Abraham Philip Karplus
son of Kevin Karplus
(Accessed as https://users.soe.ucsc.edu/~karplus/abe/
Referred from (none)
11:21 PDT 12 July 2011
This web page will change occasionally with proud-parent stuff.
Click on small pictures for detailed picture (usually in jpeg format).
I'll put the most recent pictures at the top of the page.
Here are some bookmarks for sites relevant to raising Abe:
Clicking on any of the thumbnail pictures on this page should get you
to a larger, more detailed picture.
12 July 2011. I skipped a few portraits of me that Abe drew (you
can see the full set on my home page), but
the latest one is probably the
25 June 2010. Abe has drawn another portrait of me—the
first time has done a profile (aside from the early "Picasso" imitation).
18 May 2010. Abe has once again won a third place in the
Mathematics and Software category of junior
division (6th–8th grades) of the California State Science Fair.
This time with A.I. Connect-four,
an investigation of artificial intelligence using the game Connect-Four.
8 Sept 2009. Abe has started
creating his own web
page for his Programming 1 class at Georgiana Bruce Kirby
along with him, since I learned HTML before there were such things,
and never bothered to modernize.
[2011: the school has taken down Abe's old web page.
Perhaps he'll create another one some day—he's certainly still
far only with private pages on the local disk.]
19 May 2009 Judging results from the California State Science Fair
have been posted
and Abe's 3rd place in Math and Software (Junior Division) has been
31 March 2009.
Abe's science-fair project this year, Find it Fast: Hash Tables and
Collision Resolution got 3 prizes at the Santa Cruz County Science Fair:
1st in Computer Science (grades 6-8), Intel award in computer science,
Seagate award. He will be going to the California State Science Fair
in May with this project.
27 May 2008.
Abe's science-fair project this year, Self-similar Sierpinski
Fractals, got a second in category at county (there was no
first in math) and went to state, but it got no awards there. He was
a little disappointed, since it was clearly the most mathematically
sophisticated middle-school project in the math/software category at
state, and he had put an enormous amount of effort into to. We had
gotten some feedback at county about why he didn't get a first, which
mainly amounted to it not being applied enough.
We got no feedback at state, despite having a huge ratio of judges
to projects. Given the projects that won at state, it seemed to me
that the judges were looking for green technology and applications to
medicine, and not much else. I'm also a little worried that he did
too sophisticated math, and the judges thought that it was parental
work—the judges at state seemed less experienced even than the
judges at county. I did write a letter as his mentor,
explaining what help he had, but I don't know if the judges ever read
15 March 2008.
On Thursday (13 March 2008) at the trimester assembly at Spring Hill
School, I heard one of Abe's compositions for the first time. He
wrote it during music class using Finale Notepad (free software for
Macs and PCs). Since I had assumed that his music skills were as
limited as mine, I was pleasantly surprised by how good his
composition was. If you pick up the free sofware, you can listen to
it yourself. Abe's composition
23 November 2007.
As a birthday present for me, Abe drew another portrait—this one
straight-on, which makes the nose a bit more difficult.
10 October 2007.
Abe kindly drew another portrait of me. I think this one gets the
eyes and beard well, but Abe had a little trouble with the nose.
31 August 2007.
Abe just finished a doing 7 afternoons of molecular biology work with
Prof. Karen Ottemann and grad student Jenny Draper. His goal was to
create plasmids for a mutated version of a gene that Jenny was
studying. Jenny provided him with some initial DNA that was supposed
to contain the mutated gene and some primers. He did PCR, gel
electrophoresis, DNA purification, restriction digest, DNA ligation,
electroporation into E. coli, plating, miniprep, restriction digest,
and gel electrophoresis. The final result was that 3 of the 12
colonies that grew had plasmids with inserts of the correct size.
Jenny sent those out for sequencing, and the correct gene was indeed
inserted into the plasmids.
It was amazing to me that everything worked—when I tried to do a
similar project a couple of years ago for my first wet-lab experience,
I never got past the first two steps (my PCR never worked).
Here is a picture of Abe with Jenny in the Environmental Toxicology
lab (Photo courtesy of Karen Ottemann).
30 June 2007.
Abe has drawn another portrait of me, this time in a somewhat lighter style:
(The pencil lines were so light that I had some trouble scanning in
and cleaning up the image—the paper kept providing a grey background.)
5 May 2007.
Abe was entered in the County Math Competition both as part of the
Spring Hill Math Team and individually. He tied for first place among
5th graders in the individual competition, and the math team got an
15 March 2007.
Abe is once again in the County Science Fair—this time with a
project about how balls
He wrote a program in
scratch to simulate the bounces, learned just enough calculus to
figure out the height of bounces, and made a lot of measurements of
(He also wrote a program for bouncing balls in Alice, but that wasn't
included in his science fair project.)
1 Feb 2007.
Abe has gotten very interested in programming video games and
animations using "scratch," a new programming language from the MIT
He spent much of winter break learning the language and writing
Here are some examples of his work
(also pointers to the free download of scratch and newsletters for the
Tech Club that Abe and I started at his school).
7 Oct 2006. At the UCSC Farm and Garden's Harvest Festival, Abe
asked to have his face painted as a eukaryotic cell. He had to tell
the face painter what to paint. Here are the results, labeled:
17 Sept 2006. Abe created yet another sketch of me.
11 Sept 2006. Abe is running for treasurer of his school's student
council and created a campaign poster using Photoshop Elements:
(smaller 72dpi version)
(Update: 22 Sept 2006. Abe tied with one of his classmates, so they
are splitting the Treasurer position. I'm not sure how that is going
21 March 2006. Abe did a bit more work on his science fair
project, in preparation for going to the Santa Cruz County science
fair. He wrote up a revised report.
He ended up with the 3rd place in physics for 4th-5th grade in the county.
(As a loyal parent, I thought his project was the best, but I can see
how the judges might have thought that there was more parental help
than there really was—oh well, he has eight more years of science
fairs to look forward to.)
7 Feb 2006. Today was Abe's first science fair. He did an
interesting project on capillary action and wrote a good
As a result, he was one of 8 kids from his school chosen to go to the
county science fair (out of 48 projects, 16 each from 4th, 5th, and 6th
31 Jan 2006 After almost a year, Abe finally drew another portrait of me:
6 April 2005 First Aikido exam
Abe had his first aikido test, and he was promoted from 12th kyu to
11th kyu. The dojo he attends uses one or two red stripes for 11th kyu.
Abe was very pleased to get two when he was only expecting one.
Demonstrating ikkyo (first teaching):
A good hanmi stance:
Proud of his new red stripes:
Feb 2005 Puerto Rico
At the end of February, we went to Puerto Rico, and Abe kept a diary
of most of the trip for class. (I did the photography and typing for
him, but he chose the pictures and wrote the text.)
Since we were staying in the Gallery Inn, which is run as an artist's
studio as well as a bead and breakfast, Abe was inspired to do another
portrait of me:
Feb 2005 Biography Day
On 16 Feb 2005, Bay View School had "Biography Day", in which some
children and staff dressed up as historical figures. Abe chose to
dress as Abraham Lincoln. He ended up reading the Gettysburg Address
about 5 times during the day. Somewhat surprsingly, in his
after-school theater group of 11 kids, one of the other children had
also dressed as Abraham Lincoln. (We think our Abe was more
convincing, but don't have photos of the other to offer as evidence.)
Abe did another sketch of me, this one in a style reminiscent of
Here are photos of Abe in the UW Arboretum (24 April 2004):
Here are some photos of Abe in Ravenna Park (18 April 2004) after his haircut:
Here are some photos of Abe in the cherry trees on the UW campus in
Seattle (4 April 2004) before his haircut:
2 Jan 2004
Abe gave me a new potrait for Christmas this year (drawn today):
2 Nov 2003
Abe was a lizard for Halloween this year. His mother made the costume.
Here are a couple of pictures of him in costume. In one, he is on a
leash held by his friend Selena.
23 Oct 2003
Abe drew a picture of a very odd dinosaur. Abe says
Here's what's odd about it:
- How it keeps its blood warm. It circulates some plasma through a
water heater then through a heat exchanger where it exchanges the heat
with its blood. The heat exchanger is the thing in the center of the
picture that is a tube curled around another tube.
- It has two brains. They're both smaller than a normal brain. One
of them is smaller than the other and they are one either side of the mouth.
- It has an extra heart. It's extra heart is small dark blob at the
upper right of the heat exchanger.
- It has nerves outside its main body. There is one from the neck
to the lungs at the top of the picture. The lungs look like a small heart.
- The two wide darkly hatched areas are muscles stretched over bone
with tendon tubes inside.
- The hatched areas in the middle are plasma tubes with muscle
wrapped around them and tendon tubes on the outside.
- Notice the odd-shaped hooves.
28 Sept 2003
Another portrait of me, inspired by the unit they are doing in
second-grade at school on Picasso, and a Halloween decoration:
Abe learned to ride his bike this summer:
Here is a picture form our trip to Boston April 2003:
27 April 2003
Self-portraits Abe made in his first-grade class.
16 Dec 02
More recent art—some snails from a painting exercise at school
and a portrait Abe made of me on my birthday:
2 Nov 02
Some recent art of Abe's from school:
"This is a mask of an alien disguised as a human, but not doing it very
19 Oct 02
Abe drew another portrait of me—perhaps not as sophisticated as his
earlier one, but still quite good:
22 Sept 02
I borrowed a digital camera, and got some shots of Abe:
17 August 2002
Abe has drawn a portrait of me:
9 Feb 02. Some recent art work—the first one Abe calls "Rose of
Glory" and it was a copying exercise from his art class. The second
one is his design for his Valentine's Day cards.
22 Jan 2002. Here is a true story that Abe dictated and illustrated
for his homework this week. Unfortunately, the picture makes the PDF
file rather large (2 863 450 bytes).
31 Oct 2001. Abe wanted to be a Snowy Owl for Halloween this year.
This was not related to Harry Potter, but to his own on-going
"talking game" of Owl and Prince (hence my costume as the prince,
though Michele and I are usually cast as Owl). Michele made the
costume out of cloth and foam.
22 September 2001.
More of Abe's art, created with scissors, glue stick, and markers.
This mouse design is from Ed Emberley's book Picture Pie 2.
The Emberley books seem to just the right level for Abe at age 5
1/2—there is a partial list of them at http://www.funorama.com/emberley.html.
Another good list is at http://www.powells.com/subsection/ChildrensArtDrawing.html,
which includes several other drawing books for kids (the "draw 50"
series is too advanced for Abe right now).
A more complete Ed Emberley list can be found at http://www.readin.org/authors/author_pages/Emberley/emberley.htm
Collage of an orange mouse on green paper. 100dpi
Here are some pictures of Abe at his paternal grandparents' golden
wedding anniversary party (8 Sept 2001):
19 August 2001.
Here is some art that Abe created while we were in Nijmegen this July.
Cat disguised as human.
Abe says this is a store manager—I think it looks like a dead
president in a coffin.
16 June 2001.
Habib visited today and demonstrated his Polaroid camera to Abe.
Here is the picture he took of Abe and me in our matching cyberslug t-shirts:
Here is a a picture of me reading to Abe—also a picture of me
and Abe laughing together from around Xmas 2000.
I've gotten very lax about scanning in photos. Here's one of Abe on
his tire swing:
We visited friends in Los Altos for Thanksgiving, and Alex took some
photos with a digital camera. I haven't prepared thumbnails from the
photos, but will provide links anyway.
Abe and his hand
Abe wearing a mask Michele made
from a leaf
Abe falling off a stuffed dragon
The whole family at
Abe's cousin Eli visited on 10 Sep 2000, and two pictures were taken.
My friend Habib took a
picture of me reading to
Abe on his fourth birthday, but I don't have a thumbnail of it yet.
Finally—some recent pictures! (October 1999)
Abe won the balloon hat at a Cowell College Night (Thursday night
dinner for students and faculty, with post-dinner entertainment).
The entertainer was doing an audience-participattion song, asking
members of the audience to make lion's roars, bird sounds, or the
sounds made by worms. After the song, the audience voted who made the
best sound, and Abe's "cock-a-doodle-doo" for the bird sound got the
prize, which was to go up on the stage and have a balloon hat made.
The hat lasted a couple of days (which is unusual, as Abe likes to pop
Here are some pictures from Dec 1997.
Here are some pictures from Oct 1997.
Here are some pictures from May 1997.
Here are some photos from January 1997. The sock is on Abe's hand to
prevent him from removing a bandage. He burned his hand trying to
pull up on the oven (it has healed fine).
Abe was 9 months old in December 1996--here are some pictures from Abe's
Here are some pictures from November 1996, when Abe was
about 8 months old and weighed almost 22 pounds:
Some pictures from the first two weeks are here:
Here are some pictures from the first three days:
At his one-week checkup he was back up to 7 lbs 8 oz—he has been
doing well on mother's milk.
Abraham Philip Karplus was born at 13:00 on Tueday 12 March 1996, at the
Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz.
His weight at birth was 7 lbs 12 oz (3540 grams) and his length was 21"
(about 53 cm).
Questions about page content should be directed to
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
318 Physical Sciences Building