The following sketch is written by Barry's Dad, so that his Bio will have content. Of course, this is the doting Dad's view of Barry's world. Now that I've convinced him to engage with genealogy and WikiTree, he will likely revise this after his own self-image. But I hope he saves this as an addendum.
After a degree and research program in chemical physics (honored as a Goldwater Scholar), Barry got a PhD, in mathematics. Barry is now a number theorist and Associate Professor of Mathematics with a love of teaching. He helps undergrads write math research papers and get them published. Beyond teaching, Barry translates math papers from Russian, German, and French as required by his research, and gives math talks at conferences and colloquia.
Barry married his college sweetheart. They have a daughter, and live in a tiny town in a bucolic setting, a house on a hill with a view of a horse farm. The family walks through a corn field to reach a local produce market (and neighboring brew pub).
Barry plays piano and is an occasional drummer. He is trained in ballroom dancing, and helps with the cooking. He is a California dude who has retired his surfboard and relocated 2,600 miles to the east. He still rides a skateboard.
Factoids of possible social value:
Barry's middle name is the name of a hamlet on the side of the Riederalp, in and near where some ancestors were first noted, beginning in the 15th century.
Barry is an expert (world-class) Boggle player. Challenge him (identify yourself to him first so he doesn't decline the invite).
Barry is one of the co-authors of a paper with a recent Nobel laureate in chemistry (his undergrad research advisor), from which a finite Erdős number of 7 derives.
Barry read The Economist from a formative age. The family thought he would be a banker.
Barry's academic g-grandfather (in math genealogy, his thesis advisor's advisor's advisor) solved a 400 year mathematics conjecture called Fermat's Last Theorem. Barry understands the proof.
Barry has an active research program and current publications both in algebraic number theory (the kind of math used in the proof above), and in binary quadratic forms.
Barry once went on vacation with his parents; his backpack was found to contain a classic text on number theory and a copy of Gibbon's Fall of the Roman Empire.
Barry's room is no longer messy.
And now time for story hour, or how the future can be influenced by small things:
Barry realized at end of senior year that he was one course shy of another undergrad major, in mathematics. So he asked a Prof he liked if he could challenge a number theory course. The Prof agreed to give up the first Saturday morning of his summer break to see what Barry knew. Barry chose to be tested from the text that had been a fixture in his backback for a year or so. They did a chalk-talk together for three hours. Then the Prof said "We're done". Barry didn't understand and asked if he had passed. The Prof played hard to get, suggesting that if Barry didn't know the answer, perhaps that would determine the answer. Of course, Barry answered his own question. He had successfully traded three hours of sweat for another degree.
That afterthought degree formed the basis of his career. He had to make a decision of what to study in graduate school, and he shrewdly asked himself the question: What do I like to do when I have nothing that needs doing? It was always math; chemistry and physics were out of the running.
Descended from the Venetz family from Canton Valais, Switzerland
Barry Smith's DNA has been tested for genealogical purposes. It may be possible to confirm family relationships by comparing test results with Barry or other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA.
Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:
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HI, I see you are working on merges, you may want to review Merging FAQs to understand your responsibilities in doing merges. Remember, after the merge you will want to clean up the text. During a merge, the text from the merged-away profile is simply appended onto the end of the text of the merged-into profile. You will want to integrate it into a single biography and a single sources section. Thanks so much for helping improve Wikitree! If you have any questions, just let me know.