Jeff Burke
Principal Investigator
Jeff Burke is Professor of Theater and Associate Dean, Research and Technology in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT). Burke’s research and creative work explores the intersections of emerging technology and creative expression. He has produced, managed, programmed and designed experimental performances, films, new facility construction, and new genre art installations internationally for over twenty years. In 2004, Burke co-founded UCLA TFT’s Center for Research in Engineering, Media and Performance (REMAP), a collaboration with the Samueli School of Engineering, which combines research, artistic production and community engagement. At REMAP, Burke’s research has been supported by the NSF, NEA, Intel, Cisco, Trust for Mutual Understanding, the MacArthur Foundation, Omidyar Network, and a Google Focused Award on the future of storytelling. From 2006-2012, he was the area lead for participatory sensing at the NSF Center for Embedded Networked Sensing; since 2010, he has been a Co-PI and application team lead for the Named Data Networking project, a multi-campus effort supported by the NSF and an international consortium to develop a future Internet architecture. He received an MFA in Film, Television and Digital Media and an M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from UCLA.

Jennifer Jacobs
Co-Principal Investigator
Jennifer Jacobs is an Assistant Professor at the University of California Santa Barbara in Media Arts and Technology and Computer Science (by courtesy), where she directs the Expressive Computation Lab. I work across the fields of computational art and design, human computer interaction, and systems engineering. The ECL investigates ways to support expressive computer-aided design, art, craft, and manufacturing by developing new computational tools, abstractions, and systems that integrate emerging forms of computational creation and digital fabrication with traditional materials, manual control, and non-linear design practices. More broadly, it examines how we can enable art and design professionals to leverage their domain expertise to develop personal software tools. Jacobs received her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab and completed postdoctoral research in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University. She also received an M.F.A. and B.F.A from Hunter College and the University of Oregon respectively. Her research has been presented at international venues including SIGGRAPH, DIS, CACM, Ars Electronica and CHI.

Chris Johanson
Senior Personnel
Chris Johanson is Associate Professor in the UCLA Department of Classics, Chair and founding faculty of the UCLA Digital Humanities Program, and Interim Faculty Director of Innovative Applications in Data Science for UCLA DataX. His research explores the ancient Graeco-Roman world—its extant literature, texts of all kinds, and its material record—using data visualization, network analysis, 2 and 3D representation and real-time interaction. He directs RomeLab, a multi-disciplinary research group whose work uses the physical and virtual city of Rome as a point of departure to study the interrelationship between historical phenomena and the spaces and places of the ancient city. He has collaborated on mapping and visualization projects set in Bolivia, Peru, Albania, Iceland, Spain, Turkey and Italy. His research has received funding from Mellon, the NEH, the MacArthur Foundation, the Ahmanson Foundation, and Google.

Lauren Lee McCarthy
Senior Personnel
Lauren Lee McCarthy (she/they) is an artist having social relationships in the midst of automation, surveillance, and algorithmic living. She has received grants and residencies from Creative Capital, United States Artists, LACMA, Sundance, Eyebeam, Pioneer Works, Autodesk, and Ars Electronica. Her work SOMEONE was awarded the Ars Electronica Golden Nica and the Japan Media Arts Social Impact Award, and her work LAUREN was awarded the IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction. Lauren’s work has been exhibited internationally, at places such as the Barbican Centre, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Haus der elektronischen Künste, Seoul Museum of Art, Chronus Art Center, SIGGRAPH, Onassis Cultural Center, IDFA DocLab, Science Gallery Dublin, and the Japan Media Arts Festival. Lauren is also the creator of p5.js, an open-source art and education platform that prioritizes access and diversity in learning to code, with over 10 million users. She expanded on this work in her role from 2015–21 on the Board of Directors for the Processing Foundation, whose mission is to serve those who have historically not had access to the fields of technology, code, and art in learning software and visual literacy. Lauren is a Professor at UCLA Design Media Arts. She holds an MFA from UCLA and a BS Computer Science and BS Art and Design from MIT.

Greg Pottie
Senior Personnel
Gregory J. Pottie is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UCLA, serving in vice-chair roles from 1999-2003 and as Chair from 2015-2020. From 2003-2009, 2022-23 he served as the Associate Dean for Research and Physical Resources of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. From 2002-2012 he was deputy director of the NSF-funded Center for Embedded Networked Sensing. His research interests have included wireless communication systems, sensor networks and interactive educational systems.  His current focus is on causal modeling of interactive systems.  From 1997 to 1999 he was secretary to the board of governors for the IEEE Information Theory Society.  In 1998 he received the Allied Signal Award for outstanding faculty research for UCLA engineering. In 2005 he became a Fellow of the IEEE for contributions to the modeling and applications of sensor networks.  In 2009 he received a Fulbright Senior Scholar award. He is a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors. Dr. Pottie is a member of the Bruin Master’s Swim Club (butterfly) and the St. Mathew’s Choir (2nd bass).

Advisory Committee

Hasan Bakhshi
Hasan Bakhshi is Professor of Economics of the Creative Industries at Newcastle University and Director of the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, which is charged with improving the evidence base for policies to support the UK’s creative industries and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Prior to Newcastle University, Hasan held various roles as an economist at Nesta, Lehman Brothers, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Bank of England. In 2015, he was awarded an MBE for services to the creative industries. Hasan serves on the board of two arts organisations: Art UK and Darbar Arts.

Jamie Bennett
Jamie Bennett [he/him] works at the intersections of nonprofits, philanthropy, and the public sector with arts, culture, and comprehensive community development.  Jamie has worked at ArtPlace AmericaColumbia University, the Agnes Gund Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York Philharmonic, and United States Artists; and has volunteered with the HERE Arts CenterThe Heritage Center (Itówapi Owápazo) of the Red Cloud Indian School (Maȟpíya Lúta Owáyawa), the Make Music Alliance, the David Rockefeller Fund, the NeuroArts Blueprint, and Weeksville Heritage Center.  Jamie lives in Toronto, Canada and has been sober since 2009.

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett
Elizabeth Currid-Halkett holds the James Irvine Chair in Urban and Regional Planning and is professor of public policy at the Price School at the University of Southern California. A 2023 recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Currid-Halkett holds the Kluge Chair in Modern Culture at the Library of Congress. Currid-Halkett’s research focuses on the role of culture in society. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network and a former member of the WEF Global Future Councils and Industry Strategy Officers. Currid-Halkett’s work has been featured in the New York TimesWall Street Journal, the Economist, among others. Website:

Erika Varis Doggett
Erika Varis Doggett is a Sr. Research Scientist at the Walt Disney Company focusing on a variety of topics within machine learning, with special attention to computer vision and natural language processing (NLP) techniques. Prior to Disney, she worked on social media language, as well as research topics in theoretical linguistics, including phonology, phonetics, and syntax. She received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Southern California and lectured at the University of Nevada Reno before transitioning to industry.

Roy Mathew
Roy is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP and leads the Higher Education Consulting practice. He has more than 20 years of consulting and industry experience across both private and public sector clients. He has led many of Deloitte’s largest Higher Education transformation programs that span strategy, implementation, and operations. He is actively involved in developing the firm’s capabilities in new business models and innovative uses of technology. Roy holds an undergraduate degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a graduate degree from Stanford University.

Carl Grodach
Carl Grodach is Foundation Professor of Urban Planning and Design at Monash University. His research focuses on economic development planning in relation to the arts and cultural industries, urban manufacturing, and circular economies. His books include Urban Revitalization: Remaking Cities in a Changing World (Routledge) and The Politics of Urban Cultural Policy: Global Perspectives (Routledge). He is co-Editor-in-Chief of City, Culture, and Society and was the inaugural director of Monash Urban Planning and Design from 2017–2022.

Kelly LoBianco
Kelly LoBianco is the inaugural Director of the newly-created Los Angeles County Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). The department is LA County’s economic and workforce development department with a vision for a more equitable economy with thriving local communities, inclusive and sustainable growth, and opportunity and mobility for all. Most recently, Kelly served as Chief Program Officer for a leading NYC-based nonprofit, The HOPE Program, growing workforce development and social enterprise programming in the green economy. Prior to that, Kelly served as Assistant Commissioner of Training for the NYC Department of Small Business Services and held various roles in local and state government in New York as well as the US Senate in Washington DC. She earned an MPA from Columbia University and a BA in Political Science from Northwestern University.

Narineh Makijan
Dr. Narineh Makijan is the Assistant Vice President, Pasadena City College and Chair of the Los Angeles Regional Consortium (LARC). Dr. Makijan is also a professor at University of Southern California (USC) Rossier School of Education. In her 20-year career in counseling and Career & Technical Education programs, Makijan has focused on connecting learners at all levels to training and workforce development in LA County. As the Assistant Vice President and Chair, she brings together the capabilities of the Los Angeles Regional Consortium (LARC) to build a collaboration among the County’s 19 community colleges that leverages existing and emerging workforce development resources to build the County’s post-COVID economy.

Eric J. McIntosh
Eric J. McIntosh, a higher education researcher, spearheads global higher education strategy at Apple. Previously, he led transformative consulting for universities, advising on academic strategies and student success. Eric’s research focuses on student thriving, a holistic student success measure encompassing academic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal dimensions. An administrator at four different Canadian universities, Eric spent his early career years in student affairs and on faculty. At Apple, he collaborates with campuses worldwide, leveraging technology to enrich student learning experiences. Inspired by Steve Jobs, Eric strives daily to integrate technology, liberal arts, and humanities, aligning Apple’s innovation with higher education’s best interests.

Manuel Montoya
Manuel (MJR) Montoya, Ph.D. (he/him) is an Associate professor at UNM’s Department of Economics. His work focuses on how global identities shape our social and economic realities and has published work on issues ranging from international trade to creative economy. He has delivered over 100 lectures across the world and has advised world leaders on addressing pressing economic and political issues. He is a Stephen M. Kellen Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations. He recently received UNM’s Presidential Teaching Fellowship, UNM’s highest teaching honor.

Todd Presner
Todd Presner is Chair of UCLA’s Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies and serves as Special Advisor to Vice Chancellor Roger Wakimoto in the Office for Research and Creative Activities (2018-present). Previously, he was the chair of UCLA’s Digital Humanities Program (2011-21), and from 2011-2018, he served as the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Director of the Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies. From 2018-21, he was Associate Dean of Digital Innovation. He holds the Michael and Irene Ross Chair in the UCLA Division of the Humanities. His research focuses on European intellectual and cultural history, Holocaust studies, visual culture, and digital humanities. Presner’s newest book is forthcoming with Princeton University Press: Ethics of the Algorithm: Digital Humanities and Holocaust Memory (Fall 2024).

Kamal Sinclair
Kamal Sinclair is the Senior Director of Digital Innovation at The Music Center. Additionally, she serves as an advisor or board member to the Peabody Awards interactive Board, For Freedoms, NEW INC.’s  ONX Studio, Civic Signals, MIT’s Center for Advanced Virtuality, and Eyebeam. Previously, she was the Director of Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Labs Program, External Advisor to Ford Foundation’s JustFilms and MacArthur Foundation’s Journalism & Media Program, and artist/producer on Question Bridge: Black Males. She is the co-author of Making a New Reality.