CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Shahin Hedayat

Shahin has a passion for high tech entrepreneurship addressing complex problems through collective human ingenuity. Shahin Co-founded Centillium Communication (IPO), Beceem Communication (acquired), Enverv (acquired), Apixio (currently operating) and served various roles as President, CEO, Chairman having raised over $200 million and generated over $4 billion of shareholder value.

CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF LEARNING OFFICER

Prof. Yahya Tabesh

In Yahya’s background we can see a visiting professor at Stanford University, a distinguished faculty of the Sharif University of Technology. He also served as the chairman of the department of Mathematical Sciences at Sharif for several years. Dr. Tabesh was also director of Math and Computer Olympiads in Iran. He won the Erdős international award in 2010 for his sustained and distinguished contribution to the enrichment of math education.

CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF EVANGELIST

Dr. Amir Zarkesh

Amir is the CEO and Co-founder of Bluechip Systems. Before that he co-founded iCelero, which spun off into three companies: Shoppin, Crunch and Bluechip Systems. Prior to that, he co-founded 3Plus1 Technology (acquired by a Private Equity), co-founded Transcendent Design (acquired by Mentor Graphics), and was a principal at Quad Design (acquired by Synopsys). Amir is the co-founder and the President of iBRIDGES a non-profit organization empowering young entrepreneurs. Amir received his PhD in Theoretical Particle Physics and MSc in EE from UCLA.

CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF TEENAGE OFFICER

Shaya Zarkesh

Shaya Zarkesh is currently a high school junior at the Harker School, a private school in San Jose. He has a passion for STEM and has won numerous awards for mathematics and science research. Shaya also participates in the USA Computing Olympiad at the platinum level. Outside of academia, Shaya regularly participates in Speech & Debate activities and specializes in Policy Debate. He is also an avid soccer player on a competitive team.

Senior Programomancer

Don Goldin

A graduate of MIT, Don is a top notch game developer with many years of experience at Gameloft. He has worked on Midnight Pool 3, Ice Age Village, Cannon Rats, Zombiewood among others.

Board Member

Zohre Elahian

Zohre Elahian has been actively involved in international development for over 10 years. With her husband, she has started Schools Online, a not-for-profit organization that has brought computers to schools and introduced ICT in education in many countries around the world and within the US. As the Managing Director of Global Catalyst Foundation, Ms. Elahian has also evaluated many projects, addressing critical needs in education, ICT and microfinance; and her Foundation has provided funding to such projects in many countries.

AI Sidekick

Poly Up

Poly was born in 2016 after more than a year Polyup R&D and market testing in various Silicon Valley schools. Poly claims it used to be a top-notch genius in algorithm design and computational thinking. While bragging about one of it’s algorithms Poly got short-circuited and lost its memory. Since August of 2017, Poly has been hired as an AI Sidekick and enjoys learning computational thinking. Poly especially loves to mod everything for better. Poly is a licensed Turing Complete machine. Poly would really appreciate it if you can teach it algorithms, and it would love to accompany you in modding the world for the better.

Senior Story Crafter

Michael Rosenthal

Mike is a writer, illustrator, and educator in Los Angeles. With a Master’s Degree in Television Production from Boston University, he has created stories for Disney XD, Cartoon Hangover, and Tietronix.

Advisor

Prof. Jo Boaler

Dr. Jo Boaler is a Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University and founder of youcubed. Former roles have included being the Marie Curie Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Sussex, England, a mathematics teacher in London comprehensive schools and a lecturer and researcher at King’s College, London. She is the editor of the Research Commentary Section of The Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (JRME), and the author of seven books including What’s Math Got To Do With It? (2009) Penguin, US, and The Elephant in the Classroom (2010) Souvenir Press, UK. She is the author of the first MOOC on mathematics learning for teachers and parents, a White House presenter and an advisor to the PISA team at the OECD.

Senior Cloudomancer

Dr. Babak Behzad

Babak Behzad is a software engineer at Altiscale, where he leads Big Data services performance engineering. Altiscale has been acquired by SAP in September of 2017. Prior to joining Altiscale, Babak earned his PhD degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, working on High-Performance Computing. Babak won Kenichi Miura Award in 2014, which honors graduate students for outstanding accomplishments in High-Performance Computing.

Advisor

Dr. Mohsen Hejrati

Mohsen has a passion for education, math, AI and life sciences. He spent a decade studying how to make machines more intelligent and believes artificial intelligence is one of the most important problems for mankind to solve. He believes that it is not an easy problem and we need millions of creative problem solvers working together to have a chance. Mohsen holds a PhD in Machine Learning from UC Irvine and BS in Mathematics from the Sharif University of Technology.

Advisor

Dr. Mohammad Mahdian

Mohammad has a B.Sc. degree in computer engineering from the Sharif University of Technology, an M.Sc. from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. from MIT. He is currently a senior staff research scientist at Google Research NY. Prior to Google, he has worked at Yahoo! Research and Microsoft Research.

Education Ecosystem Consultant

Jack West

Jack started his career as a physics teacher. Since then he has facilitated school reform efforts – training teachers and connecting funding resources to promising programs, founded the science education nonprofit, Braincandy, and served as the marketing lead for Hapara, a classroom management solution for Google Apps. He currently serves on the board of ignitEd, and consults with both schools and education companies on growth and change management.

Math Education Ecosystem Consultant

Cathy Ann Williams

Need Bio

Experience Creator

Sergi Bernal Sagué

Sergi is currently studying Engineering Physics at the Polytechnic University of Barcelona while also studying a degree in international Business Economics at the Univesity Pompeu Fabra. He Co-founded Elenytics when he was 17, a company that went through investment and developed an Indoor location solution for the healthcare market. He has also been painting for 12 years, which made him be interested in graphic design.

Co-Founder and CTO at YETi

Josh Freeney

As CTO, Josh’s fingerprints can be found on every project at any stage of development. Before YETi, Josh worked on software and game development for the PC, web, mobile, and social media platforms. He spent several years as a faculty member teaching game development to university students, tech-reviewing Flash training books, and perfecting his game framework to push the limits of rapid cross platform development. Josh is a graduate of Full Sail’s Game Design and Development program, and he cut his teeth developing multiplayer web platforms.

Co-Founder & CCO at YETi

Ward Makielski

As a partner at YETi CGI, Ward Makielski plays a strong role in concept development and game design based on years of professional digital media experience. Ward has operated in many roles including Producer, Senior Game Designer, Artist, and Animator for 20+ software titles ranging from early Apple II graphic adventure games to the casual games market serving social media, web, and mobile platforms. From 1992-1996, Ward was a Game Designer for Sierra On-Line designing award-winning edutainment CD ROMs, and he was also an Artist/Animator on multiple titles. From 1996-1998, Ward filled many roles including Producer and Game Designer at Disney Interactive He is credited as the Overseas Animation Supervisor for the LEGO Bionicle computer-animated movie Mask of Light, which he worked on while living in Taiwan and working with Taipei-based CGCG. His client list includes Disney, Pixar, LEGO, EA, Mattel, Marvel, Cartoon Network, Universal, American Greetings, Mark Kistler, AOL, LeapFrog, Sierra On-Line (Vivendi-Universal), PAN Interactive, and MGA. Additionally, Ward was a faculty member and department chair at Ferris State University (Grand Rapids) in the Digital Animation and Game Design department. Ward is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a BFA in Industrial Design and an MBA from Ferris State University with a concentration in Innovation and Design Management. In 1996, he received a CODiE Award for his edutainment software design on The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain for Sierra On-Line.

Senior Programmer at Yeti

Jason Carroll

Jason Carroll has played lead developer on a number of YETi projects. When acting in this capacity, as he did for Polyup, Jason generates the gaming systems utilized by the projects by designing intelligent code architectures that not only accomplish project objectives but allow others to scaffold into the project with simplicity. Jason also trains mentees in code and culture at the YETi office.

Typographist and Designer at Carnevale

Troy Rojewski

Troy, since graduating from Kendall College of Art & Design, has had the opportunity to work for many wonderful clients, including Rockstar Games, National Geographic, and Mattel. These connections have helped him hone his passion for creating beautiful, useful, and memorable user experiences. When not pushing pixels or compulsively adjusting bezier curves, he spends time gaming, eating Korean food, or obsessing about corgis.

Infrastructure Specialist at Yeti

Robert Boorman

As the owner of Unified Professionals, Robert’s passion is Research & Development and Integration of Future Technologies for business. As a leader, Robert and his teams push their own understanding of analytics and mobile development, bridging the gap between business and technology. As an expert in engineering secure datacenters and cloud-based architectures, Robert and his teams develop secure web services for big data collection, basic to complex reporting, rapid prototype development, and automated testing. Robert currently holds an entrepreneurial/leadership role with the Rich Dad Operating Company, LLC. Additionally, he has worked for six years in Public Health and Bio-Terrorism Preparedness, which influenced his passion for business and security.

Game Design/Prototyping Specialist at Yeti

Jeremy Johnston

Jeremy Johnston is a Game Designer with a decade of industry experience. Some of his more notable projects include his work for Sony Online Entertainment (now Daybreak Studios), through which he assisted in designing elements of Free Realms and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures. Since 2011 he has specialized in mobile development, spending time as a lead designer on a number of successful mobile titles (Capital City, Spelltorn: Clash of Fates, and Dude Perfect). Since joining YETi, Jeremy has split his time between rapid Iterative Prototyping and classic Game Design, which lent itself to his work on Polyup where he wrote and designed 70 levels of the finished product.

Art Director at Yeti

Cari Mayle

Cari is a professor at her alma mater, offering instruction on Digital Animation and Game Design to her students. Cari’s expertise is diverse, including Sculpture, Painting, Modeling, Rigging, and Animation, and a host of other applications. Indeed, her invaluability to YETi lies in her capacity to navigate the pipeline of asset generation from end to end.

Architecture & Integration at Yeti

Alex Zakharenkov

Alex specializes in cloud and on-premise applications architecture and data integration and analytics (iOS, web services, workflow/business logic, SQL/NoSQL/REST/JSON/XML, etc… Insert buzz words here). After a long stint in IT, he now works fulltime as the owner of Smartaz, where he spends much of his time assessing ideas for scalability and viability, leading a highly agile team of reliable partners that write code, produce original graphic art, and deliver website design and hardware/networking support for complex projects.

QA Manager at Yeti

Justin Handley

Justin developed his QA chops at 2K Games before coming to YETi and managing the QA process for literally all YETi operations. Ensuring the polished quality of final products through the management of a QA team, Justin employs a testing and report system that betters himself, those around him, and all the work done in between.

Project Manager at Yeti

Chris Allers

Chris is Project Manager, Product Manager, and Experience Designer at YETi CGI where he helps design and deliver interactive experiences for such clients as National Geographic, Nickelodeon, Steelcase, Grand Valley State University, and Mattel. Chris has an MA and a PhD (ABD) in Philosophy, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in philosophy, writing, ethics, and rhetoric, and has co-edited a collection of essays entitled “Forgiveness in Perspective” (Rodopi, 2010). Chris’ research interests include the psychology of motivation and influence, innovation, design, and creativity, and the philosophy of religion, ethics, and forgiveness, all things that affect his interpersonal work as a project manager at YETi.

Junior Dev Ops at Yeti

Wesley Mayle

Wesley ensures smooth information transfer takes place between the Development Team and the Operations Team by way of multiple programming languages, pristine documentation, and excessive communication. Wesley is a YETi veteran who specializes in automation and scripting maintenance with a focus on infrastructural architecture, and he has questionable opinions on cheese.

Composer/Sound Engineer at Yeti

Barry Dowsett

Barry “The Sound Guy” Dowsett is a professional music composer and sound designer for AAA and mobile games. He’s actively designed audio content for shipped titles from Popcap, THQ, Activision, Google, Eidos, Electronic Arts, Microsoft Game Studios and more. Barry is also the co-founder of Soundrangers, a pioneer in the online deliverer of production music and sound effects for video games and interactive media.

Project Manager at Yeti

Kayleigh Harrison

Kayleigh is a passionate project manager that has welcomed whatever problems might (and will) come her way. Her top notch organizational skills have made it possible to juggle her contributions to the YETi CGI team along with her courses at Ferris State University, where she is currently studying Digital Animation and Game Design. Whenever she isn’t in class or at work, you can find Kayleigh listening to Rush, watching Game Grumps, or playing PUBG.

Senior Developer at YETI

Dillon Walls

Dillon got into the business after achieving a B.S. in Computer Science & Engineering. Over his six year tenure at YETi CGI, Dillon has earned credits on thirty-seven distinct shipped products. A cornerstone of the programming team with a passion for gaming, Dillon is the guy working odd hours on odd tasks to ensure deadlines are met. He was also a third-chair trombonist in high school.

Junior Developer at YETI

Zack Gill

Zack Gill is a former YETi CGI intern turned full time junior developer. Between bug fixing, feature implementation, and rapid prototyping, Zack is involved from start to finish, creating clean and easily implementable code. When not fixing the “press all the buttons” bug, Zack celebrates with some gaming, metal concerts, and sushi.

Developer at YETI

Chris Lawson

Chris is an artist turned programmer studying at Ferris State University. He puts that visual background to good use, striving to help polish up any projects he works on and make them as slick as possible.  When he isn’t making games, Chris enjoys nights out with his sweetie and losing in fights against his cat.

Developer at YETI

Kyle Ericson

A Senior at Ferris State University in the Digital Animation and Game Design Program, Kyle is concurrently finishing school and working at YETi on the basis of his experience with Unity, his familiarity with and passion for 2D game design, and his bombastic personality. Kyle performed QA tests and bugfixes for Poly while keeping an eye on UX optimization. Also, his only cat is named Pickles.

Developer at YETI

Mark Vanderzanden

Mark is an up-and-coming developer at YETi finishing his degree at Ferris State University. With a current focus on prototyping and debugging, Mark can find the cause of problems and procure long-term fixes. These skills are also improved by his QA skills, applied in the context of the product’s use cases. Aside from breaking games, Mark enjoys playing them as well as writing stories.

Junior Developer at YETI

Shane Myers

Shane Myers is a starting developer that has worked alongside various other YETI teams on multiple projects and does well in team settings. His past work has had a focus on virtual reality implementation and mobile development. Shane’s role in Polyup is to tune up and polish the project while endlessly seeking to improve the existing code.

Technical Artist at YETI

Peter Lantz

Peter’s secret weapon is being both a coder and a 3D artist. He acts as Cari’s minion, helping her make Yeti’s projects look as good as possible. His duties include creating special effects, applying shaders, and the time-honored task of making GIFs. Peter is currently wrapping up his Bachelor’s degree at Ferris State University’s Digital Animation and Game Design Program.