What's Eric Working On?

A list of current projects and inspirations.

Eric ZhangDecember 4, 2022

I come up with a lot of ideas. Sometimes I’m not really sure what I’m working on myself. Ideas often come and go, fading into the distance, before reemerging brighter and more poignant than ever. Eventually, when they’re compelling enough, I act and explore by creating something.

This is an attempt to bring order to the chaos. And hopefully it will help answer the question: “What are you working on?”

Current Projects

Links may be in various stages of completion.

  • The design and implementation of a differential graph query engine for web developers (PL research).
  • Playing the Brahms Horn Trio with two wonderful friends.
  • Dispict, a creative aesthetics tool for people to experience and draw inspiration from art museums.
  • sshx, real-time collaborative terminal sharing over the web.
  • Grox, a tiny embedded graph database.
  • Modal, my long-term employer.

Small Bites

Less substantial or shorter-term side projects.

  • Exploring general-purpose GPU rendering and simulation in the browser, for art and new interactions.
  • Constant desire to play with creative visualization of artistic works, literature, and maps — let’s hack on this together.
  • Experiments in multi-architecture parallelism for deep learning compilers, for graduate network systems class.
  • An organic-silicon hybrid tandem solar cell, for MIT.nano class.
  • Fine-tuning a deep learning model to name exotic colors from text (e.g., pumpkin, vivid forest, sanguine pink).

Indefinitely Postponed

I don’t have plans to continue working on these projects, but I don’t think I’ve explored them fully yet, and I may come back to them.

  • Percival, web-based, reactive Datalog notebooks.
  • Slate, a modern engine for instant, collaborative math typesetting.

Statement of Purpose

I am a software engineer, researcher, and designer. I aim to make better interactive software to empower individuals. My work draws inspiration from diverse fields:

  • programming languages
  • distributed systems
  • graphics
  • interaction design

My most fundamental belief is that computers occupy an integral place in all parts of our daily lives: not just in informatics work, but also in creativity, education, community, artistic expression, collaboration, and design.

What do I strive for? Allow people to laugh and smile with others. Experience vibrant joy and embarrassment. Cultivate passion. Help individuals express meaningful ideas, produce artifacts for the future, and enjoy leaving a personal mark on this vast digital world we share.

Please reach out to me by email with thoughts or questions about this.