On November 4th, 1979, when my parents, Ed and Diane Kach, brought me into this world. Over the next several years, a younger sister Kate and a younger brother Jack joined the family. Although I supposedly asked if Jack could be returned to the hospital shortly after he was born (and I'm sure I would have done the same for Kate if I was speaking at the time), now I'm rather glad to have both of them as friends and as siblings. Same goes for those crazy parents of mine.
Until my sophomore year of high school, which found me leaving home to attend the Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA), a three year residential high school for students talented in math and science. Three years later I graduated, mistakenly thinking that I had learned most of life's lessons. In truth, IMSA did a wonderful job preparing me for later life and taught me many of life's lessons; there was just a lot more left for me to learn.
I found myself attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). There I managed to obtain a bachelor's in computer science, along the way learning some mathematics, economics, cognitive psychology, and a lot more about life. Thankfully I figured out that academia was a great option before my plans of graduating in three years and working in the software engineering industry materialized.
I migrated to the University of Wisconsin at Madison (UW) in hopes of earning a Ph.D. in mathematics. Although the original intent was to study analysis, I finished with a Ph.D. in logic (more specifically, effective algebra) under the advisorship of Steffen Lempp, despite getting distracted by triathlons, Go and Scrabble, and juggling, as well as learning more of life's lessons.
Then I accepted a post-doctoral position with the mathematics, statistics, and operations research department at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). There I continued my studies in logic under the mentorship of Rod Downey.
Thereafter, I returned to the University of Connecticut-Storrs to finish a third year there. Then I accepted a post-doctoral position at the University of Chicago (U of C) under the mentorship of Antonio Montalban.
To my parents, better role models just don't exist. To my siblings, now two (three) of my closest friends. To my lifelong friends, Ken Chiang from high school, Aaron Hanford from college, and Chris Alfeld, Aaron Greenblatt, Rene Pierpont, and Matt Rassette from graduate school.