I am a physics educated software and hardware engineer. I obtained my BS degree in physics from Columbia University, where I also worked as an experimental physics researcher for several years. I was born and raised in the Czech Republic.
I am also an entrepreneur who has been involved in a few startup projects over the years and built several dynamic, interactive websites.
I am very passionate about physical sciences and engineering, and I am always on a lookout for exciting high-impact projects to work on.
Below I present some of the projects I worked on throughout my career in reverse chronological order.
If you’d like to get in touch with me, please, use the contact form.
2011-2015: Researcher in Experimental Biophysics and Astrophysics
I worked with Prof. Szabolcs Marka in the physics department at Columbia University on research in the area of experimental biophysics.
- Developed a cutting edge technology for studying locomotion of vertebrates utilizing advanced fully custom robotics designed and built in our labs.
- Ensured quality of the robotics control software written in Python by writing an entire suite of hardware/software in a loop tests developed simultaneously with the hardware/software system.
- Wrote an optical real-time image analysis software in C++ on top of OpenCV along with unit tests.
- Performed statistical analysis of the data collected from our scientific instruments.
- Wrote an augmented reality smartphone app that displayed a 3D model of an African village on a 5×7 feet mat. The simulation included high quality houses, trees, people, and flying mosquitoes. The purpose of the project was to convincingly demonstrate the malaria prevention technology we were developing in our labs. The app was developed using Unity3D and Vuforia SDK.
- Converted a 4000 line gravitational wave detector (LIGO) data analysis software from MATLAB to Python, optimized inefficient algorithms, and added a set of new features, including automatic connectivity to the LIGO internal data distribution system, data extraction and parsing, and automatic analysis triggering when a new trigger event arrives.
- Frequently designed parts for laser cutting and 3D printing using AutoCAD.
- Built and maintained the group website at http://markalab.org.
- Served as the system administrator of our Linux Debian computer network.
- Involved technologies: Python(+matplotlib, pylab, scipy, pyqt4), OpenCV, C++, PointGrey FlyCapture2 SDK, Linux OS administration and BASH scripting, MATLAB, PHP, Symfony2, WordPress.
2014-2015: Designing and Building Autonomous Object Following Drone
As a project with a potential to turn into a startup company, I work on developing a quadcopter drone that has the ability to stereoscopically see, detect, and follow objects. The drone is controlled via a software running on a laptop computer connected to the drone over 802.11 connection. The receiver on the drone is a Raspberry Pi with a wifi dongle. In fact, there are two Raspberry Pi’s onboard, each having a camera attached to it, processing the video frames and running basic object recognition at about 10 frames per second.
2015: Built a 3D Space Simulator Vesmeer.com
2015: Building PlotPipe.com
2009-2011: Research Assistant – Experimental Cosmology
I worked with Prof. Amber Miller in the Columbia University astrophysics department in experimental cosmology research.
- Worked on a Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) and frequency selective service filters. This work required advanced knowledge of the physics of electromagnetic radiation, interference phenomena, basic electronic circuits, MATLAB programming, mathematics, electromagnetic wave filter design, and noise analysis. I also learned how to use and handle cryogenics (liquid nitrogen and liquid helium) to cool the instrument down to 4K (4 degrees above absolute zero).
- Worked on a project called EBEX. It is a balloon-borne experiment designed to measure the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. My role was to go through the C source code of the software operating the instrument and write a detailed documentation for each function found in the so far undocumented code. This work required knowledge of the Linux OS architecture, understanding how device drivers work, and advanced knowledge of the C language.
- I also programmed a section of the site that is used internally for comparison of various scientific data plots. This section allows filtering of data sets by various criteria, displaying multiple plots on one screen using AJAX technology, and automatically imports new data plots from a specified repository directory on a server located in Europe.
- Before I started working on research, I was working for Prof. Amber Miller’s astrophysics research group as a webmaster.
2011-2014: Co-founder and Lead Developer at Jewbilation.com
Jewbilation.com is an online marketplace offering products for Jewish parties, events, holidays, and even for your house or personal entertainment. As a co-founder and lead software developer, I was responsible for its daily technical health and development of new features in the front-end as well as back-end area necessary for smooth and competitive operation of the company. I setup the website to run on a LAMP stack using the Symfony2 framework. The development was done on isolated virtual machine Debian instances managed by Vagrant. The deployment to staging and production environment is executed using Puppet and Fabric on linode cloud instances. The site is developed following the unit testing philosophy, including Selenium browser tests. The source code is versioned in Git. Further technologies used on this project include Web (HTML, CSS, jQuery), MySQL, Linux administration and scripting, Python.
2010-2011: Software Developer
MEDF is a start-up company, in which I was responsible for the design and development of the company website, which serves not only as a way to reach out to public and present information about the company, but also as an important business vehicle that the company operations depend on. Besides others, I worked on a design and development of a system called eVest, which is an investment portfolio and tracking system for microinvestors who use the system to microinvest into developing and poor countries and track their investments as well as returns. The system was developed in Python using the Django framework.
2007-2010: Software Architect and Developer at ConsulSafe.com
2007-2008: Software Architect and Developer of a ListFL.com
2006-2008: Application/Website Architect and Developer at UFACO, Inc
2004-2005: Java Developer at Ceska Sporitelna – a Major Czech Bank
I was a member of a team developing an online Internet banking system for a major Czech bank, Ceska Sporitelna, a.s.. I was a front-end developer responsible for the design and development of the web pages in the JSP language and connecting these to the business logic layer of the system. During the development, we were using a custom internal web framework (somewhat similar to Struts). The project was jointly developed by the Accenture corporation and Ceska Sporitelna itself. I learned how to work in team of programmers and cooperate with database administrators and architects. I used the following technologies: Java, JSP, HTML, CSS, Java, Websphere Application Server, INET framework, IntelliJ Idea IDE.
2002-2005: Software Developer at Gitus, a.s.
2001-2002: Information Specialist in the Czech Military
When I was on military duty in the Czech Republic, I was on a position of an information systems specialist. My responsibilities included administration of a network of about 50 computers in the barracks. I also developed various desktop, web applications and scripts that automated a number of logistic processes in the barracks. The position I was working on was designated for a rank of a captain. However, since I was just a soldier in his basic military duty, I was not allowed to get any higher rank than sergeant, therefore, at the end of my duty, I left the military with the rank of sergeant. During my service, I learned and implemented the following technologies: HTML, CSS, Delphi, PHP, MySQL, MS Office Visual Basic, basic Linux administration.