About

My name is Dan Kaufman. I seek challenges and problems to solve. I have found that computer science and nature offer a multitude of opportunities for both.

In December 2011, I graduated from the University of Illinois (UIUC) with a degree in Computer Science. I now live in San Francisco where I have been working on some side projects and exploring roles that ride the line between product and engineering.

Professional Background

Software Engineer
Program Management Intern
Systems Intern

Fun Projects


Location-Based Messaging

This iPhone app will allow users to leave virtual content at a specific GPS locations and deliver it when the recipient arrives at the location. Some potential uses include: leaving a comment or pictures, creating interactive tours, or leaving a digital gift for a friend to find. Currently, I have built out the core functionality, location-based notifications. Next steps include building a user interface that allows users to leave and receive content, adding authentication, and optimization of the location-based features.
To-do List with Node and Websockets

This app allows users to create a to-do list that updates in real-time for all users. Users are able to add and remove items, as well as easily share it with their friends. This initial version gave me an opportunity learn more about Node.js and the Websockets protocol. In the future, I plan to add a Facebook authenticated login and updated design.
Text Message Data Visualization

Accessing the backup data from an iPhone isn't the most straightforward thing in the world. After tracking down the correct SQLite files, I was able to figure out how the tables are joined and I have created functions to access this information. Thus far I have only examined trends using graphing capabilities of Excel, but it is definitely interesting to see how friendships evolve in terms of text message frequency.
Data Visualization Project for Art 299

I made this visualization as part of a group project that focused on designing a tool that helped a user create effective groups based on self-determined skills. I created the application with Processing and used ProcessingJS to display it on an HTML5 canvas.
Augmented Social Networking

This is an Android application that allows a user to hold a phone up to the face of someone who has opted into the program, and it will display the name above the picture of the person in real-time video. This was built during the Facebook Hackathon Fall 2011. The team included myself, Jared Lambert, Caroline Schafer, and Sean Adams.
Social Cal (No Longer Maintained)

This application allowed users to view, create, and delete their Facebook events in a calendar format. I was in charge of the Facebook integration and built a number of different classes to interact with one of the first versions of the Facebook API. The calendar began as a project for CS 242 - Programming Studio built by myself, Jared Lambert, Caroline Schafer, and Sean Adams.
Illinois Engineering EXPO Site

This prototype was a project for CS465 - Principles of User Interface Design, Implementation and Evaluation. The group that worked on this project included myself, Roshan Choxi, Andy Schmitz, and Mike Kuchenbecker. The purpose of the project was primarily focused on the process of user interface design, rather than the actual implementation of the application.
Waitlist Application

This application was created by myself, Jared Lambert, and Sean Adams during the Facebook Hackathon 2010 at Illinois. The application helped students at the University of Illinois get into classes currently full by monitoring course registration system. Students were able to enter the course number of the desired class and receive email notifications as soon as another student dropped the course.

Adventures

Despite growing up in Danvers, IL, surrounded by cornfields, I developed a love for the mountains. Whether I am climbing up them, skiing down them, or biking on them, some of the happiest moments of my life have been in the mountains. The following are some of my adventures.
Ouray Ice Fest - Jan 2013

The Ouray Ice Fest The Ouray Ice Fest is one of my favorite extreme sports festivals. Complete with parties, presentations, hot springs, and, of course, hours of ice climbing, it's hard to beat. Having attended the Ouray Ice Fest twice before, my friends and I decided to change things up this year. Instead of cramming 6 people into one hotel room, as we had in the past, we decided to rent a condo for the weekend. While the cost is slightly more, I definitely recommend this option for the future. This is one of the main bridges that crosses the canyon. Gravity fed water pipes line nearly a mile of the canyon rim and provide water for the ice generation. Every night, between the hours of 4pm and 8am, water runs through 150 shower, heads adding a fresh layer of ice. On the route above, we had to belay from the top because the wall was too tall for our ropes. Jason set up a top belay that was a little more complex, but very effective. Since we were belaying from the top, we had to be lowered into the canyon, then climb out. Unsure of what waited below, and with all climbing companions waiting above, it was one of the most nerve wracking climbs I have done. Obviously for an ice festival it would have to be really cold, but lacing on your boots at dawn with the temperature of -6 is very unpleasant. Nearly every major brand in outdoor adventure gear is represented at the ice fest, bringing with them their latest and greatest gear. Everything from crampons to ice tools, and coats to backpacks may be demoed. I decided to demo a very, very warm Rab puffy, which definitely helped to keep me warm. While I love climbing and being outside, one of the main reasons I go on adventures like this is the chance to spend time with friends.
Mount Shasta - June 2012

One of my close friends, Ben Ritter , and I have some mountaineering experience, but this trip opened our eyes to a number of other things that we were not prepared for. First of all, how to rescue each other in the event that one of us fell into a crevasse. Fortunately this didn't happen, but it is important to be prepared. Below is one of the diagrams that we found to help explain the proper setup. Keep in mind that while you are setting that up, the person in the crevasse is hanging from your harness and pulling you in. The weather looked pretty good, but there was a forecast for high winds. We decided to try and go for it regardless. We reached 10,000 feet by about 6 pm and began to set up our campsite. The wind was blowing very hard so we found a large boulder to shelter us from the wind. When that proved insufficient, we decided to build a snow wall to provide further protection. After cooking a quick dinner, we got ready for bed around 8 pm, with our alarms set for an alpine start at 2 am. Shivering in our sleeping bags, hoping that the seams on the tent would hold, we spent the next 6 hours with less than 15 minutes of sleep. Due to the strong winds we decided to postpone our start till 3 am. We emerged from our tent only to see the winds ripping over the corniced summit. After little deliberation, we opted to play it safe and pass on our summit attempt. After a short nap we packed up our site, and glissaded down the glacier, heading for the car.