Ian Schleifer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Ithaca College in 2002. Subsequently, he found work at the Computational Memory Laboratory with lab director Michael J. Kahana. There he helped to develop software facilitating behavioral experiments requiring precise timing, EEG data collection and synchronization, on-the-fly 3D graphics rendering, and many other fascinating challenges. In 2004, that lab moved from Brandeis University to the University of Pennsylvania. Ian chose to remain in the Boston area.
With guidance from Dr. Kahana, Ian got a job at the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory, also at Brandeis. Having taken two classes with Graybiel Lab director James R. Lackner during his time at the memory lab, Ian knew that Dr. Lackner’s lab was funded by NASA and did the kind of work he wanted to do. At the Graybiel lab, he’s had the opportunity to do much more than computer programming. He’s contributed to experimental designs, operated many types of experimental equipment, worked with human subjects, designed and constructed electronic circuitry, and become an expert in hardware-software interfaces. The technologies Ian has worked with in this job include high torque servomotors, LASER galvonometers, PTZ color/infrared cameras, programmable DSPs, motorized lubrication pumps, PLCs, optical and magnetic motion trackers, digital position encoders, HMDs, multifunction DAQs, realtime programming, various programming languages, and many more. Much of his work has been to design and implement safety-critical control systems for moving experimental apparatus including a multi-axis rotating chair and a 22 foot diameter rotating room.
In addition, Ian has accompanied his work on numerous parabolic flights as a subject, a technical advisor, and an experiment operator. He’s been on 15 parabolic flights with NASA’s Reduced Gravity Office, comprising about 600 parabolas (mostly 0G/1.8G, but some martian and some lunar as well).
Ian aspires to engineer control systems for manned spacecraft. And of course, if he can really have his way, he’ll be inside those spacecraft when they launch!
Ian’s hobbies include LARPing, singing, climbing, acting, martial arts, abstract mathematics, theoretical government, physics, hiking, and reading/watching science fiction.