Authority-Like Figures and Other Assorted Ignitaries, 2015

For a list of Nobel laureates, 24/7 Lecturers, and past Ig Nobel Prize winners who will also be part of this, see the ceremony web page.

Please enjoy this never-yet-complete list of 2015 Ig Nobel ignitaries, literati, glitterati, pseudo-intellectuals, quasi-pseudo-intellectuals, cogno-intellectuals and assorted others who in some way are/were assisting in bringing the Ceremony into reality.
(NOTE: ** indicates name is/was/will be misspelled)

Marc Abrahams
Marc Abrahams (Producer/Director, Master of Ceremonies, Writer) founded the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. He also edits the magazine Annals of Improbable Research, hosts the weekly Improbable Research podcast, and writes newspaper columns and the lyrics for Ig Nobel mini-operas, including The Best Life, and now and then a book.
Robin Abrahams
Robin Abrahams (Opera Assistant Driector, and Lurking Presence) writes the popular "Miss Conduct" social advice column for the Boston Globe Sunday magazine and blogs at She is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind Over Manners.
Dany Adams
Dany Adams (Diplomat) is Associate Research Professor at the Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology. She gave one of the first 24/7 Lectures, which culminated in a seven-word definition of 'biology': "If it can get infected, it's biology."
Richard Baguley
Richard Baguley (NSA Courtesy Webcast Tool) is a fellow who writes about all sorts of technology and science.
John Barrett
John Barrett (Referee) is a retired educator who stays active as a baseball umpire and soccer referee for high school and private leagues in Eastern Massachusetts.
Stephen Baum
Stephen Baum (Chorus) is a Cultural Anthropologist turned Software Writer.
Mike Benveniste (Photographer)
Vicki Bloom (Chorus) is a book reviewer, full spectrum doula, and amateur beekeeper.
Tabatha Bohmbach
Tabatha Bohmbach (Human Curtain Rod) has been a Sweeper and Miss Sweetie-Poo at past ceremonies. Now she is surviving High School and studying cosmetology.
Jim Bredt
Dr. Jim Bredt (Human Spotlight) was a co-founder of Z Corporation and co-inventor of full-color 3D Printing. He taught freshman chemistry at MIT and drew a cartoon textbook on thermodynamics, and invented the concept of the human spotlight. He currently works as a materials scientist for 1366 Technologies, a solar startup in Lexington.
Linda Brennan
Linda Brennan (Assistant Stage Manager) is a stage hand/manager in the Boston burlesque scene, a stage hand, and performer in 2 Rocky Horror casts since 1996, and wears her geek with pride.
Julie Button
Julie Button (Chorus) is a soprano, and a Microbiologist studying the human microbiome.
Cameron Call
Cameron Call (Chorus) sings, plays soccer, and is a student at the Bancroft School in Worcester.
Nick Carstoiu
Nicholas Carstoiu (Bandleader, Singer, Keyboardist, Chorus) hoc composer/stream o' consciousness improviser, BMI grant winner and member, former songwriter/bandmember/published recording artist of The Freeborne (album "Peak Impressions" now owned/published by Smithsonian Folkways), Mister Moto, The Twins Love School, and The Penny Wise Guys. Also a non-practicing licensed attorney.
Trevor Chamberlain
Trevor Chamberlain (Camera Crew) is a Boston based director, cinematographer, and editor with over a decade of experience in the film/video production industry. He has been on the Ig camera crew since 2007.

Emily Coombs
Emily Coombs (Human Curtain Rod) is a chemist and is the mother of a past Miss Sweetie-Poo.
Frank "Barefoot" Cunningham (Sound Recording) has been recording sound, barefoot, at the Ig since some time in the 20th century.
Jasper Davidson (Miss Sweetie-Poo)
Chris Deter
Chris Deter (Minordomo) is a thespian trapped inside a systems analyst's body, who likes The Great Outdoors, playing video games, and thinking about outer space.
Jack Dietz
Jack Dietz (Slide Show) is a computer scientist with BBN Technologies
Gary Dryfoos
Gary Dryfoos (Majordomo, and pre-ceremony solo singer) is a scholar, a gentleman, and a majordomo. His majordomic qualifications include intensive specialized training, and owning his own tuxedo. This is his 24th Ig.
Stanley Eigen
Stanley Eigen (Lurking Presence) has been with the Igs since the beginning. In addition to serving as Commutative Editor for the magazine Annals of Improbable Research, he is a math professor at Northeastern University (and yes, his name really is Eigen).
Alexey Eliseev
Alexey Eliseev (Photographer) takes photographs, discreetly.
Jean Evans
Jean Evans (Chaperonin)
Judith Fagan (Liaison to Winners' Families)
Doug Faunt
Doug Faunt (Technical Assistant) is a tall ship rigger, currently working on the Oliver Hazard Perry
Maria Ferrante
Maria Ferrante (Opera Soloist & Director) enjoys an active career as recording artist, recitalist, orchestral soloist, and chamber musician, in the United States and abroad. This is her seventh year starring in an Ig Nobel opera premiere.
Melissa Franklin
Melissa Franklin (Onstage Lurking Presence) is an experimental particle physicist who helped discover the top quark. She has been a V-Chip Monitor and delivered 24/7 Lectures in 2001 and 2013.
Lisa Geller
Lisa Geller (Chorus) is a Patent Attorney with a PhD in Biology. She once sang with a Nobel Laureate who has since died.
Holly Gettings
Holly Gettings (Lighting & Technology, Special Thanks) has for many years been artfully directing photons towards their destined spots on the the Ig Nobel stage.
Ray Glauber
Roy Glauber (Official Sweeper) is Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics at Harvard University. In 2005, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in physics. For ten years prior to that, he swept paper airplanes from the stage at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony; he has not ceased to continue this tradition.
Jean Berko-Gleason
Jean Berko Gleason (Welcome Welcome Speaker, Goodbye Goodbye Speaker) is professor emerita of psychology at Boston University. She is the inventor of the Wug Test. She owns a tiara.
Katherine Griffin
Katherine Griffin (Improbable Facilitator) oversees much of the logistics for the Igs and for Ig-related matters beyond the ceremony. She also has a love-hate relationship with the wearing of flip-flops in the summer.

Neil Gussman (Press Wrangler)
Rob Hart
Rob Hart (Chorus) teaches people how to make "almost anything" in the Harvard Instructional Physics Lab.
Hunter Heinlen
Hunter Heinlen (Lighting & Technology) is a gentleman of mystery, despite and because of his easy and frequent familiarity with brilliant lighting. He knows how to work diplomatically with dim bulbs.
Joel Hersch
Joel Hersch (Chorus) is an actor, singer, and director.
David Holzman
David Holzman (Photographer) has had multiple shows of classic car photos, and sells photo art at His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Smithsonian, JNCI & elsewhere. He has a remarkable speaking voice.
Karen Hopkin
Karen Hopkin (Parade Announcer, Opera Narrator), biochemist-turned-science writer, announces the opera and the Win-a-Date contest, and all sorts of things. At the 2004 Ig, Hopkin led the musical tribute to Daisuke Inoue, the inventor of Karaoke, who was awarded that year's peace prize. She is co-author of the textbook Essential Cell Biology. In her spare time, Hopkin bakes pies and collects the signatures of Nobel Laureates on a 1950s-style autograph dog. This is her 25th Ig.
Bill Hoston
Bill Hoston (Welcome Welcome Speaker, Goodbye Goodbye Speaker) is a Generalist problem solver with a PhD in Physics.
John Jenkins (Ig Informal Lectures (Saturday) Coordinator) is manager of the MIT Press Bookstore. This is his nth Ig.

Susan Kany
Susan Kany (Diplomat) has, for more than 20 years, been perfecting her diplomatic skills within Harvard's administration.
Alice Shirrell Kaswell (Writer) is a staff writer for the Annals of Improbable Research. This is her 25th Ig.
Arthur Kautz
Arthur Kautz (Stagehand) is a 5th generation engineer coming into his own geek. He has been prop master at Rebel Shakespeare, is active in FIRST robotics, and in realizing the potential of 3D printing.
Roger KautzE
Roger Kautz (Production Assistant)

Dave Kessler
David "DK" Kessler (Co-Producer and Stage Manager) is knowledgable about theater, logistics, Scotland, sea chanteys, and whisky.
Eliza Kosoy
Eliza Kosoy (Minordomo) enjoys doing her math homework while hiding from campus security. She has recently picked up a hobby of hitch-hiking, she hopes to confirm that the answer to the universe is indeed 42.
Judy Levine
Judy Levine (Chorus)
Julia Lunetta
Julia Lunetta (Minordomo, Improbable Webmaster) is a 15-year veteran minordomo. In addition to being a professional geek, she is also a semi-professional actress and musician, and an amateur human. When not shuttling people around the Sanders stage, she sings around NYC with Three Dollar Bill, a queer a cappella cabaret group.
Georgia Lyman
Georgia Lyman (Ig Glorious Liaison) is an Actor, Artistic Director, Producer, mother, and several other impressive things.
Lois Malone (Artwork & Logos) drew "The Stinker", the logo of the Annals of Improbable Research and of the Ig Nobel ceremony. Formerly at MIT, she now paints, sculpts, and designs houses in the mountains of New Mexico.
William J. Maloney
William J. Maloney (V-Chip Monitor, Prominent New York Attorney) will also be appearing as Himself.
Lauren Maurer
Lauren Maurer (Master of E-Bookery) holds an SM in Science Writing from MIT, and then helped invent the first e-book format which can be read by ALL major e-readers, used in the e-book editions of the Annals of Improbable Research. She's also a freelance science writer in Colorado.
Thomas Michel
Dr. Thomas Michel (Opera Impresario, Founder and maestro, Boston Squeezebox Ensemble) is a Cardiologist at Brigham & Women's Hospital, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. and is half of the busking duo, "Yesterday's Bait". He has been in many Igs.
Carol Morton
Carol Morton (Press Wrangler) is a freelance science journalist who has covered the Igs (and other science) for the Boston Globe and San Francisco Chronicle. She contributes regularly to Multiple Sclerosis Discovery Forum, Pain Research Forum and other news sites.
Wally Napier
Wally Napier (Press Wrangler) Studies Biology and Magic at Tufts University.
David Nickerson
David Nickerson (Sound) spends his time growing this son TJ, and his company Bay State Sound, in that order. He's been working on the Igs since 2010
Liz Oppenheim
Liz Oppenheim (Chorus) recently returned from Iceland where she enjoyed climbing into a volcano and eating all the cute animals, as any Viking might.
Bruce Petschek
Bruce Petschek (Videographer) is a freelance videographer. His production company, Seven Generations Video, has been videotaping the Igs for as long as anyone can remember and he is the chief editor of the Ig Nobel collection series on YouTube. His three children have all grown up working on the Ig Nobel video production crew since they were 6 years old and despite this formative experience they have all grown into fairly well-adjusted adults.
Gus Rancatore
Gus Rancatore (Diplomat) is the proprietor of Toscanini's Ice Cream. In 2007 he invented a new ice cream flavor to honor Mayu Yamamoto, who that year won the Ig Nobel Prize in chemistry for discovering how to extract vanillin from cow dung.
Rosalind Reid
Ros(alind) Reid (Chorus) is Executive Director of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, and collected vintage typewriters at one time.
Daniel Rosenberg
Daniel Rosenberg (Performing Chemist, and opera soloist) prepares and performs demonstrations for all the chemistry classes and many of the physics classes in the Harvard Science Center, and is a teaching fellow for many Harvard chemistry classes. He fathered two Miss Sweetie Poos, a Human Spotlight and a sweeper. He has led the performing chemist in many an Ig.
Katrina Rosenberg
Katrina Rosenberg (Human Spotlight) is a student at Northeastern University and a former Miss Sweetie Poo. This is her manyth Ig.
Natasha Rosenberg
Natasha Rosenberg (Minordomo, Chorus) is a former Miss Sweetie Poo and a former Human Spotlight
Sylvia Rosenberg
Sylvia Rosenberg (Minordomo, Chorus) is a former Miss Sweetie Poo, and a current student at Harvard College.
Louise Sacco
Louise Sacco (Grand Panjandrum of the Delegations) is the Permanent Acting Interim Executive Director of the Museum of Bad Art. She is also an usher at Red Sox games in Fenway Park.
Rob Sanders
Rob Sanders (Production Assistant & Stagehand) is still amazed that the simple statement "I love the Igs," has somehow ensured him perpetual employment, albeit for only 2 days a year. This is his 17th Ig.
Don Schechter
Don Schechter (Camera Crew) is the founder of Charles River Media Group and a part-time lecturer at Tufts University in Film. His secretive past involves music composition and theremin performance.
Abby Schiff
Abby Schiff (Chorus) is an MD-PhD student at Harvard Medical School and played Clarinet for the 2013 Igs.
Warren Senders
Warren Senders (Chorus) is a faculty member at New England Conservatory. He is the son of an Ig Nobel Prize winner and the father of a former Miss Seetie-Poo.
Ted Sharpe
Ted Sharpe (Chorus) is a Computational Biologist at the Broad Institute and is half of the busking duo, Yesterday's Bait.
Cody Signore
Cody Signore (Camera Crew) is an Assistant Director and Cinematographer with Charles River Media Group and has worked on commercials, narratives, documentary films and a few of his own feature film involving cowboys and bounty hunters.
Miles Smith (Sound Recording) is a freelance audio engineer based in the Boston area, is currently on staff at WGBH Radio, is chief engineer for the Spanish Beisbol Network, works with "This American Life", and has had a hand in three Grammy-nominated albums. Most important, he has been involved in many, many Igs.
Quentin Smith
Quentin Smith (Director of Improbable Engineering) has been playing with wires down the street at MIT for the past many years, first as an MIT undergrad, now as a Google person. His latest project is to build a digital waterfall. In his spare time, he works on cool video projects with MIT Student Cable.
Catherine Quick Spingler
Catherine Quick Spingler (Opera Costumer) During her tenure as Costume Designer at Clark University she designed the Main Stage productions. This is her third adventure designing costumes for an Ig Nobel opera premiere.

Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (opera music) wrote the music for The Mikado and many other operas (the words of which were written by W.S. Gilbert), and also wrote the tune Onward, Christian Soldiers. Then he died, and became a co-author of The Best Life.
Geri Sullivan
Geri Sullivan (Artwork & Logos, IgBill Design and Layout, Slide Show) is a graphic designer at her own firm, PROmote Communications, and is the design and layout director of the Annals of Improbable Research.
Sharada Sundaram-Senders
Sharada Sundaram-Senders (Stage Presence) is a past Sweetie-Poo who is passionate about dinosaurs (particularly the Parasauralophus). She is an avid singer and has already memorized Tom Lehrer's "The Elements", and can move her pupils independently."
Vijaya Sundaram
Vijaya Sundaram (Chorus) is the mother of a former Miss Sweetie-Poo.
Scott TaylorE
Scott Taylor (Opera Soloist) is a singer, trombonist, chip designer for Intel, co-owner of Stage Loft Repertory Theater, and mentor for a robotics team.
Persis thorndike
Persis Thorndike (Diplomat) is a professional Field Interviewer and Data Collector. She is also a planner/coordinator for several science fiction conventions and enjoys wearing clothes with all the colors of the rainbow.
Peaco Todd
Peaco Todd (Minordomo) works as a political columnist/cartoonist and professor. Her work can be found at and
Pooja Usgaonkar
Pooja Usgaonkar (Minordomo) is a software engineer and musician interested in local sustainability

Giuseppi Verdi (opera music) wrote Aida and La Traviata, and also many other operas. Then he died, and became a co-author of The Best Life.
Corky White
Corky White (Diplomat) is a food anthropologist, based at Boston University. She presently is engaged in research on urban social spaces and social change in Japan, particularly on the history of the cafe. She is perhaps the world's greatest professional scholar of Japanese coffee culture.
Eric Workman
Eric Workman (Prize, Props and Scenery Creation, Performing Props Master) creates unusual things at Boston's Museum of Science. He has been designing and building Ig Nobel Prizes for well over a decade.
Patrick Yacono
Patrick Yacono (Opera Pianist) is a researcher at the Harvard Medical School and an active freelance pianist. He also plays Bulgarian bagpipe (squeezebag) and is a member of the Boston Squeezebox Ensemble.
Yulia Yun
Yulia Yun (Opera Rehearsal Pianist) is a first prize winner at the Uzbekistan National Piano Competition and has since studied piano with Sergei Polusmiak, Eda Mazo Shlyam, and Ludmilla Lifson. She holds degrees in Music and French.