Dr. Adam Smith


Dr. Adam Smith is an Assistant Professor of Computational Media. He earned a BS and PhD in Computer Science from UC Santa Cruz and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington. He has worked in research and software engineering roles at NASA Ames Research Center and Los Alamos National Laboratory as well as at Google and Microsoft. While his academic research interests lie in applied artificial intelligence, his hobby projects in creative programming (namely mobile apps for generative music and visual art) have been downloaded by over ten million people around the globe. email: amsmith@ucsc.edu

PHD Students

Barrett Anderson


Barrett Anderson is a PhD student in Computational Media at UCSC. His work in the Design Reasoning Lab explores user interactions for videogame moment search, and the potential of search-by-analogy and other computational models of analogy for information retrieval. Barrett’s other research interests include evaluating the effectiveness of persuasive or educational “serious” games and explorable explanations. His pre-“Computational Media” background is primarily in psychological research, and before joining DRL he was a member of the UCSC Cognitive Modeling Lab, a researcher in Human Factors at NASA Ames Research Center, and a research assistant at the Stanford University Psychophysiology Lab.

email: barander@ucsc.edu

Batu Aytemiz


Batu is a Ph.D. student at UC Santa Cruz conducting research in the field of Computational Media. He is interested in designing games and interactive systems as he believes that therein lies a lot of untapped potential for storytelling and creating immersive experiences. Currently, he is trying to understand how people fail in games and developing game design support tools using different AI techniques.

Batu is currently finishing his second year of his Ph.D. program, having published papers in AIIDE, COG, and DIGRA.

Personal Website

email: baytemiz@ucsc.edu

Ken Chang


Kenneth Chang is a 3rd year Ph.D Student in the computer science department. Prior to coming to UCSC, he was a undergraduate at the University of Southern California studying Computer Engineering and Computer Science. His research interests are better build tools and development practices for game developers and designers. When not doing research, Kenneth spends his free time playing video games, cooking, traveling, livestreaming gameplay and filming Youtube videos.

email: kchang44@ucsc.edu

Isaac Karth


Isaac is currently a PhD student at the University of California Santa Cruz. Isaac Karth’s research interest is in exploring how procedural generation bridges the interface gap between the concepts in our minds and the models in the computer. He is currently researching the evaluation, techniques, and philosophical underpinnings of generative art and procedural content generation. Some of his current projects include describing and evaluating constraint-based procedural generation, particularly WaveFunctionCollapse; illuminating the poetics of procedural generation; and applying deep learning to artistic ends. Isaac has been motivated to explore the intersection of computers and art since before he started his B.F.A. Digital Media from Kendall College of Art and Design, and additionally holds an M.F.A. in Arts and Technology from the University of Texas at Dallas, where he focused on player agency in interactive systems.


Saya Keehl


Saya was born and raised in Mariupol, Ukraine, and moved to the US in 2001. Her tech career so far consists of two years of undergraduate courses from Cogswell college followed by 2.5 years as a UI software engineer at TiVo. In order to fulfill her dual nature of an artist and an engineer, she chose to pursue her graduate degree at UCSC, which is known for its interdisciplinary projects. Saya is currently enrolled in the UCSC Computational Media PhD program. Her two areas of research are Artificial Intelligence and its application in video games; and using scientific methods to develop effective educational games for learning kanji (this interest harkens back to Saya’s BA in Japanese language and her personal struggles with kanji). Saya was an AI Research intern at the Electronic Arts in the summer 2018. She has also secured an AI Research internship at Unity Technologies for the summer of 2019. She hopes to graduate within 2-3 years.
Personal Website

email: okeehl@ucsc.edu


Harmen Kang