2007 Sandbox Symposium

2006 ACM SIGGRAPH Video Game Symposium


Thomas J. Allen

Thomas J. Allen directs the awards program for NAViGaTR, an organization that celebrates game art, technology and production by recognizing developer talent in 48 categories (www.navgtr.org). Develop magazine recently published an article based on his co-authored work entitled "The Passion of the Developer." He also works with venture capitalists who want to be introduced to the video game industry for new and unique investment opportunities and can be reached at tallen@navgtr.org.

Ali Arya
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Matthew T. Atkinson
I am a research student in the Research School of Informatics at Loughborough University. My work is concerned mainly with making information systems (from computer games to web sites, for example) more accessible to their users. Currently I'm using vision-impairment as a benchmark, but many of the techniques I'm developing to improve accessibility will make life easier for non-disabled people as well.

Currently most of my time is being spent working on the idea on "Essentiality Tracks'' for improving access to both web sites and large, mainly procedure/technically-oriented, documents. I have spent a lot of time in the past working on making mainstream computer games accessible to blind and vision-impaired gamers and am very interested in the potential of this work to be used to enable more educational integration in the future.

Shaowen Bardzell
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Pippin Barr
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Robert Biddle
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Kevin Bierre

Kevin is an assistant professor at Rochester Institute of Technology where he mainly teaches courses in programming and database. He has a B.A. and M.S in Chemistry and an M.S. in Computer Science. Prior to joining RIT, Kevin worked in a variety of industries for twenty three years in programming and software engineering positions. He is active in the International Game Developer's Association in the game accessibility special interest group.

Prosenjit Bose
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Mike Bukowski
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Jenova Chen
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Jason Della Rocca

Executive Director, International Game Developers Association

Jason is the executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), a professional society committed to advancing the careers and enhancing the lives of game developers. Jason and the IGDA focus on connecting developers with their peers, promoting professional development, and advocating on issues that affect the developer community -- such as quality of life, creative freedoms, workforce diversity and credit standards. As the spokesperson for the IGDA, Jason has appeared in countless news outlets (e.g., Wired, Nightline, LA Times, NPR, Wall Street Journal, G4, etc) and has spoken at conferences around the world (e.g., GDC, E3, TGS, SIGGRAPH, ChinaJoy, DiGRA, etc). Jason has been a member of the game development community for over a decade, and has spent time at Matrox Graphics, Quazal and Silicon Graphics. Jason can be reached via jason -at- igda -dot- org.

John DeWeese
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Vincent Diamante
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Andreas Dietrich
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Steve DiPaola

Steve DiPaola, both an active artist and scientist, delves into the concepts of the virtual and the social by creating virtual human and community systems both in his research and art work. An Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University, Steve is an expert in 3d facial, avatar based, and intelligent user interface systems. He directs the social based I-Viz Lab at SFU (ivizlab.sfu.ca) which strives to make computer systems bend more to the human experience. He came to SFU from Stanford University and before that spent 10 years as a senior researcher at NYIT Computer Graphics Lab, an early pioneering lab in high-end 3D techniques. He has held senior positions at leading edge companies including Electronic Arts and Saatchi & Saatchi Innovation and has consulted for HP, Kodak, Macromedia and the Institute for the Future. His art work has been exhibited international including the AIR and Tibor de Nagy galleries in NYC as well as the Whitney Museum of Art, and the IBM Gallery ! of Science and Art. See dipaola.org.

Claire Dormann

Claire Dormann is a Researcher in the human-oriented technology lab, at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She has a multidisciplinary background., her PhD was dedicated to the design of animated help sequences and was at the crossroads of design, multimedia and human-computer interaction. Then she worked mostly in Multimedia Design. Her interests include: game-based learning and game design, affective computing, the design of embedded conversational agents, cultural differences and of course Humour.

Petros Faloutsos
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Heiko Friedrich
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Tracy Fullerton

Tracy Fullerton, M.F.A., is a game designer, educator and writer with fifteen years of professional experience. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Interactive Media Division of the USC School of Cinema-Television where she serves as Co-Director of the Electronic Arts Game Innovation Lab. Tracy is the author of Game Design Workshop: Designing, Prototyping and Playtesting Games, a design textbook in use at game programs worldwide. Recent credits include faculty advisor for the award-winning student game Cloud, and game designer for The Night Journey a unique game/art project with media artist Bill Viola.

Prior to joining the USC faculty, she was president and founder of the interactive television game developer, Spiderdance, Inc. Spiderdance games included NBC's Weakest Link, MTV's webRIOT, The WB's No Boundaries, History Channel's History IQ, Sony Game Show Network's Inquizition and TBS's Cyber Bond. Before starting Spiderdance, Tracy was a founding member of the New York design firm R/GA Interactive. As a producer and creative director she created games and interactive products for clients including Sony, Intel, Microsoft, AdAge, Ticketmaster, Compaq, and Warner Bros. among many others. Notable projects include Sony's Multiplayer Jeopardy! and Multiplayer Wheel of Fortune and MSN's NetWits, the first multiplayer casual game. Additionally, Tracy was Creative Director at the interactive film studio Interfilm, where she wrote and co-directed the cinematic game Ride for Your Life, starring Adam West and Matthew Lillard. She began her career as a designer at Bob Abel's company Synapse, where she worked on the interactive documentary Columbus: Encounter, Discovery and Beyond and other early interactive projects.

Tracy's work has received numerous industry honors including best Family/Board Game from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, ID Magazine's Interactive Design Review, Communication Arts Interactive Design Annual, several New Media Invision awards, iMix Best of Show, the Digital Coast Innovation Award, IBC's Nombre D'Or, Time Magazine's Best of the Web and the Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Power 100.

Kun Gao
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Giannis Georgalis

Giannis Georgalis is a graduate student at the University of Crete, Greece and works full time at the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory of the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH), in Crete, Greece, where he develops accessible applications.

Yotam Gingold

Yotam is a Ph.D. candidate at New York University's Computer Science Department. As part of the Media Research Lab, he researches topology for computation, interactive tools for artists, and games. His game Rap Rap Revolution was shown at the 2005 Game Developers Conference's Experimental Gameplay Workshop.

Sabahattin Gucukoglu
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Johannes Guenther
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Evan Hahn
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Michelle Hinn

Michelle is the Vice President of Game Development at DonationCoder.com and is completing her doctorate at the University of Illinois where she has been teaching courses on video game design and adolescent psychology. She is also the chairperson of the special interest group on game accessibility for the International Game Developer's Association (www.igda.org/accessibility). She has a B.A. in Music Performance, a B.S. in Psychology, and a M.A. in Multimedia Design. Michelle has worked at Microsoft Game Studios where she focused on piloting usability tests for Xbox multiplayer games. Additionally, she has worked for Computer Sciences Corporation, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), and the University of Nevada at Reno. She is the co-editor of the 2001 book Visions of Quality: How Evaluators Define, Understand, and Represent Program Quality and is on the editorial board of the Computers in Entertainment magazine. Michelle is currently working on a book with the IGDA Game Accessibility SIG on Game Accessibility.

Erin Hoffman

Erin Hoffman a.k.a. ea_spouse was 23 years old when she posted a 1,962-word blog on Live Journal that successfully brought Quality of Life issues to the public eye in November 2004, by chronicling her husband's five months of 6 and 7-day "crunch" periods and as much as 13-hour workdays. The awareness led to six lawsuits against three companies and a web site www.gamewatch.org.

Jeff Howard
Jeff Howard is currently writing a book about quests in games and literature, of which the pedagogical ideas in �Designing Interpretative Quests in the Literature Classroom� are a part. This book seeks to bridge the gap between binaries that are often considered separately in literary and New Media studies, including meaning and action, mythology and technology, interpretative processes and pedagogical programs. Howard was born in 1978 in Fayetteville , Arkansas and now lives in Austin , Texas . He received his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Tulsa in 2000, followed by his Master of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin in 2002. He successfully defended his dissertation �Heretical Reading: Freedom as Question and Process in Postmodern American Novel and Technological Pedagogy� for a Ph.D. in English in Fall 2005. He has published work on postmodern American fiction and taught in computer-assisted classrooms at the Computer Writing and Research Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin .

Hank Howie

President, Blue Fang Games

Hank Howie is the President of Blue Fang Games, creators of the multi-million selling Zoo Tycoon series of games, published by Microsoft. He manages the day-to-day operations of the company and guides Blue Fang's business and strategic direction. Hank began his career in the gaming industry at Spinnaker Software in 1989 as a Product Manager for their games division. In 1993, Hank managed Interchange's GameSpace, the Ziff-Davis/AT&T online multiplayer game service. In 1996, he signed on as the GM at Restrac, Inc., where his team built and launched Restrac's suite of Internet recruiting products. Hank joined Blue Fang at its founding in 1998. Hank has also worked in the advertising industry, and was a top-performing salesperson for Toshiba Corporation. In addition to his responsibilities at Blue Fang, Hank is an active thought leader within the software industry. He has delivered numerous presentations at industry conferences including the Game Developers Conference and Women's Game Conference, and was also a leading contributor to the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) white paper entitled Quality of Life in the Game Industry: Challenges and Best Practices. He's been a guest on the PBS Show Computer Chronicles to discuss software and technology. Hank holds a BA degree in History from Bates College and an MBA degree from Boston College.

Robin Hunicke
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Katherine Isbister
Dr. Katherine Isbister is a Human-Computer Interface/New Media researcher and designer. She is presently an Associate Professor and Director of the Games Research Laboratory at Rensselaer (RPI). She joined RPI's faculty after two years as a consulting professor at Stanford University, where she developed a course on the design of characters for computer games in the Human Computer Interface program. Her book, Better Game Characters by Design: A Psychological Approach, evolved out of this course and ~10 years of related research. Isbister's academic training is in the area of social psychological approaches to interface design, with a focus on social and emotional qualities. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford in 1998, and following a post-doctoral year at NTT in Japan, worked in industry and research settings on social interface design and embodied conversational characters, presenting her work in venues around the world. For more information: www.friendlymedia.org and www.katherineinterface.com.
Stephen Jacobs
Stephen Jacobs is an associate professor and a member of the game faculty at the Rochester Institute of Technology's B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. He teaches courses in Game History and Analysis, Interactive Narrative, Game World Design and Online Community. He is an executive committee member of the IGDA Game Writers SIG and is a contributor and section editor of the SIG's book, Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Video Games. He is also directing a task force on Internships for the IGDA Education SIG. He's presented at the Serious Game Summit, The Game Developers Conference and The Media Ecology Conference on Games and Education.
He created and was executive editor for the What The Tech! radio program and his writings have appeared in Game Developer, Wired, CNET, The Washington Post's Fast Forward and others.
Odest Chadwicke Jenkins
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Kaveh Kardan

Kaveh Kardan joined the Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawaii in October of 2003, where he is advising on the program's technological aspects and teaching software engineering, gaming, and animation courses. Kaveh was Manager of Software Research and Development at Square USA in Honolulu for five years, during which time he and his team developed software for the computer graphics feature film "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within". Prior to moving to Honolulu, Kaveh was working in Montreal, Canada, as software engineer at Systeme Taarna, developing cloth and hair animation software, and at Softimage, where he developed the first animation module in 1988. Kaveh's career began at Neo-Visuals, in Toronto, where for a number of years he developed 3D rendering, modeling, and animation software. Kaveh graduated with a BSc in mathematics from MIT in 1985.

Ari Koivisto
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Elina M.I. Koivisto

Elina M.I. Koivisto is a games researcher and designer in Nokia Research Center. She is doing both practical work on evaluating mobile game playability in commercial projects and long-term research in projects that look further in the future. The long-term research concerns new emerging game styles and developing methods that can be used in the game design process. Koivisto has published several scientific articles, e.g. on playability, cross-platform game design, community management, and grief play in MMOGs. She is also doing her Ph.D. studies on mobile game development. More can be found in: http://research.nokia.com/people/elina_m_koivisto

Adrian E. Lawrence
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Geoffrey Long
Geoffrey Long is a graduate student in the Comparative Media Studies program at MIT, where he is conducting research with Dr. Henry Jenkins ("Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide") on ways to best tell a story across multiple media. He is also a writer, a musician, an artist, the editor of the online literature, culture and technology magazine Inkblots, the founder of the creative consulting company Dreamsbay and a co-founder of the film troupe Tohubohu. His writing has appeared in Polaris, Gothik, Hika and {fray}, and his personal site/portfolio can be found at geoffreylong.com.
Elizabeth Losh
Elizabeth Losh's research focuses on digital rhetoric and related ideologies of nationalism and globalization. She has published articles about government websites, military-funded videogames, online national libraries, and other electronic artifacts of the virtual state. She is currently the Writing Director of the Humanities Core Course at U.C. Irvine and is also an active advocate for information literacy initiatives in higher education. She writes a daily column on the politics of digital culture at Virtualpolitik and is a regular contributor to Siva Vaidhyanathan's weblog Sivacracy. Her background includes an MFA in Creative Writing and a PhD in English with a Critical Theory emphasis.

Andy Luckey

Andy Luckey is Co-founder and President of Greater Family, LLC and Senior Creative & Production Advisor for Animation Dimensions (India), Ltd. For over 50 years the Luckey family has produced animation including: Sesame Street shorts, Commercials, early computer animation and 200+ TV series episodes. Andy has also held key positions with The Virgin Group, Krislin and Radical Entertainment. He has managed sizeable production teams on three continents in seven countries. He serves on the IGDA's Quality of Life and Intellectual Property Rights Committees.

Colin H.C. Machin
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Tim Marsh
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Criss Martin
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Chris McEvoy
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Morgan McGuire
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Helen McWilliams

Helen McWilliams graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis University in 2001 with a degree in American Studies. She was first hired as a QA tester at Harmonix on EyeToy: Antigrav for PS2. McWilliams became the Xbox Lead on Karaoke Revolution Party, followed by Associate Producer on Karaoke Revolution Country, and is currently working as Associate Producer on Guitar Hero II. She has become notorious for co-creating her company's hilarious "crunch relief" programs. www.harmonixmusic.com

Steve Meretzky

Chief Game Designer, Floodgate Entertainment

Steve Meretzky is the Chief Game Designer for Floodgate Entertainment, a premier developer of mobile games. He has been designing games for nearly a quarter-century, beginning at adventure game pioneer Infocom in 1982, where his games included Planetfall, Zork Zero, and Leather Goddesses of Phobos. He co-founded the development studio Boffo Games, and has done freelance game design for many companies including Legend, Activision, Disney, Hasbro, and Blizzard. Prior to joining Floodgate, Steve was Principal Game Designer for WorldWinner, the leader in skill-based game competitions, where he continues to serve as Games Advisor. Steve is a former member of the Board of Directors of the IGDA; is a founder of Post Mortem, the monthly gathering of Boston area game developers; and helps organize the annual Game Designers Workshop. The 20th anniversary edition of his game The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, co-authored with Douglas Adams, recently won an award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

Aaron Meyers
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Joe Minton

Joe Minton is a partner at Digital Development Management, an industry leading video game agency that represents top-tier game development studios. Before co-founding DDM, Joe served as President of the 13-year veteran game developer Cyberlore Studios. At Cyberlore, Joe was responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, setting the corporate direction, building a management team and maintaining a tight ship in a competitive industry. Joe was responsible for all business development – securing millions of dollars in console & PC deals – and fostering major brand relationships with international companies like Hasbro and Playboy. Joe focused on becoming an expert on studio organization, personnel management and communication systems and has lectured on those subjects domestically and internationally.

Erik Nelson
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Brian Osman
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Ian Parberry
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Hwajin Park
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Kent Quirk

Kent Quirk doesn't easily fit into simple categories. Titles that describe him, depending on context, include entrepreneur, software architect, game designer, creative director, tri-athlete, teacher, coach, and "Dad". His areas of expertise include experimental user interface design, software engineering, computer game development, and programming languages. With 25 years of software development experience, he's been working in the areas of computer games and educational software since the mid 1990s. As the founder and CTO of CogniToy, he led the development of the acclaimed robot programming game MindRover. From 2003-2006, he was the software architect of Cosmic Blobs, which is 3D graphics software for kids developed and published by SolidWorks. He is now in the early stages of creating a new game venture.

Glenn Reinman
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Alexander Repenning

Alexander Repenning is a professor of computer science at the University of Colorado and the founder of AgentSheets Inc. Repenning's research interests include education, end-user programmable agents, and artificial intelligence. He has worked in research and development at Asea Brown Boveri, Xerox PARC, Apple Computer, and Hewlett Packard. Repenning is the creator of the AgentSheets simulation and game-authoring tool. He has taught game design nationally at Stanford, the MIT Media Lab, and University of Colorado as well as internationally in Europe and Japan. His work has received numerous awards including the Gold Medal from the major of Paris for "most innovative application in education of the World Wide Web" and "best of the best innovators" by ACM. Repenning is an advisor to the National Academy of Sciences, the European Commission, the National Science Foundation, The Japanese Ministry of Education and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Craig Reynolds
Craig Reynolds researches technology for autonomous characters at Sony Computer Entertainment's US R&D group in Foster City, California (www.research.scea.com). Recent projects include PSCrowd, a high performance crowd simulator for PS3, and OpenSteer, an open source library of steering behaviors. He has previously worked on animation and game production, plus developing tools for both fields, at: DreamWorks, Silicon Studio, Electronic Arts, Symbolics and Information International Inc. He won a Scientific and Engineering Academy Award in 1998 for "pioneering contributions to the development of three dimensional computer animation for motion picture production." (www.red3d.com/cwr)
Alice Robison
Alice J. Robison is completing her dissertation (within a matter of weeks!) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and if all goes well, will soon receive her PhD in English in August. She recently relocated from Madison to Cambridge, Massachusetts to begin a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT in the Comparative Media Studies Program under the direction of Henry Jenkins. At MIT, Alice will teach graduate courses in videogame theory and analysis and literacy theory; she will also consult on the MacArthur Foundation-funded New Media Literacies Project. Alice's research centers on videogame design as a writing process and its implications for pedagogies of rhetoric and literacy.
A founding member of the Games and Professional Practice Simulations (GAPPS) and "Room 130" videogames and literacy learning research teams at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Alice has been working alongside James Gee, Constance Steinkuehler, and Kurt Squire for the past four years to pioneer the emerging scholarship in the area of games and literacy learning.

Alyn Rockwood

Alyn Rockwood received a Ph.D. from the Dept. of Applied Math and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University. He has had faculty positions at a German "Gymnasium," teaching math and physics (in German), at BYU and at Arizona State University. He has additionally spent over 15 years in industrial research. Recently, he was a professor and assistant head at Colorado School of Mines, Department of Math and Computer Science, but left to start up a geometric modeling company. He was recently the SIGGRAPH99 papers' chair, SIGGRAPH conference chair for 2003 and is currently ACM SIGGRAPH VP. He is an avid gamer.

Tracy Rosenthal-Newsom

Tracy Rosenthal-Newsom is a senior producer at Harmonix Music Systems. A 10-year veteran in the games industry and a 13-year veteran in the film industry, Tracy has extensive experience leading game development teams and film production crews. During her six years at Harmonix, she has worked as senior producer on Guitar Hero 2, project leader on the Karaoke Revolution series and producer on Frequency and Amplitude. Prior to joining Harmonix, Tracy produced and designed arcade games for Disney Imagineering and children's games for Disney Interactive. As a member of the Directors Guild of America, Tracy worked as an assistant director on such major motion pictures as The Fabulous Baker Boys, Dead Again, Beethoven, On Deadly Ground and more.

Richard Rouse III
Richard Rouse III is a game designer and writer who has been working in computer and video game development for more than a decade. Currently he is Director of Game Design at Midway Games, where he consults on a wide range of next-generation titles. Most recently, he was Creative Director and Writer on the hit action/horror title The Suffering and its sequel, The Suffering: Ties That Bind. During his time in the industry, Rouse has led the design on a number of games, including Centipede 3D, Damage Incorporated, and Odyssey: The Legend of Nemesis, as well as contributing to the design on Drakan: The Ancients' Gates. He has written about game design for publications including Game Developer, SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics, Develop, Gamasutra, and Inside Mac Games, and has lectured on game design at the Game Developer's Conference and the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Rouse's popular and sizable book about game design and development titled Game Design: Theory & Practice was released in an expanded second edition in 2004. More information about him can be found at his website, http://www.paranoidproductions.com

Matthew Sakey

Matthew Sakey's monthly column, "Culture Clash," is published by the International Game Developers Association, where he has gained a reputation as an outspoken game scholar, theorist, and Quality of Life advocate. Develop magazine recently published an article based on his co-authored work entitled "The Passion of the Developer." He consults with universities to develop game studies curricula and works with corporations to leverage games-based learning technologies. For more information, visit www.matthewsakey.net or email matthewsakey@comcast.net.

Kellee Santiago
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Michael Scherbaum
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Hans-Peter Seidel
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Cyrus Shahabi
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Philipp Slusallek
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Glenn Song
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Dick Sowar
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Kurt Squire
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Constance Steinkuehler
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Riku Suomela
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Naoko Takamoto

Naoko Takamoto is an Associate Producer at Harmonix Music, Inc in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For the past 3 years, Naoko has been playing the Karaoke Revolution series looking for bugs. Naoko was Audio QA Lead and Console Lead for Karaoke Revolution Party, released last holiday season. She has also co-hosted a syndicated radio show through Clear Channel and was tapped as a vocalist for the game Amplitude (2003). She has become notorious for co-creating her company's hilarious "crunch relief" programs. www.harmonixmusic.com

Michael Wagner

Michael Wagner received his PhD in Applied Mathematics from Vienna University of Technology in 1994. In 1997 he joined the faculty at Arizona State University where he worked as an Assistant Professor in the computer graphics group. He is currently professor for Technology Enhanced Learning and Multimedia at Danube-University Krems. Michael Wagner coordinated and participated in research projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the European Community and Austrian funding agencies. He published in the fields of applied mathematics, theoretical robotics, computer aided geometric design, computer graphics, multimedia, business strategy, and most recently in game studies and digital game based learning.

Anthony Whitehead
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Pawel Wrotek
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Kiyoung Yang
Kiyoung Yang is a PhD candidate in the Computer Science Department, the University of Southern California. He received the bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and the master’s degree from the University of Southern California. He worked for a couple of Information Technology (IT) companies, including Oracle Korea, as a senior technical consultant. His research interests include data mining on multivariate time series.
Tom Yeh
Thomas Yeh is a PhD candidate at UCLA's Computer Science Department working with professors Glenn Reinman and Petros Faloutsos. His current research focuses on the interaction between computer architecture and interactive entertainment applications. Prior to his return to academia, Thomas had worked on microprocessor designs as a logic designer, microarchitect, and researcher. These projects included Sun Microsystem's Ultrasparc V, Clearwater Network's network processor, and Intel Corp's IA-64 Montecito. In addition, he briefly conducted platform marketing for Intel Corp's Mobile Processor Group. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley, and a MS in Computer Science from UCLA.