I am Aysylu Greenberg, a programmer, an artist, and a lifelong learner.
I enjoy discussing and solving problems in distributed systems, language/compiler design and optimizations, performance engineering, and anything on the intersection of hardware and software.
Places and languages I grew up in Tatarstan Republic, which is part of the Russian Federation. I learned to speak two languages simultaneously, Russian and Tatar, and developed an interest in foreign languages early on in my life. I started learning English at the age of five. In college, I did a concentration in German and spent 2 summers living and working in Germany, as well as traveling around Western and Central Europe.
Dance At five, I started taking ballroom dance classes, and continued doing it competitively until the age of fifteen. Through ballroom dance I was exposed to ballet and modern dance routines, which helped me grow as a dancer and choreographer. Throughout my ballroom dance career I won many competitions, some of which include the Tatarstan Regional Competition and numerous medals and diplomas. At the age of fifteen I got interested in belly dance and took classes for a couple years until I left home for college. In college, I taught and choreographed belly dance performances for 3 semesters. Dance is an important part of my life and I identify myself as a dancer.
Music At the age of six I was admitted to Music School No. 6, named after Tatar composer Salikh Saydashev, where I specialized in piano and was trained as concert pianist by Alla Kudinova. My curriculum included music theory, solfeggio, world and Tatar music history, piano ensemble, and choir (my least favorite). I played a solo concert at the age of nine, in which I performed Children's Album by Tchaikovsky. I competed at various piano competitions, including Tatarstan Regional Etudes Competition (4th place) and Tatarstan Regional Chamber Music Competition (2nd place in trio with 2 violins). In addition, I played with an orchestra and performed on many occasions. Throughout my 8-year education at the music school, I discovered passion for composing and music theory. Outside of the required classes in the rigid curriculum, I took composition and improvization classes from my music theory teacher Alfiya Mavlyutova and master classes from the Prorector of the Kazan Conservatory Aleksandr Maklygin. Around this time I discovered I have tone-to-color synesthesia and that most experimental jazz music gives me unpleasant colors, which is the main reason I avoid it. I graduated music school with an 8-year education. Nowadays, I favor music with prominent bass line and strong beats.
Visual Art At the same age I was admitted to music school, I also started at the Architecture and Design School "DA-DA", which I attended for a year and, sadly, had to leave. In Russia, school starts at the age of seven, and classes usually take place in the morning and art and music schools hold classes in the afternoon, so I had to make the tough decision between juggling the three schools (music, art, and the usual languages+sciences) and ballroom dance. Fortunately, I am now able to continue exploring and creating visual art: I do oil painting and drawing in my spare time.
Early Science Studies I graduated from Gimnaziya No. 76 with gold medal, which is given to students who had all A's through all 10 years of their studies. While in school, I participated in the English language and Ecology olympiads on city and regional levels. I went to the Russian National Ecology Olympiad my senior year at high school representing the Tatarstan Republic. My favorite two parts about the ecology olympiads were: 1) ecological crisis management problems, which required an interdisciplinary understanding of the problem domain and engineering approach, and 2) research projects. For the curious, here's the research project I presented at the Russian National on the chemical analysis of natural water sources at my grandmother's residence. I really enjoyed the opportunity to work at a chemistry lab with other scientists and learn what it's like to do ecological inspections at a regional branch of the Ministry of Ecology of Tatarstan. I presented and won awards at many high-school research conferences in Tatarstan and published my findings in conference books (see one of my conference papers). In 9th and 10th grade I was invited to the regional ecology olympian camp, which gathers top-performing students in the Republic Olympiad. There, I took classes in geology, forestry, botany, and zoology from college professors and did research.
Adventurous Exchange Year My junior year at high school I did an exchange year in Lawrence, KS as part of the Future Leaders Exchange Program. I studied at Lawrence High School and ranked #1 for the 2 semesters I spent there. I took a lot of fun classes there, such as AP Calculus BC (math math math), AP Chemistry (labs were most fun), 20th century literature (works by Gertrude Stein's circle are incredible), creative writing (surrealism poetry is fascinating), French, drawing, and jewelry. I also joined the swimming team in the Spring, because I was afraid of water until then and needed to get over my fear. Thanks to my generous host family, I got to travel quite a bit around the country and learned about American traditions. Outside of school, I took drums (drum as in drumset) classes. In the summer, a couple weeks before I left, I participated in the Sunflower Girls State, where I learned about democracy and how the U.S. government works.
MIT When I got back to Russia, I decided to apply to U.S. colleges. I was admitted to MIT a little after I got back from the Russian National Ecology Olympiad, and I decided to study computer science. I've always enjoyed programming and computer science classes in middle and high school. Upon my arrival to Boston is when all the hellish fun began. My favorite classes were compiler design and optimizations (my team came in 2nd in the compiler derby with our implementation in Groovy, and we were the only ones that semester to implement auto-parallelization and, I'm pretty sure, the largest number of optimizations), performance engineering (memory allocators are still incredibly fascinating to me), and algorithms. As part of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) program, I traveled around the country and taught Ecology and Robotics to German high school students my freshman summer. The following summer, I did an internship at a German semiconductor company. During my time in college, I explored a variety of industries (education, semiconductor, finance) a software engineer can work on and worked on projects in different problem domains. In addition, I got an opportunity to work on cutting edge research at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL): I had the pleasure of working in Prof. Martin Rinard's group, focusing on the effect of data races on performance and accuracy of aggregative loops.
Now I currently work as a software engineer at Google, attend technology meetups, do oil painting and strength training, and enjoy exploring the vibrant restaurant scene of New York.
To be continued.