As you might guess from my name I am Russian (born in Moscow). My education is applied mathematics (specifically numerical methods and spectral analysis). In 1990 or so with a few other folks I co-founded imaging company (http://www.csoft.com/). We did pretty cool stuff such as making software that let user edit raster images as they were vector drawings. You click on a raster circle crossed with multiple lines and it becomes *vector*. Raster is removed from the image while intersections are kept intact. I left company in 1997 and moved to USA to join Microsoft. I specifically wanter something completely unrelated to bitmaps, images, pixels or vectors in any form. So I joined Visual InterDev team :-)
When I have time (and desire), I enjoy photography (see www.arkhipov.com), high-end audio, some home theater stuff, SciFi movies and books (excluding fantasy, original StarTrek and Star Wars - sorry) and working out.