Randall J. Patton
I live in Palos Verdes, CA, just south of LA near the coast and beaches. A native Southern Californian, I grew up in the San Fernando Valley. After getting my Masters degree, I found a job at a small company (~ 50 employees) called Dynamics Technology, Inc (DTI) in Torrance, Ca, near where I now live. I stayed with this great company for 26 years until my retirement in 2008.
My career with DTI allowed me to apply my education in math and physical oceanography to varied and interesting projects while continuing to expand my technical skills with on-the-job "training". The early focus of the company when I joined was in Non-Acoustic Anti-Submarine Warfare (NAASW). Though it represents a small part of the Navy's applied research funding, NAASW is exciting since it emphasizes research in a very broad array of technologies and phenomena (literally, anything non-acoustic) and encourages innovative solutions.
Our company also won contracts in other Navy and government sponsored projects, usually ocean-related. Developing optics-based ocean instrumentation was particlarly enjoyable. The company's small size, commitment to the highest quality and the competitive nature of our industry required constant learning, innovation and a focus on obtaining rapid, practical and effective results. I was very fortunate to be part of this challenging and rewarding environment.
An exciting part of the project work was participating in instrument development and field tests. I was lucky to be able to spend 6 weeks in the Arctic (including a whole month on the frozen ocean) deploying geophones on the ice and collecting data. I also totally enjoyed analyzing this data afterwards. Another project which I and a colleague conceived of and won an SBIR contract for was the development of an instrument to measure the size and settling rate of ocean particles in situ. This involved designing, lab testing and deploying an oven-sized instrument offshore of Catalina Island, near LA, including becoming SCUBA-certified. I also enjoyed several other lab and field testing opportunities, including ocean bioluminescence, synthetic aperture sonar, laser landmine detection and others.
In retirement, I have continued to enjoy learning and applying math and physics, including some of the studies presented on this website. I am a volunteer as an expert in Advanced Math and Oceanography on the All Experts website (see webpage). I also am tutoring college and AP math, physics and statistics (see Tutoring).
My wife of 33 years and I love to hike and have gone on many backpacking trips in the Sierras and local mountains. SCUBA diving and body surfing are also year round activities here in SoCal. We also like to take short trips up and down the coast and love going to the San Francisco Bay Area to visit our daughter and our old stomping grounds (Berkeley).