I am from a working class background in Bridgeport Connecticut. When I was young there was a search for scientists, and support available. I got very excited about the prospect of thinking for a living. I had good undergraduate mentors and a very stong graduate mentor. I ended up with a Ph.D in mathematics from Rutgers University. I spent an "algebra year" as a postdoc at UCLA getting to know the best people in my field. I then came to Iowa, and spent a lot of time talking with people and working with them. Although I have never written a paper with Phil Kutzko he has had a real influence on my mathematics life, we both love matrices and computing with them.
I am married to Barbara Asch Camillo, an artist and graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop. I have traveled on and off with the Carson and Barnes Circus for thirty years.