He’s a card-carrying Mad Scientist. His resume of achievements is almost as big as his heart. And soon IBM Fellow John Cohn, will take your questions about science, tech, “Burning Man” art cars, the Internet of Things, reality TV, Vermont’s maker scene and innovation through play

So head over to Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (AMA) page on Friday 12/19, at 12:30 PM EST to pick his exuberant mind and pick up some tips on how to bring more play into your career and life.


Meet our crown prince of Play, IBM Fellow John Cohn

It’s playtime! Self-proclaimed nerd and mad scientist John Cohn is crashing the sandbox, as IBMblr explores the power of PLAY and it’s role in innovation. He may be an IBM Fellow with a PhD, but John’s really a big kid at heart. When he’s not in the office, you’ll often find him on reality TV, in the backyard blowing stuff up, in his workshop building mechanical merriments or traveling the world spreading his love for all things science. So follow along and as John often says, “DO try this at home!”

Ask an IBM Mad Scientist Anything, Today on Reddit

IBMer John Cohn. He’s super smart, with 65+ patents to his name.  He’s a reality TV star.  A backyard science experimenter. A regular “Burning Man” attendee. And was on the team that created video gaming chips. All in all, he has more nerd cred than you can shake a Tesla coil at. 

And today, at 12.30 EST, he’ll also become a Reddit AMAer, so you can ask John anything!

Just sign in to Reddit and join in on the geek-kingdom conversation.   (You need to have an account to ask John anything, so if you don’t have one, create one here.)

Oh, and don’t forget to ask him about Innovation through Play! See you there!

You say engineering, electronics, high voltage, and pyrotechnics; we say, the one and only Prince of Play, John Cohn. There isn’t much this IBM Fellow hasn’t dabbled in in the names of Science and Play. Take “Floorish,” the interactive floor he created for Burlington’s Firehouse Gallery in Vermont. By using Kinects, it lights-up in response to gallery visitors’ foot movements. It also lets you control the lights from your mobile device or desktop (have a play here). Other creations that have earned him nerd cred the world over: a gigantic pneumatic Pumpkin Robot, a humongous Mobile Art Car for Burning Man, a giant ‘touch sensitive’ keyboard for Phish bass player Mike Gordon.



JOHN, the vision visionary.  [1,l]
CHITRA, the difference maker.  [1,r]
JING, the analytics oracle.  [2,l]
MICKEY, the master builder.  [2,r]
BALA, the cloud connoisseur .[3,l]
JAMES, the high-performance machine.  [3,r]
MICHAEL, the cloud cultivator.  [4,l]]
DONNA, the System Z zealot.  [4,r]
STEVE, the Power player.  [5,l]
BERNI, the Big Data big man.  [5,r]

Also known as IBM Fellows. Congrats to the Class of ’15.