I Like Solving Problems

My name is Kellen Murphy. I like helping people. I like solving problems. These two things I sometimes effectively combine.

I am an IT consultant in Athens, OH. I am a (relatively) recent astrophysics Ph.D. graduate of Ohio University. I’m blessed with a diverse technical and mathematical skill set, a beautiful wife, awesome kids, and a pretty nifty dog.

My Research

As an astronomer I studied the weak gravitational lensing of distant galaxies induced by the presence of the most massive objects in the Look at those wicked, wind-swept locks! Perfect for solving problems! Universe (galaxy clusters) along the line of sight between galaxy and observer. When the light from distant galaxies passes through a galaxy cluster, the light distribution is altered by the presence of mass along the light’s travel path, due to the bending of space-time described by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

Those distortions are preferentially tangential to the source mass distribution, so there is a signal that can be detected, however since the strength of the effect is quite small (a 2-3% change in ellipticity on any given galaxy) we must statistically examine the shapes of large numbers of background galaxies to extract it. That lensing “signal” allows for the extraction of useful information about the lens mass distribution (i.e. various physical properties of the galaxy cluster), as well as to potential constrain the cosmological parameters of the universe (through “tomography”).

My Work

I wasn’t really all that happy studying astronomy, to be honest. I didn’t feel like it would put me into a position where I could help people, so after graduating I started Cardinal Computing Consultants.

While I consider my astrophysics and data science work a great honor of which I am quite proud, I remained unsatisfied with this career; when you solve a challenging technical problem in astrophysics, the sense of accomplishment is often suppressed by the realization that the work had no immediate, real impact on ANYBODY. This occurs with data science work as well, where often the realizations gleaned from analyzing multitudes of data are frequently ignored or not exploited to solve any sort of real problem.

I want to do something useful for the world, and realized that one way that I could use my God-given talents to do that, was to directly help real people with real problems of a technical nature.

I worked my way through college as an EasyTech for Staples and managed information technology for laboratories at Otterbein, and in graduate school I only grew my expertise in technical matters, thanks to the largely computational nature of my research, my own personal interest and hobbies, and also in my role as a resident expert on such things to my friends, neighbors, and colleagues. I took many lessons over the years in doing this work, both in how to He really never bites... but that's not a bad way for a dog to try solving problems!solve problems, and more subtle lessons about what people really need from their technical support. I loathed how Staples took advantage of customers to make an extra buck (and my refusal to do exactly that landed me in hot water with management more than once). I learned the value of patient instruction while working tech support in the college labs. And most of all, I learned that not everyone even knows the right questions to ask when they need help, and that it’s important that you connect with people in order to really help them.

And that’s why I started Cardinal Computing Consultants, in order to help people. I’m doing this work because I feel great when I solve a problem that immediately makes someone’s life a little easier, and my goal for Cardinal Computing Consultants is that every client feels like we’ve made their lives just a little bit better with our work. Every decision I make for this company, I make with you in mind.

Other Info

I’ve been struggling with an eating disorder for longer than I could possibly imagine but I’m finally starting to beat it, I’m a professing Christian and active member of First United Methodist Church, and I volunteer for the Athens County Food Pantry. My favorite color is red, my favorite animal is the cardinal (duh!), my favorite song is “One” by Metallica, my favorite band is the Counting Crows, my favorite book is “Love Monkey” by Kyle Smith, my favorite author is Tom Clancy, and my favorite child is Lily… or is it Hope… oh, I can’t tell the difference!