Hello, my name is Paul Townend and this is my website. I am a Computer Scientist based in the UK, and currently CTO of Edgetic. I've worked on lots of different projects with both industry and academia - you can find more information about my research 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 work.
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.
Music has always been a big part of my life; I love finding new bands, enjoy the music of a lot of different groups. This ranges from rock/drum and bass (such as 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. My current favourite bands of note are Softer Still, KNOWER, and Pinkshinyultrablast. 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. A random list of some of my favourite songs can be found below.
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. Favourites include: Gabriel Knight, Just Cause 2/3, Mafia I/II, Metro 2033, Prey, SOMA, Firewatch, Saints Row III/IV, Deus Ex, Mirror's Edge I/II, and Gone Home. 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!)
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!
This is very definitely for my own benefit (I like to keep track of what I was listening to and when) and changes way too often to ever be up-to-date - but in case you're interested or want something to talk to me about, here are some of my favourite songs:
Pendulum - Crush
The Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
Placebo - Teenage Angst
MGMT - Electric Feel
AC Acoustics - She's With Stars
The Moody Blues - Your Wildest Dreams
The Smiths - There is a Light That Never Goes Out
Idlewild - When I Argue I See Shapes
R.E.M. - Nightswimming
Softer Still - Turtle Bay
HAIM - You Never Knew
Lush - Superblast!
The Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas
Foo Fighters - Everlong