I’m Mike Jefferies and This Is How I Mesh

Mike Jefferies, Engineering Specialist on the Product Development Team.

Mike Jefferies, Engineering Specialist on the Product Development Team.

I am one of the software developers here at Pointwise. I have contributed to several areas of the code base, but the geometry and database functionality is my area of expertise. In addition, I have presented at conferences on multi-threaded and parallel GPU compute research and development.

I grew up in Arizona and graduated from Arizona State University with a BS in Computer Science. I worked at Intel for five years while working on my Master’s degree. At Intel, I worked on a set top box that would play videos over the internet. My primary responsibilities were development and optimization of the MP3 and Dolby audio decoders. In 2002 I received my MS in Computer Science and came to work at Pointwise. I took a 2 year hiatus in 2012 to work at ReelFX Animation Studio where I developed studio tools for the animators on the animated films Freebirds and The Book of Life. I have now been back at Pointwise for over a year.

My wife Carrie also works at Pointwise, on the Business and Administration team. We have four children, with two still living at home. I am known for being a man of few words, so this will probably be the shortest entry in the This Is How I Mesh series.

  • Location: Fort Worth, TX
  • Current position: Engineering Specialist
  • Current computer: Intel Xeon 6 core 2.1GHz with 16 GB Ram
  • One word that best describes how you work: Productively

What software or tools do you use every day?

Microsoft Visual C++, Perforce, Notepad++, Google Chrome, Microsoft Outlook, Spark IM.

What does your workspace look like?

Mike's current workspace.

Mike’s current workspace.

Left to right, it’s the phone, which stays pretty quiet. Then my electronic picture frame with photos of my family. My main monitor that I keep Visual C++ running and Pointwise when debugging. Then my secondary monitor where Outlook and Spark hang out, and sometimes Notepad++. I keep paper and pen handy to work out math problems or sketch out a GUI.

What are you currently working on? 

New features for Pointwise v18, with the two main features being Draw Shapes and Sources. Draw Shapes adds the ability to draw primitive shapes like boxes, cylinders and spheres in a quick click and drag paradigm. Sources adds the ability to control grid point spacing on the interior of an unstructured block. These work together as well, since you can draw a shape that will serve as a source.

What would you say is your meshing specialty? 

My meshing skills are purely based on developing and debugging Pointwise, rather than any real world use cases. That aside, I am familiar with the ins and outs of the nuances of Pointwise’s meshing algorithms, so if I had to pick a specialty it’s that I can answer the question of why Pointwise does what it does when it makes a mesh.

Any tips for our users? 

Don’t underestimate the power of Glyph scripting in Pointwise. There may be some learning involved, and you may need to ask our support team for some help, but it can be worth it to save you frustration and time in the long run. And to long time Gridgen and Pointwise users, don’t forget to learn about the newer features in Pointwise, as they may be able to increase your productivity.

What project are you most proud of and why? 

Shortly after I started working at Pointwise in 2002, I began work on what eventual became Pointwise v16. I was able to help make many of the architecture and technology decisions which shaped the Pointwise application. It took a while longer to finish up than initially thought, but I believe it has been successful in our goals to improve the user experience for our customers and to be easier to extend for the developers.

What CFD solver and postprocessor do you use most often?

Believe it or not, I have never run a solver or postprocessor.

Are you reading any interesting technical papers we should know about? 

Nope. Too busy coding.

Do you plan on attending any conferences or workshops this year? 

No plans currently, but I enjoy attending SIGGRAPH.

What do you do when you’re not generating meshes? 

Mostly spending time with my family. All four of my children are avid singers and thespians, and so I attend all of their high school plays, musicals and concerts. Most recently my daughter was in The Addams Family musical, and I will have two daughters to watch in January as they perform in the musical My Fair Lady.

What is some of the best CFD advice you’ve ever received? 

Well, since I don’t do CFD, I haven’t received any advice in that field. However, one of my Computer Science professors once said “Any computing architecture problem can be solved by adding another layer of indirection,” and I find that very true.

If you had to pick a place to have dinner, where would you go? 

I like trying new places so I don’t have a favorite spot. My daughter worked at Cantina Laredo over the summer and I really enjoyed going there, but maybe that’s because the service had a personal touch and I got the employee discount.

About Travis Carrigan

A Pointwise engineer helping other engineers solve their meshing problems.
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2 Responses to I’m Mike Jefferies and This Is How I Mesh

  1. Pingback: I’m Carrie Jefferies and This Is How I Mesh | Another Fine Mesh

  2. Pingback: I’m Andrew Jefferies and This Is How I Mesh | Another Fine Mesh

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