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James McLurkin

Robotics engineer James McLurkin was born in 1972 in Baldwin, New York. His mother was a speech therapist on Long Island; and, his father, a business manager for AT&T. In 1988, McLurkin built his first robot, Rover, and quickly followed it with many other designs such as LEGO bricks. He also programed self-designed video games. Following graduation from Baldwin High School, McLurkin enrolled at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering with a minor in mechanical engineering in 1995. McLurkin continued his studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated in 1999 with his M.S. in electrical engineering. He returned to MIT and went on to receive his M.S. degree in computer science in 2003, and his Ph.D. in computer science in 2008.

McLurkin worked as an intern at General Motors Advanced Technology Group in 1994, and remained there until he entered graduate school. From 1995 to 1997, he was assigned as research assistant to Dr. Rodney Brooks at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. There, McLurkin designed the “Robotic Ants” robots for his undergraduate thesis. He then began consulting in 1998, and worked on projects with Walt Disney Imagineering and iRobot Corporation. McLurkin created the “SwarmBots” robots during his five-year tenure as lead research scientist at iRobo. In 2009, McLurkin was appointed assistant professor at Rice University. Using nature as a model, McLurkin’s core research has centered around developing distributed algorithms for multi-robot systems – the software for large swarms of autonomous robots. McLurkin’s research articles have been published in academic journals such as International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, International Symposium on Experimental Robotics and IEEE Transactions on Education.

Since 1995, McLurkin has has been asked to speak at Smithsonian Museum, Harvard University, Infosys, IBM, and Honda. In 2002, Mclurkin was featured in the Lemelson Center’s traveling exhibit, “Invention at Play",” and was awarded the 2003 Lemelson MIT Student Prize. He was recognized by Time magazine as one of America’s top-five engineers in the “Rise of the Machines” feature, and by Black Enterprise magazine as the Best and Brightest Under 40.”

James McLurkin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 3, 2013

Accession Number

A2013.024

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/4/2013

Last Name

McLurkin

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Baldwin Senior High School

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

University of California, Berkeley

Search Occupation Category
First Name

James

Birth City, State, Country

Baldwin

HM ID

MCL05

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Scuba Diving

Favorite Quote

Get it done, Make it happen, and Efficient.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

4/16/1972

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pizza

Short Description

Robotics engineer James McLurkin (1972 - ) is an award-winning robotics engineer and creator of “SwarmBots.”

Employment

Micro-Display Corporation

Massachusetts Institute of Technology CSAIL

University of Washington

Rice University

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of James McLurkin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - James McLurkin lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - James McLurkin describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - James McLurkin talks about the educational background of his mother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - James McLurkin talks about doctors on his mother's side of the family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - James McLurkin talks about his grandfather, Walter Lawson

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - James McLurkin talks about his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - James McLurkin talks about his mother's upbringing in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - James McLurkin talks about his mother's career ambitions

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - James McLurkin describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - James McLurkin talks about his father's undergraduate education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - James McLurkin talks about his father, James McLurkin III

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - James McLurkin talks about how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - James McLurkin talks about his father's work experience

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - James McLurkin talks about his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - James McLurkin talks about his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - James McLurkin talks about his childhood neighborhoods

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - James McLurkin describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - James McLurkin talks about his early education, part 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - James McLurkin talks about his early education, part 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - James McLurkin talks about his experience at Schubert Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - James McLurkin talks about his introduction to video games and computers

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - James McLurkin talks about his childhood interests

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - James McLurkin talks about his cousin, Roy, and being introduced to video games

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - James McLurkin talks about his middle school years and his interest in robots

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - James McLurkin talks about his interest in biking

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - James McLurkin talks about the social challenges of middle school

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - James McLurkin talks about his experience at Baldwin High School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - James McLurkin talks about winning the NAACP ACT-SO science fair

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - James McLurkin talks about his high school relationship

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - James McLurkin talks about his father's influence on his interests in engineering

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - James McLurkin talks about his decision to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - James McLurkin talks about his experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - James McLurkin describes the demographics of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - James McLurkin talks about his mentors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - James McLurkin talks about the Rodney Brooks and the development of robots

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - James McLurkin talks about his first small robot, CLEO

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - James McLurkin talks about his decision to go to graduate school

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - James McLurkin talks about working with Rodney Brooks

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - James McLurkin talks about iRobot

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - James McLurkin talks about media recognition of his work

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - James McLurkin describes meeting his wife, Adar

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - James McLurkin talks about his wife, Adar

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - James McLurkin describes his doctoral research

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - James McLurkin talks about his pet ants and the role they play in his robotics research

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - James McLurkin talks about artificial intelligence

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - James McLurkin talks about his decision to join the faculty at Rice University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - James McLurkin talks about multi-robot systems

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - James McLurkin talks about multi-robot communications

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - James McLurkin talks about dynamic task management

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - James McLurkin talks about the future of robotics

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - James McLurkin talks about other key players in the robotics industry

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - James McLurkin reflects upon his career

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - James McLurkin shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - James McLurkin talks about his desire to start a family

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - James McLurkin talks about his desire to be a well-rounded person

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - James McLurkin talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

4$3

DATitle
James McLurkin talks about his first small robot, CLEO
James McLurkin talks about his pet ants and the role they play in his robotics research
Transcript
Okay, okay, so, now, you developed there, from what I understand, something called CLEO, which is a--well, what was, explain what CLEO is?$$So CLEO was the first, the first, small robot I built that had, that was fully autonomous and had enough processing and sensing to do some tasks. And the way the money works, right, you have to spin this picture of these future applications. And we were gonna go into the small intestine. So we had some money from doctors to do this. So I took a Domino's pizza box and cut out--I made a little maze, looked like the large intestine (unclear). And CLEO would drive through it and get to the thing and then come back out.$$How big was CLEO? About like that?$$It was a little bit bigger than a cubic inch.$$Okay, but small enough to go through intestines?$$Well, no, no, small enough--small enough to go through an intestine model, made out of cardboard on a Dominos's pizza box. So real intestines, we actually--then we actually went and we hired two undergrads. So this is my, I guess I'm a junior now. So I was kind of the senior undergrad and Dean and Art, and these guys, mechanical engineers, were trying to figure out how to move in a large intestine. So, so I remember once the purchase order lady, the email hit my inbox first, like, you bought ten pounds of chicken skins? And I was like, I guess we did. Why are we (unclear), gotta get a hold of Deano. Yeah, I got chicken skins 'cause we have to build intestines because we have to build something that has some kind of, some kind of mechanical properties that are similar to what you get inside a large intestine. So they decide chicken skin was the best way to do it. It turns out moving in a large intestine is really fiendishly difficult. Animals do it with cilia and hoofs and grippers and things that you really can't employ as a robot. So getting things to move. So we built--we, they built these clever mechanical devices with, you know, threads on all sides that would kind of rotate, and then, like those kind of squishy toys that roll through your hands, except they had the robotic, (unclear) except put threads all the way around. And that could make a little bit of progress, but it couldn't pull any weight, and he had to always worry about ingestion of the--you don't wanna ingest someone's colon into the machine. And you couldn't make it small enough and the complexity, it'd get gummed up. And it's just a fiendishly difficult problem. So now, they're looking at using magnets to move things around or as micro-robotics get more mature, and we can build little micro things and work on a micro level, then there's more possibility of moving these around at that scale. But on the macro-scale, it's--it forces, it--I don't, I'm just not clear if there's a good solution to it or I don't know, I don't know of one. And we may have viable micro-level things before we solve the macro (unclear) problem. So, but that was the whole point of CLEO, but--CLEO. And CLEO was the precursor--actually, the first robot I built, the first small one was Goliath. And Goliath actually was smaller than inch on all sides. But Goliath didn't have a good center payload. It just had bump centers. That's all it had, and light centers. CLEO was the first of the ant robots.$$Okay.$$When I decide that, okay, let's understand ants, let's understand how to, how to use--you know, I'm marinating in Rodney's group, with all these grad students talking about biological systems, talking about artificial intelligence. Mya Matrique (ph.) was there. She is now I think a dean at USC [University of Southern California]. But she built twenty robots, toaster-sized robots to look at collective behaviors. My mentor, Anita, was working on micro-robots, micro-motors, in particular, for micro-robots. So I'm surrounded by all this stuff. So people always say, you know, you have this breakthrough. I go, yeah, yeah, yeah. I can't take all that much credit for it, really. It was the environment I was in, and the obvious thing to do, well, let's try and build some ants. Let's try to understand insect behavior with enough fine grain detail to try to get the robots to do some of these things. That's what, that's the task I set out for my Bachelors' thesis.$$Okay. So, the program you were working with Anita was the Undergraduate Research Opportunities program? That's what it was called?$$That's right.$$I just wanted to get that in the record.$$UROP is how it's pronounced.$$UROP, okay.$$Yeah, no one ever says, "Undergraduate Research Opportunities program". It's UROP.$Okay, now, did your pet ants have anything--did they inform your research on some level?$$Well, not at the PhD level, right. So the insects are really, they give you an existential proof of that, of the fact that these systems do work, and they do solve these problems. And they do them in ways that are, sometimes surprising, sometimes unexpected. They use far less information than we think. They have less mobility, they make all these mistakes. They, they sometimes communicate in very subtle ways. They leverage tremendous variation between individuals to their best advantage. So all the ants don't make decisions, do something at the same time. Some ants do some things, some ants something else--I'll wait until it gets five degrees warmer before I leave the nest, right. So you have this natural smooth, you know, the temperature increases and the ants colony responds slowly. Then the temperature decreases, and they respond slowly as each individual worker gets to their different threshold. So you have all these, you know, honey bees, when they go out and find their new nest sites. They come back, and they need what's, they've figured out, is a quorum to make a decision. They don't vote. It's not a majority thing. They need a certain number of bees to like something and then off they go. That seems to be the model. And so now, algorithmically, how are they doing this? And, you know, one of my favorite professors at Cornell tells us--he's only (unclear) been studying this for many years. He just wrote a book on the honey bee. They actually have been by my bed for a year and a half now, and not made it past the preference.$$Did you say 'Honey Bee Democracy'?$$'Honey Bee Democracy' is his latest book.$$All right.$$And it's really about how they make decisions and how they share information to make group decisions. And I wish I'd read it because I can't speak too intelligently, but the core, he was talking to us, and I spoke with him about it. He was looking at this notion of quorum, where there's a certain number you get to, and then it's time to go. I mean that lets you--'cause you can guarantee to get to a certain number. You can't guarantee to break a tie. Look at our current government, right? You can't guarantee to do that. And if you're a honey bee community, and you're sitting on the side of a tree waiting to move to a new site, you have to guarantee to end this decision-making process. You have to guarantee to go somewhere at some point in time. So, you know, maybe this is why they do that. I have to read the book.$$Okay, okay--$$But that kind of, you know, high level, you know, these things have to work, right? These insects use them. That's where the inspiration comes, looking at the kind of sensors that the animals use to solve their problems. And one of the guys (unclear) Zurich, E.T.H. Zurich, Ruder Revanner (ph.). He's studying dessert ants and looking at how they navigate. And he's looked at it in every which way. He's just phenomenally, phenomenally good. And he comes with, okay, well, here's--turns out, they count their steps. Now, it turns out they have solar compass. They know not only where the sun is, but they also have an, accurate clocks. They know what time it is, and they can now compute their compass angle based on the sun and their clock. I mean it's just like, whoa, really? And he's done experiments in the wild. He comes back to the lab. He's gotten down almost to the neurological, almost the neuronal level of where these information interests are, where they're storing the landmarks, and how they're doing the navigation. So that kind of, that kind of field, low-level stuff--I mean it's the same problems I have to solve with my robots. Okay.$$Okay, so--$$I can go on, by a lot, (unclear)--$$I know, and I want you to.

Odest Jenkins

Computer scientist Odest Chadwicke Jenkins was born on xx/xx/1975 in [city], [state]. Jenks attended Alma College, where he graduated with his B.S. degrees in computer science and mathematics in 1996. He enrolled in graduate school at Georgia Technical Institute and received his M.S. degree in computer science in 1998. There he was a graduate research assistant and a graduate teaching assistant. Jenkins went on to attend the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, where earned his Ph.D. degree in computer science in 2003.

Upon graduating, Jenkins was awarded a postdoctoral research award in the Computer Science Department at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. In 2004, Jenkins joined the faculty in the Department of Computer Science at brown University as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 2010. Jenkins is the leader of Robotics, Learning and Autonomy Group at Brown University. The group explores topics related to human-robot interactions and robot learning with a specific focus on robot learning from human demonstration and robot software systems. Jenkins works with Brown University faculty and graduate students to develop methods for autonomous robot control and perception. In 2011, Jenkins worked to develop the “PR2 Remote Lab,” a remote-controlled computer laboratory designed to promote collaborative research and documentation.

Jenkins’ research has been published in numerous scholarly and professional journals, including Human-Robot Interaction, Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition. In 2010, Jenkins published Creating Games: Mechanics, Content, and Technology. He has also served on the editorial board for International Journal of Robotics Research, and the International Journal of Humanoid Robotics.

Jenkins is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for his work in physics-based human tracking from video. In 2009, Jenkins was the recipient of the Sloan Reseearch Fellowship, and, was as selected as the National Academy of Science’s Kavi Fellow. He has received research funding from the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation. In 2010, Popular Science Magazine named Jenkins one of their “Brilliant 10.” Jenkins lives in Providence Massachusetts.

Odest Chadwicke Jenkins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 8, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.213

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/8/2012

Last Name

Jenkins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Chadwicke

Organizations
Schools

University of Southern California

Georgia Institute of Technology

Alma College

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Odest

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

JEN09

Favorite Season

June

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Get 'er done. and Drop it like it's hot.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

1/9/1974

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chow Mein

Short Description

Robotics engineer and computer scientist Odest Jenkins (1974 - ) is a pioneering robotics engineer whose research with the Robotics, Learning and Autonomy Group at Brown University led to the PR2 Remote Laboratory.

Employment

Brown University

University of Southern California

Georgia Institute of Technology

Intel Corporation

PRISM Lab

Alma College

Ford Systems Integration Center

Favorite Color

Navy Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Odest Jenkins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Odest Jenkins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Odest Jenkins describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Odest Jenkins describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Odest Jenkins describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Odest Jenkins describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Odest Jenkins talks about moving around during his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Odest Jenkins describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Odest Jenkins talks about Atari videogames

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Odest Jenkins talks about his introduction into computer programming

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Odest Jenkins talks about his experience in Anniston, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Odest Jenkins talks about his family's involvement in the church growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Odest Jenkins talks about his experience in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Odest Jenkins talks about his experience living in Wheaton, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Odest Jenkins talks about his first computer class at the College of DuPage

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Odest Jenkins talks about computers and videogame platforms during the 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Odest Jenkins talks about his disinterest in his studies

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Odest Jenkins describes his career aspirations during his formative years

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Odest Jenkins talks about his parents' involvement in his academics

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Odest Jenkins talks about his brother

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Odest Jenkins talks about playing sports in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Odest Jenkins reflects on his moving around during his adolescence

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Odest Jenkins talks about his academic struggles

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Odest Jenkins reflects on his high school experience

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Odest Jenkins talks about FE programming language

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Odest Jenkins talks about his post-high school aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Odest Jenkins talks about Eastern Regional High School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Odest Jenkins talks about his decision to attend Alma College

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Odest Jenkins talks about his experience at Alma College

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Odest Jenkins talks about his interest in math

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Odest Jenkins talks about his experience as a resident assistant at Alma College

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Odest Jenkins talks about his research experience at the University of Texas, Arlington

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Odest Jenkins talks about the emerging technologies of the 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Odest Jenkins talks about lobbying for a 3-D computer graphics course at Alma College

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Odest Jenkins talks about his experience as an intern at the Ford System Integration Center

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Odest Jenkins talks about his mentors at Alma College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Odest Jenkins talks about his decision to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Odest Jenkins talks about 3D graphics and visual effects in film

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Odest Jenkins talks about his introduction to robotics

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Odest Jenkins talks about meeting his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Odest Jenkins talks about his experience at the University of Southern California

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Odest Jenkins talks about Ayanna Howard

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Odest Jenkins talks about the evolution of the robotics industry

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Odest Jenkins talks about his work in the Interaction Lab at the University of Southern California

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Odest Jenkins describes his dissertation in robotics and data-analysis

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Odest Jenkins talks about motion capture technology

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Odest Jenkins talks about his conference publications

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Odest Jenkins talks about his work at Brown University (part 1)

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Odest Jenkins talks about his work at Brown University (part 2)

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Odest Jenkins talks about his professional awards and accolades

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Odest Jenkins talks about his passion for his work

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Odest Jenkins talks about the 'Oz of Wizard'

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Odest Jenkins reflects on his life choices

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Odest Jenkins talks about Willow Garage

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Odest Jenkins shares his advice for aspiring scientists

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Odest Jenkins talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Odest Jenkins talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Odest Jenkins reflects on his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Odest Jenkins talks about the economic potential of robots

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Odest Jenkins reflects on how he would like to be remembered

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DATitle
Odest Jenkins talks about Atari videogames
Odest Jenkins talks about his experience as an intern at the Ford System Integration Center
Transcript
Okay, now, the Atari, from what I've read, it was a pivotal device in your upbringing. And--$$Right.$$--describe it. Now, what was an Atari and what was the significance of Atari when it came out?$$Right, so at the time, growing up, I, you know, television was only a, it was only, it wasn't something you could interact with. Television was something that just projected images at you, and you would watch, I'd watch, you know, TV shows, you know, so I'd be watching, you know, maybe basketball or football or "The Jefferson's" or "I Love Lucy" or something like that. And, you know, I'd watch a lot of TV, a lot of cartoons, but the Atari, when it came in, was a videogame device, cartridge-based videogame device. So you could plug in a cartridge, be able to play a game. And it basically hooked up to the, the device would hook up to your television through the antenna. So you would essentially, you'd connect these little electrical leads to the, you'd replace the antenna with these little electrical leads. And the Atari would send a video signal to the television, and you would be able to see this game play, and what was great about it was that now I could interact with the images on the screen. I could move my Joystick and I could see things happen. And it was a total interactive, immersive experience. It's something that we take for granted now. But it was amazing for me to see as an eight-year old in the early '80's [1980s]. And it, and my path into computer science was essentially about how to do I make those games for myself? And, and in order to, and the thing that you have to realize is in order to make those games, you have to know something about electrical engineering, computer science and you have to know something about physics, because physics is what makes those games move. And so, so my realization over the years to come about how do I make these games was essentially, was essentially me telling myself, I need to be in, I need to be in computing.$$Now, I remember the first Atari I ever saw had a game called, a ping pong game.$$Right, yeah.$$And very a simple thing, no graphics on it, just an electronic blip--$$Right.$$--that, and two longer blips--$$Right.$$--were the paddles and bounced it, you know, across the screen, and it had a realistic bounce.$$Right.$$And I was, but then by the time you, it got to you though, it was a little bit more sophisticated, right?$$Right, so the game that came with the Atari was this game called Combat. So it was essentially two tanks that you could drive around. So you had your joystick, and if you pushed forward, it'd make the tank go forward. And if you turned left, it'd make it turn right, left in place or turn right. And then you had the little fire button. So you just had to look, like a small joystick that was, you know, that came out from the paddle, and you had like a little fire button. So you would just around, playing tanks with each other and shooting at each. And that was just, that was amazing. But the game that my parents bought with the system was this game called "Space Invaders". And so, you know, it's these little, you know, the game and you see it today, and you just have these rows of, you know, of invading enemies coming and you have to go up and you have to move to position to shoot them. And as you shoot more, they get faster and faster and faster. And, you know, there's no, I mean to some extent there's no point to the game. It never ends. But it was just amazing to see. It was like, wow, how did they do this. It seemed like magic, but it wasn't magic. It was, and at the core, it was, you know, science and technology and engineering. And that's really where, you know, that gave me the spark to pursue my career.$You had an internship at Ford System Integration Center in Allen Park [Michigan], right?$$Right.$$On, I guess the summer between your junior and senior year? And can you talk about that one for a minute?$$Right, so I worked at Ford Motor Company for, you know, in the summer 1995, and I actually lived--and they put us up at the University Tower in Ann Arbor [Michigan]. So I would commute from Ann Arbor to essentially, Allen Park is Dearborn [Michigan], essentially. And I got to see what life was like doing more of the IT side of the Information Technology side. You know, that was where I got my first taste of Windows 95, and we got to see all the bills and I got to see, you know, the people that were, you know, apparently, there were rumors that some of the people that--because Microsoft was helping us transition, helping Ford transition to Windows 95. I got to see some people that, you know, that just looked like anybody else, but apparently were millionaires because they, you know, because they got into Microsoft, you know, pretty early. But, you know, it's just great to see what the professionals are, you know, what professional IT people look like. And, you know, and I think what I realized from that is that I'm just not that. I'm, you know, these people do a great job to make sure the systems are up and running, and they're extremely knowledgeable, but my interests was more towards the innovation, you know, how could we do something new, make something that wasn't possible before. And so that's what I--I left that experience thinking that graduate school was the right thing for me.$$Okay, because there was a path that you could have worked for Ford or something or could have-- (simultaneous)--$$I could have, I could have gone more down that route of, you know, whether it was for Ford or for another company, to do Information Technology and to be more of a professional IT person or to be a professional software developer. And I realized that I'm just more interested, I was just more interested in knowledge, innovation than--I was more interested in the question than the answer. I wanted to say how could we do this thing as opposed to how can we do things that we can't do before rather than somebody coming to me with a question and saying how do we answer that question. How do we do this technical thing that we know is possible, but we just need to work out the details. That wasn't (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$That doesn't excite you. Okay.$$Not at the time (laughter).