People

Faculty

Katherine Isbister
Research Director
katherine.isbister@nyu.edu

Founding Research Director of the Lab, Isbister is an Associate Professor jointly appointed in the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering Computer Science department, and the NYU Tisch Game Center. She is a Human Computer Interaction researcher and designer, focused on creating more compelling emotional and social qualities in games and other computer-supported experiences. Isbister's team builds and studies research prototypes with support from NSF, Microsoft, Bell Labs, and other funders. Projects have been featured by Wired, Scientific American, and NPR. Her group's games have been shown in venues including IndieCade (Yamove! Finalist in 2012), the World Science Festival, and museums such as the Liberty Science Center. Isbister’s book on game character design—Better Game Characters by Design: A Psychological Approach—was nominated for a Game Developer Magazine Frontline award. Her edited volume, Game Usability, brings together best practices in game playtesting and user research. Isbister is a recipient of the MIT Technology Review Young Innovators award.

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

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.

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. 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.

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.

Mike Karlesky

Ph.D Candidate

I'm a Computer Science Ph.D. Candidate. My advisor is the Game Innovation Lab’s research director Katherine Isbister. 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/

Shilpan Patel


My adviser is Prof. Katherine Isbister. I have been working recently on developing game for Spatially-Aware Mobile Displays. Previously, I have been working as an Android Developer and a Java Developer and I have completed my undergrads in India.

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!

Chrystanyaa

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!

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

Anna Ly

Visiting Researcher

Ms. Ly is currently the Senior Manager of Business and Creative Ventures for the Cooney Center. Previously, she completed an undergraduate degree in Business, Finance and Human-Computer Interaction with a focus in Communication Design from Carnegie Mellon. She has worked on interactive paper-based electronics including Papert Tronics and launched several applications to help children and adolescents with autism understand emotions in the context of their own lives, including Emotionary and Me.Mu for Kinect.  She is also part of the Content Innovation Lab group at Sesame, which develops innovative learning experiences for preschool age children using emerging technologies.

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: http://sites.google.com/site/loiccaroux/

Bert Buchholz


My main research interest is in Computer Graphics, more specifically photorealistic and non-photorealistic rendering. The latter, in particular, has strong ties with research into human perception. I also worked on an educational game in collaboration with NYU Poly's chemistry department intended to familiarize middle schoolers with basic chemical principles.

View Alumni Here

Events

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