Wednesday, July 9 Keynote Speaker: Xin Wei Sha
Friday, July 11 Keynote Speaker: William "Trip" Hawkins
Xin Wei Sha, media arts, science and technology scholar Director, School of Arts, Media + Engineering Arizona State University, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Xin Wei Sha joined the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, as director of its School of Arts, Media + Engineering in January 2014. Sha was trained in mathematics at Harvard and Stanford Universities, and worked more than 12 years in the fields of scientific computation, mathematical modeling and the visualization of scientific data and geometric structures.
His technical areas of research include the realtime, continuous mapping of features extracted from dense, high-dimensional, or soft controllers (such as woven or non-woven fabrics) into parameters modulating the continuous synthesis of video, sound, and physical or software control systems. This work supports the expressive improvisation of gesture in dense, palpable fields of sound, video, structured light, and animated materials. Some of the work has appeared in "Demonstrations of Expressive Softwear and Ambient Media" (Ubicomp), "Extraction of Gestural Meaning from a Fabric-Based Instrument" (ICMC), "Mapping and dimensionality of a cloth-based sound instrument" (Sound & Music Computing), "Calligraphic Video: A Phenomenological Approach to Dense Visual Interaction" (ACM Multimedia), and "Ozone: Continuous State-based Media Choreography System for Live Performance" (ACM Multimedia).
After obtaining an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in 2001 at Stanford on differential geometric performance and the technologies of writing in Mathematics, Computer Science, and History & Philosophy of Science, Sha joined the faculty of the School of Literature, Communication and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. While at Georgia Tech, he also joined the research faculty in the Graphics, Visualization and Usability Center in the College of Computing, where he founded the Topological Media Lab (TML), dedicated to the study of gesture, distributed agency and materiality with application to the phenomenology of performance and the built environment. Dr. Sha's work with the TML has been supported by Hexagram, Concordia University, Social Sciences Humanities Research Council, Le Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies, and Le Fonds de recherche sur la société et la culture.
In 1999, Sha joined Interval Research to work on machine learning and computer vision. In 1997, he co-founded Pliant Research with colleagues from Xerox PARC and Apple Research Labs, dedicated to designing technologies that people and organizations can robustly reshape to meet evolving socio-economic needs. In 1995, he extended his work to network media authoring systems and media theory coordinating a 3- year-long workshop on interaction and computational media at Stanford.
William "Trip" Hawkins Bio
Trip Hawkins, CEO and Co-Founder for IF You Can Company
Trip Hawkins, a Hall of Fame game industry leader, founded and built Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) and played a key role in defining the PC industry. Co-Founder and CEO of If You Can Company, a maker of educational games, he also advises game and tech companies including Kixeye, NativeX and Extreme Reality 3D.
He joined Apple to work with the founders when it had only 25 office workers and helped grow the company to 4,000 employees. He founded EA in 1982, introduced many fundamental strategies and business practices to the game industry and was the creative and production force behind EA Sports.
He later founded 3DO, a pioneering digital media platform; and Digital Chocolate where he led the company to deliver more than 200 million mobile app downloads and billions of game sessions. He developed and produced several games with software artists that are now in various halls of fame, and is himself the first and only business executive named to the game industry Hall of Fame by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.
He has won multiple Entrepreneur of the Year awards, the Visionary Hall of Fame award from SD Forum and is the only game industry personage to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the prestigious IEEE.
Company Overview: If You Can Company is a new startup that uses gameplay to teach children social and emotional learning (SEL) skills. Founded by an interdisciplinary team that includes some of the most successful video game creators in history, including Trip Hawkins, the founder of game company icons EA and Digital Chocolate, If You Can leverages an epic narrative and fun game play to teach proven life skills like empathy and perseverance.
The game aims to improve children's daily lives - both in and out of school - by building the skills that successfully equip them to handle bullying, managing difficult emotions and academic challenges. The game will also feature a user-friendly app for parents to support their children for 21st century success. If You Can is funded by Greylock Ventures and a number of leading angel investors at major venture firms including Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, Maveron and Almaz Capital.