Q: Who are you?

A: My name is Arnan Sipitakiat but everyone calls me Roger. I am a Ph.D. student at the MIT Media Laboratory. I work with the Future of Learning group led by Seymour Papert and David Cavallo.

Q: Where are you from and what is your background?

A: I was born and raised in Chiangmai, a city located at the heart of northern Thailand. I am half Thai half Australian and I am  the only child in the family. I went to school at The Prince Royal's College. Then, I studied Computer Engineering at Chiangmai University for my bachelor’s degree. I graduated in 1995 and spent three more years there working as a faculty member before coming to MIT in August 1999. I received a Masters degree from the Media lab in 2001 under the supervision of Glorianna Davenport and Seymour Papert [see my Thesis].

Q: What are you skills and interests?

A: I have worked in many areas in Thailand and Boston. Here is a short summary:


Programming - I program primarily in C, C++, Perl, Visual Basic, and Logo. I also have experience doing “learn it when I need it” with Java and a few other scripting languages as well.

Database system design and implementation - I have worked with many database systems including Oracle, MySQL, Access, and MS-SQLServer. MySQL is what I am most familiar with. I designed and implemented many web-database systems for the Registration Office at Chiangmai University during 1997-99. I wrote a Perl web-database library called RgCGI during those years.

Network systems - I have worked extensively with Internet TCP/IP network design and implementation. During 1995-99 before I came to the US, every school and government organization in Chiangmai want to have internet access. At that time our department is almost the only place with the know-how. As a result, I have a lot of experiences connecting small to medium size LAN systems to the Internet. I worked mostly with Linux operating system. Here are examples of  network services that I have been using: Web servers (Apache, Sambar server, PWS, etc), Proxy servers (squid, wingate, Sambar server), NFS, Samba, DNS (bind), DHCP, SNMP, Sendmail, POP3, IP-masquerading, Linux firewall systems (Linux ipfwadm, ipchains). I also wrote a few TCP/IP networking technical documents as well [see them here].

Multimedia - I enjoy working with digital image, audio and video. Digital photography is my hobby [see some examples]. Most of my recent work involves web page design and video editing. Tools that I frequently use include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, CorelDraw, CoolEdit Pro, Macromedia Authorware, Dreamweaver, Frontpage. I have also written a few utilities to process and organize images as well [see my software page].

Digital Electronics – This is my most recent technical achievement. Since 2001, I have been learning how to design microcontroller-based circuits. I am currently working with Microchip’s PIC and TI’s MSP microcontrollers. For more information about what I am designing, please visit http://learning.media.mit.edu/projects/gogo.


 Epistemology and learning – 1997 was the turn of my life when I first heard about the work of Seymour Papert and David Cavallo. They are leaders in the field of Epistemology [or the science/philosophy about the nature of human knowledge] and how technology can influence learning. I discovered a new area in my brain that I never knew existed. It first came to me under the name “Constructionism,” but it later expanded to ways of thinking that influenced almost everything I see in life. Now as a Ph.D. student I have a fair grip on it and I am trying to merge my two worlds together and ask interesting research questions.

Q: How did I get into the Media lab?

A: I was involved with Seymour Papert's Lighthouse Project in Thailand, which gave me opportunities to meet and work with many students from the Lab and also to meet with Professor David Cavallo, who is now my advisor.


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