Carl M. Christensen

Role: Chief Software Engineer
Department of Geophysics
Stanford University
Address: 397 Panama Mall
Stanford, CA 94306


About Carl

Carl brings more than 20 years of experience to the Quake Catcher Team. He has worked at UC Berkeley as well as Oxford University and specializes in developing new software as well as translating Dr. Lawrence’s and Dr. Cochran’s ideas into the world of technology.

His goal is to expand the Quake Catcher Network to more than 10,000 sensors, and have QCN become the premier early warning system internationally.

Currently, he lives on the east coast, but escapes to California whenever possible. He is working on creating software for mobile devices, so when people are charging their phones and technology at night, and the table shakes, QCN will be alerted.

Quakes & Aftershocks

What makes QCN different from your other projects?

QCN is a bit different from other distributed computing projects because we are not crunching numbers, we are monitoring real-time data. Technically speaking, it’s low cpu. But the management and monitoring is what makes it so different. Everyone else is trying to crunch computer programs such as predictive climate models. We are getting people to monitor seismic activity on their computers. It’s such a great change for me.

What are your goals for QCN?

Eventually, I’d like QCN to become an inexpensive early warning system especially for places that don’t have substantial systems in place- internationally, less developed areas. Even a few seconds of warning. A few seconds is the difference between life and death. The QCN will be the difference between life and death.

Do you remember your first earthquake?

I was in Berkeley, CA on my first trip from the east coast to visit UC Berkeley. Later, I was in Southern Germany and England and we detected earthquakes which was so neat because earthquakes are rare in Europe.