Welcome to the personal website of Brian Cham

(vexillologist, cryptographer, software engineer, screenwriter and graphic designer)

I am an award-winning Vexillologist (flag expert): I love how flags can be so simple yet so meaningful – as long as they are designed well!
πŸ’ͺ I’m a member of NAVA (North American Vexillological Association), the largest flag organisation in the world. I act as our YouTube Co-ordinator, editing and organising our library of video content to the public and our members.
πŸ’ͺ I specialise in the area of flag design. I’ve been a judge for some official flags, I’ve been the finalist for some official flags (most recently, the state flag of Utah) and I was commissioned to design the fictional flags for the NeuroSpasta role-playing game
πŸ† At NAVA’s 55th annual conference, I won an Honorable Mention for the Driver Award for giving a presentation about the NZ flag referendum, why its flags were poorly received and what flag designers can learn from this
πŸ† My Utah flag designs are currently semi-finalists in the state’s official redesign effort
πŸ† My Earth flag design was featured in NAVA’s newsletter
πŸ† My Australian flag redesign was voted the third best Australian flag proposal of all time in a public poll
πŸ† My Louisiana flag redesign was voted the best Louisiana flag proposal of all time in a public poll
πŸ† My Massachusetts flag redesign was voted the best Massachusetts flag proposal of all time in a public poll
πŸ† My other designs have been manufactured and flown by fans around the world
πŸ”— Feel free to browse and share my designs or see my NAVA profile!

I am a Cryptographer (code breaker): I love solving puzzles, analysing patterns and uncovering lost secrets.
πŸ’ͺ I analyse the Voynich Manuscript, a 500 year old book that nobody has been able to decipher. My Voynich Manuscript work has been cited in academic papers.
πŸ’ͺ At the University of Auckland, I was contracted to develop apps to teach cryptography and steganography to students in a fun way. These were used as teaching tools by the University of Auckland and the Museum of Transport and Technology.
πŸ”— Feel free to read my Voynich Manuscript articles or see my Voynich Ninja profile!

I am a Software Engineer: I love the power of software to deliver revolutionary benefits.
πŸ’ͺ I work at Amazon Web Services, the largest cloud computing service in the world
πŸ’ͺ I used to work at Vista, the multi-national company that makes the software that runs most of the world’s cinemas
πŸ† My Part IV Engineering Project at university was an educational tool that taught model-driven development in an interactive way. It was accepted at an international conference, ranked as a top paper and published in the International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering
πŸŽ“ I have two Microsoft Certifications: Azure Fundamentals and Azure Developer Associate
πŸŽ“ I have a Professional Certificate in Data Science from Harvard University
πŸŽ“ I have a Degree in Software Engineering from the University of Auckland
πŸ”— Feel free to see my software projects or see my LinkedIn profile!

I am a Cinephile (film lover): I love the power of film to bring us into another world and inspire the human soul.
πŸ’ͺ I also work as a screenwriter for Psych2Go, an animated series bringing awareness of psychology and mental health to a general audience
πŸŽ“ I was a finalist in an international film competition run by the United Nations
πŸŽ“ I have over 1500 film reviews and 32 achievement badges on IMDb
πŸ“œ I have a Degree in Film, Television and Media Studies from the University of Auckland, winning the First in Course Award for FTVMS300 (New Zealand Film), FTVMS327 (Comics and Visual Narrative) and FTVMS212 (Video Game Studies).
πŸ“œ I got First in Media Studies 301 and the Best Director award at Massey High School
πŸ”— Feel free to see my full filmography, see my IMDb filmography profile or see my IMDb user profile!

I am a Bookworm: I love learning new things and exploring new ideas.
πŸ† I was the #1 top book reviewer in New Zealand for All Time on GoodReads
πŸ”— Feel free to see my GoodReads profile!

I am a Designer
πŸ’ͺ I used to be a freelance graphic designer
πŸ”— Feel free to browse my designs!


Minerva mysteries

Voynich Manuscript

Recently on the Voynich Manuscript mailing list there has been a kerfuffle over a supposed Athanasius Kircher booklet find in Minerva Auctions’ catalogue. You can find the details summarised here in Ellie Velinska’s blog (don’t worry, the April Fools’ joke at the bottom is on her part, not Minerva’s). I’ll continue withΒ what I’ve dug up.