David Merrill is co-founder and president of Sifteo, a company based in San Francisco building the future of play. Sifteo’s first product is Siftables: a tabletop game console made of smart tiles that combines the social and physical play patterns of classic games with the interactive potential of video games.
David is a graduate of the Fluid Interfaces Group at the MIT Media Lab, where he studied with professor Pattie Maes and developed the first prototype of Siftables. Throughout his career his work has explored how human interactions with computers can leave the limitations of the desktop interface behind. His hand-tools for the digital age enable new forms of play, expressivity, problem-solving and collaboration. David’s background includes human-computer interaction research, design and implementation. He has lectured in computer science at Stanford University and led electronic music instrument design workshops at the MIT Media Lab.
David holds a Ph.D. and MS from the MIT Media Lab, and an MS in Computer Science and BS in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University.
With a Bachelors in Magic and Technology and a Masters in Wonder from MIT, Seth Raphael is doing what he loves, and blowing people’s minds. His childhood passion of magic had to compete with his love of computers. At times one threatened to eclipse the other as he alternatively wrote off magic as foolish, and technology as soul-less.
At last he reconciled his two obsessions, creating a cutting-edge form of entertainment. He studied technology and magic at Hampshire College, and the emotion of Wonder at the MIT Media Lab. He was a TED Fellow in 2009.
Now he travels the world teaching organizations how to achieve things they never thought possible.
Steve is the Harold A. Miller Professor of Marine Sciences and Director, Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University.
Steve has lectured extensively on human-induced evolutionary change, has used genetic detective work to identify whales for sale in retail markets, and is working on new methods to help design marine parks for conservation. Steve’s first book for non-scientists documents the impact of humans on evolution (The Evolution Explosion WW Norton, NY). The next one, due out by Island Press in 2010, is an unusual environmental success story called Monterey Bay Reborn. Major work continues on the microdocumentary project, the Short Attention Span Science Theater. The series website http://microdocs.org received a million hits last year. Steve’s band Sustainable Soul has several songs out, including Crab Love and The Last Fish Left.
Steve holds a Ph.D. from the University of Washington, and a BA from The Johns Hopkins University. He has received numerous awards for research and conservation, including a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation. He lives in Pacific Grove, CA with his family and is based at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station.
Growing up as a child farm worker in a family of 15, Dr. Resa never imagined he could become a doctor. Abandoned by his single mother, who had 5 kids before she turned 20, he grew up in an environment of severe poverty, neglect, and a total disregard for education. Abuse, alcohol, and drugs were all around him.
It was his elementary-school teachers who opened his eyes to the idea of education and awakened in him the dream of going to college and becoming a doctor.
It wasn’t easy. He had to overcome low self-esteem, a speech impediment, isolation and recurring depression, prejudice, discouragement, and even opposition from his legal guardians.
For the past 25 years, he has been a pediatrician in the same rural area where he grew up. He cares for children who remind him of the child he was, and he tries to be a role model who cares for their minds and spirits as well as their bodies.