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 a former executive of Sun Microsystems with extensive international experience who most recently served as Director of the Asia-Pacific Sun ONE Practice in Sun Professional Services. Over a three year period, Mr. Opperman grew the Sun ONE services business in Asia-Pacific threefold and built a team of over 50 consultants in nine countries across the region. Mr. Opperman was also responsible for driving key initiatives in Asia-Pacific to increase overall software revenue to Sun, to increase customer satisfaction, and to provide more accurate and timely data to run the business.

Prior to managing Sun ONE Professional Services in Asia-Pacific, Mr. Opperman spearheaded the development of Sun's Java business in Asia-Pacific. 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). At FirstPerson, Mr. Opperman was a Senior Strategic Engineer and Senior Technical Marketing Manager focused on Asia-Pacific customers. In these combined technical and business roles, Mr. Opperman assisted Japanese customers in porting the Java Virtual machine to new embedded devices, developed and delivered technical training on the Java language and the Java run-time system, evangelized Java technology across Asia-Pacific, and negotiated over $25M in licensing and support revenue with the first six Java licensees in Japan (Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Hitachi, Bandai, Seiko Instruments, and JustSystems).

In response to Mr. Opperman's business proposal to establish an Asia-Pacific Java group in Japan, Mr. Opperman was given a two-year assignment in Tokyo to build engineering, marketing and business development teams. This assignment was extended to a third year during which time Mr. Opperman managed the combined JavaSoft and SunSoft pre-sales technical teams in Asia-Pacific. 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 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 moved to the Sun Europe Consulting organization after his first year 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. Matra Datasystèmes was Sun's largest global reseller during that year.

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. Mr. Opperman managed a small team that delivered a PostScript compatible RIP based on the NeWS platform that was demonstrated at Seybold '92 driving both Linotype and ECRM imagesetters. Mr. Opperman also has extensive experience building low-cost NeWS-based terminals and multi-headed Sun workstations, both precursors to today's SunRay network-based terminal. Mr. Opperman presented a paper on this technology at the 1989 Summer Usenix Conference. He also 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.

Throughout his career at Sun, Mr. Opperman has worked with partners and customers to drive business solutions based on Sun's technologies. His unique blend of technology and business savvy, mixed with both strong cultural skills and interest in both Asia and Europe, has enabled Mr. Opperman to bridge the gap often found in individuals with only technical or sales skills.

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.