ATLAS Working Group

Susie Armstrong Senior Vice President, Engineering, Qualcomm

Susie Armstrong is one of the pioneer engineers of mobile internet. Working at Qualcomm for over 22 years, Armstrong invented the software that deals with data on cell phones including web page access, phone apps, and photo viewers. She has led a variety of teams at Qualcomm including mobile chipset division and software engineering. She leads the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab and has also served as the head of worldwide customer engineering.

Donna Auguste ATLAS PhD student, graduate representative

Donna Auguste worked in software and consumer electronics industries for about 20 years, volunteered for international mission work for about 10 years, and recently developed innovative sensors for the Internet of Things. She was the co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Freshwater Software from 1996 to 2001. Prior to Freshwater Software, she was a senior engineering manager at Apple Computer who helped to coordinate the development of the Newton personal digital assistant.

Donna Flynn Vice President, WorkSpace Futures, Steelcase

Donna Flynn is Vice President of WorkSpace Futures and leads a global team conducting future-thinking research on work practices across corporate environments, small businesses, healthcare, and higher education. An anthropologist by training, Donna has a rich background in research, design and business strategy across public policy, technology, and corporate contexts. She is passionate about insight-led strategy across all levels of a business, from future-thinking opportunity exploration to product design to customer engagement and relationship development.


Mazdak Hashemi VP Infrastructure Engineering, Twitter

Mazdak is Twitter’s Vice President of Engineering for Infrastructure Engineering. Mazdak joined Twitter in 2012 and has championed a number of efforts focused on improving Twitter’s reliability, scalability, and efficiency in the last few years. Mazdak’s career focus has been in building and scaling cloud, e-commerce and social media platforms. Mazdak is a male ally executive sponsor for @TwitterWomen promoting equality in technology.


Kyle Kuczun CEO, Blank Slate Systems

As a social entrepreneur, Kyle’s passion is creating tools to help people. He is experienced in overseeing product operations of this private social enterprise company that works with non-profits and government organizations. Kyle has helped author several data standards, including the Client Data Standard for Disaster (DCDS) — in use by the American Red Cross. He has presented his research on network design internationally and served as adjunct faculty at the University of Colorado. Kyle holds a BA in Economics from the University of Colorado.


Margaret Minsky
Minsky Consulting

Margaret Minsky is an internationally-known researcher in the field of learning technology and haptic interfaces. She developed the first technique for creating haptic textures while at the MIT Media Lab.  She was a Research Lead at Atari Cambridge Laboratory and Interval Research Corporation. She founded a design/manufacturing company to produce innovative clothing and textile processing, and she has published research computer graphics, haptics, and mechanical engineering. Most recently Margaret produced an online learning environment about Marvin Minsky’s Mind and Music ideas. Margaret also is a recreational performer in Trapeze and Circus Arts.

Ram Narayanswamy
Director of Sensing, Occipital

Ram Narayanswamy helped pioneer digital imaging. Beginning his career at NASA’s Langley Research Center in the Visual Image Processing lab, Ram worked on imaging system design and optimization, helping to established a benchmark test for optics commonly knows as the “slanted-edge test.” He was an early member of CDM Optics, a Boulder startup that pioneered computational imaging, and he played an important role in the development of mobile phone cameras, specifically with regard to improving depth of field.  Before joining Occipital Ram was Computational Imaging Leader at Intel Labs in Santa Clara.

Diego Rodriguez
Global Managing Director, IDEO

Diego Rodriguez is a partner at IDEO and a founding professor at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University (the He leads IDEO’s office in Palo Alto, where he works with colleagues and clients on new venture creation, technology strategy, and marketing. Prior to IDEO, Diego was a R&D engineer at Hewlett-Packard and a marketer at Intuit. Diego earned bachelor’s degrees with honors in engineering and humanities from Stanford and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.

Eric Schweikardt
CEO and Design Director, Modular Robotics Incorporated

Eric Schweikardt serves as Design Director at Modular Robotics LLC. Eric Schweikardt was a Visiting Scientist at the Cornell Computational Synthesis Lab in Ithaca, New York from 2008 to 2009. Eric Schweikardt worked on roBlocks and the Erstwhile Agent, an evolutionary design program for modular robotic constructions. Eric Schweikardt holds a PhD from the Computational Design Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University.

Nathan Seidle (BTU Lab Hacker-in-Residence), Founder Sparkfun Electronics 

Nathan Seidle founded SparkFun Electronics in 2003 while an undergraduate student studying electrical engineering, to fulfill his vision of a company with clear product photos with multiple views, linked to datasheets, with tutorials on every product they sold. In the years since, the company has grown to over 130 employees and is a leader of Open Source technology. SparkFun provides tools, hardware, and educational resources for artists, engineers, prototypers, and hobbyists who want to explore electronic gadgetry.

Lauren Jones Young
LJYoung Consulting 

Lauren Jones Young is an educator, with interests in improving access to meaningful educational opportunity for all students. She is Director Emerita of several Spencer Foundation programs, including U.S. and international institutional initiatives. Most recently Lauren’s work in philanthropy focused on teaching courses at Northwestern University on the practice of giving. A faculty member at Michigan State University prior to her Spencer appointment, Lauren was honored with the university’s Teacher-Scholar award for her work on teacher preparation and teaching practice. She holds Ed.D. and Ed.M. degrees in education and social policy from Harvard University.