kids (furry or human)?
I have three daughters and a son. The oldest is 14, and the youngest is 5.
What is your favorite treat?
A root beer float with a rice crispy treat and a bit of chocolate.