I'm an entrepreneur, engineer, designer, and artist. I have many interests and have worked on many projects over the years, a selection of which you can find below. You can also find me on LinkedIn.
Superliminal is a VR app that allows you to experience your music in an immersive way instead of just listening to it. Currently, you can select song files stored on your device or use your microphone and immediately start viewing a procedurally-generated visualization that reacts to your music. I have plans to add Spotify integration in the future, as well as more visualizations and environments.
I created a simple VR environment to show off a chess set I modeled in Blender. You can physically pick up and move the pieces with your VR controller, and play against yourself with a timer.Download VR Chess
I worked at Microsoft for several years as a Program Manager on two teams. On the first team, I helped design new products for information workers to easily create database-backed apps, essentially a new version of the venerable Access application. The work we did ultimately culminated in Microsoft Forms and its integration into Excel.
The second team I worked on was the Office Developer Platform. My work mostly focused on Office Add-ins, although I also worked with the Office 365 APIs, known as the Microsoft Graph. My main areas of focus were bringing add-ins to OneNote, cross-platform support (i.e. add-ins in Office for iPad), and the underlying performance and reliability of add-ins. I also built a new pipeline for processing and storing massive amounts of data in the cloud for enterprises to monitor add-in compatibility throughout their organization.
Ciudad Blanca (working title) is a board game I created that is still in development. I was inpired by the true story of the last great lost city, which was just confirmed to exist in the rainforest of Honduras. The story of the amazing discovery using cutting-edge technology is detailed in the book "The Lost City of the Monkey God" by Douglas Preston.
In my game, players play as different explorers searching the jungle for hidden temples and treasure. The main gameplay mechanism is exploration, with additional survival and supply mechanisms. Although inspired by a true story, it was necessary to add some "supernatural" elements in order to make the game exciting and fun to play. The game is currently undergoing playtesting, after which the art will be commissioned and the game produced (most likely using a crowdfunding campaign). Stay tuned for more info!
I've done freelance website development for a number of clients, most notably for CocoLoco Chocolates, an independent chocolate company selling their products online. I utilized the Shopify e-commerce platform as the back-end and built a custom front-end including several features requested by the client. I even did some photography work for one of their campaigns! Check out the website yourself:Visit CocoLoco Chocolates
I've been involved in a number of exciting research projects over the years. One of the most exciting was my senior design project at Vanderbilt University, with a team of biomedical engineers. We designed an endoscope that was both low-cost and suited to low-resource environments. There was no other such device on the market, which meant that if perfected, there was a massive potential market around the world for such a device. In the end, our design involved wirelessly transmitting the video feed, which allowed for either local diagnosis by a doctor on the field, or for remote diagnosis by a trained professional anywhere around the world. We built a working prototype with a flexible tube camera attached to a laptop, which could in turn transmit the video feed to any other device. Check out our poster below:
(Click to enlarge)
Also at Vanderbilt University, I completed a computer vision independent study project that entailed computing depth through stereopsis on smartphones. The goal was to create an app that could reconstruct a scene in 3D just by recording a video of it from different angles. This was a novel idea at the time, as smartphones were just beginning to be capable of recording and processing the large amounts of data required. The ability to record raw image and accelerometer/gyroscope data simultaneously on the device greatly improved and reduced the processing load of depth calculations.
As part of a summer research project, I developed two different apps for Android. The first was for taking a series of photos and then stitching them together into a panorama in the cloud. This app both utilized my experience in computer vision, and prepared me for working on a larger cloud-based project with the other researchers. Photo-stitching capabilities are commonplace on smartphones now, but at the time the feature was only available on one Sony point-and-shoot camera.
Cloud computing was also a brand-new technology at the time. Combining the two major trends of smartphones and cloud computing, my research team set out to see if it was possible to create a cloud out of smartphones. Smartphones are continually getting more powerful, but people only use their phones for a small fraction of the day, so the idea was to use the "idle" computing power of a large number of smartphones to complete cloud compute tasks. We were able to set up the basic framework - a web interface for submitting and monitoring compute jobs, an algorithm for splitting the tasks among devices and making sure they complete, and a smartphone app that could run arbitrary tasks in the background.
I worked for NASA for a summer on their Open Government team, whose purpose was to open up NASA's massive amount of data to developers and to engage with the public. To that end, I developed a smartphone app that would automatically set your wallpaper to a new NASA image every day. It pulled from multiple NASA image sources and I encouraged other teams to open up their images for applications like this as well. I also navigated NASA's complex system for releasing software to the public, and made recommendations for streamlining it.
One of the things that brings me great joy is tinkering around on side projects, some of which are detailed below.
One day an idea suddenly came to me: instead of a lightsaber like in the Star Wars movies, I wanted to make a light katana. I searched online to see if anyone else had made such a thing before, and surprisingly no one had, so I decided to be the first one. The way I saw it, the best way to light the sword would be to have the light source around the edge of the blade, with the blade material reflecting it internally in order to make the blade one solid color. This evolved over time and eventually I made the sword using clear acrylic, which does not reflect light, therefore leaving the light only around the edges. I like this look but I am excited to make different versions in the future using laser etching or sandblasting.
As it was, the first version already involved laser cutting, 3D printing, and making sure the battery circuit matched the specifications of the LED strip. You can see the process in the video below. For the next versions, I plan to use rechargeable battery packs and RGB strips, as well as etching the blades.
After having done a few Raspberry Pi projects before, I decided to make a "Magic Mirror" for my brother for Christmas. The build consisted of a Raspberry Pi connected to an old computer monitor built into a wooden frame with a two-way mirror on top of it. While acting as a functional mirror, it could simultaneously display useful information such as the date & time, weather, upcoming events, news, etc. And just to go a step further, I also installed the RetroPie software so that my brother could play retro video games on it! It was a lot of work but very rewarding. You can see some photos of the build process below:
All credit goes to the Magic Mirror team, Ben Eagan for his tutorial, and of course RetroPie. I was also planning to add a webcam and microphone to turn on the mirror only when someone was in front of it and to provide digital assistant functionality, but I decided not to in the end for privacy reasons. I'll instead add those to my next magic mirror, which I'll be building for myself.
Some years ago, some friends and I were inspired to make shirts that said "SHIRT" on them after watching the music video for "Watch My Feet" by Dude 'n Nem. I looked into the process of making them ourselves and found an artist friend who could screenprint them. I ended up placing a group order for blank shirts and screenprinting them in a day. You can see some photos of them below:
Some photos courtesy of Liwei Jiang
I have found art to be incredibly important in my life, not only as an outlet for creative expression but also as a source of inspiration. Around the start of the EDM boom, I began DJing at house parties, and I occasionally still do today. But soon I wanted to create my own music, so I studied music production and began playing around with Ableton Live. Today I produce and perform covers for our friends at our regular music "recitals". You can find some of my covers on my Soundcloud.
Another hobby of mine is video editing and production. You can view a video I put together of all my fun experiences from 2017 on YouTube.
I also enjoy making visual art and I have worked in many mediums, including ceramics, sculpture, drawing, and painting. The image below is a watercolor piece I made for a calendar.