Eric Wasiolek

Life Story


   Personal History
   Family and Friends
   World Travels
   Books and Articles
   Philosophical Papers
   Contact Me
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
- Mahatma Gandhi



































































































Academics - An Intellectual Journey

I have spent a lifetime pursuing knowledge.  I was driven by the big questions:  is there life after death, is there a non-material component to humans (a soul), is there a God?  Ultimately, given all we know, we don't know the answers to these questions just have better or worse hypotheses.  These questions drove me to Philosophy, and I am ultimately a Philosopher, but I had to study many other subjects (such as science) to do serious Philosophy.  For example, to understand the relation between the mind and the brain I delved into neuroscience at Grinnell to do advanced research on neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, and neuropharmacology.  Getting no satisfying answers this way I went into Philosophy of Mind (the Philosophy degree at Berkeley) which at least asked the questions about the relation between the mind and the brain rather than just assuming they are the same without sufficient evidence and ignoring all the problems with that position.  I went into computational biology because I wanted an advanced degree, wanted a degree in both computers and science, and realized that the most interesting intellectual developments occur on the boundaries between disciplines.  I did the MBA simply because I wanted a professional degree and was interested in what business schools could teach me that I didn't already know having worked in both a business and technical capacity in the computer industry.  I did the doctorate in Computer Science simply because I have always been interested in machines that can mimic human mental processes (computers) and it complimented my career in Computing.  My intellectual life has been a journey, from literature in high school, to foreign languages at Grinnell, to brain science at Grinnell, to Philosophy at Berkeley, to computers in the computer industry (where I did self study of how computers worked and wrote articles about open distributed systems), to science with computational biology, to business, and back to computing.  My focus intellectually has always been Philosophy which is the only discipline which can tie together all other disciplines.  It's not enough to have knowledge and degrees in different areas, you have to integrate that knowledge into a meaningful big picture and I use Philosophy to create that meaningful big picture (hence I could never be just a scientist stuck in the muck of details).  I will present my intellectual journey from high school to the present in that order below.

High School --- Literature and Poetry

I was a terrible student in high school ending with a 2.67 GPA (later in life I got a 4.0 in my doctorate in Computer Science, so what does that tell you?).  I didn't care about school nor did my homework until the last two years when I took a large number of optional literature courses in which I got all A's.  I wrote many poems receiving prizes for the poems and was inducted into the Quill and Scroll Society.  See my poems elsewhere on this site.  Rather than doing my homework I studied Latin and German on my own.  I took four years of french and all I remember from high school was how to do algebra and how to speak french. When I got interest in and began to study science at Grinnell college I was at a disadvantage:  I had taken almost no math or science in high school instead concentrating on literatuere.  Somehow I got into Grinnell college, the eleventh best college in the United States (a mid-western Harvard).


Grinnell College --- Languages and Brain Science

When I entered Grinnell College in 1976 I was clearly a humanities student.  I took a tutorial in Philosophy and studied Russian while self-studying German and the grammars of at least 20 other languages.  I was so interested in languages that I took a year off and worked and lived in France and Germany to speak those languages.  I returned to spend five months in Berkeley where I studied Physics, Hominology (Anthropology) and World History on my own.  When I went back to Grinnell I got fascinated with the Brain and took many neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, and neuropharmacology courses.  While at Grinnell I took Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Law, Psychology of Language, Linguistics, Calculus, Biology, General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry, Anthropology, two years of Russian, Neuropsychology, and many other courses.  Here are some sample courses:

Functional Neuroanatomy

Click on Image to See Paper on the Sensory Motor System

Physiological Psychology

Click on Image to See Paper the Test (written with my left hand as right hand was injured)

Physiological Psychology

Click on Image for Full View

Russian Courses

Click on Image for Full View

German (Self Taught)

Taught myself German and then lived in Germany in 1977,  Read Also Sprach Zarathrustra (Thus Spake Zarathrustra) on own in German and the above was my favorite passage.  Studied the grammars of some twenty other languages (foreign languages a hobby).  My goal was to read Philosophy in German (a very logical language).

Click on Image for Full View

French - Les Correspondences

La nature est un temple ou de vivant pilliers

Laisse parfois sortir de confuses paroles

L’homme y passe a travers des forets de symboles

Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers

Comme de longs echos qui de loin se confondent

Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unite

Vaste comme la nuit et come la clarte

Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent

Ayant l’expansion des choses infinies

Comme l’ambre, le musc, le benjoin et l’encens

Qui chantent les transports de l’esprit et des sens


U.C. Berkeley - Philosophy (and the Mind/Brain Problem)

When I got to U.C. Berkeley I had to declare a major immediately.  My goal at this point was just to finish undergraduate.  I declared Philosophy, my life long love.  In Philosophy I was primarily focused on the mind/brain problem, are the mind and the brain the same and what is the relationship between the two?  We still do not know how the brain produces subjective experience if it does;  the relationship is mysterious.  Note that the mind/brain problem also involves questions about whether the mind is a computer which led my to interest in cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and computing in general. Having completed all of my general college requirements at Grinnell I only took Philosophy courses at U.C. Berkeley which included Philosophy of Mind, two semesters of Symbolic (Mathematical) Logic, Theory of Knowledge (Epistemology), Ethics, Theory of Meaning, Phenomenology, Philosophical Methods, and History of Philosophy courses including ancient and modern (Kant and the Empiricists) Philosophy, Descartes, Hegel, and Aristotle.  See my Philosophical Papers. 

Symbolic Logic (Philosophy 12B)

Click on Image for Full View

Symbolic Logic (Philosophy 12B)

Click on Image for Full View

Symbolic Logic (Philosophy 12B)

Click on Image for Full View

Philosophy of Mind Paper

Click on Image for Full View

Epistemology Final

Click on Image for Full View

Locke Nominal Essence Paper

Click on Image for Full View

Computer Field --- Self Taught and Distributed Systems

When I entered the computer field I had no computer science degree, had only taken two computer science courses, and didn't know how to program.  To function, I had to teach myself computing.  This started with reading Adam Osborne's book on Microcomputers while working at a Microprocessor Development System Company.  When I was promoted to UNIX Microprocessor Development System Product Marketing Engineer I had to learn UNIX and C.  I learned UNIX from books and using it and I took a course on C.  I was lucky:  I was working for a company that manufactured computers that build computers.  I then went into database as a systems engineer (I had become technical enough to hold that job) and read Date's books on relational database while working with relational databases.  I went to Excelan a networking vendor to become a Product Manager learning networking.  This is where I started to specialize in distributed systems by writing and publishing articles on distributed computing and distributed applications.  This led to the Ingres job which combined my background in database and networking and expertise in heterogeneous distributed systems as evidenced by the articles to become the Product Marketing Manager for STAR, a networked distributed database system.  Despite some disruptions I continued my career in open systems at Oracle running the Coexistence Seminars which showed how to integrate proprietary and open UNIX systems.  I switched from Philosophy to reading nothing but computer books, manuals, and articles.  Below are the articles I published on distributed computing.

The Big Picture: Database Gateways

Click on Image to Read Article

Heterogeneous Distributed Applications

Click on Image to Read Article.

Distributed Applications

Click on Image to Read Article

Incorporating Systems Applications into the Operating System

Click on Image to Read Article

Heterogeneous Distributed File Systems

Click on Image to Read Article

Coexistence Strategies

Click on Image to Read Article

Informix Development Tools

Click on Image to Read Article

Distributed Computing: A Heterogeneous Approach (Book)


Distributed Computing



Computational Molecular Biology --- Disciplines on the Boundary

My Masters in Computational Molecular Biology is a boundary field which combines math and computer science with molecular biology (which itself is a combination of biology and chemistry).  The most interesting developments occur on boundaries between different departments of knowledge. Click here for a detailed description of this degree. This degree involved the mathematical and computational analysis of genetic and proteomic sequences as well as the understanding of biomolecular techniques and computer simulations of biological phenomena such as the growth of the brain of C. Elegans as was done in the thesis.  Courses included:  Molecular Biology (I, II, & III), Statistics for Bioinformatics, Bioinformatics, Advanced Bioinformatics (including Chemoinformatics), Courses in C++ including Data Structures, Perl Programming, Graduate Computer Simulation, Neurobiology, Functional Genomics, Developmental Genetics, Stochastic Processes (advanced Math including Calculus and Linear Matrix Algebra), and others completed with a 3.84 GPA.   This degree prepared me to be able to work not only in the computer industry but also in the biotech industry.  Very few people have this combination of knowledge.  Below are some sample classes.

Developmental Genetics

Developmental Genetics

Developmental Genetics

Stochastic Processes

Stochastic Processes


Chemo-Informatics and Molecular Biology Papers

Read the ChemoInformatics Paper


See the ChemoInformatics Presentation


Molecular Biology Paper 1


Molecular Biology Paper 2

Markov Chain Paper

Click on Image to Read Paper

Markov Chain Program

Click on Image to See Program

ChemoInformatics Paper

Click on Image to Read Paper


Stanford Masters Thesis in Computational Biology

I did my Masters Thesis at Stanford with a Stanford professor utilizing their computing facilities.  I wrote seventeen programs which analyzed the brain (nervous system) of a worm (C elegans) by representing the brain as a graph (with nodes/vertices and links/edges) and then running various algorithms on that graph data structure.  This was a computational  neuroscience project.  The thesis won best thesis in the school of science at Cal State East Bay.  The thesis was 300 pages (available through the link below).  The research and thesis was in Computational Neuroscience (I am a bit of a neuroscientist).

Click on the Image for Full View of the Stanford Recommendation.

Click on the Image for Full View of the Best Masters Thesis Award.

Click on the Image to Read the Masters Thesis.


A computer program was developed to combine developmental, neural, and genetic information to predict the neural and synaptic development of C. Elegans.  The program divides development into development stages based upon the number of cell divisions required to generate each neuron.  A representation of the synaptic network for each development stage is generated and this represents completely novel information.  Further computational tools were developed to analyze the synaptic network of the developing animal.  These tools find pathways between an input set of sensory neurons and output set of motor neurons to indicate circuit formation and the genetic makeup of circuit formation.  Other tools analyze the number of inputs and outputs through neurons or neuron subpaths indicating high throughput neurons and ganglia worthy of further biological analysis.  Finally, a relationship between development and synapse formation was sought by correlating lineage distance and synaptic distance.

Thesis Defense

For a synopsis of the masters thesis (what it is about) click on the link below:

Masters Thesis Defense

This defense explains how a developmental model of the brain of C Elegans was developed and the synaptic pathway analysis tools that analyzed the neural network of that brain.  Finally how synaptic and lineage distance were correlated was discussed.



Click on the Image for Full View.

Subpaths - Thesis Program

for(int pass = 0; pass < passes; ++pass)
     for(int i=1; i < number; ++i)
         for(int j=0; j<length; ++j)
        cout << "subpath is: ";
        writeList(subpath, " ");
        cout << endl;
        nrinsert(subpath, vsubpaths);

   subpath.erase(subpath.begin(), subpath.end());
Click on this Link to See the Full Program

Develstages - Thesis Program

set<string> findGeneSet(string neuronname, neuron neuron[], int numneurons){
for(int i=0; i < numneurons; ++i)
     if(neuronname == neuron[i].getName())
          return neuron[i].getGenes();}

int min(neuron n[], int numneurons){
for(int i = 0; i < numneurons; ++i)
     if(n[i].getLineage().length() < min)
          min = n[i].getLineage().length();
return min;}

Click on this Link to See the Full Program

Bitgenes - Thesis Program

vector< vector<bool> > bvect(numneurons);

for(i = 0; i < numneurons; ++i)
     while(fsiter != esiter)
          if(find(*fsiter, vs[i]))
fsiter = us.begin();

Click on this Link to See the Full Program


MBA --- What Can Business School Teach Me That I Don't Already Know?

I went to business school, a little out of character, for three reasons:  I wanted to have a professional degree, I wanted to find out what a business degree can teach me that I don't already know from having worked in a technical and business capacity in the computer field, and I had a genuine interest in world economics.  I am more interested in economics than business and approach politics only from the standpoint of political economies.  I did finish in the upper 1% of my class, gaining the prestigious Beta Gamma Sigma award, and was the top marketing and top finance student.  I had a concentration in Marketing as that is what I had done in my career.  Business school was not what I expected.  It was VERY MATHEMATICAL!  They teach you to do calculations and the calculation results will tell you how to decide (what to do in) a business situation.

Finance Recommendation

Click on Image to Read Recommendation.

Marketing Recommendation

Click on Image to Read Recommendation

Catepillar Recommendation









Click on Image to Read Recommenation.

Business Plan (by Eric and Classmates)

Click on Image to Read Business Plan

Assignment Assignment


Doctorate in Computer Science (With 4.0 GPA)

My doctorate in computer science was the culmination of my love affair with computers, computer technology, and Silicon Valley.  I had already taught myself to program and had already achieved significant understanding, at least conceptually of computer scientific technology.  My computer science degree was largely online, although it was required to attend four seminars in Colorado to get the degree.  Computer science is a degree which is highly achievable online as programming can be done locally and sent over the internet to be compiled and viewed and tested online by the professor.    I did complete the degree with a perfect 4.0 GPA.  The program involved 96 credits in computer science plus an original dissertation.  My dissertation was entitled "Exploring  the Pattern Recognition, Machine Learning, and Next Generation Sequencer Algorithm Improvements Needed to Analyze Big Genomic Data Sets."

Distributed Computing Recommendation

Click on Image to See Recommendation.

Cyber-Security Recommendation

Click on Image to See Recommendation.

R Programming Recommendation

Click on Image to See Recommendation

Dissertation Recommendation

Click on Image to See Recommendation

Distributed Computing Assignments

Click on Image to See Assignments

Sample Assignments
Dissertation Snippets Dissertation Defense Diploma


Self-Taught Knowledge

I estimate that all of my degrees account for only 20% of my knowledge.  At least 80% of what I know I have taught myself.  This includes foreign languages, programming, and a host of other knowledge areas acquired through personal projects.  The greatest thing I learned in college (undergraduate) was how to teach myself.  I spent a lifetime teaching myself (sometimes to the detriment of doing homework which resulted in less than spectacular GPAs prior to graduate work).  I didn't really care about grades or work to get good grades until graduate school.  I taught myself foreign languages:  Latin and German and some Hebrew and vocabulary in high school (I used to read the dictionary), the grammars of some 26 languages while at Grinnell (including ancient Greek), C and C++ programming, the entire computing field when working, notably distributed computing, and other topics when I stopped working such as telecommunications, multi-media, neuro-computing, Thai and Hindi (I like to learn a little of the language for any country I travel to) digital and analog electronics, electrical engineering, cognitive science, matrix algebra, Markov chains, theory of computation, Physics and physical sciences, Astronomy, largely qualitative study of quantum mechanics, cell molecular biology,



 Designed and Managed by:
 Eric Wasiolek
   Copyright 2021 Home | Contact Me | Login