Anne Balsamo serves as the Dean of the School of Media Studies at the New School for Public Engagement in New York. Previously she was a Professor of Interactive Media in the School of Cinematic Arts, and of Communication in the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Over the past twenty years she has been involved in the creation of notable educational efforts in culture and technology including the first master's program in Information Design and Technology at Georgia Tech in the 1990s, and HASTAC in the early 2000s. Her work focuses on the cultural implications of emergent technologies which informs her practice as a scholar, researcher, new media designer and entrepreneur. Video

Brett Bobley serves as the Chief Information Officer for the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and is also the Director of the agency’s Office of Digital Humanities (ODH).  Under ODH, Brett has put in place new grant programs aimed at supporting innovative humanities research projects that use or study digital technology. Brett also administers the Digging into Data Challenge, an international competition to fund computationally intensive research at the large scale. Digging into Data is co-sponsored by the NSF and IMLS (United States), SSHRC (Canada), JISC, AHRC, and ESRC (United Kingdom), and NWO (Netherlands). 

Ian Bogost is Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a founding partner at Persuasive Games. His research and writing consider video games as an expressive medium, and his creative practice focuses on games about social and political issues, including airport security, consumer debt, disaffected workers, the petroleum industry, suburban errands, pandemic flu and tort reform. He is the author or co-author of eight books, including Persuasive Games, Racing the Beam, and How to do Things with Videogames. Video

Donald Brinkman manages external programs in digital humanities, digital heritage and games for learning at Microsoft Research. Prior to joining Microsoft he spent eight years in developmental and technical roles acquiring and executing government research contracts in areas such as quantum computation; signals intelligence; electromagnetic and kinetic simulations; behavioral economics; game theory; and cross-cultural communications. Video

John Canny is a Distinguished Professor in Computer Science at University of California, Berkeley. He has made significant contributions in various areas of computer science and mathematics, including artificial intelligence, robotics, computer-human interaction, computer security, computational algebra, and computational geometry. 

Alan Christy is a dynamic and celebrated teacher in the Department of History here at UC Santa Cruz. Professor Christy is known for teaching many popular courses in History, primarily relating to Eastern Asia. Over the last two years, Professor Christy has been the faculty leader of the student project ROUTES: Digital Humanities Learning Through Interconnected Individual Stories

Wendy Chun is Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. She has studied both Systems Design Engineering and English Literature, which she combines and mutates in her current work on digital media. Most generally, her scholarly work investigates the relationship between cultural formations and technological artifacts, between theoretical concepts in the humanistic and technological disciplines, and between popular perceptions of technology and technological protocols.

Beth Coleman BA (Yale), PhD (NYU), author of Hello Avatar (MIT Press, 2011), is a specialist in digital media, race theory, game culture, and literary studies.  She is author of numerous articles on digital media, the creator of a number of digital projects, as well as an artist with a history of international exhibition. Having spent several years as an assistant professor of Comparative Media at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Coleman has taken on a new position as the director of the City as Platform lab at the Games Institute, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, where she is a professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts. Coleman also affiliated faculty at Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University. In her current research orientation, she explores the possibilities of transmedia storytelling to address public, civic, and poetic engagements of networked media.

Gerhard Fischer is a Professor of Computer Science, a Fellow of the Institute of Cognitive Science, and the Director of the Center for Lifelong Learning and Design (L3D) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a member of the Computer Human Interaction Academy (CHI) and a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). His research is focused on new conceptual frameworks and new media for learning, working, and collaborating. Recent work has focused on social creativity, meta-design, and cultures of participation.

Kent Foster is currently the Director of the University Talent Development and Outreach program at Microsoft Studios. His career spans over twenty five years of diverse management experience in academic research, international product marketing and business development, strategy & planning, entrepreneurship, and operations at Microsoft, Apple, the William Davidson Institute (University of Michigan), NeXT Computer, and Digital Equipment Corporation.

Bill Gaver is a Professor of Design at Goldsmiths University of London. Gaver’s research concerns the design of interactive technologies for everyday life. As head of the Interaction Research Studio, Gaver pursues practice-based research on new roles for interactive technology. Recent work has focused on the home, exploring electronic furniture and fittings that provoke curiosity and allow exploration of new views within and outside the domestic setting. Video

Chad Greene is an award winning 2D/3D artist/film maker who works with both traditional and digital media. He is currently an Art Director at Microsoft Studios. His career spans over twenty years of experience, working in film, video games, advertising/graphic design, and broadcast tv. He has worked at places such as Crystal Dynamics, Electronic Arts, Sony Imageworks, THQ, and Dreamworks; in all of his positions his focus has been on modeling, texturing, lighting, compositing, concept art, and art direction. In addition to his professional career, he is also involved in the fine arts, exhibiting his personal work in galleries across the U.S. Video

Kirsten Silva Gruesz is Professor of Literature at UC Santa Cruz, where she teaches 19th- and 20th- century literature of the Americas. She has published extensively on early Spanish-language print culture and is particularly interested in problems of multilingualism and the digital archive. As co-PI of the Latino Cultures Network, a UC Multicampus Research Group, she is helping develop a bilingual multimedia resource.

Fox Harrell is Associate Professor of Digital Media at MIT in the Comparative Media Studies Program and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. His research explores the relationship between imaginative cognition and computation. His research also involves developing new forms of computational narrative, gaming, social media, and related digital media based in computer science, cognitive science, and digital media arts. The National Science Foundation has recognized Harrell with an NSF CAREER Award for his project “Computing for Advanced Identity Representation.” Video

Ian Horswill is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at McCormick Northwestern School of Engineering. His research there includes control systems for autonomous agents, and modeling and simulation of emotion, personality, and social behavior for virtual characters for games and interactive narrative. He is interested in exploring alternative genres and interaction modes that can expand the medium. Video

Katherine Isbister is a game and human computer interaction researcher and designer, currently an Associate Professor with a joint appointment between New York University's Polytechnic Institute Computer Science and Engineering department and the NYU Game Center in the Tisch School of the Arts. She is Research Director of the Game Innovation Lab ( Isbister's research and design contributions center on how to create more compelling emotional and social qualities in games and other digital experiences.

Pamela L. Jennings is the Director of the Center for Design Innovation at the University of North Carolina in Winston-Salem. She is also the CEO and President of CONSTRUKTS, Inc. a start-up company that has been supported by the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR) and Highway1 Hardware Start-up incubator. She was the Director of the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Centers for Research and Collaboration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).  The Shapiro Center was established to support the development of sponsored research opportunities and partnerships with civic, academic and corporate entities.  Jennings is a former National Science Foundation Program Officer. She managed the NSF CreativeIT and co-managed the Human Centered Computing programs.  Jennings’ research in cyberphysical systems for new game, learning, and design platforms includes the development of mixed-reality systems using wireless sensor networks.   Her projects are informed by critical theories of technology, discourse analysis, and theories of the public sphere with the premise that advanced technologies and complex systems can be the anchor of interactive experiences that are catalyst for discourse, discovery, and change. Video

Arnav Jhala is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He heads the Computational Cinematics Studio at UCSC. His research interests lie at the intersection of artificial intelligence and digital media, particularly in the areas of computer games, cinematic communication, and narrative discourse.

Janet Kolodner is the Regent's Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Intitute of Technology. She's currently on loan to the National Science Foundation, where she is heading a new program called Cyberlearning: Transforming Education. Kolodner's research addresses issues in learning, memory, and problem solving, both in computers and in people. She pioneered the computer reasoning method called case-based reasoning, a way of solving problems based on analogies to past experiences. The approach to promoting science learning among middle schoolers, based on the cognitive model implied by case based reasoning and pioneered in her lab, forms the foundation for the comprehensive 3-year middle-school science curriculum, Project Based Inquiry Science (PBIS), of which she is the lead author. Video


Jennifer Langdon is the Associate Director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute, where she oversees communications, external development, and collaborative research initiatives in the humanities. Trained in cultural, labor, and gender history, her academic research focuses on politics and popular culture in mid-20th century America. Winner of the AHA's Gutenberg-e Prize, her PhD dissertation was published as a digital book by Columbia University Press as Caught in the Crossfire: Adrian Scott and the Politics of Americanism in 1940s Hollywood. She is currently writing at the intersection of history and crime fiction; her novel-in-progress is called The File on Margot Black.


Brenda Laurel has had a career in Interactive Media that spans three decades, and she has founded and chaired two distinguished graduate programs in design: the Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design (2000-2006) and the transdisciplinary Graduate Program in Design at California College of the Aers (2006-2012). In addition to public speaking and consulting, she is a member of the boards of advisors of several companies and organizations, including the Communication Research Institute (Australia) and the Center for Digital Storytelling. Video

Geoffrey Long is a media analyst, scholar, and storyteller exploring transmedia experiences, emerging entertainment platforms and the future of entertainment as the Lead Narrative Producer for the Narrative Design Team at Microsoft Studios. He is an alum of the MIT Comparative Media Studies program, a FoE Fellow with the Futures of Entertainment community, and a co-editor of the Playful Thinking book series from the MIT Press. His personal site can be found at


Mary Lou Maher is Professor and Chair in the Software and Information Systems Department at UNC Charlotte, as well as Honorary Professor of Design Computing at the University of Sydney. She is best known  for her research in computational models of creative design, designing in virtual worlds, tangible interfaces and spatial cognition, and motivated reinforcement learning as computational curiosity. Video

Alex McDowell is one of the most innovative and influential designers working in narrative media, with the impact of his ideas extending far beyond his background in cinema. He is currently teaching world building and virtual production as Visiting Professor in production and interactive media at USC School of Cinematic Arts, and was Visiting Artist at MIT’s Media Lab. He is co-founder and creative director of the 5D | Institute - a global series of distributed events and an exploratory space for an expanding community of storytellers in entertainment and academia - and the 5D | Organization, an industry-facing cellular, cross-disciplinary media studio which imagines, designs, iterates, and builds immersive, experiential and social worlds. Video

Tara McPherson is an Associate Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Southern California.  She is the author of Reconstructing Dixie: Race, Gender and Nostalgia in the Imagined South, co-editor of Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture, and editor of Digital Youth, Innovation and the Unexpected.  She is founding editor of the born-digital journal Vectors, and the lead PI for Scalar, a new digital research and publishing environment from the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture


Nick Montfort is an Associate Professor of digital media at MIT. He is also a poet, computer scientist, and author of interactive fiction. Montfort has participated in dozens of literary and academic collaborations. His most recent book, his fourth from The MIT Press, is a collaboration with nine others entitled 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10. Video

Katherine Moriwaki is an Assistant Professor of Media Design in the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons School of Design. Her focus is on interaction design and artistic practice. Her current research and art has her investigating clothing, accessories and wearable technologies as the means through which people develop and articulate social relations in public space.


Stuart Moulthrop is an innovator in electronic literature and hypertext fiction, both as a theoretician and as a writer. He is the author of numerous hypertext fiction works, several of which were featured in the New York Times. Moulthrop is currently a Professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He is also a founding board member of the Electronic Literature Organization. 

Janet Murray is the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs at the Ivan Allen College for the Liberal Arts at Georgia Tech, where she is also IAC College Professor in the Graduate Program in Digital Media and Director of the eTV Lab . She is well known as an early developer of humanities computing applications, a seminal theorist of digital media, and an advocate of new educational programs in digital media. Her latest book is Inventing the Medium: Principles of Interaction Design as a Cultural Process (MIT Press, 2011). Video


Bill O'Brien is the Senior Advisor for Program Innovation at the NEA. He helped organize two convenings of the nation's leading artists and scientists in partnership with the National Science Foundation and is overseeing a pilot program in partnership with the DoD to investigate the efficacy of arts interventions in formal medical protocols designed to help heal service members dealing with combat related TBI and Psychological health issues.

Simon Penny is a Professor in the department Art at the University of California, Irvine, and visiting professor in the Cognitive System and Interactive Media masters at University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. He was Professor of Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon through the 90s and established and ran the Arts Computation Engineering masters at UCI 2003-2011. Since the 1980s Penny has built custom interactive and robotic systems. He curated Machine Culture at Siggraph ’93, and was director of Digital Art and Culture 2009 (DAC09).

Ken Perlin is a Professor of Computer Science at New York University, where he is the founding director of the Media Research Lab. He is also the director of the Games for Learning Insitute. He has been involved in the development of numerous techniques and interface features in the fields of computer graphics, animation, multimedia, and science education.  Video

Stephen Ramsay is an Associate Professor of English and a Fellow at the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He specializes in computational text analysis and theory of new media. Steve is the author of Reading Machines: Toward an Algorithmic Criticism (University of Illinois Press, 2011) and is at work (with Patrick Juola) on a book for Oxford University Press entitled Mathematics for the Humanist. He is a co-investigator with Brian Pytlik-Zillig on Abbot -- an interoperability framework for large-scale text corpora.


Jason Rhody is a Senior Program Officer in the Office of Digital Humanities (ODH) at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Prior to joining the Endowment in 2003, he was a founding employee of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), where he contributed to and advised digital humanities projects while teaching courses in literature and digital media. His scholarly research focuses on the influence of material conditions and modes of production on the delivery of narrative across a variety of media, from print fiction to computer games.

Doug Sery is the Senior Acquisitions Editor for New Media, Game Studies, Design, and Digital Humanities at the MIT Press. During his tenure there, he haspublished books from Ian Bogost, Beth Coleman, Brenda Laurel, Nick Montfort, and Janet Murray. He is also working with a number of the other participants in the Media Systems workshop on new book projects.

John Sharp is the Associate Professor of Games and Learning in the School of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design where he is co-director of PETLab (Prototyping, Education and Technology Lab). John is a game designer, graphic designer, art historian and educator. His design work is focused on social network games, artgames and non-digital games. His research is focused on game design curriculum, the artgames movement, videogame aesthetics, the history of play, and the early history of computer and video games. John is a member of the game design collectives Local No. 12 and the Leisure Collective. He is also a partner in Supercosm LLC.

Joan Shigekawa is Senior Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. She is the founding Director of the Arts Program at the Nathan Cummings Foundation in New York. Prior to that Ms. Shigekawa was with the staff of the Metropolitan Museum of Art where she directed the Production Laboratory of the Program for Art on Film.

Joel Slayton is the Executive Director of ZERO1, an international hub of art and technology and organizing body for the ZERO1 Biennial.  An artist, writer and researcher, Joel is a full tenured professor at San Jose State University where he is Director Emeritus of the CADRE Laboratory for New Media.  Established in 1984 CADRE is one of the oldest academic centers in the United States dedicated to the development of experimental applications involving information technology and art.

Elaine Sullivan is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA, as well as a 2012-2013 ACLS Digital Innovation fellow. An Egyptologist, Dr. Sullivan was one of the co-creators of the Digital Karnak Project, a real-time 3D model visualization of the ancient Egyptian temple of Amun-Re at Karnak. She also acted as project coordinator for UCLA's Keck Digital Cultural Mapping Program, working to incorporate new digital technologies into the undergraduate Humanities and Social Science classroom.

Marilyn Walker is a Professor of Computer Science and head of the Natural Language and Dialogue Systems Lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her current research includes work on extending the language capabilities of interactive games, with a focus on training, assistive, and educational games. Statistical and expressive natural language generation, dialogue systems, artificial intelligence, computer games, and human computer interaction are also among her research interests.

Jim Whitehead is Professor and Chair of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he performs research in the fields of procedural content generation, intelligent design tools, games and software engineering, software bug prediction, and software evolution. He is the President of the Society for the Advancement of the Science of Digital Games (SASDG), which runs the yearly Foundations of Digital Games conference. Jim led the creation of the BS Computer Science: Computer Game Design degree program at UC Santa Cruz, the first game oriented degree program within the University of California system.


Michael Young is a Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. He is founder and executive director of the NC State Digital Games Research Initiative and directs the Liquid Narrative research group. Together with more than 12 students and post-doctoral fellows, he works to develop  computational models of interactive narrative with applications to computer games, educational and training systems and virtual environments.