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Computational remixing of hip hop (i.e. using code to control loops and beats to compose music) can be used as a tool for the cultural engagement in computing of underrepresented populations. EarSketch is a digital audio workstation environment, with an accompanying curriculum, that will allow high school and summer workshop students to create their own computational remixes through learning computing principles.





The connection between people and machines rarely inspires beauty, creates a sense of belongingness together, or focuses on equal coexistence in the same space. Our work on creating LuminAI borrows from contemporary movement theory to create an interactive installation piece that allows a human interactor / performer to co-exist in the same space as an artificially intelligent (AI), computer-controlled performer. Through their movement-based interactions in this space, they can respond to, play with, and communicate to each other in a meaning-making experience quite unlike our normal cybernetic experiences with technology in our lives. 





The Robot Improv Circus

The Robot Improv Circus is a VR installation where people can play the Props game from improv theatre in real-time with virtual characters, i.e. take turns to perform open-ended embodied improvisation with a virtual stage partner, pretending that the given unfamiliar props are real-world/fictional objects and using them to act out humorous vignettes together. The Robot Improv Circus focuses on the challenge of real-time creative decision-making in open-ended and ill-defined problem spaces.



Computational Play

Playing is an essential human activity that exemplifies creativity, flexibility, and open-endedness. While computational agents have been developed to play against humans in many domains – ranging from Deep Blue in chess to Watson in Jeopardy! – current technologies fall short of against able to cope with open-ended and freeform play with humans. The computational play project aims to use the lens of computation to develop a formal understanding of play and use this understanding to devise agents capable of playing with humans.



Adaptive Games

Players tend to specialize in certain game genres, presumably because those genres offer the kinds of play they most enjoy. Even within a game, they way one person plays that game and the rewards they experience from playing are probably based on their personal motivations for playing. Understanding differences in how people play games and what it is about gaming that motivates and engages them could help predict who will enjoy and benefit from different types of games. It may someday be possible to develop “adaptive” games that offer slightly different modes of play for different player types. Our project will develop a “Gaming Motivation Profile” (GMP) survey based on motivation and personality theories.



Digital Improv

This project explores how to formalize techniques used in real-world interactive drama domains (e.g. tabletop role-playing, improvisational theatre, and live action role-play). Such formalizations can better inform our design of story directors and synthetic characters for digital interactive drama systems.



Drawing Apprentice

With the Drawing Apprentice, we explore how computers can co-create with humans in abstract art.The Drawing Apprentice is an enactive AI drawing partner. It is ‘enactive’ in the sense that its contributions are improvisational and based on the sketch input of the user. There is a reciprocal feedback loop between the user and the system.



Virtual Coach for Medical Training

This work focuses on creating a practice environment for medical residents to learn how to properly apply proper BNI (Brief negotiated Interview) techniques for interventions in emergency rooms when patients report substance abuse problems. The application, currently being built in Adobe Flex, will contain a pedagogical agent (or virtual coach) that will help guide the student’s experience, provide guidance where needed, and select appropriate levels of content for individual students. This work is unique in that it combines problems in the typical intelligent tutoring systems domain with issues in narrative-based education and health communication.




This project involves implementing techniques used in interactive drama in a military training architecture. This architecture, called ISAT, attempts to provide the trainee with a training experience that is individualized to their specific training needs in a dramatic context. The architecture explores the use of a director agent to manage the training experience, providing in-game feedback based on a model of the trainee’s aptitude in the various skills being taught.




This work focuses on providing a tool that allows for the visual creation of interactive story content (specifically for education). The design philosophy behind Scribe is to provide a tool that is usable by educators and trainers without specialized programing knowledge.




S.C.R.U.B. (Super Covert Removal of Unwanted Bacteria), is a project to develop adaptive mini-games for pedagogical purposes.