Expert Faculty with Industry Experience

Students in all degree programs of USC Games benefit from the expertise of top-flight faculty members, who possess a broad range of real-world professional experience in every facet of game design. USC Games is led by Director Tracy Fullerton, Associate Professor in the School of Cinematic Arts and the Electronic Arts Endowed Chair in Interactive Entertainment.

SCHOOL OF CINEMATIC ARTS FACULTY

Tracy Fullerton – Chair of SCA Interactive Media & Games Division and Director of the USC Game Innovation Lab. Fullerton is an experimental game designer, entrepreneur, and author of Game Design Workshop, a design textbook in use at game programs worldwide. She teaches SCA’s core game design course for graduates.

Richard Lemarchand – Lead designer on the critical and commercial hit series of games Uncharted, from the Sony-owned developer Naughty Dog, Lemarchand has a long history in the commercial games industry. He is also an active speaker and evangelist in the indie games community. He joins SCA this fall in our intermediate games and project classes.

Mark Bolas – A pioneer in immersive technologies, Bolas is a research scientist, artist, and designer exploring perception, agency, and intelligence. He is director of the Mixed Reality Lab at USC. He teaches the SCA thesis and thesis preparation classes.

Peter Brinson – An award-winning game designer and developer (Cat and the Coup, Waco Resurrection), Brinson’s work has been exhibited at venues including the Museum of Modern Art, Indiecade Games Festival and SIGGRAPH. He teaches the procedural media and intermediate game project classes.

Dennis Wixon – With more than thirteen years as the Microsoft Corporation leading innovative design initiatives, Dennis Wixon brings extensive experience in the field of human computer interface to USC Games. As the founding User Research Manager for Microsoft Game Studios and Research Manager for Microsoft Surface he has worked on a number of well-known products including the best-selling Halo game franchise.

Margaret Moser – An experienced technical director and game designer, Margaret Moser has a background in mobile as well as experimental designs, including projects with the New York based development studios Playmatics and Leisure Collective.

Jeff Watson – Watson is an award winning artist, designer, and Assistant Professor of Interactive Media and Games at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. His work investigates how game design, pervasive computing, and social media can enable new forms of storytelling, participation, and learning.

Kiki Benzon – A multimedia artist with a background in English literature and neuroscience, as an associate professor of practice in the Media Arts + Practice division, Kiki teaches courses on transmedia entertainment, digital research methods, and interactive media.

Danny Bilson – Executive vice president, Core Games, for THQ, Bilson has more than 20 years of writing, directing and creative development for all major entertainment mediums, including video games, film, television. He teaches the SCA character development and writing for games.

Laird Malamed – Formerly Sr. Vice President and Head of Development at Activision-Blizzard, Malamed helped create the Call of Duty franchise. He teaches the SCA advanced games class and thesis class.

Robert Nashak – EVP of Digital Entertainment at BBC Worldwide, Nashak has formerly been an executive at Electronic Arts, Yahoo! Games, Glu Mobile and Vivendi Universal. He teaches business and management of games.

Joseph Olin – President Emeritus of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, Olin has a long history in the business and marketing of interactive media and digital entertainment. He teaches business and management of games.

Jane Pinkcard – Formerly Associate Director at the UC Santa Cruz Center for Games and Playable Media, Jane Pinkcard has a long history in the games industry, including Business Development Analyst at Foundation 9 Entertainment and Founder of GameGirlAdvance.

Jordan Weisman – A game designer, author and entrepreneur who has founded a number of innovative game design companies including 42 Entertainment and Smith & Tinker. While working at Microsoft Weisman developed the alternate reality game “The Beast” to promote the Steven Spielberg film A.I.

Joseph Garlington – Former VP of the Interactive Studio at Walt Disney Imagineering, Joe Garlington is a veteran creator of themed entertainment having designed attractions for virtually all Disney theme parks and many other resorts and other businesses.

Chanel Summers — A member of the original Xbox team at Microsoft, Summers has been a game designer, producer, a touring drummer, and a leader in the field of audio design for video games. She teaches how to make audio an integral part of game design and runs SCA’s Experimental Audio Design Lab.

Heather Desurvire – Instructor in SCA Interactive Media & Games Division, Heather is President of User Behavioristics, Inc. a Player Experience Insight company consulting to top publishers and studios for creating better consumer games through optimal user and player experience. A published author and contributor to the HCI and game community knowledge base in Player Experience.  Teaching the CTIN 404 course, students learn to analyze games and research tools for improving game through the player experience design. A former student with a #1 game on iTunes, tweeted “…Most useful class ever”.

Maureen McHugh Yeager — Part Time Lecturer School of Cinema Arts.  As Maureen McHugh she’s published four novels and two collections of short stories including After the Apocalypse (one of Publisher’s Weekly’s 10 Best Books of the Year in 2011.)  She’s worked for over a decade interactive fiction (ARGs and second screen).  She teaches Storytelling for graduates.

Peter  Lu – Independent game  designer (Perfect Woman) and artist. His practice includes ceramics, carpentry, code, math, fermentation, mycology and feminist social activism. Lu works towards the deconstruction of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. He teaches the alternative control class.

Bonnie Ruberg – Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the SCA Interactive Media & Games Division. Ruberg is a researcher and an educator who specializes in gender and sexuality in video games. She is the lead organizer of the annual Queerness and Games Conference, the co-editor of the volume Queer Game Studies, and formerly a journalist covering tech culture for publications like The Village Voice and The Economist

Candace Reckinger – Candace Reckinger is an artist-director specializing in hybrid media and visual music using a mix of animation and photography. Her work ventures beyond the boundaries of conventional narrative exploring the border between the figurative and the abstract, the mythic and experiential, and the tension between movement and stillness. Her inspiration emerges from myth, landscape and music.

Angela Jones – Angie Jones is an artist and animator specializing in computer generated character and creature animation. As an animation director/supervisor and lead animator she works closely with directors and vfx supervisors to design character performances and sequences for major motion pictures, commercials and games. She enjoys the challenge of moving between the “sweet and endearing” and the “evil and deadly.” Her film and commercial work include Oscar-winning films, two Clios, and one VES award.

Bethany Sparks – Bethany Sparks records sound wherever she goes and always carries a microphone. She has been Sound Supervisor at the University of Southern California’s John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts since 2006. Bethany studied acting and technical theater at Stevenson University and then she received her MFA in Cinematic Arts from USC in 2009. She is currently an independent sound designer and educator.

Mike Patterson – Mike Patterson is a director, designer and animation artist working in visual music. His animated film Commuter, along with 7 of his music videos, are in The Museum of Modern Artʼs permanent collection.

Eric Hanson – Eric Hanson is a visual effects designer specializing in the creation of digital environments. Having worked with leading visual effects houses such as Digital Domain, Sony Imageworks, Dream Quest Images, and Walt Disney Feature Animation, his work can be seen in “The Day After Tomorrow”, “Cast Away”, “Mission to Mars”, “Fantasia 2000”, and “The Fifth Element”, among others.

John Mahoney – John Mahoney is an adjuct faculty member who currently works in Los Angeles as a Concept Designer and Independent Film Maker. John’s illustration work has been showcased in Spectrum, the Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art and in the book Erotic Signature, the World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today.

Tom Sito – Tom Sito is the Chair and Professor of the John C Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts at the School of Cinematic Arts, USC. Tom Sito’s screen credits include the Disney classics The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Pocahontas (1995), Dinosaurs (2000) and Fantasia 2000.

Maks Naprowski – Maks Naporowski joined the entertainment industry in Los Angeles as a Computer Graphics Supervisor at Swanson Productions in 1998 on a project called Fish Tank. In 2000, Maks contributed his talents to Sony Pictures Imageworks, where as lead technical director he tackled character concepts, animation pipelines, character setup and animation for such films Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chubbchubbs! and Stuart Little 2. At Imageworks, Maks headed technical animation teams, was involved in pre-visualization, character rigging and animation on such films as Matrix Revolutions, Polar Express, The Aviator, Superman Returns, Ghost Rider, Beowulf and I am Legend. In 2010 Maks joined the full time faculty of John C.Hench Animation & Digital Arts at USC School of Cinematic Arts as Instructor of Cinema Practice.

Musa Brooker – Musa Brooker (that’s ‘moo-say’) is a Los Angeles based Director, Animator and Producer. Specializing in Stop Motion, the Philadelphia native holds a BFA in Animation from University of the Arts and an MFA in Experimental Animation from The California Institute of the Arts where he was a Jacob K. Javits Fellow. His directing resume includes the short film The Story of Pines for Participant Media, the web series Laurie’s Stories inspired by the TBS sitcom Cougar Town, and the recent Bratz web series produced by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios and based on the iconic doll brand.

Andres Kratky – Andreas Kratky is a media artist and assistant professor in the School for Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. Kratky’s work comprises several award-winning projects such as That’s Kyogen, the interactive installation and DVD Bleeding Through – Layers of Los Angeles 1920-1986, the algorithmic cinema system Soft Cinema, and the interactive costume projection in the opera The Jew of Malta.

Jesse Vigil – Jesse Vigil is a professional writer, game designer, filmmaker, entrepreneur, and co-founder of Psychic Bunny, and the gone-but-not-forgotten indie games labelCodename. Currently, he is the Director of a shadowy Alternate Reality Game at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts that would be known as Reality Ends Here – if it actually existed, which it of course does not. The rest of the time Jesse teaches and is a Research Associate at the Game Innovation Lab.

Sean Bouchard – Sean Bouchard is a game designer and researcher at USC’s Game Innovation Lab , the Director of Game Development at FutureBound Inc, and a design consultant at Crater House LLC. He also also co-chairs the Activities Committee for the IndieCade Festival of Independent Games.

Vincent Damante – Vincent Diamante is a music composer, game developer, writer, and artist who is a part time lecturer at the University of Southern California. He is a veteran of video games journalism, having worked as a reporter, photographer, and radio host, and he continues to contribute to various media outlets as a freelance writer. Using this experience along with his game development history, he regularly provides production consultation for Los Angeles-based video game developers.

Michael Annetta – Michael Annetta is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California and his work in Interactivity extends beyond the conventional definition of “video gaming” into the expanding fields of educational/serious gaming, stereoscopic 3D, virtual reality, public interactives & responsive environments, themed entertainment, and other location-based experience design

Gordon Bellamy – Gordon Bellamy is currently a part time lecturer at the University of Southern California who has played key business and product leadership roles at Tencent, Electronic Arts, as a designer on Madden NFL Football, and MTV. He served as Executive Director of both the game industry’s trade organization, the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and the International Game Developers Association.

Sam Roberts – Sam Roberts is currently the Assistant Director of the Interactive Media and Games division at the University of Southern California. In addition, he is a lead organizer of the IndieCade Festival of Independent Games and has worked as a creative director for theater, film, games, and new media for 10 years.

Aniko Imre – Anikó Imre is an associate professor and chair of the Division of Cinema and Media Studies and a member of the faculty board of the Interdivisional Media Arts and Practice Doctoral Program (iMAP). She has published widely and teaches courses on film and media theory, global television, national and transnational media and European media.

Alex McDowell – Alex McDowell is Visiting Associate Professor in the USC Cinematic Arts divisions of Interactive Media and Games, Production, and Media Arts + Practice, where he is also creative director of the USC World Building Media Lab and the thought leadership network, theUSC World Building Institute.

Scott Fisher – Scott Fisher is a Professor and founding Chair of the Interactive Media Division and Associate Dean of Research at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He is an interaction designer whose work focuses primarily on mobile media, interactive environments and technologies of presence. He is also Director of USC’s Mobile and Environmental Media Lab.

ANNENBERG FACULTY

Henry Jenkins – One of the first media scholars to chart the changing role of the audience in an environment of pervasive digital content, Jenkins is at the forefront of understanding the effects of participatory media on society, politics and culture.

Dmitri Williams – With research focusing on the social and economic impacts of new media, Williams was the first researcher to use online games for experiments, and to undertake longitudinal research on video games.

THORTON SCHOOL OF MUSIC ADJUNCT FACULTY

Garry Schyman – Adjunct Instructor in the SMPTV (Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television) program in the Thornton School of Music.  Schyman is an experienced film, TV and game composer.  His credits for games include the Bioshock series  for which he won the BAFTA award on Bioshock Infinite.  Schyman is a part time instructor but remains a full time active composer for games and other media.

ROSSIER SCHOOL OF EDUCATION POST DOC

Amanda Ochsner – Amanda Ochsner is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Southern California’s Pullias Center for Higher Education. She recently earned her PhD in Digital Media at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Amanda’s current research examines the learning pathways and professional trajectories of women in the game industry.

Bill Tierney – Dr. William Tierney is University Professor and Wilbur-Kieffer Professor of Higher Education at USC’s Rossier School of Education and the Co-Director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education. He has served as President of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), currently serves on the International Advisory Board of King Abdulaziz University (Saudi Arabia) and is an Interdisciplinary Research Fellow at the University of Hong Kong

RESEARCH FACULTY

Marientina Gotsis – Leader of IMD’s Games for Health Initiative, connecting health professionals with innovation in various forms of interactive media, Gotsis also serves as project director and co-principal investigator on Wellness Partners, an intergenerational pilot project for health games research.

Paul Debevec – leads the Graphics Laboratory at the Institute for Creative Technologies, is a Research Professor in the USC Computer Science Department, and is the Vice-President of ACM SIGGRAPH.

USC MARSHALL SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

Anthony Borquez – Anthony Borquez is the Founder and CEO of Grab. In 2013, Anthony spun out a new company: Grab Analytics. Grab Analytics is a strategic partner with Twitter and helps companies effectively market on the Twitter platform. Anthony was Founder/CEO of Blue Label Interactive. Dr. Borquez has been teaching at the University of Southern California since 1994.

USC GOULD SCHOOL OF LAW

Dan Nabel – Dan Nabel is an in-house attorney at Riot Games. Prof. Nabel currently teaches “Topics in Entertainment: Video Game Law” and previously co-taught “Deposition Strategies and Techniques” for several years. He also serves as a Director for CASA of Los Angeles — an organization dedicated to improving the lives of neglected and abused foster children with trained volunteer advocates.

VITERBI SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING FACULTY

Michael Zyda – Professor of Engineering Practice in the USC Department of Computer Science, Zyda has a background in the fields of computer graphics, networked virtual environments, modeling and simulation, and serious and entertainment games.

Scott Easley – An Emmy, Telly and Annie-winning commercial writer/creator, Easley has supervised animation teams for The Incredibles 2, Ratatouille, and the Wall-E video games.

Sanjay Madhav – Senior Lecturer in the Information Technology Program. Madhav is the author of Game Programming Algorithms and Techniques and co-author of Multiplayer Game Programming. He teaches programming courses, including some of the core video game programming courses for undergraduates. He has worked at several developers including Electronic Arts, Neversoft, and Pandemic.

Jernej Barbic — Associate Professor of Computer Science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. His interests include computer graphics, simulation, haptics, animation, real-time physics, games, virtual reality, open-source software and startup companies. Author of Vega FEM, a free C++ physics library for deformable object simulation.

Hao Li – The Andrew and Erna Viterbi Early Career Chair and CEO of Pinscreen Inc., Hao is a researcher in the field of computer graphics and computer vision, and develops next generation technologies for human digitization, real-time performance capture, and virtual reality. He is  previously affiliated with Industrial Light & Magic, Columbia University, Princeton University, and ETH Zurich. He has been named top 35 innovators under 35 by MIT technology review in 2013.

Tom Sloper – Tom Sloper has been a game producer and designer for over 30 years, having designed and produced games for most major console platforms from the 2600, 7800, and Vectrex on up to the Playstation, Xbox 360, Dreamcast, and DS, as well as games for PC, Mac, Internet, and IPTV. He’s worked for Sega, Atari, Activision, and Yahoo. He is currently a full time faculty member of USC’s Information Technology Program.

Shirin Salemnia – Shirin Laor-Raz Salemnia is currently a part time faculty member of USC’s Information Technology Program. She is actively involved in the organization Women in Gaming, as well as serving as an advisor for multiple institutions including The White House Council of Women and Girls, Los Angeles Film School, The Girl Scouts of Greater LA, Woodbury University, the Bixel Exchange in collaboration with the LA Chamber of Commerce, and Girls in Tech. She is also the founder of multiple organizations including PlayWerks and WhizGirlsAcademy.

Shirin Salemnia – Shirin Laor-Raz Salemnia is currently a part time faculty member of USC’s Information Technology Program. She is actively involved in the organization Women in Gaming, as well as serving as an advisor for multiple institutions including The White House Council of Women and Girls, Los Angeles Film School, The Girl Scouts of Greater LA, Woodbury University, the Bixel Exchange in collaboration with the LA Chamber of Commerce, and Girls in Tech. She is also the founder of multiple organizations including PlayWerks and WhizGirlsAcademy.

Lance Winkel – Lance Winkel is an award winning animated filmmaker, film festival programmer, animation educator, and practicing artist. As an effects artist and animator, his commercial clients have included Ford, Honda, Nissan, and Warner Brothers. Lance has taught 3D Computer Graphics Animation for over a decade at many prominent universities across southern California.

Nitin Kale – Nitin Kalé is an Associate Professor of Engineering Practice in the Information Technology Program (ITP) and the Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) at the Viterbi School of Engineering. Nitin is also the Associate Director for Academic Affairs at ITP. He has taught at ITP since 1995 in the areas of programming, web design, interactive multimedia and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Mike Lee – Mike Lee teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in digital entrepreneurship and enterprise systems for USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering and Marshall School of Business. Prior to USC, he spent the previous decade at Fox and Warner Bros, as a VP of Technology and Director; Netscape as a Technology Evangelist; and CTO/VP Technology for various Internet/software companies.

Michael Crowley – Michael Crowley worked for 20 years in industry as a programmer, manager, and project manager. He came to USC in 1999 as a full-time lecturer with the department of Computer Science, in the Viterbi School of Engineering. Michael has enjoyed being the Director of ITP for the past six years.

Kendra Walther – Kendra Walther is a full-time lecturer in the Information Technology Program. She has worked for the Aerospace Corporation and taught Computer Science at Cal State LA, St. Albans School, and Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Trina Gregory – Trina Gregory is a senior lecturer for ITP teaching technology, programming, and mobile classes. She has worked full-time in the computer science field for over 12 years, mainly for SAIC developing, writing, and managing software for the Department of Defense.

Matthew Whiting – A fifteen year veteran of the games industry, Matt Whiting has worked on games including Spyro the Dragon, True Crime, Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, and Shrek 2.

Jose Villeta – Director for Technology for Disney Interactive, Villeta teaches courses on Game Hardware Architectures and Game Engine Development in the Department of Computer Science.

St. John Colon – Faculty Director for the Los Angeles Film School, Colon teaches the survey of digital games and their technologies course in the Department of Computer Science.

Artem Kovalovs – A software engineer at Electronic Arts Los Angeles on the Medal of Honor team, Kovalovs teaches console game development and immersive game development in the Department of Computer Science.

Ron Artstein – Ron Artstein is a research assistant professor at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies as a computational linguist. His training and early work was in theoretical linguistics, specializing in formal semantics. Since 2004, when he joined the ARRAU project (which has since ended), he has expanded his work to computational linguistics, specifically working with annotated corpora. He is presently coordinating an effort to create and organize a corpus of spoken dialogue which is used in developing language comprehension and speech of virtual humans.

Paul Debevec – Paul Debevec is a research professor of computer science at the University of Southern California and the adjunct professor at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies. Debevec’s Ph.D. thesis (UC Berkeley, 1996) presented Façade, an image-based modeling and rendering system for creating photoreal architectural models from photographs. Using Façade he led the creation of virtual cinematography of the Berkeley campus for his 1997 film, The Campanile Movie, whose techniques were used to create virtual backgrounds in The Matrix.

David Devault – David Devault is a Research Assistant Professor at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California. His research lies in the area of natural language dialogue systems, which converse and interact with human speakers in a natural language such as English.

Andrew Gordon – Andrew S. Gordon is a Research Associate Professor of Computer Science and Director of Interactive Narrative Research at the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California. His research advances technologies for automatically analyzing and generating narrative interpretations of experiences.

Jonathan Gratch – Jonathan Gratch is the associate director for virtual humans research at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, a research professor of computer science and psychology, and co-director of USC’s Computational Emotion Group. His research focuses on virtual humans and computational models of emotion. He studies the relationship between cognition and emotion, the cognitive processes underlying emotional responses, and the influence of emotion on decision-making and physical behavior.

Randall Hill – Randall W. Hill, Jr. became the executive director of the USC Institute for Creative Technologies in 2006. A leader in understanding how classic storytelling and high-tech tools can create meaningful learning experiences, Hill steers the institute’s exploration of how virtual humans, mixed reality worlds, advanced computer graphics, dramatic films, social simulations and educational video games can augment more traditional methods for imparting lessons.

Anton Leuski – Anton Leuski is a research assistant professor at the USC Department of Computer Science and a research scientist at the USC Institute for Creative Techonologies. His research interests include interactive information access, human-computer interaction, and machine learning. Leuski’s recent work has focused on applying statistical information retrieval approaches to dialogue text analysis, natural language understanding and generation. Of primary interest is the development of the statistical approaches for building effective text classification techniques with small amounts of training data. These text classification approaches allow very rapid development of practical solutions for natural language dialogue applications.

Louis-Phillipe Morency – Dr. Louis-Philippe Morency is currently assistant professor at the Language Technologies Institute (LTI) at Carnegie Mellon University. He was formerly research assistant professor at the University of Southern California (USC) and research scientist at USC Institute for Creative Technologies where he led the Multimodal Communication and Computation Laboratory.

Kenji Sagae – Kenji Sagae is a research assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California and a research scientist in the USC Institute for Creative Technologies. Prior to joining USC in 2008, he was a research associate in the computer science department of the University of Tokyo. His main areas of research are natural language processing and computational linguistics, focusing on data-driven approaches for syntactic parsing, predicate-argument analysis and discourse processing. His current work includes the application of these techniques in various application areas, such as dialogue systems, modeling of human communication dynamics, and analysis of personal narrative in blog posts.

Steven Scherer – Currently, Scherer is working as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies under the supervision of Louis-Philippe Morency. His research fields of interest are human machine interaction, social signal processing, and affective computing.

Evan Suma – Evan Suma Rosenberg is the Associate Director of the MxR Lab at the Institute for Creative Technologies and a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California. His research focuses on techniques and technologies that can enhance virtual reality and human-computer interfaces, with particular interests in locomotion, perception, and cognition.

Bill Swartout – William Swartout is chief technology officer at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, providing overall direction to the institute’s research programs. He is also a research professor in the Computer Science Department at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

David Traum – David Traum is a principal scientist at ICT and a research faculty member at the Department of Computer Science at USC. At ICT, Traum leads the Natural Language Dialogue Group, which consists of seven Ph.D.s, four students, and four other researchers.

Paul Rosenbloom – Paul S. Rosenbloom is a professor of computer science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and is currently working with the USC Institute for Creative Technologies on a new cognitive/virtual-human architecture – Sigma (Σ) – based on graphical models.

Kallirroi Georgila – Kallirroi Georgila is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California, and a Research Scientist at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies.

StJohn Colon – St. John Colon is a founder, manager, art director, UI/UX designer, game designer and producer currently developing several social and mobile games, managing multiple internal & external development teams, and setting core technical standards in a variety of areas. St. John Colon (MFA, UCLA) has shipped more than 17.7 million video games in 55 different countries in cooperation with Square, Warner Brothers, Nickelodeon and and Disney/Pixar. St. John serves as an adjunct Professor at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and on the Advisory board of the Inner City Education Foundation of LA Arts program.

Parag Halvadar – Parag Havaldar received a PhD in Computer Vision and Graphics from the University of Southern California in 1996. Since then he has been working in the media industry to design/architect software solutions for the multimedia pipeline from authoring, compression, distribution, digital rights management. Currently, Dr, Havaldar is a software supervisor at SONY Pictures Imageworks, where he leads SONY’s proprietory efforts in the area of performance capture.

Saty Raghavachary – Dr. Saty Raghavachary is a Senior Lecturer at the CS Dept, where he teaches courses on computer graphics (CG), databases and introductory programming. Before joining USC full-time, Saty was a Designated Support Specialist at Autodesk Inc., makers of Maya, Softimage, 3DS Max, AutoCAD and several other industry-leading software tools.

Morteza Dehghani – Morteza Dehghani is an Assistant Professor of psychology, computer science and the Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) at University of Southern California. His research spans the boundary between psychology and artificial intelligence. His work investigates properties of cognition by using documents of the social discourse, such as narratives, social media, transcriptions of speeches and news articles, in conjunction to behavioral studies.

Jerry Hobbs – Jerry R. Hobbs is a prominent American researcher in the fields of computational linguistics, discourse analysis, and artificial intelligence.

Rajiv Mahesawarn – Rajiv Maheswaran is CEO of Second Spectrum, an innovative sports analytics and data visualization startup located in Los Angeles, California. Prior to Second Spectrum, Rajiv served as a research assistant professor within the University of Southern California’s Department of Computer Science, and a project leader at the Information Sciences Institute at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. He and Second Spectrum COO Yu-Han Chang co-directed the Computational Behavior Group at USC.

John May – John May is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, Adjunct Faculty at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, and principal of millionsofmovingparts, a Los Angeles-based design practice.

Suya You – Suya You is a Research Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Southern California. His expertise is in the fundamental and applied aspects of interactive multimodal systems, computer vision, and 3D graphics and visualization.

Michael Arbib – Michael A. Arbib is the Fletcher Jones Professor of Computer Science, as well as a Professor of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Neuroscience and Psychology at USC. As both a theoretical neuroscientist and a computer scientist, Arbib argues that by deducing the brain’s operating principles from a computational standpoint we can both learn more about how brains function and also gain tools for building learning machines.

Shaddin Dughmi – Shaddin Dughmi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at USC, where he is a member of the Theory Group. He received a B.S. in computer science, summa cum laude, from Cornell University in 2004, and a PhD in computer science from Stanford University in 2011.

Shahram Ghandeharizadeh – Shahram Ghandeharizadeh received his Ph.D. degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1990. Since then, he has been on the faculty at the University of Southern California. In 1995, he received an award from the School of Engineering at USC in recognition of his research activities. His primary research interests include design and implementation of multimedia storage managers, parallel database systems, and active databases.

William Halford – William Halfond is an associate professor in computer science at the University of Southern California. Halfond’s research is in software engineering in the area of program analysis and software testing. His research work focuses on improving quality assurance for web applications, developer-oriented techniques for reducing the power consumption of smartphone mobile applications, and software security.

Ellis Horowitz – Dr. Ellis Horowitz is currently Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California. Dr. Horowitz has held numerous academic administrative jobs including Associate Chairman of Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin. At U.S.C. he was chairman of the Computer Science Department from 1990 to 1999. After completing his term as Computer Science department chairman, Dr. Horowitz was appointed Director of Information Technology and Distance Education in USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering.

Ethan Katz-Bassett – Ethan Katz-Basset is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Southern California. With his colleagues Ramesh Govindan, and Wyatt Lloyd, he runs a networking and systems research group. His primary interests are in networks and distributed systems. His goal is to improve the reliability and performance of Internet services.

David Kempe – David Kempe received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2003, and has been on the faculty in the computer science department at USC since the Fall of 2004, where he is currently an Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Programs. His primary research interests are in computer science theory and the design and analysis of algorithms, with a particular emphasis on social networks, algorithms for feature selection, and game-theoretic and pricing questions.

Sven Koenig – Sven Koenig is a professor in computer science at the University of Southern California. Sven is interested in intelligent systems that have to operate in large, nondeterministic, nonstationary or only partially known domains. Most of his research centers around techniques for decision making (planning and learning) that enable single situated agents (such as robots or decision-support systems) and teams of agents to act intelligently in their environments and exhibit goal-directed behavior in real-time, even if they have only incomplete knowledge of their environment, imperfect abilities to manipulate it, limited or noisy perception or insufficient reasoning speed.

Dennis McLeod – Dennis McLeod is currently Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California, and Director of the Semantic Information Research Laboratory. Dr. McLeod has published widely in the areas of data and knowledge base systems, federated databases, database models and design, ontologies, knowledge discovery, scientific data management, information trust and privacy, and multimedia information management.

Ulrich Neumann – Dr. Ulrich Neumann is a professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Southern California. He earned an MSEE from SUNY at Buffalo in 1980 and his computer science Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1993 where his focus was on parallel algorithms for interactive volume-visualization. His research relates to video visualization, interactive media, tracking for augmented reality, and human facial modeling, rendering, and animation.

Guarav Sukhatme – Gaurav S. Sukhatme is a Professor of Computer Science (joint appointment in Electrical Engineering) at the University of Southern California (USC). He is the co-director of the USC Robotics Research Laboratory and the director of the USC Robotic Embedded Systems Laboratory which he founded in 2000. His research interests are in multi-robot systems and sensor/actuator networks.

Milind Tambe – Milind Tambe is Founding Co-Director of CAIS, the USC Center for AI for Society, and Helen N. and Emmett H. Jones Professor in Engineering at the University of Southern California(USC).

Shanghua Teng – Dr. Shang-Hua Teng is a professor who has twice won the prestigious Gödel Prize in theoretical computer science, first in 2008, for developing the theory of smoothed analysis , and then in 2015, for designing the groundbreaking nearly-linear time Laplacian solver for network systems.

Cyrus Shahabi – Cyrus Shahabi is a Professor of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Spatial Sciences and the Director of the Information Laboratory (InfoLAB) at the Computer Science Department and also the Director of the NSF’s Integrated Media Systems Center (IMSC) at the University of Southern California (USC). He is also the director of Informatics at USC’ Viterbi School of Engineering. He was the CTO and co-founder of a USC spin-off, Geosemble Technologies, which was acquired in July 2012.

Claire Bono – Claire Bono is a lecturer who teaches CSCI 455 Introduction to Programming Systems Design

Sheila Tejada – Dr. Sheila Tejada is currently a professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles, where she teaches courses and performs research applying artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics in education.

Ann Cherevenak – Ann Cherevenak leads research and development projects in the area of scientific data management, including policy-driven data management. Her current projects include research that explores policy-based network resource allocation and the relationship between policy-driven data placement and scientific workflow management.

Yolanda Gil – Yolanda Gil is the Principal Investigator and Project Leader of the Interactive Knowledge Capture research group at USC’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI). Her research focuses on intelligent interfaces for knowledge capture, which is a central topic in our projects concerning knowledge-based planning and problem solving, information analysis and assessment of trust, semantic annotation tools, agent and software choreography, and community-wide development of knowledge bases.

Jihie Kim – Jihie Kim is a Research Assistant Professor in Computer Science at the University of Southern California and a Computer Scientist at the USC/ Information Sciences Institute.

Kristina Lerman – Kristina Lerman is a Project Leader at the Information Sciences Institute, and Research Associate Professor in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Computer Science Department. Her research applies graph theory and machine learning to problems in computational social science, including social network and social media analysis, information diffusion in networks, social voting and recommendation, and more recently, dynamics of cognitive performance.

Nora Ayanian – Nora Ayanian is a Gabilan Assistant Professor of Computer Science at University of Southern California. Her research focuses on creating end-to-end solutions for coordinating teams of robots that start from truly high-level specifications and deliver code for individual robots in the team, such as using simple multitouch inputs to control a team of UAVs.

Leana Golubchick – Leana Golubchik is a Professor of Computer Science, with a joint appointment in Electrical Engineering, at USC. Her research interests are broadly in the design and evaluation of large scale distributed systems, with emphasis on analysis techniques needed for rapid evaluation of design ideas that lead to insight about systems’ performance and reliability.

Yan Liu – Yan Liu has been an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department, of the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC since August 2010. Before that, she was a research staff member in the Data Analytics Group at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center since November 2006.

Maja Mataric – Maja Matarić is the Vice Dean for Research for the Viterbi School of Engineering. She is responsible for research development and mentoring, interdisciplinary collaborations and programs, research awards coordination, K-12 outreach activities, and technology transfer.