My name is Michael Plasmeier, but almost everyone calls me Plaz. I am a Associate Product Manager at Yahoo - working on the Membership and Geo-related platforms teams. I graduated from MIT in 2013 in Computer Science and Management. I am halfway between the tech and the business world, doing both web development and product development. My interest in doing both started while I was working on GridView, an app I built after 10th Grade that reached 1.3 million users on Facebook.
Last IAP, I was a Software Development Extern doing testing in Ruby on the back end at CardSpring. Last summer, I was Product Manager at Disney Parks and Resorts Online where I worked on a project for Disney Cruise Line. Last January, I worked in management/strategy consulting at Altman Vilandrie & Company. The previous summer, I was a web developer at NextJump, an online affiliate advertising firm in New York. Prior to that, I was an extern in the Office of the Chief Scientist at State Street. My freshman summer I worked at Deutsche Bahn, the German national railroad, where I designed the smartphone version Touch&Travel, an app that lets you pay for the train with your phone.
At MIT I was heavily involved in classes, usually taking 7 classes a term, while being involved in student government. (I wrote about how I do it in Working out a System.) senior was dedicated to wrapping up requirements. Junior year at MIT I focused on EECS classes, as well as being elected president of Baker House. My second year at MIT focused on management classes. I was also involved in the vendor selection and implementation of the new dining plan. Freshman year, I took core classes and served on the Athena and Printing Committee. (I wrote about just hanging on freshmen year in Learning to Learn.)
I built a lot of web projects in high school. My most popular project, was GridView , an app for Facebook which lets you add the profile pics of all of you're friends to your Facebook profile. GridView had over 1.3 million users and made me some money.
I hosted and produced the video podcast Tecker 911  along with some of my friends. Tecker 911 was a series of 100 5-15 minute shows each which covers a technology topic in a way which is relevant for ordinary people, with a focus towards students and our community. Tecker 911 was also shown on our local public access channel Channel 11.
I started SeniorQuoter,  an open-source web application for senior quotes collections for high school yearbooks. In 11th Grade, I lead a Dynamic Website Building Instruction and Practical Experience Group Study at my high school. I helped 4 other students learn PHP and MySQL and then I project managed version 2 of SeniorQuoter, the administration interface.
Tecker and Conflicter were question and answer services I built in 10th Grade. They never really caught on, but they were the perfect way to learn PHP. Dictionary Robot is something I tarted last year, but abandoned later. In 10th Grade, I was a member of Team 484 and in 11th Grade I was their webmaster.
In 8th and 9th Grades I wrote bunch of programs for the TI-83+.
My first two years at MIT, I was a regular on The Weekly Spin, a weekly take on tech stories and tech policy.
On my Tech page I have had a few pages about Devices I own and other small things that I have built. For example, I also made some improvements for MediaWiki, the software that runs ThePlaz.com and Wikipedia. I made a new skin for MediaWiki and a few MediaWiki extensions
I also tag a lot of stories on Delicious. I also have over 70,000 photos on Flickr. I Tweet kinda regularly. I also post things to YouTube. And of course I have a Facebook. It all comes together on my FriendFeed.
On my site you will find:
- Updates on what I am involved in
- Links to my other projects
- My comments on the world
- Photos and videos I have taken
- School work and notes I have made
I hope that this knowledge will help people less-fortunate than me persevere and succeed. All of my work is under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 license, meaning that you may use it and re-post it anywhere as long as you post my name/nickname, provide a link back to my site, and don't make money off my work. Many people visit my site from overseas where the school system is not as good.
See Site Mission Statement for more
- For 9th Grade I have posted projects I did on the computer
- For 10th Grade I have posted not only my work I made on a computer but laboriously scanned all of my handwritten notes and worksheets
- For 11th Grade I am only posting my own notes (no worksheets) from very structured classes; I am scaling back
- For 12th Grade I used a tablet PC, so I have posted my OneNote notebooks from the class
- For MIT Freshman year, I used a tablet PC for the first semester; realized this was a bad idea; so I used paper which I scanned and released as large PDFs the second semester. Note MIT actually does the same thing I do with MIT OCW.
- For MIT Sophomore I will continue to post large, comprehensive PDFs.
- See also my Notes Key
- For up-to-date info see Special:Statistics
There are 6,499 total pages in the database, including 1,578 pages in the main namespace and 5,000 files uploaded. These counts do not include OneNote notebooks on minisites or SkyDrive, and count multi-page files (PDF and Word) as one page.
There have been a total of 5,163,449 page views, and 16,470 page edits since ThePlaz.com was setup. That comes to 2.53 average edits per page, and 313.51 views per edit.