I am actively seeking talented graduate students for projects in the areas of agent-based modelling, graphics, simulation, computer games, game development tools, and multi-agent reinforcement learning. I am particularly interested in graduate students enrolled in the Thesis option in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Victoria.
I am also interested in Undergraduate students in Computer Science or one of the many combined major programs in the Department of Computer Science. There are a number of opportunities to work with me. These include the CSC 499 Honours Seminar and Project, the CSC 497 Interdisciplinary Project, Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award (JCURA) and the NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA). This page is primarily intended for graduate students but interested undergraduates should follow the procedures described below.
Please take the time to finish reading all of the Prospective Students section, and have a look at the work I do. You can look at the rest of this website. I keep an up-to-date CV on the Home page and a mostly up-to-date Publications page or you can look at my Google Scholar page.
I encourage applicants from many different backgrounds and abilities. I do not use standardized test scores to make decisions as these tend to have little validity or predictive power when it comes to graduate success. They also serve to further structural and systemic inequality through the recruitment process. I am looking for enthusiastic and curious students who want to become excellent researchers/scientists/communicators/leaders in the community, government, industry, and/or academia.
Students who work with me do so in a collaborative and interdisciplinary environment. You should be open to team, cross-institutional, and interdisciplinary collaboration. I am open to any research idea related to my expertise and interests, and I welcome applicants from a wide range of disciplines. I strongly encourage applicants with multi- and inter-disciplinary backgrounds. I am also very interested in co-supervising across departments, and faculties. To have your case considered you must apply to the University of Victoria. However, if you wish, you may send me an email at email@example.com (NOTE: this does not guarantee a response–I receive a large volume of Prospective Student emails and can only consider those with matching applications):
- An email subject header that includes “Prospective Student” and your name
- A brief outline of your research interests, and any research areas or projects I am involved in which you may wish to work on
- A short paragraph explaining why you would like to work with me
- Your pronouns (mine are he/him)
- A PDF copy of your CV
- Your favourite game (any tabletop or video game will do, this is to show that you’ve read this document)
- A PDF copy of a document you have written. This can be a dissertation, a course project report, a technical report, a conference paper, etc.
There are some requirements you need to meet to work with me.
- You need to enrol as a student at the University of Victoria.
Please consult our Graduate Studies Admissions website.
- You should be familiar with my research interests and areas.
- You should be passionate about conducting research with me. I am looking for enthusiastic students.
My interests and expertise include agent-based modelling, simulation, games and serious games, game development/animation/design tools, artificial intelligence, machine learning (ML), reinforcement learning (RL), deep RL, and multi-agent RL (MARL). I am particularly interested in the exploration of visibility, representation, interaction, and design within the many research areas I work in. Putting these interests together, my primary research goals are:
- increasing representation and visibility in crowd simulation using high-fidelity biomechanical models and MARL
- creating tools and systems to improve the creation and analysis of environment designs (both virtual and built), digital media (broadly: games, animation, film, etc), and policy (accessibility from a dynamic diverse user perspective).
- learning how we move and how we interact with each other and our environment through basic research
Most of my research projects regarding (1) start with an open issue, lead to algorithm and model development, and wrap up with the analysis of fidelity and quality through both quantitative and qualitative studies; regarding (2) use elements from 1 in conjunction with optimization, machine learning, and AI to produce human-centred tools; and regarding (3) are primarily simulation-centred or human-centred, wherein we carry out quantitative and qualitative studies for exploratory and comparative analysis.
I am interested in several research areas, topics, and projects. Here I list (non-exhaustively) some example topics which interest me and you may be interested in:
- ML, RL, & MARL which is sensitive to diversity (moving away from learning prescriptive models), particularly in individual & collective human movement (steering/crowds)
- Human-centred AI and augmented intelligence in design (& Procedural Content Generation), in particular, augmenting environment design and analysis for both virtual and built environment
- The use of simulation in policy development, in particular, moving away from static policies to policies that account for mult-person dynamic movement and the interactions between mobility, mobility devices, crowds, and environments
- (Serious) Games and their application in rehabilitation, learning, and therapy, in particular, translating clinical practice to digital methodologies and increasing efficacy while decreasing attrition through gamification
- Games and identity/representation, in particular, how games may blend mechanics, animation, and narrative to explore and represent race, gender, history, class, and trauma.
- Games (and other media) for community science, in particular how games can be used as a connected and collaborative platform for engaging in action through community science (environmental monitoring, built environment and crowd analysis, accessibility and quality of life, etc)
- Games as a medium for participatory and community-driven design, in particular, increasing inclusivity in the design process (for built environments and policy) through networking and gamification
What to expect
- Personal supervision (minimum 1hr of weekly one-on-one meetings)
- Support and encouragement to attend relevant academic conferences
- Support to become a proficient writer and communicator
- Collaborative work with internal and international collaborators