Kings and Queens of Geek Proms past are charged each
year with the awesome task of choosing the new bearers of
the crowns and sashes. The names and credentials of the 2013
judges are listed below to show that we're not messing around
Alec Habig is the first astroparticle
physicist to be crowned King Geek. He’s a professor and physics department head at
the University of Minnesota Duluth. When he’s not busy researching
things most people don’t understand, he enjoys all forms of gaming and reading sci-fi/fantasy books.
James Ellingson is a social worker
for St. Louis County and a memorizer of random, useless facts.
He will play any kind of game, but favors strategy games like
Stratego, Risk and Settlers of Catan. He’s had a video
gaming system since age 8 and also digs cartoons and anime.
Growing up, he was frequently mistaken for Jonathan Ke Quan
(Richard "Data" Wang in The Goonies and
Wan "Short Round" Li in Indian Jones and the
Temple of Doom). In high school he played the trombone
in band upon band — jazz, symphonic wind and pep. He
was also in his high school chess club and plays a wicked
game of ping pong. A bit of a hoarder, James keeps old electronics
— cell phones, computers, cassette players, etc. —
just in case he might need them in the future.
Lawrence Lee, the 2008 King Geek,
was born and raised in Wapakoneta, Ohio, the hometown of Neil
Armstrong. He started playing D&D in 1977 when players
still had to use crayon to color in the crappy plastic dice.
He learned BASIC on a TRS 80 and FORTRAN using a card reader.
In high school he was salutatorian of his class, medaling
in the state Mathletes competition and also serving as a library
assistant. In college he studied physics, mathematics and
philosophy, and worked as a civil engineering lab assistant.
In graduate school he ran the A/V department. His current
interests include HTML, blogging,
board games (especially Settlers of Catan), World of Warcraft
and helping his kids learn math (which he insists is fun).
He works as a Presbyterian minister, and his study is decorated
with a lava lamp, an original Chris Monroe painting and Star
Wars paraphernalia. As Geek King he would like to decree for
all time: “Han shot first.”
Shari Hartshorn is the 2006 Queen
Geek. A science fiction and fantasy nut, Shari enjoys staying
up late reading (or re-reading) a great book or watching sci-fi
TV. Currently, she's enjoying Stargate, Doctor
Who and Torchwood. She laments the passing of Farscape,
Firefly and Invisible Man, and soon will
"suffer great anguish when SG-1 finishes its
stellar run." Shari loves to play the card game Munchkin,
especially epic style with all the sets. She has worked at
the Minnesota Renaissance Festival and still volunteers there
for Gaeltacht Minnesota, the Irish language group she's involved
with. "Mostly we spend our time letting people know that
there is in fact an Irish language and it is not just English
with an Irish accent," she said. In college, Shari took
more calculus than she needed, just for fun. She lives in
St. Paul with a cat and five birds.