Distinguished ACM Speaker:
Bio: Michael R. Macedonia is a computer scientist and an expert on virtual environments, computer games, and military simulation. He speaks frequently on the topics of new technology and science to both technical and general audiences. He have been interviewed and quoted several times by the Washington Post, New York Times, and Wired Magazine. He also has appeared on ABC News, CNBC, and NBC News. He is a frequent speaker and writer, to include a cover story for IEEE Spectrum. Prior to joining SAIC as a Technical Fellow, Dr. Macedonia was the General Manager for Forterra Systems, a leading developer of virtual worlds software. Dr. Macedonia also was the Director of the Disruptive Technology Office (now IARPA) for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. DTO was the U.S. intelligence community’s centrally funded research activity for advanced technology. Prior to DTO, he was responsible for developing the technology strategy for the U.S. Army’s lead training and simulation system development organization. He also led the Army’s effort to develop the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California, and promoted the adoption of advanced commercial game technology for simulation and education.
He is credited with the development of the US Army’s first commercial Xbox game, Full Spectrum Warrior. He was an early adopter of GPGPU technology for high performance computing and was a member of a research program which is now recognized as a DARPA Legacy. He also served as Vice-president for Research of the Fraunhofer Center for Research in Computer Graphics, Inc. in Providence, Rhode Island, where he led an international research team to develop a 3D ultrasound system for deployment on a Mt. Everest climbing expedition. He has served on the editorial board for IEEE Computer and was a contributing editor for IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications.
He is the former Chair of the Association of Computing Machinery’s SIGGRAPH Pioneers. He was the chair of the Defense Gametech 2012 Conference. Dr. Macedonia has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Naval Postgraduate School, where he was a member of the pioneering NPSNET virtual reality research group. He conducted some of the earliest research in the use of the Internet protocols for games and virtual worlds. He is a graduate from the United States Military Academy, West Point and served in infantry and intelligence units in the US and overseas.
Michael Macedonia reports that the U.S. military culture has accepted computer gaming as a powerful tool for remaking the armed forces in preparation for the new realities of the 21st century. The military recognizes that the young people who will serve as tomorrow’s soldiers, sailors, and pilots have spent years immersed in technology. Army studies show that this cohort is very different in terms of skills and attitudes than its predecessors.