Feature Edition: Frank Lee
As part of Philly Tech Week 2014, which took place April 4-12, associate professor of digital media Frank Lee displayed his version of Tetris on the side of the Cira Centre. A building that typically dons lights that change color in accordance with local events or seasons, the Cira Centre was turned into a game of Tetris where fewer than 100 individuals were selected to play. Lee’s larger-than-life replica of the game earned him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s largest architectural video game display.
Co-founder of the nationally top-ranked Drexel Game Design Program, the Replay Lab and the Entrepreneurial Game Studio at the ExCITe Center, Lee is also an affiliated associate professor of computer science, psychology and biomedical engineering. Lee graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in cognitive science. He continued on to Carnegie Mellon University to receive his doctorate in cognitive psychology.
It is clear that Lee has made extensive contributions to the Drexel community through his talent and intelligence — but that isn’t all. Lee has been working with state legislatures to expand video game development in Philadelphia because of its proven benefits for economic growth. Due to the lack of game development from companies in the Philadelphia area, which is home to more than 25 different gaming programs according to“Technically Philly,” students must seek job opportunities elsewhere. Realizing that the supply of matriculated students from these programs is much higher than the demand, Lee is proposing tax benefits to entice larger companies to relocate or expand.
Lee’s dedication to his students, the Drexel community and the Philadelphia area is admirable and inspiring. Regardless of how the story continues to unfold, Lee has etched a path and place for technology and Drexel in the Philadelphia community. To learn more about Lee and his work, visit his personal website at pages.drexel.edu/~fjl24/.
Maria Elena Marinelli is a junior information technology major and the assistant web production manager for The Triangle.