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Dr. Jayfus Doswell

Entrepreneur Jayfus Tucker Doswell was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1979. His mother, Brenda Tucker Doswell, was an educator and entrepreneur; his father, Ronald Jayfus Doswell, a social worker and historian. As a child, Doswell attended Baltimore City Public schools and enjoyed playing classical piano and violin in the Baltimore Youth Orchestra and competing in Tae-Kwon-Do and Kung-Fu tournaments. In 1995, Doswell graduated from Oberlin College with his B.A. degrees in psychology and computer science. His B.A. thesis was presented at Williams College in Massachusetts. He went on to earn his M.S. degree in systems and computer management from Howard University in 1998, and his Ph.D. degree in information technology from George Mason University. Doswell contributed his dissertation to to the creation of the IEEE Virtual Instructor Pilot Research Group (VIPRG), where he is co-director.

As early as 1997, Doswell discussed the implications of virtual reality learning technology in Black Issues In Higher Education. While earning his Ph.D. degree at George Mason University, Doswell conceived of Juxtopia, LLC and the Juxtopia Group, Inc., which develop products to integrate into a human’s daily routine and provide services to improve human health and learning. Doswell’s findings have been published in various scientific journals. Doswell has also consulted with different companies and organizations, including Maryland Medical Systems, CompuServe, Lockheed Martin, BearingPoint, Scientific Applications International Corporation, Virtual Logic, TRW and the National Cancer Institute Center for Bioinformatics. He was appointed as the chair of Biotechnology at Sojourner Douglass College, while also developing the biotechnology curriculum for Baltimore City Public Schools. In 2010, Doswell was named distinguished professor at Elizabeth City State University.

Doswell has served as a board member for several organizations such as, the American Public Health Association Health Informatics and Information Technology special interest group and American Telemedicine Association. He is also active in many professional organizations, including the Association of Computing Machinery, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and the National Society of Black Engineers. Doswell has several inventions that are patent pending at the U.S. Patent Office.

Jayfus T. Doswell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 17, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.011

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/17/2013

Last Name

Doswell

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Baltimore City College

Oberlin College

George Mason University

School No. 66, Mount Royal Elementary and Middle School

Fallstaff Elementary

Calvert Hall College High School

Howard University

First Name

Jayfus

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

DOS02

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Kerkade, Netherlands

Favorite Quote

The Propensity For Perfection.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Interview Description
Birth Date

2/24/1972

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Salmon, Rice, Broccoli

Short Description

Entrepreneur Dr. Jayfus Doswell (1972 - ) is the founder of Juxtopia, LLC, and Juxtopia Group, Inc., where he has served as president and chief executive officer.

Employment

Juxtopia LLC

Sojourner Douglass College

Phezu Space, LLC

Elizabeth City State University

KPMG

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:16356,228:16938,235:24407,337:26638,379:32846,472:38350,506:39250,518:47530,739:69143,1104:75078,1164:75382,1169:77282,1233:78194,1250:83514,1375:86478,1439:104075,1638:110450,1765:111050,1774:112100,1791:113825,1829:116825,1912:117425,1921:125210,2075:131852,2214:139841,2284:148409,2486:148976,2496:151811,2584:160297,2686:166126,2780:171884,2927:188316,3097:203880,3186:204420,3196:209820,3292:213360,3320:216856,3364:218872,3393:220552,3436:221560,3458:231340,3566$0,0:848,18:2044,40:2412,45:7932,164:8300,169:8852,176:9312,182:11980,225:21900,364:22474,372:22966,379:28296,469:29198,480:35922,583:36250,588:48890,670:56110,789:59226,843:70136,950:71771,969:72534,977:104779,1373:108343,1435:113041,1531:113851,1542:118280,1556:119984,1582:122682,1632:123108,1639:123818,1654:124670,1668:124954,1673:127852,1692:135037,1815:135748,1836:137249,1870:150742,2116:170044,2356:173365,2396:178570,2413:184330,2471:187760,2491:189056,2512:191432,2537:191864,2542:197479,2590:198143,2603:200052,2631:201131,2645:201546,2651:202293,2661:214414,2763:219360,2828
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Jayfus Doswell shares the stories behind his first and middle names

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Jayfus Doswell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jayfus Doswell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jayfus Doswell talks about his maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jayfus Doswell describes his mother's upbringing and education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jayfus Doswell describes his mother's experience in the Morgan State Choir under the direction of Dr. Nathan Carter

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jayfus Doswell talks about his paternal family history

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jayfus Doswell describe enslavement in his paternal family history

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jayfus Doswell talks about his father's upbringing in Baltimore, Maryland where he attended Dunbar High School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jayfus Doswell talks about the history of higher education among his paternal relatives

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jayfus Doswell talks about how his father exposed him to black history as well as leaders in Baltimore, Maryland's black community, pt.1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - 02:19:31:16 Jayfus Doswell describes his father's service in the Vietnam War as a sergeant medic

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jayfus Doswell talks about how his father exposed him to black history as well as leaders in Baltimore, Maryland's black community, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jayfus Doswell describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jayfus Doswell talks about his father's education and career

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jayfus Doswell describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jayfus Doswell describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jayfus Doswell describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jayfus Doswell talks about street divisions among boys in his childhood neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jayfus Doswell talks about his educational background

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jayfus Doswell talks about his parents' separation and his first major argument with his father

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jayfus Doswell remembers starring in a Parks Sausages commercial and purchasing his first computer

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jayfus Doswell talks about learning computer programming at the age of twelve

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jayfus Doswell describes the racism he experienced at Calvert Hall College High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jayfus Doswell describes his experience at Baltimore City College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jayfus Doswell describes the lack of computer programming courses at Baltimore City College when he was a student

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jayfus Doswell describes his self-discipline as a youth

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jayfus Doswell describes his experience at Baltimore City College in Baltimore, Maryland and his emerging interest in neuroscience

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jayfus Doswell describes competing in 'Amateur Night at the Apollo'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jayfus Doswell talks about his musical activities as a high school student

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jayfus Doswell describes his extracurricular activities as a high school student at Baltimore City College in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jayfus Doswell talks about his decision to attend Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jayfus Doswell remembers Yolanda Cruz, a mentor at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio and his undergraduate research on virtual reality

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jayfus Doswell describes the research he conducted as a Ford-Mellon Research Scholar at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Jayfus Doswell remembers his first job offer in 1994

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jayfus Doswell talks about his first job as a computer programmer at CompuServe and his mentor there, Michael Johnson

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jayfus Doswell describes applying the skills he learned at CompuServe for a consultancy project at Oberlin College

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jayfus Doswell talks about how he applies his organizational training at CompuServe to train his interns at his company, Juxtopia

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jayfus Doswell talks about Greek life as a student at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jayfus Doswell describes training his interns at his company, Juxtopia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jayfus Doswell talks about his graduate studies at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jayfus Doswell describes his advisor and his doctoral research at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jayfus Doswell talks about the founding of Juxtopia, LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Jayfus Doswell describes Juxtopia's first conceptual product

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Jayfus Doswell talks about two of Juxtopia's major products in augmented reality

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Jayfus Doswell talks about the R&D at Juxtopia and Google Glass

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jayfus Doswell distinguishes between two forms of augmented reality

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jayfus Doswell talks about the sources of funding for his company, Juxtopia

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jayfus Doswell talks about intellectual property and patents for augmented reality goggles

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jayfus Doswell talks about the launch of his nonprofit organization, the JUICE Lab

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jayfus Doswell describes a recent honor from the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jayfus Doswell comments on the general public's lack of knowledge about software engineering

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jayfus Doswell comments on the interns at his nonprofit, the JUICE Lab

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jayfus Doswell talks about Juxtopia's connection to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Jayfus Doswell describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Jayfus Doswell talks about what he would do differently

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Jayfus Doswell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Jayfus Doswell describes his hobbies and other business ventures

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Jayfus Doswell talks about his parents and their pride in his success

Tape: 6 Story: 14 - Jayfus Doswell comments on how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

7$4

DATitle
Jayfus Doswell talks about learning computer programming at the age of twelve
Jayfus Doswell talks about the launch of his nonprofit organization, the JUICE Lab
Transcript
Okay, so what, what kind of computer did you get?$$A Texas Instrument.$$Okay.$$It was called a TI-99, a gray computer, speak-synthesizer module, you have to buy it separately and hook to the side of it. So I was actually doing speech recognition programming back in 1985 on my own. And then one of my friends, over here, Paul Buchanan also had a computer and we used to try to program games together back in 1985, during just--that was part of the play time, okay let's program. We want to have our own business at twelve, but we didn't have any direction we just self-directed.$$Now how did you, how did you even like know what to do in terms of programming a computer? I mean, who, who--where did--(simultaneous)--$$Well first, well first started when--like play. The computers used to come with books, we could buy like books on how to program, I don't know where the real interest was, but I remember my mother [Brenda Tucker Doswell] took me to a class--a programming--an introductory programming class which was the most boring thing in the world, but because my friend also had a computer we thought well we can play games with the computer right, but what else could we do with the computer. Now there, there were game systems like the Atari, and the Texas Instruments where you can actually program and build your own systems. So I was--I had an Atari, but I also liked to build my own things, right, I'm a--you know, with software. So that was the interest and Paul Buchanan, we're the same age and he liked to do that as well. So, it, it first started off when we would go to different stores and type in some phrase, right, and then loop--make it loop on the computer so we'd type up a small program and we knew how to do it so we'd go in like shopping malls, type some crazy phrase and it would show on the screen, this looping, over and over and over and over again, we thought it was the funniest thing.$$'Cause the people didn't know how to get it off of there or what?$$We probably did but, when people walked by they would say this crazy--see this crazy phrase. It may have been our name, be something else, we don't, we don't know. And that sparked the interest because it was almost like, like for laughs for us and then it got more sophisticated after that in terms of, you know programs, trying to program things for real. Like game characters, scenarios, but everything was--$$Yeah, I know they used to publish those codes, game codes of how to cheat different games, different levels and all, did you all, was that, that part--(simultaneous)--$$We didn't do that, we liked to build the stuff from scratch, you know.$$Okay.$$So we studied programming languages, and at that time too we were saving things on cass-we were saving data on cassette tapes so there was a connector from a cassette tape to the computer and we used to save the data there then floppy disk came out so that's when we said, okay, this the greatest thing and then 3.5" disk came out after that, yep. So that was like, that was like every weekend we're gonna build upon a program, yeah so that was pretty cool back there.$$Okay, okay, so were, were you gettin' any support from school in terms of how to do these things?$$Not at all.$$So.$$The schools didn't even have computers like that. I mean, typing sure, programming, absolutely not.$$Okay.$$So all that was like, self-directed learning if you will. But to us it wasn't even learning, it was like a project, like building a, building a model airplane or model rocket, same type of concept growing up.$Now do you have a dream project you can talk about now that you're working on that you--?$$Oh, I, sure, so, under my not-for-profit organization that's where we do some really fancy stuff and they govern--the nice--the great technology I, now I train on how to become an entrepreneur, how to become an inventor. So under my not-for-profit organization, we have a program called JUICE, the Juxtopia Urban Innovation and Cooperative Entrepreneurship Network, an in that network we have a--a one--a young lady who's an undergraduate student that actually had a dream about interacting with information without a display. Now, the Star Trek fans with--you would call this holographic experience, right and then new technology you'll see like interactive holographic experiences. That's one project that one of my mentees, my apprentices is, is working on. How can you create an independent interactive holograph experience without, you know, outside cameras or display systems using potentially smart materials and also applications of biotechnology, so that's one (clears throat).$$Now, the governor [Governor of Maryland, Martin O'Malley] was present for the opening of JUICE [in 2012].$$Of the JUICE Lab, right. So right here in this building in my lab, the governor, Governor O'Malley had a ribbon cutting ceremony to re--to celebrate the opening of the JUICE Lab and also the Maryland, (cough) excuse me, the Maryland Innovation Initiative [MII], which is an initiative legislated in Maryland to really spark innovations and technology transfer from universities. Juxtopia's even during, you know, its initial inception it's always been tied to a university at some point. An academic institution with a preference towards (clears throat) underserved and disadvantaged institutions like HBCU's, Historically black colleges [and] universities and minority serving institutions. Giving internships to populations who are underserved in the sciences an math, right so I think the governor, Governor O'Malley and Maryland legislation recognized that and celebrated the JUICE lab and celebrated Juxtopia for what it's doing not only in product development and manufacturing here in America, in Baltimore [Maryland] but also (clears throat) improving the efficiency of underserved and disadvantaged youth.$$Okay, now you have a--how, how many people you have on staff here, yeah?$$Here in this building we have thirteen, yep and then we have management that are not in here, scattered, so five core management including legal counsel, vice president, Dr. Edward Hill, Diane, Doctor Diane Adams, who's president of Juxtopia Life, John Johnson, Chief Operating Officer, so, yeah. But all the technical staff--the technical staff specifically for the goggles are here in our secret Juice Lab (laughter).$$Okay. All right.$$Yeah.

Marc Hannah

Electrical engineer and computer graphics designer Marc Regis Hannah was born on October 13, 1956, in Chicago, Illinois to Huber and Edith Hannah. He attended the Illinois Institute of Technology, with funding from a scholarship awarded by AT&T’s Bell Laboratories. Hannah received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1977 before going on to Stanford University where he obtained his M.S. degree in 1978 and his Ph.D. degree in 1985.

In 1982, Hannah co-founded Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) with Jim Clark and five others, a company that went on to be well-known for its computer graphics technology. In 1986, he was named the company’s principal scientist for the creation of computer programs like Personal IRIS, Indigo, Indigo2, and Indy graphics that were used to create effects for movies like Jurassic Park, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Hunt for Red October, and Field of Dreams. George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic used Silicon Graphics’ technology to create Terminator 2. Hannah’s programs have also been used to create television commercials and the opening introduction for Monday Night Football. In addition, the company’s technology was used in engineering, research, and for military applications. Hannah is a partial owner of Rondeau Bay, a construction company in Oakland, California.

Since 1994, Hannah has sat on the Board of Directors for Magic Edge. He has also been profiled in Ebony magazine, Electronics magazine, Forbes, and PC Magazine. In addition, Hannah has received the Professional Achievement Award from the Illinois Institute of Technology and the National Technical Association.

Marc Hannah was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 10, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.006

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

3/10/2011

Last Name

Hannah

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Schools

Kipling Elementary School

Fort Dearborn Elementary School

University of Chicago Laboratory Schools

Kenwood Academy

Illinois Institute of Technology

Stanford University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Marc

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

HAN03

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Italy

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Interview Description
Birth Date

10/13/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Altos

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Cake (Chocolate)

Short Description

Electrical engineer and computer graphics designer Marc Hannah (1956 - ) co-founded and designed hardware for Silicon Graphics, Inc., a leading company in the graphics design industry during the 1990s.

Employment

Bell Laboratories

Silicon Graphics

Pulsent

SongPro

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:10614,275:14488,282:16588,312:17428,326:17764,331:19780,405:20116,410:34324,552:35008,563:35312,568:37516,606:38200,619:42570,691:44182,719:45112,744:47345,760:48125,778:48710,793:49685,810:53000,889:53650,911:69678,1133:69966,1138:70686,1151:74970,1191:75870,1206:88276,1379:90736,1451:99738,1552:105786,1642:107334,1665:108366,1681:121564,1852:130782,1964:131122,1970:133026,2022:133502,2030:135542,2071:135814,2076:150655,2320:153690,2341:158936,2411:159240,2416:160930,2421:163658,2466:164538,2517:166562,2542:169006,2549:169622,2558:185550,2679:186190,2688:193944,2765:194980,2785:195868,2798:196312,2805:199494,2871:199938,2878:203290,2915$0,0:4210,18:5170,54:7410,85:7810,91:8130,101:9090,121:20875,239:21679,252:22148,261:24627,314:25364,327:25632,332:26369,346:26771,353:30150,372:30594,379:31112,388:33628,477:34072,485:34368,490:34664,496:35848,516:45000,590:45910,604:46400,613:48360,654:50530,700:54084,728:54858,743:59077,772:60400,795:60652,800:60967,806:63424,860:63865,869:64432,880:64936,889:66574,926:67141,936:67834,951:69031,979:69976,998:70543,1008:70795,1013:71299,1022:74996,1037:75653,1047:76675,1060:77113,1068:77405,1073:78208,1087:87015,1209:87395,1214:87965,1221:89675,1239:90055,1244:92794,1268:93166,1275:94034,1292:95646,1318:96018,1325:96452,1334:96700,1339:97320,1354:97816,1364:101840,1413:103616,1446:103912,1451:104356,1459:105392,1477:105762,1485:108100,1492:108452,1497:108804,1502:111373,1536:111768,1542:112479,1552:112953,1559:113901,1575:114375,1583:114849,1591:119110,1612:120592,1630:121048,1635:123340,1642:123862,1653:124152,1659:124848,1679:125428,1694:125892,1704:129891,1773:130146,1779:130707,1791:131115,1801:131880,1826:132339,1836:134404,1844:134636,1849:134926,1855:135854,1878:136840,1896:137072,1901:137710,1913:138058,1920:141248,1991:147699,2112:149559,2150:149931,2155:155324,2201:155648,2206:156296,2216:157025,2225:157754,2238:160886,2264:161174,2269:161894,2282:163406,2311:164918,2339:167665,2370:168055,2378:168770,2391:169420,2404:169940,2413:171370,2442:172735,2484:172995,2489:173580,2502:176440,2601:178860,2655
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marc Hannah's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marc Hannah shares his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marc Hannah describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marc Hannah describes his mother's education in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marc Hannah responds to questions about others with the name of Hannah

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marc Hannah traces his father's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marc Hannah describes his father's educational and family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marc Hannah describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marc Hannah describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Marc Hannah recalls the growth of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Marc Hannah remembers his family's move from Cleveland, Ohio, to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marc Hannah responds to questions about his neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marc Hannah remembers his elementary school in Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marc Hannah recounts the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marc Hannah describes the television and radio programs he enjoyed as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marc Hannah describes his childhood interests in special effects

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marc Hannah talks about junior high school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marc Hannah talks about attending high school in Chicago, part 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marc Hannah talks about attending high school in Chicago, part 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marc Hannah discusses his neighborhood church and friends

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Marc Hannah describes his early interest in technology

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marc Hannah discusses his first exposure to computer programming

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marc Hannah recalls his decision to study electrical engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marc Hannah describes the influence of AT&T Bell Laboratories on his career and education

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marc Hannah talks about his experience at Stanford University graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marc Hannah describes the state of computers in the 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marc Hannah shares the origins of his involvement with the Geometry Engine

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marc Hannah describes the Geometry Engine, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marc Hannah describes the Geometry Engine, part 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marc Hannah recalls the founding of Silicon Graphics, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marc Hannah explains his dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marc Hannah discusses the rise of Silicon Valley

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marc Hannah describes developments in computing

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marc Hannah discusses the role of Silicon Graphics, Inc. in movie special effects

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marc Hannah continues his discussion about Silicon Graphics, Inc. technology

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marc Hannah describes why he left Silicon Graphics, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marc Hannah shares his involvement with Omniverse Digital Solutions and Pulsent Corporation, part 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marc Hannah shares his involvement with Omniverse Digital Solutions and Pulsent Corporation, part 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marc Hannah describes his other entrepreneurial ventures

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marc Hannah describes his work in Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Marc Hannah considers his future plans

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Marc Hannah describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Marc Hannah discusses the impact of new computer technology on society

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Marc Hannah reflects on his life's accomplishments, part 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Marc Hannah reflects on his life's accomplishments, part 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Marc Hannah describes his family

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Marc Hannah reflects on how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

6$2

DATitle
Marc Hannah shares the origins of his involvement with the Geometry Engine
Marc Hannah describes the Geometry Engine, part 2
Transcript
I was trying to focus in on you and Jim Clark and the development of the--$$Right, right, right, okay. Yeah, so the Geometry Engine. Right, so let me skip to that, right. So, after a few years, started working with Forest Baskett on multi-micro processor stuff, spent the summer doing some light thinking and research into that area. I must not have been working at Bell Labs [AT&T Bell Laboratories] that summer 'cause I just remember, you know, playing tennis and doing stuff like that. And at the end of the summer, then, you know, met up with Forest and said that I was getting kind of bored with this area of research. I needed to work on something different; wasn't sure exactly what it was. I wasn't even sure whether it was, you know, hardware, software 'cause I sort of had an interest in both areas, and just sort of in passing mentioned that I was interested in computer graphics. One of the summer projects I did at Bell Laboratories had something to do with graphics as well. And so I mentioned that I was interested in graphics, but nobody here is doing graphics. And he told me that, well, there's a guy who just started this summer who is, you know, doing graphics stuff; and Jim Clark [James H. Clark], would you like to meet him? Yes. So, you know, we got up. He walked me across the hall, you know, introduced me to Jim. And so I sat down in his office and he outlined some of the stuff that he was thinking about and thought I could work on. And, you know, one was the Geometry Engine, this parallel architecture for doing some of the computations involved in 3-D [three dimensional] graphics. And another part of it was sort of taking this 3-D representation and rendering it into a screen, a two-dimensional [2-D] screen image. So that was--so he was working on the Geometry Engine, and the sort of rasterization hardware was an area that he thought, you know, I could work on as a Ph.D. research area. And so, even in that first meeting, he mentioned the possibility of starting a company based upon this work. But, you know, at that time, you know, my career path was, you know, get a Ph.D., go back and work in research in Bell Laboratories. So it sort of went in one ear and out the other. I really didn't give it any serious thought. But basically, you know, right after that meeting started working with him on, you know, graphics architecture. And this was a time when there was this, what was called Meade-Conway approach ["Introduction to VLSI systems," 1980] to doing integrated circuit design which is basically sort of simplify the--you come up with a set of rules and simplify the process of designing and laying out the physical part of the integrated circuits. And it's, and so that was part it and then part of it was this hierarchical design methodology as a set of tools. But, yeah, the concept was to let system designers design integrated circuits.$Okay, now is this invention [the Geometry Engine] the first of its kind? Was it the first time that anybody had come up with a 3-D [three dimensional] graphics?$$Let's see. I think what was unique about the Geometry Engine was it was an architecture that was specifically, it was not--it was specifically taking advantage of this ability to do custom chips. Like I was saying earlier, this whole Meade-Conway design philosophy ["Introduction to VLSI systems," 1980] was you sort of make some, certain simplifying assumptions and rules. And then you can let systems designers design new architectures that are implemented in these chips where you can pack a lot of logic, a lot of gates, a lot of transistors, you know, in a small low-cost chip. And so giving systems designers the sort of, this total flexibility, you know, to start with a blank sheet of paper as opposed to starting with, you know, sort of higher-level functions that would get assembled into a particular architecture. You basically have complete flexibility to design an architecture that is best suited to the problem. Implement it in silicon, you get a chip that can be low cost, and you can put a bunch of these together and get much higher performance. And this architecture was really taking advantage of the ability to do a low-cost, single chip and then replicate it a number of times to get higher performance, whereas I think other arch--systems that did the same kind of function prior to that, I think, were more focused on, you know, there's one basic computing engine that you try to make as fast as possible. You know, this was make one part that's simple and cheap enough and then you replicate it a number of times to get the performance that you need.$$Okay.$$And, no, but the whole idea was to bring the cost of high-performance computing down to much lower levels. I mean for me personally, I had this interest in flight simulators and I wanted to, you know, have this flight simulator thing which requires very high performance, you know, 3-D [three dimensional] graphics, down to a cost where I could afford to have one in, you know, as basically a game machine in my basement. And so this was very much along the lines of what we were trying to do, although at this point it was still, you know, it wasn't a thousand dollar system or a hundred dollar system. It was tens of thousands of dollars, but compared with hundred of thousands of dollars that it might have cost you to do this before. You know, that was a--$$Okay, so that you could do--$$--(unclear) (simultaneous) break down.$$--but it would cost way more the way they do it.$$Right, right.