Yiannis Laouris together with George Vakanas are credited for developing the CYBER KIDS Dream. Before even launching the actual project, Maria Symeonides, at the time a software debugger working for Apple Inc at Cupertino, joined the team. The three together developed the CYBER KIDS Vision and the CYBER KIDS Philosophy.
Early life and adventures in IT
Yiannis was born in Pafos, Cyprus in 1958 as the son of teacher Christodoulos Laouris and house wife Artemis Laouri. He spent most of his childhood in villages following the father's appointments. He attended a year at the English School, Nicosia, three years at the Pancyprian Gymnasium and after becoming a refugee in 1974, two years at the Acropolis Gymnasium. As a kid he was always attracted to toys that allowed him to create new things. In 1976, together with to other friends, he bought his first computer, a ZX81 and learned to program in machine language. While serving in the Cypriot National Guard as the first Cypriot cryptographer, he managed to break military code and improve it. As a result he was promoted to senior cryptographer and served at the Headquarters. His second computer, in 1984, a Commodore 64, made it into East Germany. His first programs were educational games for kids, a medical diagnosis program, an addition game and a software to support statistics and visualisations during elections time. Yiannis won a Fulbright scholarship to study electronic engineering in the US, but he ended up in Germany.
Yiannis studied medicine at the Karl Marx University (today known as University of Leipzig (German: Universität Leipzig), in Leipzig, after having won one of three scholarships offered by the German Democratic Republic to the Cyprus Government. He, however, enjoyed the benefits of three scholarships; also one given for high grades, and a Salvador Allende Stipendium given to the best foreign student of the university. In parallel to his studies, together with Joulietta Kalli who later became his wife, he completed a PhD in Neurophysiology with Peter Schwartze as his advisor. He was awarded a summa cum laude. This achievement attracted significant press coverage <ref>http://www.futureworlds.eu/wiki/Vitae/Yiannis_Laouris/Newspaper_coverage_of_the_Doctorate</ref>, because they were the first foreign students who ever completed a PhD in parallel with their medical studies in the history of East Germany. His research was published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
After working for almost two years as a general practician at the Limassol General Hospital in Cyprus, Yiannis continued his research in neurophysiology at the Georg-August University Göttingen with cyberneticists and systems physiologists Professors Hans Diedrich Henatsch and Uwe Windhorst. They applied Digital Signal Processing in time- and frequency domains to single-unit recordings from experimental animals to study transmission properties and fatique of cat motor neurons, muscle afferents and Renshaw cells. Their research was published in more than 10 peered reviewed papers in Journal of Neurophysiology, Brain Research, Experimental Brain Research, Neuroscience, and Pfluegers Archives of European Journal of Physiology <ref>http://www.futureworlds.eu/wiki/Vitae:_Yiannis_Laouris#Publications_in_Neurophysiology_and_Motor_Control Publications in Neurophysiology</ref>. Two years later, he moved to Arizona, US, where he joined the Robotics, Prosthetics, Motor Control Group, first as post-doc and later as Research Assistant Professor. His work with Douglas G. Stuart resulted on at least 10 more peered reviewed publications and dozens of conference presentations. While at the University of Arizona, he also completed a Masters in Systems and Industrial Engineering, with GPA=4.0.
Colleagues, Moments, and Innovations in science