Dr. Amon Millner is an Associate Professor of Computing and Innovation at the Olin College of Engineering, where he directs the Extending Access to STEM Empowerment (EASE) Lab. He develops technologies, community programs, and resources to facilitate learners (typically ages 9 to 12) incorporating computing into the way that they play, learn, prepare to fully participate in society, and uplift their communities.
Millner took on the dual-identity of Dr. Splat after then-Babson-MBA student Bryanne Leeming joined his Lab and enlisted him to be a Founding Advisor to Unruly-Studios / co-inventor of Unruly Splats. These bluetooth-connected programmable light-up floor tiles turn school gyms, classroom, library, and lunchroom floors into spaces where students engage in programming to build dynamic playground-style games in active and collaborative ways.
The Splats graphical-blocks-based programming app draws influence from the Scratch language, which then-Ph.D-student Millner co-invented with the amazing team assembled by Mitchel Resnick’s MIT Media Lab Lifelong Kindergarten Group.
Projects in Dr. Millner’s Lab or start-ups recognize that extending access to STEM empowerment involves both developing activities that aim to reach youth during urban or rural school days and creating resources suitable for after-school STEM programs where inter-generational interactions enhance learning outcomes. Dr. Millner works on government-funded projects that range from operationalizing early-age computational thinking frameworks to establishing coding practices in summer hip-hop dance camps. He has worked across continents and cultures as a Fulbright Specialist, has patents with 15-year-old inventors and Silicon-Valley stalwarts alike, and holds degrees from MIT (PhD Media Arts and Sciences), Georgia Tech (MS Human-Computer Interactions) and the University of Southern California (BS Computer Science).