Johnny Lin was born in Colorado but grew up in the Seattle area. He graduated from Stanford University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1990 and an MS in Civil Engineering-Water Resources in 1992. For the next two years, he worked as a civil engineer, specializing in the modeling of rivers and estuaries for flood insurance studies and wetland restoration projects. He received his PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from UCLA in 2000. Currently, he is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Computing Education in the Computing and Software Systems Division at the University of Washington Bothell and an Affiliate Professor of Physics and Engineering at North Park University in Chicago.