About Me

Welcome to my small corner of the internet. My name is Leo Born – on this blog I also appear under the pseudonym of Mumon. Here I mainly write about things that interest me or that I do/experience, although I also try to do some knowledge transfer (not always very precisely or successfully). Many of the posts are about Japan, although I am planning to write some more on my subjects of study as well.

Currently, I am studying Computational Linguistics for my Master’s at the University of Heidelberg. My bachelor’s thesis was about “Using Graph-Based Local Coherence for MT Decoding” – an aggregation of technical terms that roughly mean that I incoroporated a coherence model into a machine translation system. Not that it’s any clearer now.


Technically Speaking


My research interests are, as can be inferred from my thesis topic, discourse processing and machine translation, although I also have a thing for sentiment analysis and modality. Furthermore, I am very interested in Digital Humanities, particularily from an interdisciplinary point of view.

I have also been – and to some extent still am – involved in front-end web development, databases, and digital typesetting and I am always excited about new challenges.

At some point, I started to make a hobby out of IT security. Especially software-based encryption is a topic that excites me. From the issuing and creation of SSL certificates (see below) to disk encryption to the encryption of communication I have tried a lot of things and still use many of them and I can only recommend them to you as well. (At some point in the future, there will be a post regarding this, I promise!)

My playground for all this is the command line, Java, Python, Scala, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and since my bachelor’s thesis C++ as well.


Personally Speaking

In my private time, I also enjoy being in front of a computer. I am an avid user of the command line; for aesthetic and (private) historical reasons I mainly use macOS, but Linux distributions are like a second home to me as well. I am also experimenting with a Raspberry Pi, although I still have to learn more about electrical engineering.

Since I am writing and hosting a blog, I can at times use my technical knowledge directly here to improve my blog. Over time, I tweaked some functionality and the design of this blog, although most changes were small ones.

Furthermore, I host an OwnCloud, which I for example use to sync my calendars (which I also have in my command line…) and I curate the server-side of things of another blog (https://colorful-world.com). The biggest difficulty I had there was when I tried to get a SSL certificate by Let’s Encrypt on my Mac (at that point I did not have my Linux distributions with me). That was not fun. Although It did work after around three hours and Let’s Encrypt itself is a great project. But this is getting too much like an anecdote.

Apart from the computer, I also take my time to read: from books by Jorge Luis Borges and Fjodor Dostoyevsky to Douglas Hofstadter and Georges Perec to Ernst Tugendhat and Natsume Sōseki, my library contains a lot of books that make me take a break with delight. (Although I read a lot of technical literature as well … Again with delight, though!)

I furthermore like taking photographs, although I unfortunately do not have the time to appropriately post-process my photographs. Because of this, most of the travel photographs on this blog are basically out-of-camera. But by now I tweaked my skills and in-camera settings so much that I am more and more confident about the out-of-camera photographs.

Lastly, I also play the electric guitar and compose some things from time to time. But that is something which, as alluded to in another post, I am not doing that much at the moment, unfortunately, although I started to have a more creative phase after I turned in my thesis. SInce then, I had some more concrete project ideas, I am just going to say that I started playing bass guitar as well. 

Oh yes, and to conclude, you can also find me on GitHubhttps://github.com/leoborn. There is not much there yet but hopefully there will be more to show in the coming future. And I think that this is enough for the moment.