Travis McPhail, a Class of 2000 TAG graduate, has a special reason to look forward to the September 24 opening of the newest Smithsonian museum, the National Museum for African-American History and Culture. As a Google computer scientist, Dr. McPhail heads up Project Griot, an interactive 3D exhibit that will launch at the museum in 2017.
With a group of colleagues from the Black Googler Network, McPhail has developed a way for museum visitors to interact with scanned images, text and other materials for many of the museum’s artifacts, since space limitations only allow a fraction of them to be exhibited at any one time. If you don’t want to wait until next year to see an example of the group’s work, you can check out an interactive Google Expedition that takes participants on a virtual journey along the path of the historic Civil Rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Georgia. The expedition launches online in the last week of September.
At TAG, McPhail was drum major of the Big D Townview Band and volunteered to visit middle schools to recruit 8th graders to TAG. He went on to Rice University, where he earned a B.S. in electrical engineering and B.S., M.S, and Ph.D. degrees in computer science. He is currently a project lead at Google where he works on 2D and 3D rendering for Google maps.
If you are interested, here is a selection of articles by/about Travis.