Here are some of the more significant events in my personal history. It's here for those who want to know a bit more about who I am -- the person behind the advisor and lecturer, if you will.

March 21, 1961 Born in Hualien, Taiwan, while my parents were missionaries there with the Mennonites. We returned to North America when I was 2 1/2, so I don't remember anything except via pictures.
January, 1977 First exposure to computer programming, complements of a friend who taught at a nearby college. It was a Wang computer with 8K of memory and a cassette tape for mass storage.
Summer, 1978 Designed and built a 40 foot suspension bridge over the stream running through our backyard.
May, 1979 Graduated from Newton High, Newton, Kansas. Collected a number of recognitions in the process, including Kansas State Scholar and a National Merit Scholarship.
September, 1979 Began studying at Goshen College, a small liberal arts school in Goshen, Indiana. It's owned and operated by the Mennonite Church and tries to integrate education and Christianity. A good place -- good teachers, good environment, good academics. Cited by US News and World Report several times in their roundup of excellent educational institutions.
1981 Investigated by the FBI for refusing to register for the US military machine -- a felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $5,000 fine. I refused to register because of the assumption by the US government that everyone on the resulting list was willing to serve in the military -- I wasn't based on my understanding of the Christian life as modeled by Jesus Christ.
May, 1983 Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Mathematics) from Goshen College.
October 15, 1983 Married Ann Elizabeth Weber. She grew up in New Hamburg, Ontario.
1985 Charges for refusing to register with the military were dropped.
Summer, 1986 Published, together with Ann, a report on the conditions of local rental housing. The report and associated media forced changes to the local housing legislation and the hiring of additional enforcement personnel.
July, 1987 Moved to Ontario where Ann began pastoring at First Mennonite Church (Kitchener) and I began a masters in Computer Science at University of Waterloo.
August, 1988 Bought our first house in a 50-50 partnership with another couple. Sharing the household tasks, having more people for dinner time conversation, and sharing the mortgage were all wonderful advantages. When the other couple had their first child a year later, they wanted a more traditional environment so we bought their share of the house. We continued to rent out part of the space to a close friend with whom we shared cooking and meals.
December, 1989 Finished up my masters degree and began working for Open Text, a UW spin-off company. I was the third employee and the only techical person (well, the CEO had more technical background than I did, but he was never around and rarely had time to use that background).
September, 1990 - 1993 Chaired the Refugee Board at First Mennonite Church. The Board was concerned with helping the refugees from Central America who had found their way to our congregation. We also attempted to sponsor several more.
October 1, 1990 Our first child, Luke Adrian Weber Becker, is born.
September, 1991 Began teaching and advising in the Computer Science Department, University of Waterloo.
January 28, 1994 Our second child, Joel Benjamin Weber Becker, is born at home with the help of two midwives. There was a fierce ice storm the night before which closed the University.
September 11, 1997 The diaper pail is thrown out. No more diapers!
Fall, 1998 Begin team-teaching the pilot version of CS130 using Java.
Spring, 1999 Threw out the first Java course and rewrote it using the Karel the Robot metaphor pioneered by Rich Pattis.
January, 2001 Began writing a Java textbook to support CS130/133.
Fall, 2002 First usage of the textbook, even though it's not complete. More info at