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Miscellaneous items by and about Spaf


In the News & On the WWW

Short Bio

Full C.V. PDF indicator

Selected Firsts

Notable Activities

My Tumblr Log (Blog)

My CERIAS Blog Posts

Spaf & the US Gov

Courses & Teaching

Information for Grad Students

Students Past and Present

Research and Papers

Selected Quotes

Miscellaneous Items

• • •

Erdös & Dijkstra Numbers and Other Metrics

Spaf's Erdös number is 2. I've co-authored at least three papers with people with Erdös number 1, including Sam Wagstaff.

Spaf's Dijkstra Number is 2, also. (Note that their measure of my Erdös number is incorrect.)

My Mathematics Genealogy Project page is online.

According to Google Scholar (ca May 2021) my h-index is 58 and my work has been cited more than 18500 times. My SCOPUS entry has fewer, with a lower h-index score, because they don't count all my publications.) Not bad, considering that I have been mostly an administrator for over last decade.

Some Outside Items

NB: My social media accounts are NOT in ANY WAY reflective of Purdue University of any other organization's position. They reflect my own, quirky personal views ONLY.

View Gene Spafford's profile on LinkedIn LinkedIn badge

Spaf has an entry in Wikipedia! It appears fairly accurate (and no, I didn't enter it myself :-). It could use some updates, so if you need info to do that feel free to contact me.

Science Scouts

Science Scouts homepage is found online. If you read my bio and/or meet me, you know I have qualified for the following badges:

Troop badge Talking science badge I'm all about the science equipment, Level II badge Call me a visionary, because I do a pretty convincing science dystopia badge I could tell you about my research, but then I’d have to kill you badge I blog about science badge I use Twitter to spread science badge Destroyer of quackery badge Arts and crafty badge Inadvertantly good at fixing things badge Will gladly kick a sexual harassers ass badge Has frozen things to see what happens - Level I badge I know way more computer languages... badge I've published in mainstream press badge I've published in Science badge I will crush you with my math prowess badge I have experience shocking myself badge Experience shocking others badge Digs exothermic reactions badge Unsure what field I'm in badge Used a telescope badge I've set fire to stuff badge I'm pretty confident around open flames badge Has worked with acids badge Done science under the influence badge Funding badge level 1 badge Funding badge level 2 badge Funding badge level 3 badge Foremost Expert badge Opposed to administrative duties badge I know what a tadpole is badge Has actually touched human organs badge Has borrowed lab equipment in the name of science badge Have written a program I use regularly badge Have written a program that others use regularly badge Have written a reak-time program others have used badge Have written an assembly language program others have used badge Have written a program using punchcards and/or plugboards badge Have toggled programs into memory regularly badge Have served on a government advisory panel badge I've done science with no conceivable practical application badge MacGyver badge

An April Fools Joke

I had a tradition of big April Fools jokes, although not every year. Here's one from 2008, along with pictures.

Some Philosophy

Here are the quotes from my old Unix .plan file. I used to add quotes when I found any that strongly resonate with my own world view. Now, I sometimes post those to Twitter or Pinterest. Your mileage may vary. I have a much longer collection I will put online someday.


This website features a Blank Page according to the recommendations of the TPILB-Project.


According to the on-line Keirsey Temperament Sorter, I'm on the cusp between being a "Champion Idealist" (ENFP) and an "Inventor"(ENTP).

According to Myers-Briggs, I am ENTP (Extrovert-Intuitive-Thinking-Perceiving).

Geek Code

Spaf's Geek Code left over from the 1990s:

Version: 3.1
GCS/GP/GAT d++(-)@ s:++> a++>? C++@$ BUS*++++$ P++@
L+(++) E- W+++@ !N  K+++ w@ !O M++ V-- PS++ PE-(+)
Y+(++) PGP++ t(+) 5++(+++) X@ R* tv(++)>- b+$gt;++ DI++++
D--- g e++++(+++++)$ h---- r+++(--) y++++(--)

Places I've Been

I've had the opportunity to travel to a lot of places to speak, and simply to sight-see. Here's a list of a few places I've been.

United States

Alabama Arizona Arkansas
California Colorado Connecticut
Delaware Florida Georgia
Hawaii Idaho Illinois
Indiana Iowa Kansas
Kentucky Louisiana Maine
Maryland Massachusetts Michigan
Minnesota Mississippi Missouri
Montana Nebraska Nevada
New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico
New York North Carolina Ohio
Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania
Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota
Tennessee Texas Utah
Vermont Virginia Washington
West Virginia Wisconsin
Washington, D.C.

(These are the states I have yet to visit.)
Alaska North Dakota

Countries I Have Visited

Australia Austria Bailiwick of Jersey
Belgium Canada Denmark
England France Germany
India Ireland Italy
Japan Liechtenstein Luxembourg
Mexico Monoco Netherlands
New Zealand Norway Poland
Puerto Rico Scotland South Korea
Sweden Switzerland Vatican City

Lots more yet to see!

Create your own visited countries map or check out the JavaScript Charts.

Some Humor(?)

Humor is very important in my life. I delight in the absurd and in the unexpected. i really enjoy puns and wordplay. However, as someone with few taboos, my humor may be a little edgy for many people.

The Spafford Family

I wrote up a long post with history of the Spafford/Spofforth/etc. family with my line of descent, and pictures of Spofforth castle. It distills all of the material I was able to find in my research, and presents the simplest overview.

Here's a page refering to the ancestral Viking origins.

Here's a Google map image of Spofforth castle ruins.

Here is a view of the Spafford family crest and motto, courtesy of Robert Whitlock. Here is a somewhat different version.

A book published in 1888 written by Jeremiah Spofford has some of the definitive early history of the Spafford/Spofford family. It is available online. There is also a slightly different history, with well-research additional material, was produced by Capt. Ralph Spofforth in the 1940s.

Spaf as the Net's Vegan

Back in the days when Usenet was actually interesting, and when people posting things spent time and effort to be creative and amusing, Spaf was known as the Net's resident extraterrestrial (from Vega). This led to many instances where confused people asked about Vegans (the ultra-orthodox vegetarians) and Spaf replied. This, of course, was back before Spaf basically quit the Usenet.

I have a large archive of amusing things from the early days on the net. These are a few of the postings that most people seem to remember for some reason. Interestingly, a search of Google does not find all of these.