Mark L. Chang

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Product Manager, Google
Advisor, Startup Institute


Director of Product, edX
Associate Professor, Olin College
Creative Technologist, Boston Globe Lab

I work on stuff at Google and am an advisor for Startup Institute, a new educational experience for college graduates interested in entering the startup workforce. At edX, I helped lead the development of the learning technology and platform. At Olin I taught at the intersection of design, engineering, and entrepreneurship. At The Globe Lab I made cool stuff.

Finally, when I can, I very much enjoy mentoring startups.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
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Teaching @Olin College


Regularly Scheduled


Student Projects
Past Senior Capstone Projects



My research interests while at Olin are primarily motivated by my ability to involve undergraduates. Giving students direct research experience and an avenue to pursue their own out-of-classroom aspirations is what research at an undergraduate institutions means to me. Luckily, I have found synergies between student interests at Olin and things that are personally intellectually interesting.

Areas of Interest

Mobile, Social, and Ubiquitous Computing

With the increasing adoption of "smart" mobile devices such as the iPhone, Android-powered devices, and others, the level of of computational capacity and device availability is making computing truly more ubiquitous. I am interested in both the educational aspects of mobile devices, and the research potential they provide for the fields of ubiquitous computing and human-computer interaction.

I have been fortunate enough to teach a class in Mobile Application Development that is a synthesis of many experiences at Olin, including Entrepreneurship, Design, and Engineering. With industry collaboration, I believe these types of courses provide a unique opportunity for our students to experience how the curriculum we have surrounded them with gives them the tools to provide compelling user experiences on mobile devices.

I am also interested in the intersection of mobile and ubiquitous computing and social media and communication. How ubiquity and its properties of location-awareness, computational horsepower, persistent-connectedness, and constant low-degree interruption mediates and changes communication habits between users.

Reconfigurable Computing

My interest in reconfigurable computing focuses on FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays), which are hardware devices that can be programmed to implement almost any complex digital circuit. In concert with student researchers, we have looked at how to use reconfigurable computing within areas of stereo vision, robotics, high-performance embedded computing, and engineering education.

Engineering Education

I have been fortunate to have some publications and experience in the area of engineering education. Currently, I am working with Google on the Google App Inventor for Android project. Working with Lynn Stein and Mark Sheldon here at Olin, we hope to better understand the unique challenges of introducing computer science and programming to first year students within an engineering context.



  • Orit Shaer, Marina Umaschi Bers, Mark L. Chang, "Making the Invisible Tangible: Learning Biological Engineering in Kindergarten”, Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on UI Technologies and Their Impact on Educational Pedagogy, May 2011.
  • Ilari Shafer, Mark L. Chang, "Movement Detection for Power-Efficient Smartphone WLAN Localization", 13th ACM International Conference on Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Wireless and Mobile Systems, October 2010. (PDF)
  • Andrew Barry, Noah Tye, Mark L. Chang, "Interactionless Calendar-Based Training for 802.11 Localization," The 7th IEEE International Conference on Mobile Ad-hoc and Sensor Systems, November 2010. (PDF)
  • Mark L. Chang, "Work in Progress: synthesizing design, engineering, and entrepreneurship through a course in mobile application development", Frontiers in Education Conference, 2010. (PDF)
  • Jessica Townsend, Mark L. Chang, "Work in Progress: Impact of early design instruction on capstone experiences", Frontiers in Education Conference, 2010.
  • Andrew Barry, Benjamin Fisher, Mark L. Chang, "A Long-Duration Study of User-Trained 802.11 Localization," Proceedings of the Second ACM International Workshop on Mobile Entity Localization and Tracking in GPS-less Environments, September 2009. Winner, best presentation and best paper. (PDF, Presentation)
  • Mihir Ravel, Mark L. Chang, Mark McDermott, Michael Morrow, Nikola Teslic, Miha jlo Katona, Jyotsna Bapat, "A Cross-Curriculum Open Design Platform Approach to Electronic and Computing Systems Education," IEEE International Conference on Microelectronic Systems Education, July 2009. (PDF)
  • Stephen Longfield, Jr., Mark L. Chang, “A Parameterized Stereo Vision Core for FPGAs”, IEEE Symposium on Field-Programmable Custom Computing Machines, 2009. (PDF)
  • Mark L. Chang, Allen Downey, “A Semi-Automatic Approach for Project Assignment in a Capstone Course”, Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, June, 2008. (PDF)
  • Mark L. Chang, Jessica Townsend, “A Blank Slate: Creating a New Senior Engineering Capstone Experience”, Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, June, 2008. (PDF)
  • Mark L. Chang, “Device Architecture”, in Reconfigurable Computing: The Theory and Practice of FPGA-Based Computation ; Scott Hauck, Andre DeHon, Editors; Morgan Kaufmann/Elsevier, 2007, pp. 3-27.
  • Mark L. Chang, Scott Hauck, "Précis: A Design-Time Precision Analysis Tool", IEEE Design & Test of Computers, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 349-361, July-August 2005.
  • Mark L. Chang, Variable Precision Analysis for FPGA Synthesis, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Washington, Department of Electrical Engineering, 2004. (PDF)
  • Mark L. Chang, Scott Hauck, "Automated Least-Significant Bit Datapath Optimization for FPGAs", IEEE Symposium on Field-Programmable Custom Computing Machines, 2004. (PDF)
  • Mark L. Chang, Scott Hauck, "Least-Significant Bit Optimization Techniques for FPGAs", poster presented at ACM/SIGDA International Symposium on Field-Programmable Gate Arrays, February, 2004.
  • Mark L. Chang, Scott Hauck, "Variable Precision Analysis for FPGA Synthesis", Earth Science Technology Conference, June, 2003.
  • Mark L. Chang, Scott Hauck, "Précis - A Design-Time Precision Analysis Tool", Earth Science Technology Conference, June, 2002.
  • Mark L. Chang and Scott Hauck, "Précis: a design-time precision analysis tool," IEEE Symposium on Field-Programmable Custom Computing Machines, pp. 229-238, 2002. (PDF)
  • Mark L. Chang, Adaptive Computing in NASA Multi-Spectral Image Processing, M.S. Thesis, Northwestern University, Dept. of E.C.E., December, 1999. (PDF)
  • Mark L. Chang, S. Hauck, "Adaptive Computing in NASA Multi-Spectral Image Processing", Military and Aerospace Applications of Programmable Devices and Technologies International Conference, 1999.
  • P. Banerjee, A. Choudhary, S. Hauck, N. Shenoy, C. Bachmann, M. Chang, M. Haldar, P. Joisha, A. Jones, A. Kanhare, A. Nayak, S. Periyacheri, M. Walkden, "MATCH: A MATLAB Compiler for Adaptive Computing Systems", Northwestern University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technical Report CPDC-TR-9908-013, 1999



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