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About Dr. Tae

Dr. Tae is a skateboarder, scientist, teacher, and digital artist. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has held faculty positions at Lake Forest College, DePaul University, and Northwestern University and currently serves as an advisor to Puget Sound Community School. Dr. Tae’s unorthodox use of skateboarding as an example of learning landed him an invitation to speak at the inaugural TEDxEastsidePrep conference. As a skateboarder, he’s best known for his consistent 360 flips, which fellow skaters have dubbed “Tae Flips”, earning him the nickname “Dr. Tre”. He is producing The Physics of Skateboarding with Dr. Tae, a video series which combines his interests in science, skepticism, skateboarding, and education. When the Los Angeles Times needed someone to explain the physics behind Jake Brown’s slam on the MegaRamp at X Games XIII, they called Dr. Tae. His unique expertise also caught the attention of Robomodo, the video game studio where Dr. Tae redesigned the control system for the wireless skateboard peripheral used with Tony Hawk: SHRED. As an independent software developer, Dr. Tae created Not YYZ, a whimsical musical app based on “YYZ” by the band Rush, and NBDbyMe, a productivity app designed for skateboarders and other action sports enthusiasts.

“The Way of Dr. Tae”
by Ryan Smith
Photos by Clayton Hauck