Student Profile
Student Profile: Amon Daran Millner

Portland, Oregon

PhD Candidate in Media Arts and Sciences, 2009
SM Media Arts and Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2005
MS Human Computer Interactions, Georgia Institute of Technology 2003
BS Computer Science, University of Southern California 2001

Interest Area

How computational tools influence learning through design.

Thesis Topic

My master's thesis was concerned with how youth learn through creating physical computer interfaces. Specifically, it introduced a new set of tools, materials and activities intended to support children in creating physical computer input devices for computer programs they write. The Hook-ups project it chronicled represented a new approach to learning-through-design by providing opportunities for children to engage in both physical and computational design concurrently.

Career Ambition

I look forward to becoming a professor who advances research fields concerned with computation, design and education. While I “carry the torch” for such fields, I plan on fueling the flame with my passion for innovation. I hope to make the light shine bright enough to attract future talent to my fields – especially from groups that currently lack (what I believe to be) adequate representation within the ranks of academia. Continuing to work with young people will keep me in a position to light the fire in future innovators.

Why MIT?

The Lifelong Kindergarten research group within MIT’s Media Lab looked to be not only the best path for me to reach my career goals, but it also offered a family-style work environment that I could not pass up. I recognized that I would have all of the resources I needed here: many opportunities to collaborate with bright scholars on college campuses and connections to community centers that focus on cultivating young creative thinkers.


"You must do the things you think you can’t." – Eleanor Roosevelt