Consulting, Publications and Books

Photo Taken at NASA

I’m Ron Mak, and Apropos Logic is my company for consulting and writing. I use this website to let you know what I’ve been doing, to shamelessly plug the books I’ve written, and to let you download source code from my books.

My latest book Writing Compilers and Interpreters (3rd edition): A Software Engineering Approach has just been published.

The book Beautiful Code: Leading Programmers Explain How They Think won the Jolt Award for general books. I wrote Chapter 20 about the software I designed and developed for NASA’s Mars Rover Mission. So now I own a piece of an “Oscar”!

I’m motivated by the challenges of building reliable software systems despite complexity, change, and resource contraints. I’ve worked mostly in both startups and established companies in Silicon Valley, as a software systems architect, lead developer, or engineering manager, often taking on multiple roles at once. I specialize in designing and developing enterprise software systems, and in creating GUI- and Web-based applications. I’ve also done compiler work, data analysis, numerical computing, and software quality assurance.

I teach computer science classes at San José State University. Teaching and writing are activities I find immensely enjoyable, and they satisfy my strong desire to contribute something back to society and the industry.

I recently completed some contracting work as the enterprise software stategist for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) laser fusion energy project at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Before that, I was a senior computer scientist and enterprise architect at the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California.

While I was holding an academic position with the University of California at Santa Cruz, I was on contract to NASA to design and develop the Systems Health Information Portal (SHIP), an enterprise information system for space vehicle health management.

Before SHIP, I was the architect and lead developer of the middleware of the Collaborative Information Portal, an enterprise application that’s still being used by NASA’s current Mars Exploration Rovers mission. I provided mission support at NASA Ames and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Pasadena, CA. That’s me inside mission control at JPL in the photo below. My CIP work was done on contract to NASA while I was employed by Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science.

Click here for more details about my NASA work and to access some of the presentations I’ve given.

Please click on the menu items above to check out my books and articles. Please try the demo programs from my book, Java Number Cruncher: The Java Programmer’s Guide to Numerical Computation which is about practical and entertaining numerical algorithms written in Java. You can download and run the book’s demo programs.