matthias on 2013/10/22, last updated on 2017/11/20

For an update on my current situation, have a look at my now page.

I have been called a global citizen but I still consider Munich to be my home town. This is where I grew up and spent the majority of my life.

I remember Gymnasium, German high-school, as a period where I focused on competitive (computer) gaming, football, and kickboxing. Here, I wrote my first code: a suite of AutoIt scripts designed to install my favorite Windows applications. The goal was to save time during new Windows installations and it took a while for me to realize that I’m spending more time updating scripts than I ever did on Windows installations.

After graduating with Abitur, I was immediately drafted for military service. I vividly recall how I enthusiastic I had initially been about that. Now, I keep wondering how it was possible to squash every last of motivation from me and my fellow recruits so quickly. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t want to miss that period. It taught me an appreciation for simple things that I had taken for granted, made me realize how fortunate I had been, and instilled a drive to work harder on myself.

I went on to study Applied Mathematics at Technische Universität München, an institution I would be affiliated with for over 10 years. Outside school, I was involved in online poker, strength training, and language learning. In school, I focused on

  • numerically solving large systems of linear equations,
  • simulating mechatronic systems with solvers for differential equations,
  • and networked feedback control systems.

My main tools at that time were Matlab, C, and some C++.

Freshly graduated, I became a member of the embedded systems group in the Singapore-based TUM CREATE project. There, I worked towards a Computer Engineering PhD degree under the guidance of Prof. Chakraborty from the Chair of Real-time Computer Systems of Technische Universität München. My research from that period is summarized on my publications page.

An important realization I had during the years of my PhD studies was that I preferred learning tools and techniques that I can apply on my own. I remain convinced that something that is helpful for an individual is likely interesting for an organization as well. Examples for the other direction are more rare. As a consequence, I reduced my dependence on expensive tools, like Matlab, by learning Python and focused less on lower-level algorithms that were only needed in a larger context.

Four years later, I submitted my thesis and began working as a software developer for SSW Trading in Hamburg. There, I was responsible for exchange connectivity. In other words, we wrote code for translating messages from the exchange into the representation needed by the firm’s trading algorithms and for managing the orders these algorithms would create at the exchange. This was a period where I intensively read and thought about software project management, programming languages, and testing. I was basically wondering how we, as a whole, and I, in particular, could be more productive implementing business logic, analyzing data, and automating in general.

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According to Wikipedia, an impressum is “the term given to a legally mandated statement of the ownership and authorship of a document, which must be included in books, newspapers, magazines and websites published in Germany and certain other German-speaking countries, such as Austria and Switzerland.”

The impressum for this website can be found at http://matthiaskauer.com/impressum/. It is also reachable from the footer of each page.