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Mentors & Teams
Team 2: Sheldon W. Buck sheldon.buck @comcast.net not available More info...
Team 6: Vanessa A. Chioffi vchioffi @sloan.mit.edu 617-387-0308 More info...
Team 7: Yolanda Fan yolanda @mit.edu 410-858-3784 More info...
Team 3: Todd Harland-White todd @alum.mit.edu 410-757-8020 More info...
Team 89: Bob Gurnitz rgurnitz @alum.mit.edu 508 627 3882 More info...
Team 2: Hal Gustin hlgustin @structint.com 720-320-6722 More info...
Team 7: Kathy Hess kmhess @mit.edu 617.918.1487 More info...
Team 1: Allan Kent
alrkent @comcast.net 508-381-0582 More info...
Team 4: Alfredo Kniazzeh alfredok @alum.mit.edu 781-891-9937 More info...
Team 10: Bob Kusik bkusik @alum.mit.edu 978.369.3240 More info...
Team 4: Mike Leis Mleis @alum.mit.edu More info...
Team 5: Keith MacKay quisp @alum.mit.edu 617.695.1935 More info...
Team 3: Burc Oral burcoral @alum.mit.edu 339-221-2419 More info...
Team 89: Joseph Pedlosky jpedlosky @whoi.edu 508-289-2534 More info...
Team 89: Dr. Jorge Phillips jp @alum.MIT.EDU 919-676-1144 More info...
Team 1: Mary Schumacher mschumacher @whoi.edu   More info...
Team 6: Priyanka Sundareshan priyaz @alum.mit.edu 617-645-2090 More info...
Team 5: Johnny Yang jtyang @sloan.mit.edu 781-810-2100
More info...

Sheldon W. Buck

sheldon.buck @comcast.net Phone: 781-235-9585
Occupation: aeronautical engineer
MIT year: 1958
Education: Bachelors

I was a mentor for Mission in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006.

I am an Aero/Astro grad class of 1958. Worked at the MIT Instrumentation Labatory 1957 to 1973 followed by The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory 1973 to 2000 when I retired. I was assigned to the Earth and Planitary Science Department for 5 years 1968 to 1973 working with Prof. Frank Press and Prof. Nafi Toksoz. I was Technical Director of the Lunar Traverse Gravimeter experiment which flew on Apollo 17 and was a member of the lunar surface EVA team at mission control during the flight.

Designed stable platforms for inertial guidance systems. Designed seismic monitoring systems for earthquakes and underground expolsoins. Designed gravimeters for lunar exploration. Designed special purpose instrumentation for submarines and oceanography.
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Vanessa A. Chioffi

vchioffi @sloan.mit.edu 617-387-0308
Associate Director of Policy Planning

MIT year: 2003 Education: Masters

My current work is to provide quantitative and written analysis and strategic advice on policy development and institutional planning as it relates to the physical development of Harvard University s Cambridge campus. Because I am the only person on this team with a business and policy background (I work with architects and urban designers), I am often taking what has been done and presenting it in a whole new way for senior administrators and the public. The planning issues are complex (projecting 10 to 20 years into the future), as well as sensitive to the community in and around the University. I hope to contribute real-life experience from other large and complex physical development projects that are highly scrutinized both in the design and capital expenditure at least by the local and regional community, but are also emulated by national observers. I would be happy to provide information resources or co-mentor with another alumnus, combining skills for greater value to the students. I have a MBA from Sloan, and was a Sloan Fellow. I also have a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. I have been working for 16 years, and currently live and work in Harvard Square.

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Yolanda Fan
yolanda @mit.edu 410-858-3784 website: www.davenforth.com

Occupation: Occupation: Entrepreneur / Real Estate Investor

MIT year: 2002

Education: Bachelors

I very much enjoy giving back to MIT and mentoring. As an entrepreneur, I employ "creative solution strategies" on a daily basis.

Born and raised in Hawa'i, our oceans have always been important to me. I would love to be involved in the Mission 2011's quest to Save our Oceans.

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Bob Gurnitz
rgurnitz @alum.mit.edu 508 627 3882 until November 239 393 0956 from November
MIT year: 1966
Education: PhD

Bob Gurnitz has been a mentor for the last five Missions. This year he will also be assisting Sam Bowring in working with and providing support for the other mentors.


* 1997-2001 Envirosource, Inc., Horsham, PA - Chairman

* 1991-1997 Northwestern Steel and Wire Co., Sterling, IL - Chairman and CEO

* 1988-1991 Webcraft Technologies, Inc., N. Brunswick, NJ - President

* 1985-1988 Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Bethlehem, PA - President, Shape and Rail Products Division

* 1984-1985 Rockwell International Corporation, Troy, MI - Vice President/General Manager, On Highway Axle Division;

* 1980-1984 Rockwell International Corporation, London England and Troy, MI - President, Body Components Division; 1978-1980 Rockwell International Corporation, Troy, MI - Vice President/General Manager, Supply and Mass Transit Div.

* 1977-1978 Rockwell International Corporation, Troy, MI - Vice President, Business Development;

* 1974-1977 Rockwell International, Pittsburgh, PA Senior Engineering Executive, Corporate Staffs.

* 1973-1974 President's Executive Interchange Program U. S. Government, D.H.E.W., Washington, DC Director, Office of Management Technology

* 1966-1973 Rockwell International, Canoga Park, CA Manager, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Rocketdyne Div.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA: S.B. 1960 Chemical Engineering; S.M. 1961 Chemical Engineering; Ph.D. 1966 Chemical Engineering

Hobbies include sailing, skiing, fishing, traveling, and reading.

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Hal Gustin
hlgustin @structint.com 720-320-6722
website: www.structint.com
Occupation: Engineer
MIT year: 1973

Education: Masters

Topics would like to share: Stress analysis, fracture mechanics, some materials/metallurgy

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Todd Harland-White
410-757-8020 (home) todd @alum.mit.edu
410-260-5180 (office) todd.harland-white @ngc.com

Todd Harland-White's career since MIT (XIII-C, '76) has involved designing and building manned and unmanned systems operating in the deep sea for Northrop Grumman Undersea Systems, where he is now Chief Architect. Projects have included design of deepsea research submersibles and mini-subs, participation in teams designing new submarine and surface ship classes, developing underwater robotic systems, and working with optical and acoustic sensors and sensor networks for probing and mapping the underwater space. All of these efforts have been highly inter-disciplinary not only in the breadth of technical issues but also in the politics and budgeting required to initiate and complete the projects - as is typical of most real problems.
This is Todd's seventh tour of duty as a 12.000 mentor, having served for Missions 2005 through 2010. Todd also serves as an MIT Educational Counselor possibly responsible for some of you being there at MIT to begin with!
Todd has managed to visit one or two of the classes, but usually he will have to do everything long distance from Annapolis MD via email and website review.

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Kathy Hess
kmhess @mit.edu 617.918.1487
Environmental Scientist
Office of Inspector General
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

I have just spent the last 1.5 years conducting an evaluation of Chesapeake Bay restoration with a specific emphasis on developed and developing land decisions. Another area that I could mentor would be ground-water discharges to the coast, as this was one of the areas I worked on at the USGS prior to moving to the EPA Office of Inspector General.

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Allan Kent
ARKent @alum.mit.edu 508-381-0582

Topics: problem elucidation, solution proposals, system analysis & design, testing, user support for systems involving water treatment, space medicine, computers and communications, etc.
In addition to mentoring 12.000 for the last three years, I have been helping with seventh and tenth grade classes at Hopedale Jr.-Sr. High School.

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Alfredo Kniazzeh
alfredok @alum.mit.edu 781-891-9937
Occupation: scientist, retired

MIT year: 1959

Education: Doctorate

35 yrs product development at Polaroid: Mechanical Eng, Physics, Chem. Eng, Materials, 13 patents. Previously NASA and US Army.

Travels: Oaxaca, Baltic capitals, Turkey, Costa Rica, W Europe, B Virgin Islands, Bogota. Visited Nawlinz. Hobbies: ballroom dancing, Arg. tango, biking, choir singing, cooking.

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Bob Kusik
bkusik @alum.mit.edu
1970 SM in Course 6
Phone: 978.369.3240

Bob has participated in 12.000 since Mission 2008. He has recently become interested in challenges and opportunities that global warming present to the population of planet earth. It seems that this may be the single greatest opportunity to achieve global unity. If we're forced to come together to deal with a real threat to all of humankind, it just may force us to find a way to live together in peace. Now, wouldn't that be nice byproduct of seeking survival.

Bob is a retired software executive. His professional career has ranged from an information retrieval research in the Electronics Systems Lab at MIT, to advanced development of online financial systems, to computer aided design of VLSI chips and computer systems, to nonlinear video editing systems, to telemedicine (plus a few more stops along the way). He received an SM in Course 6 in 1970. He has also attended advanced management programs at Stanford and INSEAD.

Since Bob lives in Concord, interaction on campus or by eMail would be convenient.
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Mike Leis '61 BSEE, MSEE
Mleis @alum.mit.edu

I have just retired as a fellow from the hard-drive industry, having worked for Digital, Quantum and Maxtor for about 35 years. I was a project engineer, electronics architect, director, lecturer and coach. I have a background in analog electronics, signal processing, logic, storage architecture, servos and have more then 25 patents.

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Keith MacKay
617.543.5644 fax: 617.695.1935
email: quisp @alum.mit.edu
website: http://www.villagesoft.com
Occupation: Managing Director, Software Company
MIT year: 1997
Education: Bachelors

Originally class of 1990, I took several years off to explore various interests, including: participating in a band, consulting to various corporations and the U.S. Dept. of Energy, traveling in Great Britain, Japan, and throughout the U.S., spending a semester in a political science program at the University of London, writing, etc. When I decided to return and finish my MIT degree, I first circled everything in the Course Catalog that seemed interesting, and Brain and Cognitive Sciences was the best fit...so I wound up graduating with a B.S. in B&CS. While at MIT before my hiatus, I was in a fraternity (served as Steward, Alumni Chair, President), on the gymnastics team, and in the Logarhythms. After my break, I was working fulltime and going to school fulltime. Much of my professional life has involved exploration of systems problems of one sort or another. I worked in a restaurant in high school, and was always fascinated by how it was necessary for all of the individual components to be functioning for things to run smoothly. During my time off from MIT, I spent time at Lawrence Livermore National Lab in the Earth Sciences department, developing expert systems software to analyze seismic events to help decide if events were earthquakes or underground nuclear tests. I have modeled industries (offshore oil-drilling industry, aluminum smelters) and various financial systems (options models, investment simulations, etc.) for customers including Harvard Business School, Mercer Management Consulting, and many others. My current role as Managing Director of Village Software requires keeping a lot of balls in the air, and organizational systems thinking is a key skill to make this (almost) manageable <g>. I spent last year serving as President of the MIT Club of Boston, which required learning an entirely different set of technical, political, and management skills--and integrating information received from many quarters to develop plans that would best serve the 17,000+ MIT alumni in the Greater Boston area.

These experiences have all contributed to my diverse worldview, which I have found is often as important to problem-solving as specific domain knowledge. I believe that this is especially true when approaching complicated problems that are as-yet unsolved (after all, if domain knowledge alone was enough, current subject-matter experts would have the problem--whatever it is--licked). Instead, complex problems require creative thinking, productive collaboration with many parties (to increase the knowledgebase and idea pool as large as possible), a realistic understanding of the political realities of the situation, and flexibility enough to adapt the solution as new information is received.

I'm looking forward to working with all of you as we explore this important problem.

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Burc Oral
burcoral @alum.mit.edu 339-221-2419

Occupation: Sr. Technical Architect

MIT year: 1994

Education: Doctorate

Would like to share topics: Information technology Data acquisition, processing, storage; Geophysics Web Technologies Social Networking to build consensus and awareness.

I am a graduate of course 12, where I studied geophysics and worked on plate tectonics using GPS. My interests shifted to information technology over the years. Currently, I focus on at enterprise architecture through the lens of service-orientedness.

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Joseph Pedlosky
jpedlosky @whoi.edu 508-289-2534; fax: 508-457-2181

Occupation: Oceanographer
MIT year: 1959
Would like to share topics: Theory of the Ocean Circulation Stability of Oceanic Currents

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Dr. Jorge Phillips
jphi @mit.edu (preferred)
jp @alum.mit.edu (alternate) Ph: 919-676-1144

MIT year: 1972
Education: Doctorate

* High-tech entrepreneur, with substantial experience in Silicon Valley, Atlanta, Research Triangle and abroad, with several technology patents.
* Academic background in computer architecture, artificial intelligence and management.
* Extensive management consulting experience in strategy and execution in information and telecommunications technology, financial, health, corporate management, and manufacturing sectors.
* Substantial policy making experience at highest levels in government and multilateral organisms. Cabinet-level and Presidential advisory experience in several countries in social, scientific and technological policy formation.
* Interests:
- self-referential and closed systems and chaotic behavior as exhibited in nature, closed ecologies, sustainability
- system modeling and analysis
- multilateral and national social and scientific policy-making
- very complex problem solving in undefined and ambiguous spaces.

My experience mentoring 12.000 in the past has been very rewarding. I find this educational experiment well ahead of its time in preparing students to deal with the globalized and interconnected world of the 21st century. As an MIT graduate that has been a few years in the real world, I know for a fact that we didn't learn much about how the real world works, although we acquired well tuned and precise problem solving capabilities. Yet, the problem solving that is needed to deal with global issues needs to deal with extremely complex and ambiguous situations, where social, political, economic, and financial constraints define solution viability, well over technological considerations, and where optimal does not have the analytic meaning it has in the classroom. 12.000 strives to bridge this needed gap at the earliest point in student's careers.

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Mary Schumacher
mschumacher @whoi.edu
My background is in political science and I conduct research and policy analysis at the Marine Policy Center of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
My own areas of concentration are in international law/environmental management, international organizations, and land-based marine pollution (particularly as an issue for international cooperation and management).

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Priyanka Sundareshan
617-645-2090 priyaz @alum.mit.edu
Occupation: Management Consultant
MIT year: 2006
Education: Bachelors
I graduated in 2006 with chemical engineering and a minor in environmental policy; I am currently consulting in the government and defense arena and have experience in data analysis and project management metrics. I am highly interested in energy policy and am pursuing ways to become more involved in that area.
I am an alum of Mission and Terrascope!

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Johnny Yang
jtyang @sloan.mit.edu 781-810-2100

Class of 2004, SB, Course 15

Johnny was one of the first guinea pigs to participate in 12.000: Solving Complex Problems. As a student in Mission 2004 (Mars), he was a member of the "Mission Control" team, and later took part in writing and editing the mission's final paper. Because he loved 12.000 so much, he joined the staff for the class, serving as a Undergraduate Teaching Fellow (UTF) for Mission 2005 (Ocean) and Mission 2006 (Amazon). Due to class conflicts, Johnny was not able to return as a UTF for Mission 2007 (Alaska); however, the powers that be snuck him in as an alumni mentor.
After graduating with a Course 15 degree in 2004, Johnny has returned to be a mentor for Mission 2009 (Tsunami), Mission 2010 (Ocean), and now returns again as an alumni mentor for Mission 2011 (Oceans). He currently works for an early-stage software company in Waltham, MA.
Personally, Johnny enjoys traveling (to the extent his pocketbook allows), reading (anything and everything under the sun), and "wining and dining." He looks forward to working with his team and the entire class as a whole.

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