TEDxGreenville 2014 curator Lisa Corley is excited. “Can you believe that the inventor of the optical touch screen lives in Upstate South Carolina?” she asks. In his talk, Paul will unzip innovations in human/computer interface… you know, the way we walk and talk and play and communicate using our smart phones and tablets and laptops and…get the picture?
Paul McAvinney says that he began tinkering as a child. With a powerful curiosity and a need to understand how things work, Paul began “inventing stuff,” he says, all of which eventually led to a career working with computers in systems programming and hardware design and work with companies such as General Electric and Honeywell, among others. This co-founder of the computer music lab at Carnegie Mellon University says that it all grew out of that early curiosity and a love of science…and “tinkering with and repairing TVs in the 50’s.”
TEDxGreenville speaker coach Deb Sofield says of Paul that “His love of technology is infectious, and to think he was on the forefront of computer technology reminds me of how new the science of computers is, compared to what we assume. His air harp was before its time and is still considered a wonder of music, and his continuous drive to learn more, design more, create more is his constant passion.”
Still tinkering and inventing, this self-professed “aging nerd” also enjoys river rafting, although, he says, “last time I did it, I fell out of the boat and my wife won’t let me back in it.”