Teaching and Research Interests

I am a Teaching Professor in the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). I teach full semester project-based courses in the Master of Entertainment Technology program. I enjoy collaborating with graduate students on transformational games for education and health, some of which are in this list of ETC project-based courses taught by me. I am affiliated with CMU's Human-Computer Interaction Institute and CMU's Center for Transformational Play. Working with the HCII and CTP, I am interested in improving playtesting for game and experience design projects within the ETC, CMU, and beyond. I see the value of playcentric design and iterative development informed by playtesting with stakeholders, and run playtesting workshops at the ETC, launched through an early CMU Simon Initiative grant.

I joined Carnegie Mellon in 1987, conducting numerous multimedia information processing and interface research efforts. I received my PhD from Georgia Tech in 1991 with a thesis examining dynamically generated digital video interfaces in a game teaching about code inspections. I joined the ETC Faculty in 2008, where I broadened my research from multimedia for information search and retrieval, to multimedia for information engagement.

At the ETC, I am particularly interested in transformational games, i.e., those that change the player in a positive way. Conferences and workshops devoted to games for education and for health are appealing to me. I am a fan of other work at the ETC researching transmedia experiences, as evidenced by past ETC projects conducted jointly with other departments at CMU. I have brought Informedia digital video library (IDVL) work to the ETC, leading to the development of tools for The HistoryMakers and others. I currently am very interested in the use of entertainment technologies, text analytics, and digital video processing to empower digital humanities scholarship through resources like the 150,000 African American stories in The HistoryMakers Digital Archive.

I worked on games for early science education as part of a DARPA ENGAGE grant, and investigated entertainment technologies for health as part of a TATRC grant. The creative productivity of ETC students is a marvel and inspiration to me! You can drill down into TATRC, ENGAGE, and other ETC projects presenting their work on the ETC department site.

I enjoy building systems and conducting research at the intersections of human-computer interaction, multimedia processing, information visualization, digital libraries, and entertainment technologies. While a member of the Computer Science Department, I worked on interface development and evaluation for Carnegie Mellon's Informedia digital video understanding research group (link to Informedia foundation work). Informedia research made use of speech, image and natural language processing coupled with machine learning and interface design to enable efficient access to relevant video content from large multi-terabyte digital video collections. Alex Hauptmann continues these efforts, with NIST TRECVID serving as international benchmarks to track progress. During my Informedia tenure, we were awarded the Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence in 2003.

As an HCII member, I have used HCI methods to investigate the effectiveness of surrogates and information visualization schemes for video. I am interested in automated video content extraction, the educational use of technology, the use of video for synthetic interviews, and the application of Informedia technology to the domains of education and health care. Lists of my publications and invited talks provide more detail about my research. For a historic look back in time, Alex Hauptmann and I taught the Multimedia elective in CMU's E-Commerce Master's program 1999-2002 (program no longer offered; see Fall 2002 Multimedia syllabus for a view on course details at that time).

For brief biographical details regarding my work at the Software Engineering Institute and earlier, see work prior to Informedia research, I received my Ph.D. from Georgia Tech in 1991, with my thesis examining digital video interfaces for training software engineers about code inspections. I graduated summa cum laude with my B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Canisius University in 1983. While at Canisius I was inducted into the Alpha Sigma Nu honor society, and received Academic All-American honors in 1983 (I ran on the cross country and track teams).

Personal Interests

My family of course!

I enjoy my travels with my family, e.g., my wife and I have been to all 50 U.S. states.

I am a die-hard Buffalo Bills fan living in Steeler Country.
So far, Steelers Super Bowl victories: 6, Bills: 0.