Frank photo

Frank Nemec

Frank Nemec photo


Challenge Grant

Friends, School, and Community

Hooked on Technology

Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, I graduated Benjamin Franklin High School 1964,   MIT 1968 in electrical engineering, and U. C. Berkeley 1972 in electrical engineering and computer science. I am retired from a 36-year career at IBM, Silicon Valley, California, most recently in EDA (electronic design automation) at the Almaden Research Center. My wife Laurie is working on a real estate development project in Flagstaff, Arizona. Our daughter lives in Montana with her husband. Our son lives in San Jose with his wife and three children, including Our first grandson!   This photo shows what he has been working on.

Web development

Much of my time is now spent on web development for several websites.

Intellectual Pursuits

With the time constraint of full-time employment behind me, logo I have more time to read. Most is in science, and most of that in physics and cognitive neuroscience. How would my life have differed if I had stayed in physics at MIT instead of switching into electrical engineering? I am also reading and taking courses in early Christianity and Judaism, including related philosophical and religions thought. Most of my writing has been in this area. I have been active in the Other - Science section logo of Yahoo Answers. My main professional membership has been in the IEEE. Membership in Mensa   and Triple Nine Society  provides opportunity for some fascinating discussions. I have enjoyed participation in the Big Ideas Reading Group, a Mensa group, and have read all the books since I started at number 6. At Valley Church, I have been studying the history and cultural context of the texts of the New Testament, and other contemporary works. In my unofficial History of Israel class, I challenge doctrines based on a misunderstanding of the text, their cultural context, and ignorance of modern scholarship and textual criticism.

My political views have changed over time. logo In today's world, what are the best choices governments at all levels can make? They don't always match well with political party platforms. They match even less with what politicians actually do. I'm happy to engage in discussion at this level. We've seen the hazards of excessive governmental regulation, unbridled industrialism, and unwise deregulation. The US has an unprecedented opportunity to take a first step toward "doing it right" with healthcare. Will we capitalize on it? Or will we let an old-fashioned power struggle empower a repressive regime, or derail any serious effort toward reform? Ideologues on all sides are capable of arousing opposition by publicizing a distorted caricature of any proposal they don't like. Can we get beyond that kind of knee-jerk reaction this time?

Altrustic Pursuits

Retirement has freed me of the obligation to work in order to survive. Some of my web development services are done without charge for some organizations and efforts I'm willing to support. I hope through my writing and through dialogs in Mensa, Triple Nine Society, and various Facebook groups, to promote knowledge and critical thinking. See my challenge page for how I intend to focus my charitable giving and my encouragements for the giving of others.


My involvement with Valley Church in Cupertino, California, is detailed on my page on the Valley Church Community.

Frank Nemec sailing photo


I started sailing on Lake Pontchartrain at New Orleans, racing a 30-foot sloop with my father. Eventually he migrated to a 42-foot cruising sloop, better equipped for the Gulf of Mexico. That made my choice of inter-collegiate sport a natural one, with a JV letter in sailing for the MIT team. I could have brought that 30-foot Dragon with me to California, but I discovered that renting a slip for that boat would cost more than my house payment. Since then, my sailing has been whatever I managed to catch including the Star of India.

Other activities

Our homestead is catching up from decades of neglect. I'm turning the tide against encroaching brush, weeds, and poison oak. I keep trying to do a garden, with limited success. Our horse Samantha provides a continuous supply of fertilizer and keeps the grass mowed.


My "career" in photography started with Technique, the MIT yearbook, where I was the living groups photo editor. Most is now natural scenery, artistic composition, an occasional wedding, and work for Valley Church. logo Here are some samples (not representative) of my work.

Ham radio has intrigued me since junior high school. Talking (mostly in Morse Code) all over the country and the world using equipment I scrounged surplus or built myself was a big thrill. I've been licensed continuously since then, though not always active. My current license is Amateur Extra class. My favorite operating event has always been Field Day. My public service emphasis began with the Lexington Fire of July 1985. logo I served as the ARES Emergency Coordinator for Saratoga for several years. Our homesite was chosen partly for its excellence as a radio site, but I haven't made much use of that. I'd like to come up with a practical way to use passive circuits to control the directionality of a phased array of vertical antennas.