After taking several MIT STEP classes as an MIT undergraduate, Daniel Wendel officially joined MIT STEP as a Master of Engineering student under Prof. Klopfer’s supervision in 2005, taking on the task of rewriting StarLogo TNG’s terrain system and much of its 3D rendering system. After graduation and a brief stint as a Systems Engineer in the defense industry, Daniel returned to STEP as a staff member to help lead the then-newly-formed Imagination Toolbox project, which aims to increase student interest and ability in STEM subjects through the use of computer tools like StarLogo TNG. Daniel continues to work as software developer, curriculum designer, and research associate for several projects in STEP/TEA, and also takes his role as a student supervisor and mentor very seriously. He’s worked closely with over 30 UROP and M.Eng. students who’ve contributed in countless ways to the STEP/TEA team.
The Turtle is the central actor of Logo, a pioneering computer language that gave elementary school students the opportunity to become computer programmers. This particular turtle, though, is a hand-made gift from Daniel's wife, who is a better programmer than he is.