About Me: A brief history
By the Pacific coast...
By half dome, Yosemite National Park

Hello, my name is Paul Townend and this is my website. I am a Computer Scientist, based at the University of Leeds, in the UK. I work on a variety of different projects with both industry and academia, and you can find a lot more information about my research life by looking at the "Work" section of this site. The aim of this page is to give you a bit more of a flavour of who I am as a person outside of research.

I was born in Wakefield in the UK and grew up in the town of Rothwell, just outside of Leeds. After my days at the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Wakefield, I left Yorkshire to attend the University of Durham, in northern England. At Durham, I successfully completed a BSc. and Research MSc. in Computer Science, and started to read for my PhD. under Prof. Jie Xu (some might say I took the education thing a bit too far!) After two years of this, Jie moved to the University of Leeds, and so I left Durham and returned to Yorkshire to join him there and conclude my study, before becoming a member of Staff at Leeds.

Outside of work, I have lots of interests. I have always been interested in Astronomy, and own a 6" reflector telescope, which I use to peruse the night sky (it gives me quite a nice view of Saturn's rings, amongst other things). I also really enjoy photography, and love to visit new places and take photos of things that interest me; you'll see much evidence of this in the "Photos" section of this website. This is enhanced by the nature of my job; I frequently have to travel all over the world, and try to take time to see the sights wherever I am. Despite my interest, I have not yet taken the plunge and bought a full Digital SLR camera - hopefully I will soon!

Music has always been a big part of my life, and I enjoy the music of a lot of bands. This ranges from rock/drum and bass crossover music (by bands like Pendulum), to Goth Pop (such as The Birthday Massacre), to indie rock (Idlewild and The Smashing Pumpkins), country-infused rock (early R.E.M.), indie folk (HAIM), and so on. In addition to listening to music, I also play guitar (very badly), and compose simple little songs in Garage Band with that and my MIDI keyboard.

As you might expect from a Computer Scientist, reading is another hobby of mine, especially Science Fiction and Fantasy. Authors like Terry Pratchett, Jack McDevitt, and Arthur C. Clarke, along with many others! Computer gaming is also a part of my life; I love modern adventure games and "intelligent" first-person shooters, as well as the occasional RPG. My interest in gaming extends beyond typical consoles and PCs - I am really interested in coin-operated arcade machines, and own several (slot machines and video games!)

Hopefully you'll find this website useful; please let me know if there are any obvious omissions or mistakes!

All content Copyright (c) 2013 Paul Townend - All Rights Reserved.