Mentors, skilled in design, platform development and vertical VR and AR applications, will provide guidance to and help participants breakthrough conceptual and development roadblocks. Mentors act as floating resources for the duration of the hackathon, and help teams define workflow, generate ideas, solve implementation issues and develop final presentations.
The Mentors Team
VP Tech Ops, Cinetrics
Albert Putnam maintains expertise in physical world sensing, networking and cloud, and consults about how to take data and analytics from the edge to actions. He has worked in design, research, production and project management - at home and abroad - on site and in house - for Cimetrics, OEMs and academia.
Amanda Theinert is an Assistant Professor at the Becker College School of Design and Technology where she teaches classes in art and design as well as virtual and mixed reality. She holds a BA in Game Design and an MFA in Computer Art. She enjoys the creative process, brainstorming ideas, petting cats, and exploring new technology.
Amedeo is the founder and lead developer of Simmetri (http://simmetri.com), an engine and creative platform for building interactive art for screens, projections and VR. He is also a co-founder of iZotope, a company specializing in audio processing and music effects. Amedeo holds a B.A. in Computer Science from Boston University.
I have completed my Masters in EECS at MIT, with a concentration in Computer Graphics & Human-Computer Interfaces. My work in software engineering, user interaction and UI/UX design promotes the development and integration of emerging VR/AR technologies. I continue to pursue my passion in gamification and visualization by exploring the immersive experiences applied to different contexts from education & entertainment to cyber security and big data visual analytics.
Anna has recently graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in Industrial Design. She is currently working as a Product Designer at GrabCAD in Cambridge, MA, where she is primarily designing solutions and experiences for the new 3D printing software "GrabCAD Print". In the past, she has won a number of hackathons, including “24 hours in VR” hackathon in NYC, and would love to share her knowledge and experience with the participants of the Reality, Virtually, Hackathon!
Ben Peck is a Generalist Engineer in the Lucasfilm Advanced Development Group, where he focuses on gameplay and engine programming for interactive experiences in VR and AR. Ben has experience in both the film and video game industries: at Pixar Animation Studios, writing tools and debugging art pipelines, and at Double Fine Productions, as a gameplay programmer on projects such as The Cave and Broken Age. Ben loves working alongside artists and designers to help bring their visions to life.
Bob is at Case Western Reserve University, home of www.case.edu/hololens, as Director CWRU LaunchNet, helping students and alum analyze and bring ideas to market. He has decades of IT, startup and growth experience. He is also an Entrepreneur in Residence at YBI.org, Jumpstartinc.org; assisting tech related companies such as www.enyxstudios.com, www.bioflightvr.com and www.realspacecraft.com.
Brad Grantham has been an OpenGL developer since 1997 and has presented at SIGGRAPH and ARM TechCon. He currently specializes in mobile graphics application support on ARM Mali GPUs for ARM’s Business Line Group
After my legal studies in international transactions at Boston University school of law, I am now a Ph.D student at ESCP Europe business school in Paris France, specialized in management and marketing in fashion industry.
Meanwhile, I am launching a startup VEE, Inc. focused on new technology implementation, including but not limited to 360 degree production, 3D printing, AR, holography, and VR, in creative projects such as for customers' experience, marketing and education in the fashion industry.
I believe that VR and AR is becoming not only a new channel to demonstrate creative products to enhance customers' experience, but also a new concept to stimulate and educate talents to realize their creative ideas in a new virtual space. It will accelerate the revolution of the fashion industry in the new digital age.
Dario Laverde is a senior developer evangelist at HTC. He has experience in software development for mobile, embedded, Web and enterprise. Among his various professional roles, he has worked as an instructor, consultant, software architect, author and entrepreneur. Dario founded and co-organizes several developer communities including NYC Java, NY Android and is currently active with the VR community. You can follow him at @virtual_dario. Speaking engagements include SVVR, SFVR, Andevcon, Wearablesdevcon, DroidCon, JavaOne and many more.
Darryl is the Lead Design Strategist at The Meme Design, a consultancy in Cambridge that helps tech companies large and small craft their products and services to fit with user needs and lifestyles. With countless design projects under his belt ranging from consumer electronics to enterprise software, he’s acquired the flexibility to contribute meaningfully to virtually any product space. Synthesizing, ideating, planning and pitching are a few of his secret powers.
Meanwhile, VR and AR have become real passions of his. He’s chomping at the bit to contribute to their mainstreaming.
Senior Software Development Engineer, Developer Experience, Microsoft
Haishi is focusing on Microsoft Azure and cloud computing. He’s the author of several cloud computing books including Zen of Cloud, Programming Microsoft Azure Service Fabric and Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions. He is the co-host of Microsoft’s Cloud Cover show (https://channel9.msdn.com/Shows/Cloud+Cover), and his blog is at http://blog.haishibai.com/.
Principal Program Manager, Partner App Experience, Microsoft
Jaime is looking after middleware in Windows. He also work with monetization partners targeting Windows Store. Prior to joining Windows team in April, Jaime ran the evangelism team for third party games targeting Windows store. He is also an avid VR fan, and has experience developing for HoloLens and Oculus using Unity.
Jeff Bail is an organizer of the Boston VR meetup and has seen it grow to over 3,000 members and spawn the brand new Boston AR meetup. He has worked as a VR software engineer in military simulation systems at local defense contractor VT MÄK. His current interests are in medical applications of VR.
Jeffrey Jacobson Ph.D., has worked in Virtual and Augmented Reality for more than 20 years, developing innovative solutions to interesting problems in education, medicine, construction, architecture, and VR technology development. His academic research on human learning in virtual space is published in the scientific literature and well respected. Today, Dr. Jacobson runs a successful consulting business, EnterpriseVR, advising businesses and professionals on all aspects of VR and AR technology. He is also the lead organizer of BostonVR, the fifth largest VR meetup in the world.
Jinn Kim is a Android developer since v2.3 operating in the New England area. He also has taught multiple Android developer courses based on the Google’s Study Jam. He’s also the lead organizer of the Boston Android Meetup group. Before he started programming Android apps, he worked primarily in .NET web application. He is left handed.
Joey Salisbury has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and is the Director of Software Development at Brain Power in Cambridge, MA, where he develops VR and AR experiences for special education and neurological assessment. He works primarily in Unity (C#), and has experience with various mobile VR/AR SDKs, including Cardboard/Google VR, Vuforia, OpenCV, Affdex (Affectiva), and Blippar. He's developed for mobile VR/AR (Android/iOS), HoloLens, and Google Glass.
Jonathan is the owner of Parkerhill Reality Labs startup VR/AR consultancy firm, founded several successful start-ups, and held technical leadership positions at major corporations. He has a master's degree from the MIT Media Lab, authored the Unity Virtual Reality Projects book and Cardboard VR Projects book, and hosts Uncle Jonny’s VR Podcast.
Jono works as an engineer on the upcoming VR projects from Unity Labs: Editor VR, Unity's in-VR editor, and Carte Blanche, a consumer-facing VR worldbuilding app. Before joining Unity, he has built Archean, a cross-platform VR/AR worldbuilding app, and helped organize Boston VR and Boston Unity Group. Outside of work, Jono loves music, movies, and games!
Lauren is Director of Business Development for Vevo where she helps to lead the company's corporate development, business strategy, and partnership efforts. In her role, Lauren analyzes evolving technologies, recommending when, and how, Vevo can participate commercially. This has included research into 360 video and VR / AR. Having spent the first 6 years of her career working with the aerospace and defense sectors, Lauren was exposed early to many of the technologies that are fueling VR / AR innovations today, including: night vision, advanced sensors, imaging, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
Lex Dreitser is an award winning VR/AR developer. Over 90% of Virtual Reality is made with Unity®. Lex is likely the foremost Unity® expert in NYC. When he’s not deep in code, developing the future of VR/AR for major brands – he runs NYC VR University – an official Unity® meetup where he and his team teach the community how to make VR and AR – for free. He hosts a 360 video podcast for Unity® developers called Build and Run Build-Run.com. Join him on VRathon.com – an episodic iterative VR hackathon – where you’re able to participate through 360 video.
Evangelist, Developer Experience, Microsoft
Liv is a Virtual and Augmented Reality Developer and Evangelist at Microsoft based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the creator and host of Just A/VR Show, a web show for aspiring VR and AR developers, developer of KittenVR, and the author of The Matrix is My Office and Entering the Metaverse. Liv is passionate about making immersive technologies accessible to everyone, and teaching new developers how to create their own VR & AR experiences. She is a co-organizer of the ARVR Academy, and hopes to empower new developers and designers to create for a new world of immersive applications.
Abdelrahman “Abdo” Mahmoud is the Product Manager for Affectiva, where he merges his understanding of the science behind Affectiva’s emotion sensing technology with the device-based SDKs and cloud APIs. He has worked both on science and engineering teams, which gives him great insights into how Affectiva’s emotion AI technology works.
Diana Ford is the Global Lead VR Researcher in Education at Unity, her current focus is on designing learning experiences for virtual reality and storytelling in VR. Diana is driving the efforts for creating and running the game engineering program in CS at UCLA, her courses include virtual and augmented reality games, and AI playing games. She is the co-founder and director of the Real-time Lab at UCLA.
Dylan Hart is a veteran developer leading the Unity team at Signal Garden. His background in design and game development provides the foundation for many of the innovative solutions found in Signal Garden's technologies. He enjoys creative problem solving and is focused on ushering in the next generation of mobile utility. Dylan was recognized for a Top 3 Utility in Google's 2015 App Contest using Tango.
Dwight Meglan, whose doctorate is in Mechanical Engineering, has applied simulation and robotics to medicine for more 25 years. He has worked with a number of high technology medical startups as well as major medical device companies developing commercial surgical simulators and surgical robots. He left a tenure track position at Mayo Clinic Orthopedic Biomechanics Lab so he could stay involved in the hands-on work in creating simulators and robots to enhance healthcare. The result has been a number of surgical training simulators on the market, contributing to 4 commercial surgical robot projects, more than 40 patents/applications, and an enjoyable life of problem solving and building.
Laszlo Gombos is the Director for Web Platform at Samsung. Improving the web one API at a time.
Maxim develops interactive museum exhibits for science, health, and history museums around the world. In addition, he provides consulting in VR and Unity development to companies looking to integrate these emerging technologies into their products or services, including architecture, gaming, or educational publishing. Maxim is currently developing Solo, a virtual climbing simulation, as well as being part of the Saurian team, developing a scientifically accurate dinosaur survival game set in Hell's Creek.
Neil has over twenty years of experience in software engineering and game development expertise to ARM. He oversees the technical, business and marketing relationships between ARM and mobile software developers.
Evangelist, Developer Experience, Microsoft
Nick is a mobility pioneer and three-time entrepreneur specializing in the design and production of mobile applications for consumers and the enterprise using diverse cross-platform technologies including Windows 10, iOS, Android, Xamarin and Cordova. He is focusing on Bots and Speech, Cortana, IoT, HoloLens and Cloud.
Nigel Williams is a graphics driver software engineer for the Adreno GPU, a part of the Snapdragon SoC, at Qualcomm. He works on both the OpenGL ES and Vulkan drivers.
Senior Program Manager, Partner App Experience, Microsoft
Petri is focusing on Graphics and Games in Windows. He started his adventure on an old Commodore 64, and quickly realized that graphics programming is awesome. He used to be an MVP on XNA and DirectX before joining Microsoft in 2010. Petri usually blogs about his passion for graphics and games development on his blog http://digitalerr0r.wordpress.com
Senior Software Development Engineer, Developer Experience, Microsoft
After working ten years in South of France on .Net and Web, I spent some time working at Microsoft Studio in London mainly on Games, WebGL, and HoloLens. I have recently moved to Redmond to work with the Developer Experience team focusing primarily on AR/VR, Xbox and Media. Technology addict, I enjoy my free time contributing to open source projects and hacking on WebGL. It was then natural to enroll as an active core member of the BabylonJS team.
I am an associate professor of Interactive Media & Game Development at Becker College specializing in the development of VR, AR, and Mixed Reality applications for the entertainment, simulation, and art sectors. I am particularly interested in the integration of I/O, AI, and multi-user systems with virtual reality experiences.
Senior Technical Architect, Microsoft Technology Center Boston
Timothy is currently a Senior Technical Architect specializing in serverless cloud, IoT, gesture, speech, cognitive and mixed reality computing. In his current role Tim spends much of his time directly with Microsoft’s customers building and delivering innovative applications. Timothy is a frequent presenter at various technology and business events. Timothy is also the co-founder of The Maker Mill, a makerspace and STEAM enrichment center for children K-12 in the Merrimac Valley north of Boston.
Umang Mehta is a Software Engineer at Affectiva, passionate about innovations in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.Umang works on the SDK and Gaming teams, geared at providing Emotional Intelligence to the digital world. Umang recently graduated from Northeastern University with a Master's degree in Computer Science. Umang is an adrenaline junkie and likes to immerse himself in outdoor sports.
Vinny is a Software Engineer with a passion for Augmented and Virtual Reality apps and games across various hardware platforms.
Senior Program Manager, Partner App Experience, Microsoft
Mixed Reality and Machine Learning engineer and evangelist. In Windows team, Vlad is focusing on experimental scenarios with desktop apps, HoloLens and Windows Holographic, middleware and machine learning.
Dr. Jolanda Tromp is a human-Computer Interaction expert specialized in UX/UI for Virtual Reality R&D, and design and evaluation methodology for Collaborative Virtual Environments. Teaches Human-Computer Interaction Methods, VR, Human Factors, Statistics, and Digital Humanities in the Computer Science Department for the HCI Master’s program. Facilitates and mentors Study Abroad programs at several VR labs in Spain and the Netherlands. Initiated and coordinates the SUNY Oswego VR First lab.
Graham Pentheny, is an independent game developer and game AI researcher currently working at Spry Fox on awesome mobile games like Alphabear. He's an organizer of Boston Unity Group, one of the longest running monthly unity meetups with over 1200 members. Previously, he’s worked on open-ended conversational AI systems at Giant Otter, and on the Fieldrunners series of tower defense games at Subatomic Studios. His AI work has been published in the AI Pro book series, and he's presented at the GDC AI summit.