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Lead innovation for a better world

Anthopper Development's Mission is to inspire our society and solve important problems by engaging people and communities through design, technology and innovation.

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My Story

I spent my childhood in Tennessee, Oregon, Texas, California, but consider Kenya, Africa home. As the fifth child out of eight, I was not shy and always had someone to play with. This helped me form a sense of community early on and came in handy every time we moved. In the late eighties, my parents went to the mission field in Kenya and Sudan. Wherever we lived in the world, I formed my own community of playmates.

At age 11, we moved back to Nashville, Tennessee, from East Africa on furlough, a break missionaries take about every four years. In Africa, community service was a priority over education. I never learned how to read, nor did I attend formal education until college. One summer, I had enough free time, and at the urging of my father, I taught myself how to read and write. 

My upbringing and life experiences have led to my current roles. Currently, I am an assistant professor of computer science at the Pennsylvania State University’s College of Education, and I run Anthopper Development, a global design and innovation firm. 

I am eternally grateful to my parents, whose dedication to serving their community has been a positive influence. Their devotion, along with my extensive cultural experiences, have molded me into the creative, confident, and compassionate person I am today. 

Colorful African fashion cloths in street market ,Kenya  Africa.jpg

Cultivating My Early Passion for Complex Systems

When I was 19, I realized on a walk at Radnor Lake near Nashville that I had to leave the path I was on. Being a Sunday school teacher for the rest of my life was not enough. I was behind academically, but knew I wanted to accomplish more. Around the lake, I noticed it was faster to walk on the path than off of it. If I wanted to catch up with others my age, I had to follow their path. That meant going to college. So, I applied and was accepted to Bard College. 

At Bard, I studied African and Middle Eastern History. It was then I started to develop my passion for complex systems. The behavior of these systems is intrinsically difficult yet intriguing to model due to dependencies, relationships, and other interactions between their parts or a given system and its environment. As a history major, I wrote my thesis about the rise of the female Ottoman court and how they were erased from history because of gender. While writing this thesis, I was struck by the possibility of modeling this empire to simulate counterfactual history. To do this would require complex systems of millions of agents simulating the flows of the economy, the interaction of gender, class, and geography. When I applied for a Waston Fellowship, I focused on building such simulations of these complex systems.  

In 2008, I was awarded the Watson Fellowship, a post-graduate position given each year to only 50 undergraduate students out of thousands of applicants. My work involved researching ant ecology in Brazil, designing pest management in Senegal, desert pollution impacts in Jordan, and surveying ant fauna in Tanzania. I was truly inspired at every stop on my research tour. Each one was a remarkable complex system where the simple rules of each ant created a dynamic, emergent whole.

Road and Bridge Network

My Dedication to Serving Communities on a Global Scale

I was taught at an early age that serving others is self-rewarding. In 2007, I went on a mission to Quda in the Nuba Mountains of Central Sudan to meet with Sudanese politicians and government administrators. As project coordinator of the Trustee Leadership Scholarship, I helped assess the situation of 2,000 Darfurian Internally Displaced People (IDP) who had recently moved to the area. My assessment was published in the Bard Journal of Social Science, and my passion for this cause helped raise $30,000 to send essentials to the IDP camp. 

Between 2001 and 2013, I focused on supporting communities in Sudan. Whether it was analyzing data at Equatorial Investments, recording Sudanese songs as director of the Sundanese Music Project, or consulting for the Samaritan’s Purse, among other non-profit organizations, I was devoted to raising money for refugees. For example, at Samaritan’s Purse in South Sudan, I led a development project to build market roads and food gardens in Maluai West Payam. My efforts resulted in $110,000 towards emergency funding for a supplementary feeding program.

Aerial of Juba, the capital of South Sudan, with river Nile on the right.jpg

Designing Technology Solutions that Model Actions and Interaction

By May 2014, I joined Vanderbilt University as a Research Analyst applying agent-based modeling to design an innovative curriculum for the STEM education community. Agent-based modeling represents a set of interacting objects that reflect relationships in the real world. My ViMAP simulation helped improve students’ STEM learning significantly.


For the next six years, I was a Ph.D. Candidate at Northwestern University, where I designed and implemented agent-based interventions in computer science, computational thinking, biology, education, and historical literacy. Over two years, my team I held community meetings where we iteratively designed two neighborhoods to overcome stigmatization and change the perspectives using augmented reality. I worked with graduate students, professors and co-designers to engage the transnational youth in using a tool I developed, Movable Type, to communicate across multiple audiences.


During my time in Chicago, I published 27 peer-reviewed papers and pieces of education software. All of my efforts culminated into a dissertation, an in-depth look at how to learn from complex systems models and the use of simulation-based learning.

Business people write down an important note, using on the paper stickers post. Brainstorm

Guiding Organizations Through Understanding and Managing Today’s Complex Business and
Social Systems

As an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Penn State University, my research into agent-based modeling creates powerful moments to change how people learn and make decisions.


Through iterative user-centered design research, cutting-edge technology environments, and data analytics, I develop creative solutions to address problems that exist in complex systems. Examples include the transition from combustion engines to electric vehicles, the use of nanorobots to cure cancer, the interventions considering the rise of violence in society, and the environmental degradation of the Yellow River in the 10th Century. My global design and innovation firm, Anthopper Development, is on a mission to inspire our society and solve important problems by engaging people and communities with design, technology and innovation.


I welcome you to learn more about Anthopper Development and how we lead innovation for a better world.


Contact me at to see how we can help your organization.




+1 615-406-3584


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