This week, we bring you a wonderful Runner Bio Interview with Bruno Olshausen!
Bruno Olshausen, SF FrontRunners Member
How long have you been running with FrontRunners (SF and elsewhere) and what attracted you to the club?
I’ve run with FrontRunners clubs in lots of different cities for the past 16 years. Wherever I’ve studied or worked, I’ve been a “FrontRunners junkie”: Boston, Sacramento, East Bay, Baylands, Berlin, and San Francisco. Every group has offered a positive, uplifting experience. The sense of community and the great outdoors is the winning combination that keeps me coming back.
Where did you grow up and what brought you to the Bay Area?
I grew up in Surfside, a little town near Huntington Beach in Southern California. I knew I always wanted to be a scientist but wasn’t sure in exactly what field. I majored in electrical engineering as an undergrad at Stanford and moved on to artificial intelligence and robotics in later academic work at Caltech and elsewhere.
What do you do for work during the day?
I work in the field of computational neuroscience at UC Berkeley. What interests me most is visual perception, that is, how our brain interprets imagery in the world around us.
Sounds pretty intense. What do you do to unwind?
Well, I mentioned I like the outdoors. Beyond running, I like hiking and sailing. I also take great pleasure in music. I was a band geek in high school (played drums in marching band), and I played piano in chamber groups during grad school. I’m especially drawn to the music of Brahms and Schubert.
Given your last name, it’s not surprising that you feel a kinship with German culture.
True, I spent my sabbatical in Berlin in 2009. Even though all the work could be done in English, my German language skills are a pretty strong intermediate. And the culture is very outdoors-centered. I have fond memories of hiking in the Tyrolean region near the Austrian-Italian border and running the Berlin half-marathon, which is where this picture was taken.
What is one of your fondest memories of FrontRunners so far?
The ski trip was great fun and a good chance to get to know many of the other runners. I love getting to know people better all the time and making connections that relate to other parts of my life. It was through FrontRunners that I found my realtor, Katharine Holland, who is also in the club, and working with her was a fantastic experience. And taking part in the Christmas Relays gave me the chance to bond with new teammates. The four of us all shared German heritage and adopted the team name Die Wunderkinder (“The Wonder Kids”).
Any advice to newcomers to the club and running/fitness?
Exercise and conversation are two of the best things people can do for their brain fitness and overall well being, and FrontRunners combines both simultaneously. Take advantage of all the socializing opportunities the club has to offer.
Vielen Dank, Bruno! We appreciate your taking the time to share your stories with us.