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).
Hear about his background before his college career in his TEDx talk: Finding what you Love and Leaving Behind Labels.
Affiliates and Alumni
Bryanne is an alumna of the MBA program at Babson College focused on entrepreneurship and has been working with Amon since the summer of 2015. She is currently Founder and CEO of Unruly Studios, an educational technology product focused on fostering creativity and physical activity - bringing interactive games to life using Unruly Splats: programmable light-up floor tiles. Her undergraduate degree was from McGill University where she studied Cognitive Science with a minor in Art History. Bryanne has always been drawn to places where art and science meet. Her career spans from product development at a luxury watch brand, to project management and account management at an advertising technology startup.
Chase Joyner, Electrical and Computer Engineer '21
Chase worked on The Unruly Splats app and the Re-making STEM grant.
Allison Busa, Electrical and Computer Engineer '20
Alli worked on Marble Run, Electronic Fun.
Zack Davenport, Mechanical Engineer '20
Zack worked on Shifting Rhythms and Buzz Bots.
Mikhaela Dietch, Design '18
Mikhaela worked on speech-enabled explorations for Unruly Splats.
Jiaying Wei, Mechanical Engineer '17
Jiaying worked on the EASE Lab trailer and the metal Unruly Splats prototypes.
Lindsey Andrade, Mechanical Engineer '17
Lindsey worked on creating devices that charge phones when attached to a kick scooter - the EnGen project, a collaboration with Makeosity.
Myles Cooper, Mechanical Engineer '16
Myles worked on hosting Make-it Markets.
Gabrielle Ewall, Computing and Neuroscience '17
Gabrielle worked on designing curricula and designing custom-bits to support explorations in neuroscience.
Liani Lye, Robotics '17
Liani worked on creating devices that charge phones when attached to a kick scooter - the EnGen project, a collaboration with Makeosity.