Paul Coddington

A Brief History of Paul

I am originally from Perth, Australia, where I attended Scarborough High School, just a few kilometres from beautiful Scarborough Beach (or at least it used to be - the school has recently been demolished!). I've lived and worked in a lot of different places around the world, which has been a great experience....

Perth, Western Australia (1979-83)

I received an undergraduate degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Western Australia, where I enjoyed the beautiful campus and the excellent spearmint milkshakes in the refectory. I also engaged in extracurricular studies of applied physics, developing my own quantum theories of pinball and pool when I found that the balls tunnel into highly unlikely and unfavourable states with a probability much higher than would be expected from classical physics (usually only when I am playing, curiously enough).

I enjoyed some summer research internships at the Australian National University in Canberra and Monash University in Melbourne, and a semester at the University of Tasmania in Hobart (where I got to meet some real Tasmanian Devils, courtesy of a friend who was studying them for his graduate work).

Southampton, England (1983-88)

I then spent a few years at the University of Southampton in Southampton, England, doing simulations on some new-fangled parallel computers (including an ICL DAP and some transputer arrays) with the High Energy Physics theory group of the Department of Physics, getting a PhD in computational physics, playing for the university volleyball team, hiking (and visiting lots of castles, pubs and tea shops) with the Rambling and Hillwalking Club, and working for what are now known as the University of Southampton High Performance Computing Centre and IT Innovation Centre (formerly the Parallel Applications Centre). I really liked England, except for the weather.

Pasadena, California (1988-90)

I continued continent hopping and went to the USA to do postdoctoral work with the Caltech Concurrent Computation Program (which has since transmogrified itself from CCCP to CCSF to CACR) at the California Institute of Technology in sunny and smoggy Pasadena, California, on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Caltech was great and I enjoyed living in Pasadena (apart from the smog) and traveling around California, but I didn't really like L.A. much.

Syracuse, New York (1990-96)

I followed my boss to cloudy and snowy Syracuse, New York, to work in the Physics Department, and then with the Northeast Parallel Architectures Center (NPAC), at Syracuse University. I liked living in upstate New York, and particularly enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the Adirondacks, Finger Lakes, Catskills, Lake Ontario and the Thousand Islands, and going hiking, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, caving, and cross-country skiing with the Syracuse University Outing Club. I also met my wife, Barbara, who was a magazine journalism major at Syracuse. Barb thinks I'm a science nerd / computer geek, but fortunately she's relatively nerd-tolerant. She created the spiffy nametag at the top of my homepage.

Syracuse gets more snow than any city in North America (although there are some little towns just north of it that get much more), and I experienced 4 of its top 10 snowiest winters, including the top 3, and the coldest winter as well. I then moved to New York City, which greeted me with its snowiest winter on record! Quite a bit different to what I was used to in Perth, where it never snows, and averages 8 hours of sunshine a day. I had a white Christmas every year I was in Syracuse - the only year Syracuse had a brown Xmas, I was getting snowed on at a friend's place in Canada.

New York City, New York (1996-97)

I spent a year and a half working for NPAC out of New York City, where Barbara was an editor at Billboard, Rolling Stone and US magazines. We lived in an apartment in an old brownstone building in Brooklyn (which reminded me of Sesame Street). NYC is fascinating and is a great place to visit, but I really didn't want to live there, with all the expense and hassles of life in a megacity.

Adelaide, South Australia (1997-present)

We moved to Australia where I took up a research position with the Distributed High Performance Computing group in the Department of Computer Science at University of Adelaide in South Australia. I was also employed part-time with the Centre for the Subatomic Structure of Matter (CSSM), doing the same kind of computational physics, parallel computing and lattice quantum field theory simulations that I did many years ago for my PhD.

In 2001 I traded in my temporary research position for a position as a senior lecturer in Computer Science, and in 2003 I also became Deputy Director of the South Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing.

It's nice to be back in Australia and a more relaxed lifestyle and nicer weather, although I do miss the snow sometimes, and some other things about the US, including my friends and family there.

Stuff I Like

My recreational interests include traveling, hiking, canoeing, birdwatching and wildlife watching, photography, alternative music, old buildings, sports, and kitsch. But that was back in the days when I had some recreation time, i.e. before I had kids!

Paul Coddington,


These are my cats, Hamish (the fuzzy one) and Harriet.