Mark Opperman, Chief Puzzler

Mark Opperman is a Data Intelligence Engineer in Dell Technologies, employed by EMC Computer Systems France, and focused on the analysis of services data. In his spare time, he develops and solves puzzles for opcode puzzles. In 2004, he founded StudentPlanet, a nonprofit educational organization, where he created an innovative online cultural exchange program focused on digital storytelling as a means to improving understanding between students in China and the United States.

Mr. Opperman was formerly the Director of Educational Technology at Stanford New Schools (SNS) where he directed all aspects of both the business and the educational uses of technology for a public K12 charter school. SNS is operated in collaboration with Stanford University's School of Education and is a leader in the innovative use of technology in K12 education.

Mr. Opperman is also a former executive of Sun Microsystems with extensive international experience who served as Director of the Asia-Pacific Sun ONE Practice in Sun Professional Services, and prior to that, spearheaded the development of the Java business in Asia-Pacific during a three-year assignment in Tokyo. While in Japan, Mr. Opperman's team delivered the first versions of both the Java Development Kit and the HotJava Browser localized for Japanese, including new standard APIs in the JDK for Input Methods. Mr. Opperman was a part of the original FirstPerson team at Sun that developed the Java technology and is responsible for having suggested the name Java (inspired by the massive amounts of Peets coffee that fueled its development).

Mr. Opperman originally joined Sun in Paris, France as a Systems Engineer. As one of the first employees in France, and the only one with extensive Unix experience, Mr. Opperman helped close sales with a variety of technical customers across France including Aérospatiale, EDF, and IRCAM. Mr. Opperman then moved to the Sun Europe Consulting organization in France where he worked directly with Matra Datasystèmes on kernel issues to integrate Matra's VME-based AI co-processor with the Sun-3 workstation.

Additionally at Sun, Mr. Opperman served as both a Senior Staff Engineer and an Engineering Manager. Mr. Opperman's engineering focus has been on window systems, operating systems, embedded systems, and high-resolution PostScript technology. He holds a patent on a method for extracting profiles and topics from a markup language based on early work he did for the World Wide Web.

Prior to joining Sun, Mr. Opperman taught Unix and 'C' programming at Beijing University, designed tools for embedded game software development, designed systems for automated quality assurance testing of the Apple Lisa, programmed head-up displays for NASA, and programmed the tracking monitoring system for NASA's Voyager mission. He has extensive experience with 8-bit assembly language systems and real-time systems.

Mr. Opperman is passionate about foreign cultures, both learning and experiencing them. He has lived and worked abroad in Paris, Lausanne, Beijing, Tokyo, and London. He speaks fluent French, conversational Chinese and Japanese; has studied Tibetan, German, and Spanish; and, can comprehend British English (but not British humor). He has traveled to the far reaches of China including Tibet, and has bicycled extensively throughout Japan and Europe. Mr. Opperman holds both U.S. and French nationalities.

In 2000, Mr. Opperman established the nonprofit Oumu Foundation, where he serves as Executive Director. The Oumu Foundation is dedicated to bringing about a more peaceful world by encouraging cultural understanding between students globally. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Alliance Française de San Francisco.

Born in Urbana, IL, Mr. Opperman is an Eagle Scout. He received a M.S. in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in Mathematical Sciences from Stanford University. He has also studied Chinese at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Oriéntales in Paris, where he currently resides.