illustration of the a strutless dyadic partitioning of the unit
squareGreg Maxwell

Photograph of Greg Maxwell
Welcome! I'm Greg Maxwell, a retired software engineer and major dork. I helped design the Opus audio codec (which you probably use countless times a day), and contributed to the development of the Bitcoin protocol.

These days I spend my time on various computer science and number theory research interests, astrophotography, and amateur radio. As an autodidact, I am an avid reader. I'm also a voluminous writer. — Voluminous enough that my username ("gmaxwell") managed to become one of the 50,257 tokens used by GPT3 and related large language models to represent text, but not enough to avoid these models behaving oddly in response to my name. They've since fixed the behavior, dashing my dreams of personally thwarting The Machine Apocalypse simply by being illegible to our AI overlords.
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka" but "That's funny..."
—Isaac Asimov
In 2021 I discovered a faster constant-time algorithm for computing a greatest common divisor. When a former colleague asked me to test an algorithm he'd written, I used my ~1800 core cluster to search for corrupted versions of it in to order to "test the tests", expecting all the corrupted versions to get rejected. Eventually, I found a variant that passed the tests! But what I found wasn't a flaw in the tests that I had been looking for: he was able to prove the new algorithm correct and it was slightly faster. That's funny... Emboldened, I searched with a little more direction using the proof technique and I found an even better version. Remarkably, this algorithm operates with 20% fewer steps than the best previously known method.

This sort of thing is my idea of adventure.


Short articles and posts

Selected publications

Royalty-free patents

Under construction