Jeffrey Ventrella




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Jeffrey Ventrella

Jeffrey@Ventrella.com

www.ventrella.com


Education


MS Media Arts and Sciences Massachusetts Institute of Technology (The Media Lab) 1994

MFA Computer Graphic/Video Syracuse University 1987

BFA Art Education/Art History Virginia Commonwealth University 1984


Professional Experience




Engineer/Designer, The Internet Archive, San Francisco, CA

March, 2008 to present (except for 4 months while teaching in Vancouver)

Developing home page for NASAImages.org; general user-interaction design


Faculty

Centre for Digital Media, Vancouver, BC

Masters of Digital Media, (August – December, 2008)

Taught Building Virtual Worlds, and consulted on industry projects (currently Faculty Affiliate)


Consulting:

Millions Of Us, Sausalito, CA (January, February, 2008)

SheZoom, New York, NY (December, 2007 – January, 2008)

Invented and implemented Shemoticons in Flash


Senior Developer, Linden Lab (makers of Second Life), San Francisco, CA

January 2005 – November, 2007

Invention, design, and engineering. Began as contractor, switched to employee in late summer ’05. Design and development of a variety of new virtual world technologies for the Second Life platform, including Flexies and FollowCam. Emphasized parametric basis for user-customization. Physics, camera behavior, avatar and animal behavior/physics/customization, and general user-interaction.


Consultant, Adobe Systems, Inc., San Jose, CA

February 2004 – July, 2005

Worked with the Acrobat 3D Group on design of next version of the Authoring Tool; Developed JavaScript for direct manipulation, modeling, and interactive behavior of 3D content. Developed JavaScript APIs for 3D Annotations in PDF documents, emphasizing intuitive UI, context-based camera behavior, and analysis of multi-mesh u3d models.


Co-Founder and Principle Inventor, There, Inc. Menlo Park, CA

April 1997 – January 2004

Developed software prototype with Will Harvey from April 1997 to April 1998; co-founded company with Will on April 1998. My job included many responsibilities, including invention of technologies and designs for avatars (Avatar-Centric Communication), vehicle physics and navigation, camera behavior, sound design, animal behaviors, and real-time voice-activated avatar speech animation. Principal author on the first U.S. patent granted to the company in 2003.


Designer and Software Engineer; Rocket Science Games, Inc., San Francisco, CA

July 1995 – April 1997

Designed and prototyped software games. Designed World Builders for product development; Worked on Rocket Jockey, Zobots, Ganymede, and Darwin Pond. Worked with author Michael Crichton on an immersive rain forest-based game prototype. Designed Darwin Pond, including significant software engineering contribution.


Software Artist, ABSOLUT Vodka (via TBWA/Chiat Day (292 Madison Ave, NY, NY 10017)

February 1996 – May 1996

Developed interactive imaging software which generates stylized abstract art based on variations of the classic Absolut Vodka Bottle using interactive evolution (web site now defunct). Published online as a promotional accompaniment to the "Absolut Kelly" web site – based on the work of executive editor of WIRED, Kevin Kelly. Consulted with Kelly on early designs.


3D Interactive Animation Tool Developer, Protozoa, Inc. San Francisco, CA

March 1995 – May 1995

Worked under Brad deGraf. Developed an interactive Tool and designed 3D tree models for the computer game, Squeezils. Designers used this tool to create and tune many varieties of tree models for optimal gameplay and aesthetics.


Instructor, Tufts University, Experimental College, Medford, MA

January 1995 – May 1995

"Populating Virtual Reality". Designed and taught curriculum on Artificial Life, basic concepts, cultural implications, and technical aspects. Undergraduate students. This course was approved by a committee including Daniel Dennett


Consultant/Scriptwriter, Papyrus Design Group, Somerville, MA

December 1994 – May 1995

Developed script and consulted on animated characters for proposed CD-ROM-based interactive comedy game.


Artist, Do While Studio, Boston, MA

September 1994 – April 1995

Developed interactive animations in software, worked with artist Jen Hall


Feature Film Special Effects Animator, (Stallone Film, Judge Dredd)

Cinergi Productions, Lenox. MA

July 1994 – August 1994

Programmed custom animation effects on SGI IRIS; collaborated with Softimage artists.


Research Assistant, The Visible Language Workshop, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA

September 1992 – May 1994

Research in multimedia interfaces, AI, information design, and animation.


Visiting Professor, Visual Arts Dept., University of California, San Diego, CA

January 1992 – June 1992

Worked under Harold Cohen, developed curricula and taught courses in Graphics Programming, 3D CAD, and C Language


Computer Graphics Specialist, Syracuse University, Research Computing Services, Syracuse, NY

July 1987 – December 1991

Worked in the Advanced Graphics Research Lab, Consulted in Scientific Data Visualization; Animation software developed for research and instruction; Taught computer graphics workshops; Produced videotapes for researchers and faculty; Evaluation and acquisition of video equipment; Member of ACM SIGGRAPH. Attended Data Visualization Workshops at the NCSA.


Faculty, Syracuse University Department of Industrial Design, Syracuse, NY

September 1987 – December 1991

Taught Computer Aided Design for Industrial Design; Used SDRC-IDEAS software running on a VAX mainframe. Developed curriculum and co-authored graphics library for programming.


King’s Dominion Theme Park, Northern Virginia

Summers 83 and 84

Artist (pastel portrait, pen-and-ink cartoonist, airbrush T-shirt painter, and fingernail designs)


High Rocks Summer Camp and Arrowhead Summer Camp, Western North Carolina

Summers 82 and 83

Camp counselor. crafts, hiking, canoeing…


Lectures/Presentations




Palm Springs, California Keynote Speaker. HPC Horizons.

Other Keynote speakers were Craig Venter and Jaron Lanier. 3/08


Boston, Massachusetts Prime Numbers are the Holes Behind

Comlex Composite Patterns (The Divisor Plot ) 10/07

7th International Conference on Complex Systems


Vancouver, BC, Canada Online Body Language -

Expressivity and Identity in Avatars and Autonomous Creatures 9/07

School of Interactive Art and Technology (SFU) Research Colloquium


Boston, Massachusetts Physical Avatar – a new technology for Second Life 8/06

SIGGRAPH conference Tech Talk


Bloomington, Indiana A Particle Swarm Selects for Evolution of Gliders

in Non-uniform 2D Cellular Automata - paper presented at Alife X conference 6/06


Pittsburg, Kansas presented overview of work at Pittsburg State University 4/05


Bilbao, Spain conducted workshop at the Universidad del Pais Vasco on

techniques for using mathematics to generate portraits. Presented interactive

and print work at La 17 Exposición de Audiovisuale. 12/04


Bilbao, Spain Sharing the Virtual Ecosystem (the Interactive Web of Virtual

Life and Avatars) Art and Technology Symposium, Universidad del Pais Vasco 12/03


Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA Avatar-Centric Communication in There,

co-lectured with Dr. Chuck Clanton, at the Human-Computer Interaction Seminar 4/03


Dundee, Scotland Artful Biology: Simulated Creatures for Software Entertainment,

presented at International Centre for Computer Games and Virtual Entertainment 2/01


Paris, France Avatar Physics and Genetics, presented at Virtual Worlds, 2000

Conference 7/00


San Jose, CA presented alife research at Digital Biota conference 11/99


Syracuse, NY Presented overview of artistic development

Syracuse University Visual and Performing Arts Dept. 2/99


Paris, France Designing Emergence in Animated Artificial Life Worlds

presented at Virtual Worlds 98 7/98


Los Angeles, CA Attractiveness vs. Efficiency (How Mate Preference Affects

Locomotion in the Evolution of Artificial Swimming Organisms) - presented

at Artificial Life VI 6/98


Brighton, England Darwin Pond - Demonstration presented at the European

Conference on Artificial Life 7/97


Montreal, Canada Eukaryotic Virtual Reality (The Emergent Art of Artificial Life) -

presented in a Panel at ISEA95 conference 9/95


Geneva, Switzerland Disney Meets Darwin -

Paper presented at Computer Animation, '95 4/95


Cambridge, MA Explorations in the Emergence of Morphology and Locomotion

Behavior in Animated Characters - Paper presented at Artificial Life IV, MIT 7/94


San Diego, CA Artificial Life and a Computer Art of Emergence - slide and video lecture:

Center for Research and Computing in the Arts, UCSD 5/92


New London, CT A Genetic Approach to Computer Art - Visiting Artist, lectured

and conducted workshops on mathematical images, Center for Arts and Technology,

Connecticut College 10/91


San Francisco, CA Factors Inducing Periodic Breathing in Humans (a case study in

scientific data visualization), co-lectured with Dr. Wayne Fordyce, at Visualization '90 10/90


Halifax, Nova Scotia Computer Graphics for the Human User (Interactive Concepts and

Techniques as Applied to Computer Art) - half-day tutorial, presented at

Graphics Interface/Vision Interface 5/90


Williamsburg, VA A Computergraphical Model of Multi-generational Family Systems

Presented (with Jim Amodio and Tom Schur) at Advanced Computing for the

Social Sciences 5/90


New London, CT Using Mathematics to Arrive at Imagery - Presented at the Arts and Technology Symposium II Connecticut College 2/89


Syracuse, NY Television Interview (with computer animations) on 6:00pm news

story on Chaos: interviewer, Scott Atkinson, News Center Five 7/88


Syracuse, NY Fractal Geometry in Art - The Mandelbrot Colloquium, with four other

speakers including Dr. Mandelbrot 11/86


Published Works




Book Chapters:


Evolving Structure in Liquid Music The Art of Artificial Evolution, Natural Computing Series, Springer-Verlag, Editors: Romero, J., and Penousal, M. November, 2007

http://www.springer.com/west/home/computer/foundations?SGWID=4-156-22-173745009-0


Evolving The Mandelbrot Set to Imitate Figurative Art Innovations in Evolutionary Design, Natural Computing Series, Springer-Verlag, Editors: Hingston, P., Barone. L., and Michalewicz, Z. Berlin, 2007

http://www.ventrella.com/Tweaks/Portraits/EvolvingMandelbrot.pdf


Gliders and Riders - A Particle Swarm Selects for Coherent Space-time Structures in Evolving Cellular Automata – a chapter in Stigmergic Optimization, from the Studies in Computational Intelligence Series. Vol 21, Springer-Verlag. eds. Ajith, Grosan, and Ramos. page 131, 2006

http://www.springer.com/east/home/computer?SGWID=5-146-22-173661230-0


GenePool – Exploring the Interaction Between Natural Selection and Sexual Selection –Chapter 4 in Artificial Life Models in Software. ed. Andrew Adamatzky and Maciej Komosinski. Springer, 2005. Page 81

http://www.springerlink.com/content/tv10101372574541/


Animated Artificial Life, Chapter 3 in Virtual Worlds (Synthetic Universes, Digital Life, and Complexity) (ed. Heudin, J.C.) Perseus Books, 1999 pages 67-94

http://www.ventrella.com/Alife/Animated/animated_0.html


A Computergraphical Model of Multi-Generational Family Systems, chief author and editor (with James H. Amodio, MPS, and Thomas J. Schur, MSW), in Social Science Computer Review, Spring 1991 Volume 9 Number 1, pages 13-26

http://ssc.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/9/1/13


Papers:


A Particle Swarm Selects for Evolution of Gliders in Non-uniform 2D Cellular Automata published in Alife X conference proceedings, MIT Press, 2006

http://www.ventrella.com/Alife/Cells/GlidersAndRiders/SwarmGliders.pdf


Avatar Physics and Genetics, published in Virtual Worlds, 2000 (ed. Heudin, J.C.), Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg

http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=647690.731011&coll=GUIDE&dl=GUIDE&CFID=15151515&CFTOKEN=6184618


Interview quotes in the article "Evol-artists - a New Breed Entirely", in EvoNews newsletter. Issue 11, Summer, 1999. (http://www.dcs.napier.ac.uk/evonet/)

http://evonet.lri.fr/evoweb/news_events/news_features/article.php?id=40


Designing Emergence in Animated Artificial Life Worlds, Virtual Worlds, 98 (ed. Heudin, J.C.) 1998, Springer-Verlag pages 143-155

http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=733452


Attractiveness vs. Efficiency: (How Mate Preference Affects Locomotion in the Evolution of Artificial Swimming Organisms), Artificial Life VI, 1998, MIT Press

http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=286160&dl=&coll=&CFID=15151515&CFTOKEN=6184618


Sexual Swimmers: Emergent Morphology and Locomotion Without a Fitness Function, From Animals to Animats, (page 484) 1996, MIT Press

http://www.ventrella.com/Alife/Sexual/sexual_0.html


Disney Meets Darwin: The Evolution of Funny Animated Figures, Computer Animation '95 Proceedings - Geneva Switzerland

http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=791214.791452


Explorations in the Emergence of Morphology and Locomotion Behavior in Animated Characters, Artificial Life IV proceedings, MIT Press, 1994


Other Published Materials:


Blog Interview by Andrea Romeo:

http://brain2brain.ning.com/profiles/blogs/il-medium-del-futuro-lavatar

June, 2009


Write-up on artificial life research with color illustration in Morph's Outpost: "ALIFE IV, or, The Bots are Coming", by Marc P. Seybold, page 18, Nov. 94 issue.


Write-up on Air Traffic Control Visualization Prototype: Enhancing Air Traffic Control Information, by David L. Chandler, in the MIT Technology Review, pages 10-11 8/94


Co-designed cover of IBM Systems Journal (vol. 33, No 2 1994) with J.F. Musgrave, image depicts a family of images I designed. 6/94


Created five illustrations for book: The Children's Machine (Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer), by Seymour Papert, 6/93


Two images published in Digitale Visionen, IBM Germany, by Dr. Herbert Franke, 1989


write-up on computer art, with two color illustrations, in the article, Die Wunderwelt Der Gebrochenen Dimension by Susanne Pach, in Video activ, April/May, 1989, Germany, 5/89


Creatures du Plan Complexe, (French translation of IRIS Universe article (below), with color illustrations, in Tech Images, January issue: Paris France, 1/89


Creatures of the Complex Plane (with six color illustrations), published in IRIS Universe, summer '88 issue, Silicon Graphics, Inc. 8/88


Write-up with color illustration, in a review of the SIGGRAPH '88 Art Show, "Displays on Display", IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 9/88 issue, by Patric D. Prince. 9/88


The Shapes, and Things to Come (A Critical Look at Computer-Generated Characters), published in Animato! magazine, 2/87


Skills




Programming

Languages: C++, Java, JavaScript, ActionScript, HTML, Pascal

Environments: Apple XCode, MS Visual C++, Code Warrior, Visual Café, Win32, GL, Unix, Mac Quartz/Carbon


Applications

* Well-versed in Photoshop

* Flash Animation

* Experience in a variety of art/design/video/animation applications


Music

* Accomplished pianist (performed on a handful of CD’s. Periodically perform solo at art openings, etc.)

* Composed electronic music background for various art videos

* Accomplished guitarist (classical finger-picking ragtime, rhythm, lead electric)

* Research in Generative Music, Theory, Cognition

http://www.ventrella.com/EvoMusic/EvoMusic.html

http://www.melodyball.com/

http://www.ventrella.com/Ideas/Harmony/music.html


Other

* Accomplished in many art mediums. Interested in how the creative process crosses over between mediums, and especially how creative skills in physical mediums applies to software development.

* Character Animation

* Landscape architecture, cobblestone and brick masonry, gardening and composting

* Visual Language aspects of web site design

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