Randima Fernando

Finding values-aligned solutions to difficult problems

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Relevant Work Experience

 

Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer

Center for Humane Technology (San Francisco, CA)

Jul 2017 - Present

CHT's team of former tech insiders and cross-disciplinary experts understands how social media platforms are causing widespread harm. We address this by raising awareness for millions of people while mobilizing technologists, executives, investors, and political leaders to create a world where technology supports our shared well-being, sense-making, democracy, and ability to tackle complex global challenges.

 

Board Member

Spirit Rock Meditation Center (Woodacre, CA)

Dec 2019 - Present

For 26 years, Spirit Rock has led the development and practice of Insight meditation in the United States. Through both deep training and broad education, Spirit Rock brings timeless teachings of wisdom, compassion, and liberation directly to practitioners' lives. Reaching more than 50,000 people each year, Spirit Rock is seeding a culture of non-harming and transforming entire fields of practice in the world.

 

Executive Director

Mindful Schools (Emeryville, CA)

Jun 2010 - Jan 2017 (Co-Executive Director from 2010 - 2012)

Mindful Schools has provided mindfulness training to over 50,000 educators across 50 U.S. states and 100+ countries, reaching more than 3 million children worldwide.

As ED, I guided the organization to 100x growth in impact (reaching nearly a million children) and 10x growth in budget (to ~$4 million) over 7 consecutive profitable fiscal years.

This included multiple business model changes, reaching over 90% earned income, growing staff from 4 to 20 people, and building a Facebook following of nearly 300,000 people—all with a strong reputation for integrity and quality (98% of course graduates recommended the courses, Mindful Schools was rated 4.7/5.0 stars on Facebook with 481 reviews, and the org was covered by TIME Magazine, The Atlantic, NPR, Education Week, and more).

 

Director of Operations

Mindful Schools (Oakland, CA)

Jul 2009 - Jun 2010

Responsible for business strategy, marketing, technology, messaging, task organization, and organizational structure.

 

Developer Tools Product Manager

NVIDIA Corporation (Santa Clara, CA)

Sep 2005 - Jul 2009

NVIDIA is the worldwide leader in visual computing. A Fortune 500 company founded in 1999, NVIDIA invented the programmable graphics processor and evolved it to drive virtual reality, high-performance computing, and artificial intelligence.

I was responsible for managing, defining, marketing, and distributing award-winning content-creation and performance optimization tools to help graphics developers create compelling applications. These products included PerfHUD, FX Composer, ShaderPerf, Texture Tools, Shader Library, and Shader Debugger.

 

Manager of Developer Education

NVIDIA Corporation (Santa Clara, CA)

Mar 2002 - Sep 2005

I managed three different award-winning book projects: The Cg Tutorial (as co-author) [2002], GPU Gems (as editor) [2003], and GPU Gems 2 [as series editor) [2004]. Managed each book project (including schedule, diagrams, review process, and communication) on a very tight timelines, never missing a publication deadline. Each GPU Gems book had over 100 people involved, both inside and outside NVIDIA.

I was responsible for one-to-many efforts to educate graphics developers how to fully utilize the features and performance of the latest graphics processors), including content and logistics for educational sessions at SIGGRAPH 2003 and SIGGRAPH 2004 that were attended by approximately 1,000 people each year.

 

Intern, Inaugural Extreme Blue Program

IBM Corporation

Summer 1999 (Cambridge, MA)

Developed a Java bean called WebExtractor that extracts information from dynamically changing web pages. Was mentioned in an article in Wired magazine.

 

Intern in the Advanced Graphics Division

Silicon Graphics (Mountain View, CA)

Summer 1998

Worked on SGI's next-generation high-end graphics architecture (included micro-code as well as OpenGL pipeline work and testing).


Education

 

Residential Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship (Feb 2017)

Stanford University Graduate School of Business (Stanford, CA)

 

Masters Degree in Computer Graphics (Mar 2002)

Cornell University Program of Computer Graphics (Ithaca, NY)

GPA: 4.10 (A = 4.00)

 

Bachelors Degree in Computer Science (Jan 2000)

Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)

GPA: 3.92 (A = 4.00)


Selected Publications

 

Mindfulness Training and Classroom Behavior Among Lower-Income and Ethnic Minority Elementary School Children

David S. Black, PhD and Randima Fernando, MS

Oct 2013

This field intervention trial evaluated a 5-week mindfulness-based curriculum on teacher-ratings of 409 students' behavior at a Richmond, CA public elementary school. Teachers reported improved classroom behavior of their students (i.e., paying attention, self-control, participation in activities, and caring/respect for others) that lasted up to 7 weeks post-intervention.

 

Measuring the Efficacy and Sustainability of a Mindfulness-Based In-Class Intervention

Randima Fernando

Feb 2013

In the 2011-12 school year, Mindful Schools partnered with the University of California, Davis to conduct one of the largest randomized-controlled studies to date on mindfulness and children, involving 937 children and 47 teachers in 3 Oakland public elementary schools. The Mindful Schools curriculum produced statistically significant improvements in paying attention and participation in class activities versus the control group with just 4 hours of mindfulness instruction for the students – a very small, low-cost dose.

 

GPU Gems 2: Programming Techniques for High-Performance Graphics and General-Purpose Computation

Edited by Matt Pharr, Randima Fernando (Series Editor)

Mar 2005

GPU Gems 2 was the best-selling book at the Game Developers Conference 2005 as well as SIGGRAPH 2005. It covers advanced graphics programming techniques as well as how to use the massive computational power of GPUs for other applications such as scientific computing and finance. GPU Gems 2 was a Game Developer Magazine Front Line Award finalist in 2005, and has been translated into Japanese and Chinese.

  GPU Gems: Programming Techniques, Tips, and Tricks for Programmable Graphics

Edited by Randima Fernando

Mar 2004

GPU Gems was the best-selling book at the Game Developers Conference 2004 as well as SIGGRAPH 2004. It covers advanced computer graphics for real-time applications using GPUs. GPU Gems won a Game Developer Magazine Front Line Award in 2004, and has been translated into Japanese and Chinese.

  The Cg Tutorial: The Definitive Guide to Programmable Real-Time Graphics

Randima Fernando and Mark J. Kilgard

Mar 2003

The Cg Tutorial was the best-selling book at the Game Developer Conference in 2003 as well as SIGGRAPH 2003. It held the top spot in Barnes & Noble's "Computer Graphics" rankings for most of 2003. It has been used by many universities around the world and has been translated into Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Polish.

 

Integrating Realistic Soft Shadows into Your Game Engine

Kevin Myers, Randima Fernando, and Louis Bavoil

NVIDIA Whitepaper - Dec 2007

This whitepaper explains how to easily integrate an efficient method for creating realistic soft shadows on DirectX 10 and high-end DirectX 9 GPUs. The technique is used in many shipping games, such as Hellgate: London.

 

Percentage-Closer Soft Shadows

Randima Fernando - Aug 2005

SIGGRAPH 2005 Sketch

This sketch presents Percentage-Closer Soft Shadows (PCSS), a new method for generating perceptually accurate soft shadows. It requires no pre- or post-processing, nor additional geometry. PCSS seamlessly replaces a traditional shadow map query (embodying the same advantages: independent of scene complexity, works with alpha testing, displacement mapping, and so on).  It runs fast on recent GPUs, and is used by many shipping games.

 

The GeForce 6 Series Architecture

Emmett Kilgariff and Randima Fernando

GPU Gems 2, Chapter 30

This chapter describes the architecture of the GeForce 6 Series GPUs from NVIDIA. We start with a general overview of where the GPU fits into the overall computer system, and then we describe the architecture along with details of specific features and performance characteristics.

 

Adaptive Shadow Maps

Randima Fernando et al.

SIGGRAPH 2001 Paper

This paper introduces the Adaptive Shadow Map (ASM) as a solution to shadow map aliasing. An ASM resolves pixel size mismatches between the eye view and the light source view by creating higher-resolution pieces of the shadow map as needed. ASMs enable dramatic improvements in shadow quality while maintaining interactive frame rates.

 

Masters Thesis

Randima Fernando

This thesis presents two adaptive, GPU-accelerated algorithms for shadow generation. The first algorithm, called Adaptive Shadow Maps, removes aliasing artifacts that typically result when using shadow maps. The second algorithm, called Adaptive Soft Shadows, attempts to generate soft shadows efficiently by varying the number of light samples used for different regions of the scene.


Volunteer Activities

I've explored a number of different volunteer activities to learn first-hand about the amazing work that's being done to help people in need, as well as to contribute in my own small way. Here are some of the activities I've tried:

NVIDIA Foundation: Served on Board of Directors (Dec. 2007 - Jul. 2009). Helped build the Foundation from the ground up, including charter, goals, as well as program development. The Foundation is responsible for NVIDIA's charitable and community activities.

Mindful Schools: volunteered for over a year before leaving Silicon Valley to join Mindful Schools

Integrated the book What Matters into the curriculum at Overfelt High School in San Jose

Second Harvest Food Bank, Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen in San Jose

The Role Model Program: taught 7th grade kids career planning as a Role Model over 8 weeks

Insight Meditation Center: set up equipment and updated processes for recording/editing weekly talks

Crisis counseling training for dealing with suicide, alcohol & drug abuse, child abuse

Holiday gift sorting for kids


Hobbies & Interests

In my spare time, I enjoy sports (primarily tennis and table tennis, but also a little basketball, golf, and billiards when I get the chance), playing quick online chess games, studying and practicing Buddhist philosophy, painting, playing the piano and guitar, composing music, driving on fun roads, cooking, and spending time with my wonderful wife.


References available upon request.

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