Instructor on Golden Gate BridgeHello, I am Dan Vaughan and I am instructor for UCLA Extension and have been since the summer of 2000. I have taught 150 classes for them.

In all, I have taught roughly 200 post-secondary classes including courses at NYU's Center for Advanced Digital Applications, California State University - Dominguez Hills, Santa Monica College, The Art Institute of California, Middlesex Community College (MA), and The Computer Learning Center.

Until recently, my full time job for 12 years was as a proprietary software instructor, instructional video producer, and technical writer/illustrator for Rhythm & Hues, a computer animation studio that, at its peak in 2012, had studios in Los Angeles, Vancouver, Kuala Lumpur, Taiwan, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. My title was Senior Educator. The studio is known mainly for its computer generated animals and visual effects that are added to live action shots.

In 2013 the company went bankrupt just days after winning the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for their work on Life of Pi.

Here are some of the highlights that occurred at the studio during the time I was there – I taught some of the studio's proprietary software and tools to many of the people who worked on these films (including in LA, Vancouver, and Mumbai):

In my career I have also been (all of the following were in New York City):

Several major national awards have come my way for my work in advertising including these for:

My clients have included major software publishers such as Microsoft and almost all major American advertising agencies, broadcast networks, and cable networks at the time. Through Rhythm & Hues I have trained personnel for, and occasionally worked on, projects for most of the top Hollywood studios including:

My favorite subject is Usability Engineering for the Web, which includes UX (User Experience). I created a course for it for UCLA Extension in 2002. It is the art and science of creating web sites that are easy to use. I believe that usability is a still under-appreciated yet vitally important field. The inability of people to understand web sites, software, and other "user interfaces" has a huge, yet difficult to measure, affect on efficiency. It costs billions in lost revenues to the companies that do not pay enough attention to it.

I have a BA from Goddard College and have also studied at NYU's Center for Advanced Digital Applications, The School of Visual Arts, MIT, The Cooper Union, The New School For Social Research, and I have a UCLA Extension Certificate to the Instructor Development Program.

Shameless self-promotional pictures of me
with the Rhythm & Hues Studio Oscar winners

Dan Vaughan with Oscar Wiiners Erik DeBoer and Bill Westenhofer
I hate to brag, but you know I will...
Bill Westenhofer (above, left) and Erik DeBoer (right), both of Rhythm & Hues (my former employer) in February 2013. They each won both the 2012 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and the 2012 British Academy Award for Special Visual Effects for their work on Life of Pi. Also nominated for the same Oscar was another R&H project, Snowhite and the Huntsman. I trained several people at various R&H locations who worked on both films. That's me in the middle. Although I did not win, nor am I holding, an award, I cleverly positioned myself to make it seem that way! Did I fool you? At the time this picture was taken, lawyers were passing by to meet about the R&H bankruptcy that had occurred two weeks before the awards ceremony. That's show-biz!

Dan Vaughan with Oscar Wiiner Bill Westenhofer
Bill Westenhofer (left) of Rhythm & Hues won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for The Golden Compass. I (on the right) trained several of the people who worked on it.