People

Faculty

Andy Nealen
Assistant Professor in Game Engineering, Computer Graphics, Perceptual Science
nealen@nyu.edu

Andy is a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, where he teaches and researches computer graphics, game design, and game engineering. Some time ago he studied Architecture and Structural Engineering, and worked in those fields before turning his attention to the study and design of games and computer graphics. He obtained his PhD in computer science at TU Berlin, helped out with the Apple-Design-Award-winning game Osmos, published work at SIGGRAPH, and has spoken at international game and computer graphics conferences. Some of his current obsessions include minimalist game design, tabletop game design, interactive shape modeling and animation, the semiology of graphics, perceptual science, and minimal graphical user interfaces. When not thinking about design, research, and/or traveling, he indulges in sessions of StarCraft, Street Fighter, Chess, Go, and too many other video and tabletop games. Click here to reach his website.

Julian Togelius
Associate Professor
julian.togelius@nyu.edu

I work on artificial intelligence and games. I research and develop methods for making games more fun, easier to design and develop, more adaptive, or just to enable games and interactive experiences that we cannot yet create. I'm interested in all kinds of games that people actually play: video games, board games, card games or mind games. When it comes to AI techniques I'm flexible and willing to engage with all kinds of methods, but my methodological roots are in evolutionary computation and neural networks. Some keywords that describe what I do are game AI, player modelling, procedural content generation, automatic game design, believable bot behaviour, coevolution, neuroevolution, genetic programming and monte carlo tree search.

Researchers

Mike Karlesky

Ph.D Candidate

I'm a Computer Science Ph.D. Candidate. My research areas are Human Computer Interaction, Affective Computing, and Playful Technologies. Projects of mine include Fidget Widgets and Open Sesame. More of my work past and present as well as my writing is available at my own site. Before graduate school I spent twelve years in the computer engineering field. I've contributed to and published on several open source projects. If you want to talk about amusement parks or the New York City subway, drop me a note.

Edward Melcer

Ph.D Candidate

I'm a PhD student in the Computer Science department. My research interests include Educational Games and Technology, HCI, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Affective Computing, and Novel Interfaces. I have also placed as a finalist or won several educational game development contests such as the Future Game Designer Challenge and the 2nd Annual Games for Learning Design Competition. I love all aspects of games and in my free time I often build them as a hobby. eddie.melcer@nyu.edu http://edwardmelcer.net/

Ming Jin

Ph.D Candidate

Ming is a PhD student in Computer Science, working with Prof. Andy Nealen. His research interests are in 3D shape modeling and animation. He is currently working on some exciting new user interfaces for skeletal character animations.

Aaron Isaksen


Aaron Isaksen has been working in the games industry since 2003, and is now helping advance the science of game design as a PhD student at the NYU School of Engineering Game Innovation Lab, studying automated game tuning and data-driven computer aided game design under Professor Andy Nealen. Aaron is graduate of UC Berkeley and MIT, where he worked in the Computer Graphics Group under Leonard McMillan and Steven Gortler on light field image-based rendering. Aaron is also a founding partner of Indie Fund (www.indie-fund.com), which aims to support the growth of games as a medium by helping indie developers get and stay financially independent, funding hits like Monaco, Dear Esther, Antichamber, and more. He has co-created with his partnership AppAbove Games (www.appabovegames.com) more than 10 indie mobile games and most recently Chip Chain for iOS and Android. Aaron is an organizer for IndieCade East, has spoken at many conferences including Game Developer Conference and SIGGRAPH, and helps advise game related startups such as IndieBox, Cartrdge, and the NYU Game Center Incubator.

Dan Gopstein


Dan graduated from Rutgers University, has worked for several years as a Software Engineer and is currently pursuing a PhD in Computer Science at NYU.

Zhu Wang


I am a PhD student in Computer Science, co-advised by Prof. Andy Nealen and Prof. Ken Perlin. My research interests span Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Computer Graphics and Human Computer Interaction. My goal is to achieve new experiences in Games for Learning or education by using creative technologies.

Philip J Bontrager


I am a Ph.D Candidate studying in the AI field and how to use it to address real world problems.  I am interested in the ways that games can be used to model problems or act as a training environment for people or AIs.  I did my undergraduate work at Goshen College in Math and Informatics.  At NYU I'm continuing the passions of my undergraduate work in my research on Artificial Intelligence.

Ahmed A Khalifa


Ahmed is a PhD Student in Computer Science at NYU. His main interest is in Game Design, Procedural Content Generation, and Game AI. He is also an indiegame developer/designer known as "Amidos". He has designed lots of puzzle, arcade, and a few action games (http://www.amidos-games.com/games/).

Andre Mendes


Andre Mendes graduated in Mechatronics Engineering at PUCPR Brazil. He has received scholarship from and he is part of Fundação Estudar, an institution that supports outstanding Brazilian students and leaders in different fields. He is now pursuing his Ph.D. in Computer Science at NYU under supervision of professor Julian Togelius. His interests are machine learning, player modeling and neural networks.

Gabriella Barros


Gabriella was a PhD candidate at the IT University of Copenhagen, and now is a PhD candidate at NYU under Julian Togelius's supervision. She was awarded a scholarship from Science Without Borders and CAPES to pursue her PhD, and holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the Federal University of Alagoas (Brazil), and a M.Sc. in Computer Science from the Federal University of Pernambuco (Brazil). Her main research focus is Data Games, which are games with procedurally generated content based upon open data. She is also interested in procedural content generation and artificial intelligence.

Christoffer Holmgrad


I'm a Postdoctoral Associate at the Game Innovation Lab. I do research at the crossroads of cognitive psychology, game theory and design, and artificial intelligence. My work is focused on decision making in games, procedural personas for game design support, and the use of games as profiling and assessment tools. Before I joined the Game Innovation Lab, I did my PhD at the IT University of Copenhagen. Even earlier, in the distant past, I did a BA in psychology at the University of Copenhagen. I also worked as a researcher at the Institute of Military Psychology of the Royal Danish Defence College where I focused on longitudinal studies of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as assessment and selection of personnel for roles ranging from conscripts to fighter pilots. I am active in game development as a member of the game curatorial group Copenhagen Game Collective, a partner in the critically acclaimed game studio Die Gute Fabrik, and a co-founder and -owner of applied game design and development group, Duck and Cover Games. I love playing all kinds of games, digital and analogue, but especially social games and turn-based or real-time strategy. If you play Clairvoyance, I'm holmgard - shoot me a game invite!

Fernando de Mesentier Silva


Fernando has a B.Sc. in Computer Science and a M.Sc. in Computer Graphics from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and is now a PhD Student in the Computer Science Department, working with Prof. Andy Nealen. He is interested in using AI and possibly Computer Graphics to generate insights into a game's design. He is currently working on generating simple effective heuristics for playing games. He is also the co-founder of Asterism Game Studio LLC, currently working on the game Awkward Date.

Staff

Chris DiMauro

Tech Wizard

An alum of Polytechnic's Digital Media Masters program, Chris is a Wearer of many hats: Web design, electronics, game programming, 3d modeling, robotics; He's tinkered in a broad range of fields. Right now he's the go-to man for any tech in the Game lab, whether it means keeping the lab computers working smoothly to getting exotic remote controls to work with student made games. Fun Stuff!

Residents

Kaho Abe

Artist-in-Residence

Kaho Abe is currently the Artist in Residence at the Game Innovation Lab at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering where she researches and builds games that utilize technology to bring people together face to face. Some of her projects include Hit Me!, Mary Mack 5000 and Ninja Shadow Warrior. Kaho's work is largely focused on improving social and personal experiences through the use of technology, fashion and games. Her projects have appeared in shows and conferences in NYC, Boston, San Jose, the UK, Greece, China and Japan, and have been discussed in various publications including I.D. Magazine, Kill Screen Magazine, CNET News, NBC, NY1 and Asahi Shimbun. Kaho teaches classes and workshops on designing and building alternative physical game controllers, and co-hosts a monthly playtesting event with Come Out and Play at Eyebeam Art & Technology Center. She holds a MFA in Design & Technology from Parsons the New School for Design and was formerly a Fellow at Eyebeam. Learn more about Kaho...

Ramsey Nasser

Developer in Residence

Ramsey Nasser is a computer scientist, game designer, and educator based in Brooklyn. He researches programming languages by building tools to make computation more expressive and implementing projects that question the basic assumptions we make about code itself. His games playfully push people out of their comfort zones, and are often written in experimental programming languages of his design. A former Eyebeam fellow and a member of Kitchen Table Coders, when he is not reasoning about abstract unintuitive machines, he builds and maintains vintage motorcycles.

Secret Crush

Game Designers in Residence

Secret Crush Corporation is Aaron Freedman, Diego Garcia, and Toni Pizza -- an up and coming development studio making heartbreakingly fun games. They create engaging action games that explore diverse worlds and charming characters. As Developers in Residence at the Game Innovation Lab they contribute to our community by providing feedback and collaboration from a practical perspective. They also organize events with the lab and contribute to the development community at NYU. Secret Crush is excited about learning from the members of the Game Innovation Lab and their groundbreaking research.

Collaborators

View Alumni Here

Events

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