Tom is an artist and engineer who has worked with some of the most influential technological and aesthetic developments of the past 4 decades. His initial formal education was as a professional artist working mostly in the medium of oil and canvas. In his early 20s Tom established a professional art studio in Monterey California where his large expressionistic works were widely shown and became part of many private collections.
In the late 1960s and early 70s Tom, working with his teacher and friend Tullio Petrucci, produced a series of Multimedia Theater and Video presentations including "Urban Mythology", an Emmy winning educational television show, and "AND", an Interactive Multimedia Rock Happening which employed an original concept digital controller with projected content over live action. One of the first multimedia companies in the world, AND Inc., was later spun-out of these early experimental productions.
In the mid-1970s Tom returned to school and studied filmmaking at the University of California (UCSC) under Eli Hollander. At UCSC the filmmaking studios were in the same building as the computer science labs, and Tom spent late nights learning more about computers. During this time Tom formed a vision of how digital technology might work as a sort of universal medium for all kinds of creative content. After graduation from UC Tom went to work for Atari Computer Games, where he did a variety of jobs, including contributions to games as well as programming manufacturing automation.
In early 1981 Tom joined Apple Computer where he worked in both the Product Engineering Group and the Advanced Technology Group (ATG). He was with Apple for over a decade and made major contributions to many significant projects including video hardware, quality assurance, processor architectures, and network applications. In 1990 Tom was awarded the Apple Advanced Technology ("Hero") Award for pioneering work with hyperlinked multimedia over broadband networks. He is the author of Apple Technical Report #14, "Language Action and Computer Network Interaction", which is now part of the Special Collections catalog at Stanford University Library.
During most of the 1990s and up to mid 2008, Tom worked with a series of companies in Director level positions, including Stanford Research Institute, Edge Dynamics, RSA Security, and Hayes Microcomputer.
Most recently Tom has run his own consulting company, Pittard & Associates, while making time for his interests in landscape painting and experimental media.