Refactoring Reality

optimizing life with computational thinking

The backstory. Part of what draws me to Computer Science research is my general love of thinking about optimal solutions given a set of constraints, and testing out (and measuring the success of) new ideas. I like playing strategy board games, planning routes to minimize travel time and distance, and packing exactly without excess. Unrelated: I’m also sensitive to visual overcrowding and cannot concentrate when my surroundings are messy or disorganized.

The catalyst. Enter two baby boys across three rough pregnancies during my postdoc and a worldwide pandemic imprisoning our family of 4 in a tiny urban apartment with no childcare options or any outside help for more than half a year. You get it. Maybe.

The outcome. Planning, executing, and iteratively refactoring organization solutions to enable everyone in the family to independently find and use their stuff safely and put it away themselves was essential for life but also, turns out, an essential form of selfcare for me. Our friends have been so delighted by some of my systems that they’ve encouraged me to share my ideas with you all. Hope you enjoy!