Katherine Isbister
Research Director

Associate Professor jointly appointed in NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering Computer Science and Engineering and NYU Tisch Game Center, and founding Research Director of the lab. Katherine has several projects that use the Lab as a home base, all focused on enhancing the social and emotional qualities of Human Computer Interaction, mostly through the design, prototyping, and evaluation of research games. Examples include 'Yamove!,' a movement-based cooperative dance battle game funded by Yahoo Research, which recently debuted at the NYU Game Center No Quarter exhibition, Scoop! a movement-based math game for middle school students, funded through Microsoft Research's grant to the NYU Games for Learning Institute, and Brooklyn Blooms, an IP camera-based game designed to encourage group play in public settings, funded by Bell Labs.

Andy Nealen

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.

Nasir Memon

Nasir Memon is a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and director of the Information Systems and Internet Security (ISIS) laboratory at NYU-Poly and  the founding director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Security and Privacy (CRISSP), a collaborative initiative of multiple schools within NYU including NYU-Steinhardt, NYU-Wagner, NYU-Stern and NYU-Courant. His research interests include digital forensics, data compression, and multimedia computing and security.  His research in the NYU-Poly Game Innovation Lab focuses on gesture based  authentication and gaming for security.  iSign-On is a popular, signature protected security & privacy application for iPhone co-developed by Nasir that was user-tested in the GIL before it’s completion and approval for sale in the Apple app store. Currently, with funding from the National Science Foundation, there is a four person team in place at the GIL and Boston University,  researching novel techniques for user authentication. He is also looking to form a team to initiate work in gaming for security.  Nasir teaches the mobile application programming course at Game Innovation Lab. 

Yao Wang
Professor   Professor Yao Wang is an Electrical Engineering professor and director of both the VideoLab and the MultiMedia lab at Polytechnic Institute of NYU (insert link). She is currently conducting research projects in the NYU-Poly Game Innovation Lab that deal with subjective quality modeling for video and applications involving media from a user satisfaction standpoint. Her team is also interested in the process of enhancing encoded video during video streaming for increased user satisfaction, for example how can the user experience while streaming Netflx be improved? In the coming year, Professor Wang and her team will be getting more deeply involved with multi-view/3D video delivery and perception to enhance user experience in game play. One of Yao’s key goals for the GIL in the upcoming year is to see more interactions and activity across disciplines between the different research groups occupying the lab.  
Mike Karlesky

Ph.D Research Assistant

I'm a Computer Science Ph.D. student. Katherine Isbister is my advisor. My research areas are HCI, Affective Computing, and Playful Technologies. I spent twelve years in the computer engineering field before graduate school. I've contributed to and published on several open source projects. I love amusement and theme parks, and I enjoy long walks on binary search trees.

Edward Melcer

Ph.D Research Assistant

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.

Xiaofeng Chen

iOS Developer/Graduate Assistant

I’m a Master's student in the Computer Science department at NYU-POLY and a Graduate Assistant working on IOS game development under Katherine Isbister in Game Innovation Lab. I’ve made several IOS games by myself before and currently, I’m working on a multiplayer movement-tracking dance game called Yamove and a movement-based duel game called Void Blade. My areas of interest are movement tracking and multiplayer game design.

Yuanyi Xue

Ph.D candidate

I am a Ph.D candiate majoring in Electrical Engineering. Prof. Yao Wang is my advisor. I'm currently interested in perceptual video quality modeling and stereo visual perception modeling. I'm also interested in the fun applications by utilizing the depth information from the Kinect sensor and 3D mobile device applications. I hold several teaching assistant positions in various, graduate level, signal processing related courses offered here in NYU-Poly. In my off-time, I'm a cello player, an amateur photographer, an Android hacker and a classic music connoisseur. With my two hungry meows at home, I always enjoy them playing around when I'm playing on the Kinect.

Xinzhao Liang

Programmer/Graduate Assistant

I am a Master's student in the Computer Sciences Department. Currently I am the game developer of the awesome "Brooklyn Blooms" project of Game Innovation Lab. I enjoy hanging out with code monkeys in Hackathons, Game jams, etc. Reach me out at


Holly Robbins

Holly is a master's candidate at NYU’s program in Media Culture and Communication. Under the guidance of her advisor, Katherine Isbister, Holly applies her background in anthropology to her current studies in human and computer interaction. Her work and research pertains to user experience and interaction design, especially for large public displays.

Ming Jin

PhD 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 rigged character animations.
Napa Sae-Bae

Ph.D candidate

I am Napa Sae-Bae, a PhD candidate at computer science department, NYU-Poly.
Prior to join NYU-Poly, I completed my BA(Telecommunication Engineering)
from KMITL, Thailand.
My current research focuses on biometric pattern recognition including its security and usability aspect.
My ongoing project is to develop user authentication tools based on touch devices,
online signature and multitouch gesture, for example.
My contact:

An-Ti Chiang

I am a Ph.D candidate majoring in Electrical Engineering. Prof. Yao Wang is my advisor. My research interest includes Image/Video Processing, Computer Vision, Human Detection and 2D to 3D conversion.

Beril Erkin


Hi, I'm Beril, a master's student in Electrical Engineering working with Professor Yao Wang. My research interests are Image and Video Processing, Computer Vision, Computational Photography and Pattern Recognition.  My current project is on age and gender recognition for video conferencing.  In my free time, I am learning Spanish and discovering the coffee shops, bookstores, museums, and restaurants in the city. 


Loïc Caroux

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Loïc is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Game Innovation Lab. His work in the lab concerns video games user research. His main goals are to understand how the game interfaces impact the player's experience and to propose recommendations for game designers to optimize them. See his website for his CV, his publications and more:

Tejas Fulkar

Graduate Assistant

I'm a graduate student pursuing my Master's Degree in Integrated Digital Media. My work here involves social media, photography of all the cool things happening and help with tech events taking place. My interests lie in Augmented Reality, UX/UI design and the way we interact with new technologies. In my free time I play flappy bird.



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...

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!


Lab Manager

Relationship building, finance administration, event planning,  publicity & marketing,  industry collaborations and managing this cool space day-to-day are a few of the things I do - all in all, an interesting gig!


December 11 @ 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Robert Yang : Cheeky Designs: How to Make a Video Game About Spanking The Heck Out of a Dude Description: This talk will discuss the design development of "On Your Knees", one of the very… Read More…