Mike Sinclair oral history interview, 2019-01-28

Georgia Institute of Technology Library
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RICHA VIRMANI: The following interview is conducted as part of the Georgia Institute of Technology's retroTECH Software Preservation oral history project. Today is January 28th, 2019. The interview is taking place online. The interviewer is Richa Virmani and the interviewee is Mike Sinclair.

Mike Sinclair works on the 3D Atlanta model for the '96 Olympics, and he's a current principal researcher at Microsoft. So I'm going to start with background contextual questions just to learn more about you. Where were you born, and where did you grow up?

MIKE SINCLAIR: OK. I was born in Santa Monica, California. Shortly after that, I moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where I had my grade school and high school career. And then, went off in 1961 to Georgia Tech. And it was in-- where you live, in Atlanta, Georgia.

RICHA VIRMANI: Please tell me about your education and/or career experiences.

MIKE SINCLAIR: OK. My gosh, let's see. And as a grade school kid, I got into a lot of mischief, as a curious engineer would be.

RICHA VIRMANI: Yes.

MIKE SINCLAIR: In high school, some highlights, I guess, was being involved with with the National Honor Society. And, I would say, mediocre to good grades. Not exceptional, because I was too easily amused and distracted. But I did win a science fair project in magnetohydrodynamics, which was I had recreated a plasma wave and thought it was a clue a real 3D video-- depth in video.

I went to San Francisco for the big show and went off to Georgia Tech. 1961 to '65, that's when Georgia Tech was on the quarter system. And I know that because somewhere I have a handful of draft deferment cards-- 24 of them. So between every quarter, twelve of them, I would get reassigned as being prime fodder for-- at that time we were in the Vietnam War.

And so I have several fanned out 24 draft cards. And then in '65, I graduated and was employed by Western Electric Corporation. And thankfully, they got me a critical skills deferment, even after my second week there. I don't know how that happened, but it happened. So that was good. And I got married somewhere around there.

Also during undergraduate, I was a student assistant in EES, which is the premium GTRI GTRC research arm at Georgia Tech. And that was EES is Engineering and Experiment Station under the direction, in my lab, of Dr. Shepherd, who is the founder, of course. And I was a student assistant in a lot of diverse research projects. And that was a lot of fun. And after my Western Electric stint of five years, in 1975, I came back at the request of Dr. Shepherd-- hired me back.

And I was-- get this right-- director of the Robotics and Microcomputer Instrumentation Laboratory. And then got a-- may be getting this a tight confused. But I got some visitors came in my lab and said, hey, we want to generate the next best video games. An adult video game. Not adult as in adult video, but something that might gender more than one quarter.

It was one quarter And it was in the video game hey day, people just made money hand over foot. So we accepted that and in a very short time, came up with a video-disk based flight simulator. This was back in 1984, and that's when all video companies went out-- video game companies went out of business. And so we had this really, really good technology that was patented.

And we looked for another customer, which was the flight simulation industry by the FAA. And managed to build a couple of FAA certified flight simulators. Sold a couple to-- our first two simulators were up here in Seattle to Boeing Corporation. And that was a remarkable success, as far as technology goes. But as far as business goes, it wasn't. Because the world essentially bought roughly 15 flight simulators worldwide.

But couldn't hang our hat on that business. We made them a lot cheaper and a lot better, much higher quality graphics, blah, blah, blah, blah, but the business was not ready for it. We had to turn our hats around at IVEX corporation, which 00:05:00was one of the ATDCs. Is that still alive at Georgia Tech? Advanced Technology Development Corporation?

That's where somebody at Georgia Tech, or people, have a great idea for a commercial product, and they're allowed to kind of put one foot over there, keep one foot at Georgia Tech. So we started a business called IVEX. And then I put both feet in IVEX and quit Georgia Tech.

And then, actually, after success with the technology, we had to turn around to manufacturing. That didn't quite interest me, and Dr. Shepherd hired me back a third time to Georgia Tech. And shortly after that-- well now we get into the bid history, so that's a brief history of me.

RICHA VIRMANI: That was very interesting. So what are your interests and/or hobbies?

MIKE SINCLAIR: Oh, gosh.

RICHA VIRMANI: Anything.

MIKE SINCLAIR: No, I get very distracted. And that was one of the appeals to the job presented to me at Microsoft here. And I came out for a-- this was in 1998-- came out for an interview. And I thought, oh, that's a pretty big feather in my cap. Microsoft was pretty well known, especially Microsoft research.

And so I actually think they wanted to hire me. And that was a really, really hard decision-- one of the hardest ones in my life, because I thought I would die at Georgia Tech. That was it.

I loved the people I worked with, that student contact, we had built up a fairly reputable lab called IMTC-- Interactive Media Technology Center, still alive. Just doing a whole bunch of small to medium-sized jobs, mainly with industry. Not so much with government, as most of probably Georgia Techs research dollars come from. But it was-- what a great experience.

We were able to explore lots of different avenues and multimedia. Multimedia was pretty a nebulous title that we put on our lab so that we weren't tied down to VR or biosciences, or whatever. Multimedia was kind of all encompassing, so we could do anything. We could bid on any job and try to do it. And so we saw-- my gosh, we saw everything.

Also, I got interested in haptics there-- the science of touch and feel. And I was diagnosed as having Grave's disease, which was an overactive thyroid. And my entomologist based most of his solution, i.e. radioactive iodine, on what he could feel on my throat. And I said, well, how do you document that?

And he said, I've got a lot of gray in my temple. He did. And I'm getting pretty good at it. I've made a lot of mistakes. So I got to thinking, well, that's one of the few things that aren't instrumented. So I came up with a technology that actually implements the active palpation, among other things, at Georgia Tech.

And that served for a number of other following jobs at Georgia Tech, and some of my career now at Microsoft in haptics. Fast forward to virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, whatever you want to call it. One of the things that's obviously missing is the sense of feel and touch. And we all have programmable haptics in our pocket or our purse. You do. It's a buzzing cell phone.

And that's as sophisticated as we can get today, which is pretty back in the dark ages. So that's one of my hobbies. And I like medical devices. And I've been working with augmented reality and virtual reality. And again, anything that's shiny.

RICHA VIRMANI: So what year did you move to Microsoft?

MIKE SINCLAIR: 1998.

RICHA VIRMANI: Please describe a significant person or event that influenced who you are today and the accomplishments you've made.

MIKE SINCLAIR: Just one person? Probably my family and my brother, who's now a research ophthalmologist. And we had all sorts of science fair projects growing up. When I came to Georgia Tech as a student assistant under Dr. Al Shepherd, which is probably the highest on the list, and he believed me. We became good friends, though he was my employer. And he had the guts to hire me back-- or hire me three times at Georgia Tech. I can't say enough about him.

RICHA VIRMANI: Yes.

MIKE SINCLAIR: He believed in me. He believed in my lab and did a lot for us. The next, I guess, would be-- wow. There's so many people. Probably Dr. Pat 00:10:00Crecine, who was past president of Georgia Tech. This is, I guess, part of the big history, but the first week in office as president of Georgia Tech, he'd just come from CMU for establishing the very first computer college in the world.

RICHA VIRMANI: Yes.

MIKE SINCLAIR: And come to Georgia Tech, and a guy by the name of Ellie Payne, who you probably know or will hear, came to Dr. Crecine's office and said, hey, I think Atlanta could host a modern Olympic games. Are you in? In other words, we want something from Georgia Tech. And Dr. Crecine said, sure, sure.

But negotiations-- we're going to have a village here. We're going to have an natatorium here, and a couple of other negotiations. They said, OK. And that was back when it was pie in the sky. Nobody thought we had a chance. And Dr. Crecine issued a three-page memo and distributed it around Georgia Tech.

Dr. Shepherd gave me a copy of the memo, and he said, are you interested? I said, it's shiny. Yes, I'm interested. So after a few meetings, with Dr. Crecine, a lot of the other deans and folks from GTR and whatever kind of lost interest for obvious reasons. They had enough on their plate. And this was kind of a wild, pie in the sky, unfunded. There's more history behind that, but that's probably it.

RICHA VIRMANI: So what was your role in all of the Georgia Tech initiatives and projects that you took place in?

MIKE SINCLAIR: Are you talking specifically about the bid history? The Olympic bid history?

RICHA VIRMANI: Yes, but if there's any other projects that you participated in that you feel strongly or significantly about, those as well.

MIKE SINCLAIR: Well, you know almost all the projects in some way contribute to one's lifestyle and experience, but more specifically, it might have been that video game project. We had to come up with an inexpensive, profitable technology that would be the next best thing in video gaming.

And I think we did that, but at the wrong time. '84, that's when all the big guys-- Bally, Gotlieb, Atari, Midway fell off the end of the earth because they had nothing new to offer the public.

RICHA VIRMANI: Yes.

MIKE SINCLAIR: And we took the bid, but who's IVEX? A little tiny corporation. So the move to the flight simulator, I think, really, really helped. Because essentially, it was a poor man's flight simulator that we started the bid technology-- the Olympic bid technology with, where a person can walk up to a track ball, start rubbing the track ball.

And on the screen in front of them was, essentially, helicopter footage, interactive, that you could fly around the city and see what kind of facilities Atlanta could offer, voting International Olympic Committee member and how we were looking forward, rather than in the past as Greece was doing. It was 100 year, the modern Olympiad. And we were looking forward.

And so we were showing high technology. And for the facilities that did not exist, we put in graphic computer-generated graphics, the new stadium, the natatorium, a bunch of other stuff. So at their leisure, anybody who walked up to this flight simulator could manipulate the track ball and look around Atlanta, and see how we thought it would look like in a couple of years.

RICHA VIRMANI: So how did your interactions with the Olympic bid project affect your work and your personal life?

MIKE SINCLAIR: Completely.

RICHA VIRMANI: Yes.

MIKE SINCLAIR: Gosh, so there was me, who was left attending the meetings with the president of Georgia Tech. And saying, what are we going to do? Well, Billy Payne, who was the Mr. Atlanta organizing committee said, why don't you guys build a 3D physical model, put it in shipping containers and take it around the world when I go and meet the 98 voting international Olympic Committee members from countries around the world?

And so we got together and I said, no that's all right, but that's not Georgia Tech then. So multimedia was pretty new and big at the time, so we thought we'd do something in multimedia. Again, not knowing what we were getting into or how hard it was, or how expensive some of it was, we just jumped in hands and feet. And many folks and corporations in Atlanta jumped in with us and donated 00:15:00hundreds of thousands of dollars. It was amazing.

RICHA VIRMANI: So what was the timeline for the creation of this project?

MIKE SINCLAIR: Let's see. Gosh. November of 1987, I believe. I looked, had to do some research myself 30 years ago-- more than. Billy Payne was a University of Georgia football hero, and then a successful lawyer in Atlanta, and a very successful fundraiser for his church. He put on a new addition to his church.

And he had this wild hair saying, oh, Atlanta could host a great Olympic game. So he got some of his lawyer friends and some other folks who really originally believed in Billy Payne, but did not believe that Atlanta could ever win the bid. But anyway, they said, yeah, Billy, we believe in you, and they organized together.

And so we're on or near November of '87, that's when Billy Payne came and met with Dr. Crecine and said-- during his first week of presidency at Georgia Tech-- said, hey, what do you think Georgia Tech could do for us? And that was pretty much the start of Georgia Tech's involvements in the Olympics. I do know that there were a lot of naysayers on campus and off campus, especially because a lot of the politicians in downtown Atlanta were ex lawyer who-- or lawyers that graduated University of Georgia, of course as a competitor in a lot of sports with Georgia Tech.

And they said to Dr. Crecine, who was asking for funding, it'll never happen. No, it'll never happen. So anyway, so we went around that, and Dr. Crecine found some funding for us. And Gene Gunter, who's retired now, was a comptroller. And I was living in OIP-- probably don't know that. That's Office of Interdisciplinary Programs.

I don't know if that's still in existence, but it's essentially, Georgia tech would drop small bags of money (metaphor) between two colleges if they'll collaborate-- get together and collaborate. Because usually, colleges don't like to talk to each other.

When they have funding, they want to keep it all within their school. So this was a little bag of money to start some academic research. And so this was kind of along that. And so I was then director of Atlanta's multimedia bid.

RICHA VIRMANI: What was being developed in the industry at the time in terms of hardware and software?

MIKE SINCLAIR: Well, the video desk was at its heyday. A massive computer-generated imagery was still in its infancy. CGRAP, which is a big graphics conference. Still going on. Was just highlighting a lot of the breakthroughs in computer graphics.

We had hired a consultant by the name of Frank Vince, who got a pretty good name for himself in the computer generated imagery in its in its infancy. He had done The Last Starfighter and the very first CGI augmented science fiction film. He had directed that. And his wife had moved to Atlanta, and he was looking for something to do. So we hired him as a consultant.

And he was very, very really good. Plus a thing called Blue Ribbon SoundWorks, who made music stuff for the Amiga. Found them, hired them as the consultant. Things just fell together. Crawford post-production, a very large video post-production group within a mile of Georgia Tech learned about us. And they said, hey, how can we help?

So they donated hundreds of thousands of dollars of video editing and post-production. Kodak donated all their film and processing. Bobby Z, who was the helicopter pilot, who just had filmed the aerials for Top Gun movie, donated his time. Georgia Power paid for the helicopter footage that I rode in for many hours and generated aerial footage.

Many of the professors and researchers around campus who had high-end computers capable of generating computer generated imagery donated their computers at night. And so we used them at night for producing some of the advanced graphics that we did.

So it just went on, and on, and on. And Billy Payne and the Atlanta organizing committee were very supportive. However, they said we have first right of 00:20:00refusal. If we don't like what you're doing, or it doesn't show off Atlanta, you're not going to go the full route with us.

RICHA VIRMANI: So who were all the collaborators on this project, and what were their roles compared to your roles?

MIKE SINCLAIR: Oh, gosh. I was afraid you were going to ask that, so I did make a list. Excuse me for looking off to the side here. I'm sure, after 30 plus years, I'm going to forget some people. But, and in no particular order, it was Billy Payne and his original idea. He became a fan of us. And I followed him on many speaking engagements after the bid was successful, telling him of this multimedia system.

Andrew Young, who was chairman of the Atlanta Organizing Committee was a great fan of us. And he said-- he put it in a nutshell. His quote was that the southern hospitality of Atlanta, mainly Billy Payne and Andrew Young, who went around and met and memorized all of the names, and family, and wives or husbands of all the International Olympic Committee members. They were the single point of contact.

Where a lot of the other cities had multiple different groups that would go out to different countries. And in our case, it was only Billy Payne and the Atlanta Organizing Committee and Andrew Young that went around and met people. And it was the southern hospitality. But right after the bid-- a couple of minutes after-- somebody shoved a mic and camera in Andrew Young's face in a big conference hall in downtown Tokyo and said-- I'm sure they baited him-- Andrew, what did you think of Georgia Tech's role in it?

And he said, well, it was the southern hospitality that probably did it, but it was the high tech that made him take us seriously. And that was his quote. And kind of helped put us on the map. And then we won't say that we were the total thing, but it was really a great augmentation looking forward in technology on presenting this bid.

So Dr. Crecine was collaborator. He met me early on and, like I mentioned, I was pretty much the only person left in his meetings about what we were going to do-- in my team. I told you about Dr. Shepherd. Collaborator Gene Gunther was the office of interdisciplinary controller and he helped us find a lot of hidden funding that was here, there, and where. They helped fund us initially.

Two of my first employees were two volunteers we didn't have to pay. Andy Quay and Ed Price, undergraduate students at the time. They were very instrumental in helping make-- they carried along through the lab, and when I left for Microsoft they become co-directors and very good friends of mine. Ed Price, unfortunately, is no longer with us. Both of them were great, great, great collaborators.

In the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs there was Ray Moore, who was a radio announcer. Great voice. He did a lot of the voiceover, and was just a friend of the lab. Gary [inaudible] was director of OIP. Fred Dyer was temporarily on loan from GTRI to OIP. Michael Bannon was a industrial psychologist, helped a lot there. I mentioned the Blue Ribbon SoundWorks, which was an Amiga company, and helped with the computer modeling.

And a lot of the software came from that team, because our system was based on an Amiga computer. Because truthfully, neither at the time a p.c. nor an Apple could do what we wanted it to do, to coordinate all real-time facilities. I got in trouble later with that by the president of Apple Corporation, but that's another story.

And then Frank [inaudible], who is a computer programmer, and a computer artist, and a number of awards-- Cleo, which is the, essentially, Oscar of commercials, had got gotten a couple of awards and animated some Disney films. Ray and Jim [inaudible], also students, graduate students. And they helped out with the programming. Evelyn [Harada], who was an artist and wife of a good professional friend of mine at Georgia Tech.

Nick [Faust], he was pretty much, I think, the only one of GTRI who had anything major to do with the bid. And Nick and I were friends, and he did a computer generated flyover of the north Georgia mountains from the Appalachian Mountains 00:25:00into Georgia to kind of introduce Atlanta as you fly from the north. So there are too many collaborators to really to say.

And as far as software or anything, I think maybe a couple of patent applications came out of it. But it was mainly ad hoc technology, creating video disk players, audio. We had invented a little 3D city of the Georgia Tech campus. And I installed the video projector from underneath, and it showed animations on all the buildings around Georgia Tech.

People walking around, and the IOC members could push a button there, and it would come to life, and it would tell a story on three screens in front of them. But it was not a software extravaganza. Because again, you couldn't patent software at the time. It was in the infancy of multimedia. Some things kind of propagated into patents.

Actually, through my lab, one was the haptic palpation device. Another was a 3D digitizer. A couple of nice patents came out of Georgia Tech that were offshoots of the Olympic Project. Oh, and there were a bunch of patents around-- I'm sorry. About IVEX flight simulator that was started with the video disk simulator-- flight simulator.

RICHA VIRMANI: And what was the competitive environment like, in terms of creation of this software?

MIKE SINCLAIR: So very little of it was actually focused around software. Back then you couldn't defend software like a patent. Now you can. And so a lot of it was just the orchestration of software running on an Amiga and in an Apple computer, orchestrating all these multimedia devices: projectors, video disks, audio, interactive-- the fly around city-- all this doing together.

And at the time, nobody could do it. There was ToolBook, PC, there was Adobe and all their desktop publishings. There was an app that had a number of multimedia tools. But none of them could do the work that we needed, so we chose the [inaudible] computer. And we had to write our own software for doing all the orchestration of the multimedia.

Once we had won the bid, Georgia Tech used it as PR, rightly so. So we made a couple of copies of this. One was put in the office of registration at Georgia Tech. One was put down at the [Inforum?] permanently. And one was taken around the world to show off Atlanta and Georgia Tech.

RICHA VIRMANI: So this multimedia project was made available to the public, basically?

MIKE SINCLAIR: Yes. And as I mentioned before, I would sometimes follow Billy Payne and his-- and he's very eloquent-- in his depiction of how he was inspired and how we tried to convince a bunch other folks, i.e. Atlanta to join in. And he was amazing. But many times I would follow him with the Olympic system, set it up in downtown Atlanta or someplace literally around the world and show it show it off.

RICHA VIRMANI: And how was this project perceived by the public and by users?

MIKE SINCLAIR: Well, it was a very, very new concept. And just the unusualness of it. Most people have never seen interactive video and an interactive fly over Atlanta, essentially, a flight simulator. Not as sophisticated as flight simulators, but something that the John Q public could walk up to and immediately discover how to fly over Atlanta and all the postulated venues that were being suggested for the Olympics.

And so yeah, so it was very well received. And all the publication companies around Atlanta jumped on the bandwagon too, because it was an interesting story. And there was a Science and Technology news video but essentially shows the system off pretty well. And Science and Technology video is no longer part of Turner's broadcast, I don't think. Any way, they would promote some science or technology.

This is before the Science Channel and Discovery and whatever. So we were shown on that for a number of things. Another technology that came out of the Olympic bid was a dance technology project. And that was a project between my lab, Georgia Tech, and the Atlanta ballet. And we used it for around three months. 00:30:00Georgia Tech would hire a very famous choreographer or somebody known in the dance community, and we would work for around three months with them and the Atlanta Ballet, and then host the dance technology project.

So I was technical director on that for five years. And then when I left, the IMPC took that over. And it was actually chosen to be debuted at the Olympics in the hall downtown. But at the last minute, they pulled it because it was too far away from their traditional ballet, like the Nutcracker and whatever and where they got most of their revenue. So they were afraid that they would get the wrong reputation.

RICHA VIRMANI: What all technologies went into the creation of this?

MIKE SINCLAIR: OK. Video technology through Georgia Power, and Crawford Communications, and I mentioned Bobby Z. We fired a large helicopter with a five millimeter gyro-stabilized camera that they had just used to film the aerials for Top Gun, the movie.

So we essentially gave them the coordinates-- this is before g.p.s. And I gave them to fly east-west and north-south coordinates. So all the north-south flights over Atlanta was put on one video disk. And all the east-west flights video were put on another video disk.

And then a computer orchestrated the two, so if you needed to fly-- if you were going around Atlanta, north-south, and you wanted to turn right, well, you were converted over to the-- smoothly-- to the east-west disk without you knowing it. And thus, you saw actual video of Atlanta, or our computer-generated imagery of what we thought would be there, like the new stadium, new natatorium and some of the other venues that were yet to be built.

RICHA VIRMANI: Does this project and does the hardware for it still exist? Like would we still be able to run it today?

MIKE SINCLAIR: I'm an engineer, and theoretically, yes. But a lot would have to come together-- combine video disks video disk players. One of my jobs was to modify a video disk player so you could randomly select video images faster than you would normally do through your remote control.

You would have to get operational Amiga computer. They're no longer in business. The video projectors you could get. And yes, I think you could recreate it in the image of today's technology, yes. It would take a lot of effort.

RICHA VIRMANI: What technologies do you think that this project set the tone for? Like what technologies have arisen and would continue to arise in the future because of this project?

MIKE SINCLAIR: Well, as you probably know now, multimedia, especially interactive multimedia-- they don't call it that anymore-- but virtual reality, that's interactive multimedia. Flight simulators, interactive multimedia. Oh, we got a patent on a surgical simulator. That came right out of this. But that was more computer software running on silicon graphics.

And they're no longer in existence-- high-end image computer. So yes, I wouldn't call us the father of multimedia. But I think it helped people understand, rather than sitting in front of a video tape machine and the only interactivity is fast-forward, reverse, or still. That's their interactivity. They were actually able to, in real time, play with a video, or have the video story unfold for them in real time, per their interaction.

And I think that was the big takeaway. And it was the story of the Atlanta Organizing Committee that wanted to tell the then about-tho-vote International Olympic Committee, hey, vote for us. And this is a high-tech way that we can tell our story.

RICHA VIRMANI: So overall, how did the creation, how did the work that you put into this project affect your career and your personal growth?

MIKE SINCLAIR: I think it was pretty much a highlight. I've had many highlights. One of the more memorable highlights. And I think most of those involved in research science-- some sort of science or engineering research-- would tell you, gosh, if I had known how hard it was or what there was involved-- but it was that. It was the naivete and heck, yes. Bring it on. There was nothing really as an impediment.

And also, me personally, was a lot of people who believed in me and my lab. And 00:35:00said, well, we probably don't think you can do it. But hey, that's why they call it research. Go for it. And that was the big takeaway for me. I made a lot of friends, a lot of lifelong friends. Yes, that was-- I learned so much. Oh, my god, just so much. And then when I've used that technology to this day I'm using them. And what I do for research at Microsoft.

RICHA VIRMANI: So what are other software programs or projects that you've worked closely with or created? I think you mentioned a few throughout the interview.

MIKE SINCLAIR: Sure. There was the palpation simulator. We needed to digitize 3D objects. We did actually. Dr. Crecine one time. We even had him say, oh, I love IMTC. Give those guys a raise. He got a kick out of that, but that didn't go public.

There was the surgical simulator. Actually, that was very instrumental in later on. We got a patent for that. And very popular, but it was hard for us to sell. A, you're a research university. And your main goal is to educate students and do good research, not to sell corporate America on profitable ideas, necessarily, which we tried to do and failed.

And then the flight simulator was before the Olympic bid. So a lot of the stuff I learned when the flight simulator went into the Olympic bid. And gosh, this goes on and on. I think I have now over 100 patents. I would guess well over half of those were technology that I had somehow touched, or looked at, or generated in the Olympic bid research.

RICHA VIRMANI: It seems like it was a monumental project, and that's why we were so interested in it.

MIKE SINCLAIR: It was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. And while GTRI was very instrumental in things they did during the Olympics, actually, in some of the archives that I've read, I think they probably take-- and nothing against them. But I think they probably took a little too much credit for that.

But they certainly deserve a lot of the credit for the transportation, and the infrastructure, and a lot of stimulation, and the putting on the games. How are we going to do that? What kind of technology could we bring to that? But during the original stuff-- the bid before the actual vote by the Olympic Committee-- I think it was pretty much what Dr. Crecine and Dr. Shepherd had put together for my lab initially.

And gosh, we were a small, lean organization. And you should probably know, even at your young age, is that sometimes a huge crowd have way too many opinions, and things don't get done very fast. Well, we were small, and we could do things fairly rapidly.

RICHA VIRMANI: Are there any other experiences or stories you'd like to share about this bid?

MIKE SINCLAIR: Well, just meeting and getting to know Andrew Young, and Dr. Crecine, Billy Payne, the people of the Atlanta Organizing Committee. In one of my hobbies, sailing, I even tried out to be an Olympic hopeful in sailing. Didn't even come close, but I got to meet a lot of the people pretty high up in the Olympic movement, especially sailing.

And knew that I would never even come close to them, but just knowing them and listening to them talk. I visited the USOC headquarters-- well, one of the headquarters in Colorado Springs, and looked at some of their stuff out there and actually was able to help a little bit in early research and also my research. And meeting people and some of the-- meeting Bob Gregor, who was biomechanist working at Georgia Tech, who, since 1981, was responsible for a lot of the research during the games.

And I was, for a small part, helpful in some of that. The force played on the high dive, even that the haptics played a small role in that. And I got to be down in the front row in a lot of the venues, and see what research goes on and see the venue. So again, it was just a highlight, and my mind was swimming every day.

RICHA VIRMANI: So that was the last of my questions. But yes, when we were looking up softwares, and projects, and technologies at Georgia Tech, this bid really stood out to us because it was such a big deal. And the '96 Olympics were 00:40:00also such a huge event that took place here. So thank you so much for sharing your story with us.