Rob Jagnow, Ph.D.

1772 Vassar Ave.
Mountain View, CA 94043
Phone: 617-548-5540


I work at the intersection of software engineering and user experience. I help navigate the chaos around emerging new technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) by validating use cases and uncovering best practices through rapid prototyping.

I'm looking for opportunities at the intersection of technology and creativity. I seek a workplace that embraces diversity and values new voices.


Completed Ph.D. in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in January, 2005. Dissertation, Stereological Techniques for Synthesizing Solid Textures from Images of Aggregate Materials. Cumulative GPA, 5.0 out of 5.0.

Awarded a Master of Science from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in June, 2001. Thesis, Virtual Sculpting with Haptic Displacement Maps. Cumulative GPA, 5.0 out of 5.0.

Graduated from Texas Tech University in May, 1998, receiving a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Mathematics. Recognized as the top student in both the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences with a cumulative GPA of 4.0 out of 4.0.


Software Engineering Manager at Google since April 2015.

Spent almost 2 years leading a AR/VR prototyping effort for the Daydream team. During that time, my small team built more than 120 experiences.

Since March of 2017, served as the Tech Lead and Manager for Google Earth VR, one of the most popular applications for both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Tech Lead for an internal accelerator that helped other Google product areas bootrastp efforts to add AR to their first-party products.

Currently managing a prototyping team within the Geo product area to help accelerate development of world-scale, persistent AR experiences.

Founder and CEO of Lazy 8 Studios, LLC, established in April 2008. Best known for our award-winning first-party games Extrasolar and Cogs.

Extrasolar: Producer, creative director, engineering lead, and graphics lead. Pioneered the technology for a cloud-based, photorealistic rendering engine, deployed with Amazon Web Services. Extrasolar is the first of its kind in an entirely new game genre.

Cogs: Designed and programmed entire game engine in C++ with OpenGL, including all puzzles. The game has since been ported to 7 platforms and has been downloaded well over 1 million times.

Collaborated with Irrational Games from 2010-2012 to developed Bioshock Infinite: Industrial Revolution. This Web-based prequel to Bioshock Infinite was offered to players who preordered the game.

In 2011, worked on a partnership with Valve and several other independent studios to produce an Alternate Reality Game (ARG), sometimes referred to as The Potato Sack, that accompanied the launch of Portal 2.

Worked with The Whole Experience, Inc. (WXP) from April 2008 to December 2009, enhancing the capabilities of their PC/Xbox 360 game engine for Xotic and porting the engine to Wii for The Daring Game for Girls.

Worked with Kaos Studios/THQ from July 2007 to July 2008 on the development of Frontlines: Fuel of War for the PC and Xbox 360, built on top of Epic's Unreal Engine 3.0. Authored native C++ and Unreal Script gameplay and leaderboard code. Also created modules in Python and PHP for the PC leaderboard back-end.

Developed console games at Demiurge Studios from May, 2006 to July, 2007. Worked on Medal of Honor: Airborne on the Xbox 360, built on Epic's Unreal Engine 3.0. Bootstrapped a port of Gearbox Software's Brothers in Arms titles from the Xbox to the Nintendo Wii, writing the graphics engine on top of the Unreal Engine 2.0 framework.

Co-developed the Birdflight and Flytastic real-time fly-through applications for Optobyte Corp. in Switzerland. A variant of this product is also distributed by Toshiba Corporation in Japan as 3D Skytrek. This program enables high-speed rendering of extremely large terrain datasets with hyperlinked, 3D data overlays.

Worked as a research assistant and teaching assistant in the Computer Graphics Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1998 until 2005.

Worked in the Studio Tools division at Pixar Animation Studios during the summers of 2001 and 2002. Developed applications using C++, Tcl/Tk, MEL Script (Maya Embedded Language), as well as other proprietary scripting languages.


Game design, software engineering, engineering management, creative director, product management, graphics programming, full-stack Web development, and photography.
Primary programming languages: C/C++, C#, Python, JavaScript, HTML5/CSS
Game Engines: Unity, Unreal, and bespoke engines
Development platforms: Windows, OSX, Linux, iOS, Android, Xbox, Nintendo
Graphics APIs: OpenGL, Direct3D, CG/GLSL/HLSL, GX (Nintendo)


Google Earth VR

  • Winner & People's Choice for Best Interaction Design, 2018 Webbies: Film & Video
  • Gold Winner, 2017 UX Awards
  • Winner of the Century Award for VR, 2017 Lumiere Awards
  • Silver award for VR, 2017 Epica Awards


  • Best Desktop Game, Indie Prize Showcase USA 2014
  • Nominee for Most Innovative, Indie Prize Showcase USA 2014
  • Bronze Winner, 2014 International Serious Play Conference
  • Finalist at IndieCade 2013
  • Nominee for Nuovo Award, Independent Game Festival (IGF) 2014
  • Nominee for Gamer's Voice Award at South by Southwest 2014
  • Nominee for Best Game Design, 2014 Animago Awards
  • Honorable Mention for the Innovation Award, 2015 Game Developers Choice Awards


  • Grand Prize Winner in the Professional Category, 2010 Indie Game Challenge
  • Winner: Achievement in Art Direction, 2010 Indie Game Challenge
  • Winner: Achievement in Gameplay, 2010 Indie Game Challenge
  • Finalist for Excellence in Design, Independent Games Festival (IGF) 2010
  • Finalist at IndieCade 2009

2017 VRDC, Building VR Communities: Asymmetry, Asynchrony & Abuse
2017 UCSC Game Development Program, 50 Lessons from 100 VR Prototypes
2017 SXSW, Lessons Learned from VR Prototyping
2017 Global Game Jam, 50 Lessons from 80+ VR Prototypes
2017 lecture for MIT’s Interim Activities Period, VR Development in Unity
2016 VRDC: Google Daydream Labs: 50 Lessons from 80+ VR Prototypes
2016 Indiecade panel: VR Best Practices
2016 Austin Game Conference: Google Daydream Labs: 50 Lessons from 80+ VR Prototypes
2016 HackMIT: Google Daydream Labs: 50 Lessons from 80+ VR Prototypes
2016 Google I/O: VR in the Classroom
2016 Google I/O: VR Design Process
2015 GX3: Make Your Own Damn Game
2015 GXDev, Game Jam Kickoff (Design Strategies for Queer Games)
2014 invited lecture for Idea Resource Systems, Not Yet Imagined: Revolutions in Art & Technology
2014 ARG-Fest-o-Con, In Pursuit of the Stand-Alone ARG: The Development of Extrasolar
2014 Casual Connect, Genres Unimagined: Untapped Niches in Game Design
2014 GaymerX2 panel, Meet LGBT Developers: Are We Doing This Right?
2014 GaymerX2 panel, Bringing New Voices (Back) to the Living Room
2014 GDC, Extrasolar Postmortem: Game Design at 0.0003 FPS
2013 Future is Games, Breaking the Rules: Lessons in Creative Game Design
2013 ARG-Fest-o-Con panel, Ludonarrative Harmony: How Design and Narrative Should Play Together
2012 GDC "The Indie Soapbox Session"
2012 Game Design Conference in San Francisco, Innovating by Breaking the Rules


Evaluation of Methods for Approximating Shapes Used to Synthesize 3D Solid Textures. Robert Jagnow, Julie Dorsey, and Holly Rushmeier. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception 4, 4 (Jan. 2008), 1-27.

Stereological Techniques for Solid Textures. Robert Jagnow, Julie Dorsey, and Holly Rushmeier. Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 2004

Virtual Sculpting with Haptic Displacement Maps. Robert Jagnow and Julie Dorsey. Proceedings of Graphics Interface, May 2002.

A Procedural Approach to Authoring Solid Models. Barbara Cutler, Julie Dorsey, Leonard McMillan, Matthias Mueller, and Robert Jagnow. Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH 2002

Stable Real-Time Deformations. Matthias Müller, Julie Dorsey, Leonard McMillan, Robert Jagnow, and Barbara Cutler. Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Computer Animation 2002

Real-Time Simulation of Deformation and Fracture of Stiff Materials. Matthias Müller, Leonard McMillan, Julie Dorsey, and Robert Jagnow. Proceedings of EUROGRAPHICS 2001


Available upon request.