At Uni High, James Ang was part of the Form 1 class, where he spent his first year in an open-classroom curriculum. In this curriculum, he had the chance to self-direct his learning and work on various projects, which has taught him skills pertinent to his career. In these projects, he had a chance to work in the Uni shop and also developed a pseudo-random number generator using Plato, a novel idea at the time. He was also a photographer for the yearbook and worked at a local camera store. He remembers borrowing an infrared flash from the camera store to illuminate pictures of the play without disturbing the audience or actors.
Some of his fondest memories involve hanging out on campus with his friends and playing Bridge in the Senior Lounge. During his time at Uni, he was also a member of the basketball team and enjoyed his Lifespan and Human Development class, which dealt with sociology and psychology.
Once he graduated from Uni, Ang went to Grinnell College, majoring in physics. He was interested in their 3-2 Engineering Program, but decided to spend his last two years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)’s engineering school instead. For graduate school, he went to the University of California at Berkeley to pursue his master’s degree and Ph.D. in four years, focusing on combustion and fire safety research. Later, he worked on shockwave physics at the Sandia National Laboratories. In 2009 he founded the association for High-Speed Computing and since then he has been immersed in the high speed computing community and works as a Chief Scientist for computing at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Interview with Dr. James Ang