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Program Directors:

Mailing Address:

Siebel Scholars Foundation
1300 Seaport Blvd., Suite 400
Redwood City, CA 94063


(650) 299-5260

2010 - Daniel Horn

Daniel Horn is working to breathe new life into virtual worlds.  Sirikata, the open-source, scalable architecture that Daniel is building, will give developers, artists, and users the means to create and edit their own virtual worlds with dynamic ecosystems where animals evolve and plants respond to virtual water and sunlight.

Already, Sirikata has set the stage for an interactive online art exhibit in collaboration with the Bornholm Museum in Denmark, as well as a virtual concert at MiTo, performed by musicians participating from Milan, Montana, and Stanford University, for viewers around the globe.  Daniel’s interest in virtual worlds traces back to 1997, when he developed open-source code for Vega Strike, a space simulator game that attracted a community of more than 100,000 players and more than 500,000 downloads. 

Daniel’s professional career has spanned high performance computing, parallel computing, and 3D graphics creation at HP, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, nVidia, and Geo Mechanics International.  His work has included investigating the potential for fast graphics chips to speed non-graphics applications.  Most recently at Sony, he helped design the first open source reference loader for COLLADA, a 3D description format that has become the interoperability standard for numerous competing 3D art tools.  A loader helps launch a software application, and the COLLADA reference loader serves as a model for other developers to build their own.  Currently he is advocating the direct use of COLLADA in viewers as well, a crucial next step for the creation of editable, changeable virtual worlds.

Daniel anticipates that the Sirikata platform will help improve telepresence, communication and interaction for companies, scientists, and educators.  Visit to see the Sirikata platform in action.