Science Outreach

On the way to distribute educational telescopes in Govi-Altai province of Mongolia, 2015.

Beside my professional research work I deeply enjoy doing science outreach activities. Unfortunately being an astrophysicist is already very demanding, and I don't usually have much time for this. Between 2012-2013 I was one of the telescope czars at the department (UC Santa Cruz) and organized number of public star parties. In 2014 I joined the inmate education program headed by Mark Krumholz, and taught math classes to inmates of the Santa Cruz County Jail. In 2015, I finalized my project that brought telescopes to schools in rural parts of Mongolia. Click here to see the university news coverage.

Bitcoins

Relic from the 26-gpu cluster. Now a small piece of it became the ftp-server.

I've discovered bitcoin in mid 2012, and fell in a deep love since then. For some time I used to do heavy amount of mining, until I couldn't bare the heat and electricity bills. At one point I was mining with 26 GPUs! In 2013-14 I have tried to start a bitcoin club at UCSC, and even tried to install a bitcoin ATM machine on campus; unfortunately the reception was less than welcome. Nowadays when I get time, I play around with biometric sensors on the Arduino platform, in hope of incorporating them into a hardware wallet.
I have little doubt that in my lifetime we will witness blockchain-like decentralized technologies taking over all aspects of our lives - not just in finance and economy, but in politics and probably in science as well.

Mongol Wrestling

Wrestling is a huge part of Mongol culture, and like most Mongol men I love wrestling. There is no weight class, and also no limits on space and time (some matches last hours or longer!). Mongols living in U.S. organize annual competitions and I tend to compete every other year, but without much notable success ;-P . Here is a picture from 2010 competition held in Chicago.

Click here for some pro level action.

My Name

In Mongolia people go just by a single name - the part "Tuguldur" is mine, and I took my mother's name "Sukhbold" as my last. "Tuguldur" is an ancient Mongol name that loosely means perfect/elegant. In cyrillic it's Төгөлдөр, and in the top-left corner of this page you'll see it written in traditional script.

Tekuder (in orange dress) meeting his finance minister. Jami' al-tawarikh (14th century), Wikimedia Commons

The first person (that I know of) who had this name is Nikola Tegulder, who later changed it to Ahmed Tegulder. He was great-grandson of Chinggis Khan and the ruler of Ilkhanate, small part of Mongol Empire in 13th century (current day Iran, Iraq and Turkey). He reigned only for 2 years and was executed by his nephew for spreading islam. According to the Wiki article:
Tekuder sent a friendly letter to the Mamluk sultan and wished for peace. His conversion to Islam and good ties with the Mamluks were not viewed well by Mongol nobles. When Arghun received no reply, he declared war against Tekuder. Tekuder requested help from the Mamluk Sultan but the Mamluks did not fully co-operate with Tekuder. Having a small and inferior army, Tekuder was defeated by Arghun's larger army, and he was eventually executed on August 10, 1284.
But I am sure he was a cool guy.