Dr. Wayne C. Westerman

Senior Engineer of Multi-Touch Gestures and Algorithms, Apple Inc.

Wayne C. Westerman
"Develop your intuition for modeling some part of the world with mathematics. This makes the math more relevant and enjoyable, and will distinguish you from peers even if only basic calculus or geometry is required."
Wayne Westerman serves as Senior Engineer of Multi-Touch Gestures and Algorithms at Apple Inc. He graduated valedictorian of his high school in Belton, Mo., and won a Purdue Presidential Honors (Steven C. Beering) full-ride scholarship in 1991. He earned his BSEE with highest distinction from Purdue University in 1994; and started graduate school at the University of Delaware in 1995 under a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, where he earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering.

As a student at Purdue University, Westerman enjoyed Purdue's solar car club and helped design a large, robust solar array for Purdue's 1993 Sunrayce entry. As a junior, he began undergraduate research in neuromorphic systems under the tutelage of ECE Professor Neal Gallagher.

Westerman’s tinkering with ergonomic input devices serendipitously combined with advisor John Elias' neuromorphic systems expertise for an exploration of typing and gesture on multi-finger, capacitive touch-sensitive surfaces that anticipated today's iPad. In 1999, Westerman and Elias founded FingerWorks, a startup that produced a line of zero-force trackpads and keyboards with integrated gesture shortcuts. FingerWorks attracted a loyal community of customers who could once again use a computer pain-free. Apple acquired FingerWorks and its founders in 2005 as part of its quest to deliver the iPhone and iPad. Westerman has been granted more than a dozen U.S. patents on multi-touch.