Stephen Plaza received a PhD in computer engineering from the University of Michigan, researching computer architecture, transistor-level chip optimization, and computational algorithms. After spending some time in the industry doing semi-conductor optimization. He shifted focus to bio-informatics at the Janelia Research Campus. After working on image segmentation and graph-based optimization strategies, he transitioned into a technical and managerial lead of the FlyEM project. The goal of FlyEM is to identify the connectivity of neurons in the fly brain using both automatic and manual techniques with the hope of understanding brain functionality and uncovering neurological motifs potentially relevant across many organisms.