Founder and lead developer
Educational Technology Project Leader, expertise in learning theory and implementation of curriculum via structured instruction on many delivery platforms. Immersed in recent history of educational software development. Technical mastery of data / information systems management. Fully experienced with large and mid-software development projects with agile practices, CMMI compliance, Quality Assurance, change management, version and deployment control. Sid has a Master's Degree in Language and Learning Disabilities from FAU and has been a California Certified Teacher. Since 2016, he has also been a systems analyst for Northrop Grumman Corporation Aerospace Systems.
Sid was raised in the leafy Van Cordlandt Park neighborhood, in the Bronx, NY. As a teenager, Sid attended the Bronx High School of Science and played in The Age of Reason, a NY rock band. Sid was passionate about poetry and a fan of the romantic poetry of England, and the tragic prose of Russia. He combined his love for music and his sense of lyricism at New York University Theater School, and then at the progressive Goddard College in Vermont, in the resident Bread and Puppet Theater.
Sid entered the field of Special Education through stints at Vermont State Hospital as a recreation therapist and as a music therapist with Maimonides Institute. After earning Master’s Degree in Education at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Sid began to develop various multimedia special education materials for teens and adults. At the Council for Exceptional Children in 1974 he gave a speech extolling the value of multiple media in classrooms, complete with amplified Stevie Wonder song Higher Ground to excite and inspire the teachers group.
After several years of research and teaching reading by phonetic pattern recognition to dyslexic children, Sid became intrigued with applying programmed learning systems to the classroom. With the arrival of the Apple IIe in education in 1985, Sid set out to develop a technology to teach reading to dyslexic children using voice input output computer software. Chatterbox, the Voice Reading Ability Drill was the first of its kind: a commercial educational product integrating voice recognition with speech synthesis in a hands-free language interaction. The system was well received by educators of handicapped children, researchers in adaptive hardware for its strong phonetic and curricular contents, and by Apple for its technical novelty and speech interactivity.
Since those days Sid worked with and studied every different facets of multi-media, language and educational technology, including being a principal author and performer in the Hummingbird Speech System.
In a detour from multi-media, Sid spent 12 years with Boeing working on Space and Intelligence Systems. While at Boeing, Sid was able to apply his skills in project leadership and software development to several key defense projects: • C-17 Airlifter: Principal architect and developer for Integrated Master Tool Suite, enabling data exchange from Boeing to USAF and international military transport customers, suppliers, and prospects. • B1 / B-2 Bomber: Developed unified dashboard to track and manage technical requirements, risks, issues, and opportunities. • Boeing X-37 Reusable Space Plane program: Led team of 3 developers in 4-year project to provision IT tools and Integrated Data Environments, including multiple high security domains of partner and customer networks. Principal coder for configuration management and document storage systems, supporting 2 successful launches of space plane for DARPA and USAF. • TSAT and EMARSS: Developed entire suite of data visibility and data exchange applications and configured and deployed them across multiple proprietary program infrastructures.
After Boeing, Sid had time to revisit interactive language training systems in the light of new technologies trending toward voice interactivity. Conversation Space is the result, a website where users can practice and improve spoken English using interactive video in a speech workout with an emphasis on intonation, pitch and pronunciation. Similar to an exercise class, this active method helps users to develop expressive speech, vocal strength and confidence in all situations.
Sid, his wife, Celeste Despres-Sheres, and two teenage children reside in Manhattan Beach, California.
Software Development History
Our successful track record of speech systems development proves that we are ready for the next speech interaction revolution right now.
See Chatterbox, the Voice Reading Ability Drill ™ , the first commercial application of voice I/O in education, running on the Apple IIe with 64K and added voice hardware. In that system, young children were prompted with phrases to repeat. Phonetic vowel visual combined stimuli with voice. Meaningful images associated with syllables taught as seeds for decoding and comprehension. See the Night in Paris demonstration and some of the Reading Drill in classrooms.
Voice Learning Software Archive on Vimeo.
See Hummingbird Speech Method with Voice Sync CDs.
The Hummingbird Speech Method continues to be a significant player in the English training market in Japan and Korea. Hummingbird teaches production of Global Standard English phonetics, using mouth position icons, tongue placement and musical accompaniment. Improves voice quality, fluency, and conversational English at several franchises in Japan.
Content protected by U.S. Patent 5,286,205, updated using animated mouth movement technology for speech application development.
Voices of Space
Dani Armstrong Lindsey Harper
Lindsey Harper, Steve Aguilar, and Dani Armstrong are popular musicians here in Los Angeles, California. They bring their personal magnetism and vocal talents to create a new sweet spot with the merging of rock lyrics, rap music and everyday American speech. More artists coming soon!