Hi there, I'm

Mark Havens

Maker Scientist Writer


Dallas Maker Community

I am Founder and Executive Director of Dallas Maker Community. We are a non-profit organization that helps, promotes, and safeguards all Dallas/Fort Worth area makerspaces that contribute to the public good. This includes for-profit makerspaces, non-profit makerspaces, college/university makerspaces, public school makerspaces, and library makerspaces.

We also work to support other important maker/makerspace interests in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. We believe in the power of making, and its ability to change lives. Our goal is to make Dallas/Fort Worth a mecca for Maker culture. By promoting, growing, and living our Maker culture here at home, we will be doing our part to grow and support the Maker Movement throughout the world!

Dallas Makerspace

I've always been fascinated by how people interact with their environment and each other. In 2010, I founded Dallas Makerspace, which grew to become the largest all-volunteer-run community workshop on the planet. Dallas Makerspace is one of the proudest ways I have given back. It serves as a monument to show how people can organize and come together to share their passions, leading to massive impact. People not only impact their own communities through makerspaces, but they can impact the whole world.

Dallas Makerspace is more than just a community workshop. It's a place where people can come together and learn new skills, make friends, and create things they never thought possible. It has everthing from woodworking and metalworking tools to 3D printers and sewing machines.

It has grown to become the gold standard for community makerspaces all over the world. What started as a small group of passionate people has become a template for an international makerspace movement that has changed the way people think about making things.

Academic Research

I'm an academic researcher with a diverse background in data science and machine learning. However, I find more fulfillment studying the softer sciences, such as management science, game theory, and human psychology.

Awarded a Ph.D. fellowship from UT Arlington in 2016, my formal research has taken a number of turns. While researching from a Computer Science perspective, I look for ways to use computing to explore the many ways that humans interact with each other and make decisions.


I am an occasional writer of science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories. I like to dabble in all sorts of genres (e.g., I've been facinated by children's fables and often write them for my own children), but I'm always fascinated by the ways people interact with each other, and how they solve problems. My hope is that through my writing, I can help people see the world in a new light.

I'm also a fairly prolific author on Medium, writing on nonfiction topics such as mental health, technology, and fiction writing.


Machine LearningBig DataAffective Computing
Facial Expression AnalysisPsychologyGame Theory
Cloud ArchitectureMarketingProgramming Languages
Community LeadershipTeam LeadershipManagement Systems
Information SecurityComputer NetworkingElectronics


A few proud moments from my life story...

Worked for the NSF

In 2018, I supervised a deep learning research team for the National Science Foundation to build a working prototype of a wearable emotion detection device for the autistic and visualy impared.

Worked for the US Air Force

In 2018, I conducted deep learning research for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, New York that could lead to more reliable ways to detect microexpressions in the face from standard video sources.

Worked for NASA

In 2016, I organized a research team to build a prototype of a wifi mobile disruption-tolerent ad-hoc mesh network for use on the international space station.

Began Ph.D.

In 2016, I was awarded a full fellowship, funded by the Department of Education, to pursue a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Finished Masters

In 2013, I received an MSM in Information Security from Colorado Technical University.

Worked for AT&T

In 2010, I became a senior technical architect at AT&T, where I began designing production datacenter and cloud infrastructure. My most notable project was the development of all datacenter infrastructure blueprints for the nationwide rollout of the iPhone's online billing system.

Began Nonprofit Startup

In 2010, I began working with members of the Dallas Personal Robotics Group (DPRG) to co-found Dallas Makerspace later that year as the first makerspace in Dallas. It's now a million dollar company.

Worked for Verizon

In 2006, I began working as a lead systems engineer for core customer-facing voice and internet applications.

Finished Bachelors

In 2005, I earned a BS in Computer Science from what is now the University of Texas Rio Grand Valley.

Worked for Microsoft

In 1999, I began working as a SQL Developer & Database Analyst.

Sold Tech Startup

In 1998, I sold a tech startup that I began just three years earlier.

Finished Trade School

In 1998, after taking many programming courses that included mastering COBOL (in preparation for Y2K), I received an Applied Associates Degree in Computer Science Technology from Texas State Technical College.

First Employees

In 1996, I began to hire the first members of my support and sales staff.

First Support Contract

In 1995, I was hired exclusivily to provide systems support for a startup Internet Service Provider and its customers.

First Hacker Gig

In 1995, I was hired by a startup hardware manufacturer to decompile and reverse engineer a disk caching feature of Microsoft DOS.

First Government Job

In 1995, I became the youngest intern to work in what is now the Information Technology and Security Services division of the Texas Attorney General.

First Real Job

In 1992, at the age of 16, I got my first hourly job as a computer technician, where I discovered the unpleasant duty of paying taxes.

First Community Organization

In 1990, at the age of 14, I started the Lower Valley Computer Club (LVCC) in my hometown, which grew to over 100 members.

First PC Build

In 1989, at the age of 13, I built an 8088 IBM PC XT clone from the free parts I had collected while doing computer repair and upgrade work for various business owners at my church. I then put it to work as a BBS that remained in popular use for the next six years.

First Program

In 1984, at the age of 7, I wrote my first computer program in Applesoft BASIC that went beyond copying from the manual:

20 GOTO 10