Ted Selker: technology innovator

The schools and community of Longview, Washington have long supported the development of outstanding individuals whose contributions have enriched the city, state, nation, and world.  We would like to take some time to highlight some of these notable individuals and the nurturing community from which they came. These bright spots in the Longview community exemplify the values that the Longview School District aims to instill in all of its students and serve as beacons of integrity, passion, and brilliance. Here, we introduce the next of many notable Longview Luminaries.

Mark Morris class of ’74 graduate, Dr. Ted Selker (PhD, City University of New York) acquired widespread renown as a highly regarded scientist with the creation of numerous technological devices and processes. Ted is widely sought after for consulting work having provided design structure and consultation to dozens of startups.

Dr. Ted SelkerDuring his professional career, Ted served as professor at MIT Media Lab, a consulting professor at Stanford University and taught at Hampshire College, University of Massachusetts at Amhurst and Brown University.  He also worked at Xerox and Atari Research Labs when Atari’s successes were at their peak.  He developed a program at Carnegie Melon University and the University of California at Berkeley to assist persons with disabilities in voting.  His successes led to his standing as a Fellow at IBM where he was Director of USER Systems Ergonomics Research.

Ted’s innovations have been responsible for profitable and award-winning products ranging from notebook computers to operating systems.  His creation of the TrackPoint as a keyboard pointing device is used in many notebook computers.  His visualization and visual interface work has made impacts in the performance of the power PC, ThinkPad setups, Google maps, and others.  His work has resulted in many awards and papers and more than 70 patents.  He’s been cited in more than 180 news articles and TV/radio programs, and he has written over 150 scientific papers.  He created and taught a seminar series at Stanford University called “User System Ergonomics”, which was attended by faculty professors and scientists from various research labs.

Ted was co-director of the Cal-Tech/ MIT Voting Technology Project for several years, and in that role he organized and helped in many workshops, working with federal election officials and other researchers.  Ted wanted voting improvement to be his public service to society.

Among his teaching assignments at various institutions included research methods, human computer interaction, smart-phone product design, extreme interfaces, Industrial Design Intelligence, and voting technology (to minimize fraud and errors, helping show that there were 4.2 million votes lost in the 2000 national elections).   As a leader in the CalTech/MIT Voting Technology Project he was called to testify to U.S House and Senate committees, and to the National Academy of Sciences.

Ted has given lectures and workshops on Innovation and Design in several nations, including Germany, France, Finland, U.K. and Australia.  He has taught “Industrial Design Intelligence” to many mega corporations such as Campbell Soup, Ford motor Co., Google, I.B.M. Motorola and others to help them create cultures of innovation and invention.

While on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University, he helped put together their PhD program, and mentored the new research faculty.

Over the years, Ted has received many coveted awards, such as becoming an IBM FELLOW, the Scientific American Award, and the Thomas Paine Award for Disabilities and many others, but he feels that his biggest reward is when he sees people using countless products he had a hand in creating or improving.

Ted speaks fondly about the years he attended Longview schools by saying: “Longview schools were especially good to me, a shy and not so popular kid who moved here in the 8th grade”.

2018-12-04T16:07:13+00:00December 4th, 2018|
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