Unity Global Education Advisory Board
This Board comprises industry and academic leaders with expertise in cultivating and hiring interactive design and development talent. Their collective experience spans the game, XR, creative, and automotive industries. The group meets twice a year to provide guidance and feedback on strategic decisions to fulfill Unity Education’s vision to enable everyone to become a creator.
Jeremy Bailenson is founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Thomas More Storke Professor in the Department of Communication, Professor (by courtesy) of Education, Professor (by courtesy) Program in Symbolic Systems, a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, and a Faculty Leader at Stanford’s Center for Longevity. He earned a B.A. cum laude from the University of Michigan in 1994 and a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Northwestern University in 1999.
He spent four years at the University of California, Santa Barbara as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and then an Assistant Research Professor. He studies the psychology of Virtual Reality (VR), in particular how virtual experiences lead to changes in perceptions of self and others. His lab builds and studies systems that allow people to meet in virtual space and explores the changes in the nature of social interaction. His most recent research focuses on how VR can transform education, environmental conservation, empathy, and health. His new book, Experience on Demand, was published by Norton in January 2018.
Jakki Bailey is a professor and the Scott C. and Vickie S. Reeve Endowed Faculty Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin in the School of Information. She specializes in immersive media, and its influence on cognition, behavior, and learning. Bailey examines the psychological implications of immersive virtual reality (VR) on child development, and is currently studying VR’s influence on children’s cognitive skills and social responses. Her past research has included studying how technology affects behavior change such as through Internet-based programs to reduce the risk of mental disorders among youth and leveraging VR to promote proenvironmental behaviors with adult populations. In addition, she has used VR to test some of the mechanisms behind embodiment’s influence on perception. In addition to her academic research and service, Bailey has advised children’s media company executives on the psychological, social, and ethical implications of VR in youth’s lives. She has completed her Ph.D. in Communication at Stanford University.
Brian Baker has three decades of experience in the world’s automotive design community, where he spent a quarter-century as a General Motors Designer, designing concept and production vehicles for Chevrolet and Cadillac. For the past 25 years, he has been an educator of the next generation of automotive designers at the College for Creative Studies, Lawrence Technical University, Wayne State University, and the Cleveland Institute of Art.
He has taught automobile design to future stylists as young as 10 years old. He teaches high school students in several communities the fundamentals of design, including clay modeling. Annually, he leads Professional Asian Designers on a 1,200-mile journey through America’s automotive heartland, introducing them to American automotive culture through NASCAR races, IndyCar rides, and the best automotive museums across six states.
Danny Bilson is a writer, director and producer based in Los Angeles. After a long television and film career at Warner Brothers, Disney, and Paramount, Bilson served as a senior executive at both Electronic Arts and THQ. He has recently consulted at Walt Disney Imagineering and has two drama series in development, as well as a motion picture soon to be directed by Spike Lee.
Bilson is currently Chairman of the Interactive Media and Games division inthe School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California (USC). Danny teaches screenwriting and narrative design, and currently leads the Advanced Games Project.
Former Philosophy teacher in Paris, Laure Casalini started her career in the videogame Industry in 2000 as an Entertainment Analyst for a spin-off of Ubisoft, Guillemot Inc, in New York City. Her duty consisted of adapting films & TV contents, like series, into new types of Game Design & Gameplays to attract a wider public of gamers composed of females & seniors. In 2004, Laure launched the creation of the first Gameloft’ studio in the US and participated to the production of more than 30 mobile games for the american market. Back to France in 2005, Laure worked for the Editorial Department and the Strategic & Innovation Lab of Ubisoft in Montreuil, where she worked on a methodology dedicated to triggering emotions in video games. In 2010, Laure joined Rubika in Valenciennes, as the Director of Supinfogame. Rubika is a school dedicated to Animation (Supinfocom), Videogame (Supinfogame), and Industrial Design (ISD). The school delivers 3 titles recognized by the French government & equivalent to a Master2 Degree and is implemented in France, India & Canada.
Laure became Dean of Rubika in 2015 and launched a pedagogy oriented towards 3 pillars : Critical thinking, Softs skills and multidisciplinarity, on the top of our regular programs dedicated to art, technology and creativity. She is now Head of Development, Editorial & Innovation for Rubika, in charge of International Development, diplomas & Innovation for the school.
Laure has a Master of Philosophy from Paris-Sorbonne, Paris IV.
Penny de Byl
Penny de Byl has been teaching others about games development, programming, computer graphics, animation and web design for over 25 years in universities in Australia and Europe at the full professor level. Her best selling textbooks including Holistic Game Development with Unity are used in over 100 institutions world-wide. Dr de Byl has an honours degree in computer graphics and a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence for games characters. She has won numerous awards for teaching excellence at the state, national and international levels including the Australian Learning and Teaching Council's Excellence in Teaching Award and the Unity Mobile Game Curriculum Competition. She is a founding partner of Holistic3d.com an online games education provider.
Mark DeLoura is a game technology and education consultant who worked as Senior Advisor for Digital Media at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Obama administration. At OSTP, Mark worked to expand the use of games for learning, and drove the administration’s focus on K-12 computer science education. Prior to joining the White House, Mark worked in technology leadership positions at Sony, Nintendo, Google, Ubisoft, and THQ.
Driven by crafting unique visual experiences for Film, TV, Games and emerging technologies, Chris Ebeling is a world-class Animator, Creative Director and Digital Artist having worked on Hollywood blockbusters such as The Lego Movie’s, The Great Gatsby, Gods of Egypt and Happy feet 2. Supplementing his extensive film and VFX background, Chris has successfully creative directed projects in the real-time space, with experience across games and experiences in virtual and augmented reality.
Chris’s experience in feature film animation joined with his leadership in education and mentoring made him an ideal candidate for this crucial role in laying the foundations for the Animal Logic Academy at the University of Technology, Sydney, where he currently acts as the Creative Lead.
Here Chris uses his wealth of industry experience to mentor young artists and creators of the future, pushing them to co-create and innovate while testing the boundaries of current and emerging technologies through a first of its kind’ Masters of Animation and Visualisation
With his extensive experience in games and CG film development coupled with his passion for Virtual and Mixed Reality, Chris’s goal is to help define the visual language and capabilities of these emerging technologies, contributing to understanding and full potential of these interactive media platforms.
For more please visit: www.chrisebeling.com
Fereshteh Forough is the Founder and CEO of Code to Inspire.
As a refugee born I learned, Great things can start with empty hands!
Fereshteh’s family left Afghanistan early 80s because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Fereshteh was born in a small town at the border of Iran and Afghanistan. She grew up in a family of eight kids. One year after the Taliban regime collapsed, Fereshteh and her family moved back to Herat, Afghanistan. After returning to Herat, she earned her Bachelor in Computer Science and later her Master’s from Technical University of Berlin in Germany. She taught as a professor at the Computer Science faculty of Herat University for almost three years. In January 2015 she founded the first coding school for girls in Herat, Afghanistan teaching around 150 girls learn to code.
Darrenlloyd Gent is a Principal Lecturer and Undergraduate Coordinator for Games and Digital Media at the University of Greenwich, which produces Games and Digital Media graduates for not only the games industry but for the AR, VR, and MR sectors, architectural visualisation, and serious games, and has been shortlisted for the UK’s TIGA Best Educational Institute seven years running.
Darrenlloyd has also been the lead organiser for the London Unity Usergroup (LUUG) monthly meetups for over three years, with over 2,700 members now subscribed across London.
Honglei Han is an associate professor in the School of Animation and Digital Arts, Communication University of China. He received PhD degree from Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015. He once visited the University of North Carolina, Charlotte USA as a visiting scholar from Jan. 2016 to Jul. 2017.
His research interests include computer graphics, game engines, and game designs. He teaches game developing related courses such as Game Programming Foundation, Game Engine, and Game Development.
He authored the book Principle and Application of Game Engine in 2012. His online Unity video tutorial Unity Game Development is the first Unity authorized course in China.
Jennifer Javornik is a technology executive who specializes in business development, partnership management, revenue growth, and entrepreneurship. She is currently the Vice President of Sales for Filament Games, a video game studio that specializes in digital games, simulations, VR and AR experiences for impact. She is also a founding member of the Wisconsin Games Alliance and is the board chair for the International Lady Laughs Comedy Festival. For kicks, Jennifer authors a series of children's books highlighting real-life working moms in STEM careers. Jennifer has a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.S. in Information Technology from Northwestern.
Michael John (MJ)
Michael John (MJ) teaches game design and development at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Prior to UCSC, he worked in the commercial industry as a designer and producer for 20+ years with companies such as Sony and Electronic Arts.
MJ also co-founded GlassLab, an educational games consortium joining the commercial games industry with educational and learning experts. At UCSC, he teaches courses in game design and development, as well as developing new and experimental game experiences.
Jongpil Jung is Professor of Chungkang College of Cultural Industries. He has been involved in numerous PC, online, and mobile game productions for 25 years as a graphic artist/technical artist in South Korea. He is interested in shaders, optimizations, rendering, lighting, and environment art. He authored the book Unity Shader Startup and is a member of Korea Unity Masters.
Sara Kassis is a faculty member at Sonoma State University in the Department of Engineering as well as SSU’s Director for Women In Tech. Additionally, she is the Faculty Fellow for Immersive Learning at SSU, a program she established at SSU which allows faculty to utilize virtual and augmented reality for education. She is interested in studying the effectiveness of such a modality for classroom instruction as well as to give students the opportunity to develop XR software in a multidisciplinary team environment.
Sara holds a PhD in Condensed Matter Physics from Kent State University.
Ning Xie received ME and Ph.D degrees from the Department of Computer Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2009 and 2012, respectively. In 2012, he was appointed as a research associate in the same institute. Since 2017, he has been an associate professor in the School of Computer Science and Engineering, UESTC. From 2014 to 2016, he was an assistant professor in the School of Software Engineering, Tongji University.
His research interests include computer graphics, game engines, and the theory and application of artificial intelligence and machine learning. His research is supported by research grants, including NSFC (China), MOE (China), CREST (Japan), and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Japan).
Andrew "Andy" Phelps
Andrew "Andy" Phelps is an educator, digital artist, and technologist with over 20 years’ experience. He currently serves as the founder and director of the RIT Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC), and holds the rank of Professor in the School of Interactive Games and Media that he founded in 2011.
His work in games education, digital media, and interactive software has been published in numerous articles, journals and periodicals, as well as by the popular press (CNN, USA Today, NPR, The New York Times, etc.). More information on his administrative work and research is available at magic.rit.edu.
A specialist in graphics programming and optimisation, Chris O’Connor holds a first-class honors in visualization alongside 11 years’ experience at the forefront of the commercial sector.
As technical director at ZeroLight, he leads the team of engineers responsible for integrating new technologies whilst optimising performance to advance visual fidelity throughout ZeroLight’s product stable. As a result, he has overseen the translation of skills developed in the gaming industry to the commercial sector, defining new consumer-centric experiences deployed by automotive brands worldwide.
Daniel Roizman and Jean Mistrot
Daniel Roizman and Jean Mistrot co-founded UME Academy to give young learners a process and foundation for creating with technology. Using game design methodologies, UME has delivered game design programs to thousands of elementary school students. Through board game design, physical games and video game creation students as young as six learn how to design, create and iterate on their ideas through play!
Jean is formally trained in the arts, studying sculpture and painting, holds a Master’s degree in Visualization Science from Texas A&M and has been using both sides of his brain as an artist and programmer across the digital content creation landscape. Daniel’s career began with an internship at Alias Research that led to a role on the Maya development team, senior technical roles at VFX and Post Production facilities and graphics research at Electronic Arts. Through their shared passion for education, they have taught artists how to code and coders how to create art.
Dr. Bin Sheng
Dr. Bin Sheng is currently a professor at Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and the director of the visual medial and data management laboratory. He obtained the PhD degree in Computer Science and Engineering from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His main research interests include virtual reality, multimedia technology and artificial intelligence.
Prof. Sheng has published more than hundred technical papers refereed, including IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, IEEE Virtual Reality, Computer Graphics Forum, Computers & Graphics, Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds, refereed book chapters and international conferences such as SIGGRAPH Asia. He has served as Associate Editor of IET Image Processing, and Adjunct Professor of Sungkyunkwan University. He has won the best paper awards in international conferences, e.g. Computer Graphics International, i3D. He has cooperated with UC Berkeley, Microsoft Research Asia, Intel, Ubisoft and Autodesk for many research projects, and won the second prize of Shanghai Scientific and Technological Progress Award.
André Thomas has more than 20 years’ experience in CGI production. He served as Head of Graphics for EA Sports Football (including Head Coach, NFL Tour, and Madden NFL) and is also credited with creating graphics for such notable films as Men in Black, Con Air, Independence Day, The Ant Bully, and Tomorrow Never Dies.
He founded and serves as the director of the LIVE Lab in the Department of Visualization at Texas A&M University, where he also teaches game design and game development. In 2014, he founded Triseum and currently serves as the CEO, inspiring students through entertainment-quality learning games.
Andrea Stevenson Won
Andrea Stevenson Won directs the Virtual Embodiment Lab at Cornell University. The lab’s research focuses on how mediated experiences change people’s perceptions, especially in immersive media.
Research areas include the clinical applications of virtual reality, and how nonverbal behavior as rendered in virtual environments affects collaboration and teamwork.
She completed her Ph.D in the Virtual Human Interaction Lab in the Department of Communication at Stanford University. She also holds an MS in Biomedical Visualization from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Angela Stukator has over twenty-five years of experience in animation, film, television and game design education at the post-secondary level. She studied in three countries, achieving a BA from Brock University, a MA from State University of New York at Buffalo, and a PhD from the University of Bristol.
Angela has a record of excellence in teaching, research and administration. She brings leadership and management skills, especially in the area of curriculum design and implementation.
As a champion of arts education, Angela is committed to fostering partnerships between the industry, cultural institutions, and colleges and universities, both domestic and international.
Wang Wengang is the CEO of RunwuLink Tech Ltd. He graduated from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT) with a Master’s degree in software engineering. He has more than 10 years of IT R&D experience and is the Beijing organizer of the Unity User Group (UUG). He has held positions as a director of R&D of a publicly listed company, as the CTO of a Unity3D mobile game startup, and as the CTO of a VR startup.
Ursula Wolz, studies the emerging field of Educational Informatics with an emphasis on Algorithm Accountability. She combines academics and entrepreneurship to develop computer-based learning environments that emphasize artificial intelligent tutors, interactive storytelling, and games She founded RiverSound Solutions, a software development and curriculum consulting company with a mission to empower users to become creators with, rather than consumers of computing. Her students include inner city and rural students at risk, affluent suburbanites, elite undergraduates, first to college, international students, and their teachers, in both formal and informal learning environments. In the 1980s her favorite student was Big Bird. She has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Columbia University, a Masters Degree in Computing in Education from Columbia Teachers College, and a bachelor’s degree from MIT (Cognitive Psychology and Linguistics), where she was a researcher in Seymour Papert’s Logo Lab studying and teaching in the very first constructivist computing environments.