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Claudiu Danilov

Assistant Research Scientist
Johns Hopkins University
Department of Computer Science

Office: 313 NEB
Phone: 410-516-5562, Fax: 410-516-6134
E-mail: claudiu at

About me

Here is a story I wrote a while ago as I was leaving Romania, moving to the US.

Christmas Eve, 1970. You can hear bells and carolers singing old Romanian songs. It must be very cold outside. Right here, in the living room, the two of them are decorating the Christmas Tree. OK, they just finished now and they start lighting up the candles. Take a look at it, it's beautiful... Suddenly, some leaves fall on a candle, and in less than a minute the entire tree is on fire. 'Water, water!' He opens the window, takes up the burning tree and throws it outside... just in front of a car. Fortunately nothing happens to the driver, but this incident scares her so badly that she must go to the hospital. She was expecting a baby, and the doctors said it will happen in a couple of weeks. However, after only five days, the little guy sees the light. What a happiness ! They called him Claudiu Bogdan Sherry.

When he is eleven months, the little guy walks for the first time. He falls down from his bed, unfortunately, so he will not try it again until he is a year and a half. When he is four, he rides a bicycle! Oh, yeah, it had three wheels, whatever... and when he is five, he begins reading, amazing the entire family with his talent. They were eating, in the kitchen, and the little boy suddenly starts to read. His first word. A word that will remain in the family's history: VINEGAR. Well, it just so happened that a bottle of vinegar was on the table, in front of him. Soon after that he starts counting beans and potatoes and he learns how to make some simple additions and subtractions, with beans and potatoes, of course.

When he is almost seven, he goes to school. And here, in his first society, he proves to be, yes, you won't believe it, he was very timid. Pure guy ! But he makes some friends there, probably as shy as he was. He does pretty well in almost all science classes, and veeery poor in literature, writing, and related stuff. After gymnasium he goes to high school, one of the most known in te city, but not as one of the best... And what is worst, he is selected to be in the second class (out of fifteen) in his year. He just cannot live with that, so in his eleventh grade he passes some exams to finally switch to the first class! And this way he looses some of his best teachers, who, for some reason that will always remain unclear, were only assigned to the second class... anyway, with or without good teachers he goes to many Olympic contests in Math, Physics and Chemistry, winning quite a few of them, and continues to hate all the writing related classes.

After he is admitted to "Politehnica" University (PUB), as all other eighteen-year-old Romanian males, he had to go to the army. Parents crying, good-byes at the train station, etc. etc. You get the picture. 'Don't worry', he says, 'I'm going to the army, not to the war'. And there he goes. Three months later the "Romanian Revolution" (yes, they still call it like that) starts. And he finds himself alone, in the middle of the street, with a gun, tons of bullets (many of them flying around) ...and no enemy. Pretty scary. And after six months of service he finally goes home confused and disappointed. And in October that year he starts his studies at Computer Science and Automation Department at PUB.

As a student he takes lots of exams, meets his future wife and works as a programmer for a real-estate agency, as a graphic designer for a DTP company and finally, just before graduation, as a sales engineer with the Tektronix color printer branch in Romania. Here, after months of desperate efforts, he manages to sell... one printer; an ink jet. Not very satisfied with his professional results, he decides to change his career entirely. Probably this was the biggest and most difficult decision he ever took. He starts to work at the Research Institute for Informatics in Bucharest, where he meets an exceptionally good team of researchers in the Real-Time Systems Lab. Here he is introduced into the world of research and finds the first guidelines of this world. And following one of these guidelines he is now at Hopkins, to study for his Ph.D.

There have been more than 28 years since that Christmas Eve of 1970. Many things happened, some of them good, some of them bad. The little guy still learns from his experience, and finally, after all these years, he signs his own web page.

Claudiu Danilov

Last updated on December 26, 2005