ENTREPRENEUR AND INVENTOR MARK D. PESCE has been named director of the School of Cinema-Television’s burgeoning program in interactive media, Dean Elizabeth Daley has announced.
Pesce brings his expertise in virtual reality, the Internet and Web design to the school’s core courses in 3-D media. His accomplishments include numerous publications and the creation of the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), now a worldwide standard.
“USC has found in Mark Pesce a mover, a shaker and a visionary,” said Tim Berners-Lee, the MIT computer scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web.
“His vision of a three-dimensional space in the Web – and all that implies for human-machine interface – drove VRML from a design presented at the first Web conference to a widely implemented standard with a supporting consortium. I’m lining up to see what Mark’s going to be up to next,” said Berners-Lee, director of the W3 Consortium.
As director, Pesce will develop the USC concentration into an intensive program in interactive media. The new program will leverage the School of Cinema-Television’s strengths in writing, directing and production to develop curricula in interactive narrative, game design and interface techniques.
“We’ll be exploring the convergence of entertainment and technology,” Pesce said. “Students will be encouraged to develop new interactive designs in their thesis work, and partnerships with commercial organizations will give students access to cutting-edge technologies. We expect that graduates of this program will generate the best of the next generation of interactive works.”
Most recently, Pesce was chairman and CTO of blitcom, LLC, a Web-based entertainment company whose programming incorporated the latest developments in 3-D computing. Pesce also founded and chaired the VRML Architecture Group, which brought the language into full-blown interactivity. He pioneered the creation of home-based networked virtual reality systems through his Ono-Sendai Corp., consulted for Apple Computer Corp. and Sega of America, and engineered a variety of projects for other companies.
Pesce designed the certificate program in 3-D arts at San Francisco State University’s College of Extended Learning and has taught at the college level since 1995. The author of three books on the World Wide Web and co-author of two additional volumes, he has written numerous articles and presented a variety of professional papers on virtual reality and cyberspace. He sits on the board of advisers for several innovative corporations specializing in virtual reality.
“Mark Pesce is an extraordinarily accomplished innovator respected for both technical brilliance and the ability to communicate his vision,” Daley said. “He has literally written the book on designing for cyberspace, and his energy in the classroom is contagious. We are delighted to welcome him.”