Which of your current endeavors are you most passionate about? What is the biggest challenge you face?
I've always been interested in maps and mapping tools. I'm thinking about ways for our audiences to use maps and location-connected tools to engage with and learn about different phenomena. Augmented reality applications are an exciting way to help people explore places and data and it's something I'm experimenting with now. The biggest challenge is figuring out what kind of information and tool for discovery and exploration of that information would be interesting and useful for our audiences-something that they'd want to use repeatedly.
Who inspires you these days?
I'm always inspired by my colleagues at the Exploratorium and the ways they imagine and create experiences that stimulate people's curiosity about natural phenomena and social interactions. Seeing that in action in our museum, with outdoor exhibits and scientist-led excursions, and online with our website is really great and gets me thinking about ways to engage museum visitors and website users.
I'm also inspired by artists, writers, thinkers who imagine communications and expressive mediums yet to be a reality and the steps they take to experiment with their ideas.
Imagine a world where you are unconstrained by bandwidth. How would it change what you do and the people you serve?
I look at the expanding network as a fluid medium that's driven by how people use emerging technologies and by the convergence between other mediums. As data becomes more fluid, able to be moved around quicker and through new and different pathways, we need to be able to control it more. There's amazing progress with data communications and applications--data pattern recognition and search are evolving rapidly. It's exciting to see things like tangible and personal media move forward too. New display technologies, machine vision and image recognition, 3D graphics, tagging, cartography, location-based and social apps are more accessible tools for educators and exhibit developers in museums and other informal education institutions. If we were unconstrained by bandwidth and the network infrastructure provided for greater access to work in progress by scientists and artists, I think we'd focus even more on museum audiences' relationship to the processes of science and art.
You are in an elevator. How would you describe what you do?
I'm a tech geek who works at a unique museum. I collaborate with scientists, artists, writers, and teachers to make exhibits and educational resources that people can experience online and using networked devices. My interest is in helping people connect to ideas, stories, and to other people.