Job: Postdoctoral Scholar – University of California Santa Cruz – Social Games for Conflict Resolution with Natural Interaction

University of California, Santa Cruz – Postdoctoral Scholar

SIREN: Social Games for Conflict Resolution with Natural Interaction

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Scholar position within the Center for Games and Playable Media at the Baskin School of Engineering, focused on research in Procedural Narrative Generation and Drama Management for adaptive pedagogical games. This position is under supervision of professors Arnav Jhala, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin.

The position is funded through the European Union project SIREN. SIREN is a 3-year EU-funded STREP project. The successful candidate will contribute to research, development, and evaluation of an adaptive conflict generator for an educational social game. This entails close cooperation with the other research partners (IT University of Copenhagen-Denmark, INESC-ID Portugal, and National Technical University of Athens-Greece) and transferring research technology to the industry partner Serious Games Interactive for implementation on the game engine. In addition to managing research activities, the postdoctoral researcher is expected to help with supervision of 1 to 2 graduate assistants.

The SIREN project aims to create a new type of educational game that takes advantage of recent advances in serious games, social networks, computational intelligence and emotional modeling to create uniquely motivating and educating games that help shape how children think about and handle conflicts, with particular focus on cross-cultural conflicts. Through the game and tools developed during the project, teachers will be able to automatically generate conflict scenarios that fit the educational needs of particular groups of children with varying cultural background, maturity, and technical expertise, and the desired learning outcomes as specified by a teacher. This will enable the system to be used by teachers all over Europe, without specific technical training. To realize this vision, a number of advances to the state of the art will be made throughout the various disciplines. The research activities of the postdoctoral researcher will focus on modeling conflict scenarios in an intelligent narrative generation and drama management system, and development of AI modules and authoring interfaces for drama management within the Unity game engine.

Rank: Postdoctoral Scholar – Employee

Salary: $50,000

Minimum Qualifications: Ph.D. or equivalent in Computer Science or related field with emphasis on Artificial Intelligence; strong communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills.

Preferred Qualifications: Strong interest and experience developing computational models of narrative; experience with programming on game engines and deploying playable experiences.

Term of Appointment: One year, with the possibility of extension of one year contingent upon funding and positive performance evaluation.

Closing This position is open until filled.

About UCSC: University of California, Santa Cruz is a leader in computer games research and education. It boasts the first computer games degree in the University of California system, with nearly 400 undergrads currently enrolled, and is one of the largest and most active technical game research groups in the world. We are located near a leading region of game development and innovation (Silicon Valley) on a beautiful campus with a strong history of interdisciplinary innovation. This year UCSC will open a new Center for Games and Playable Media.

Apply To: Applications should send a CV, summary of research interests, and contact information for three references electronically to, or by mail to:

Dr. Arnav Jhala
Computer Science Department
University of California
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA – 95064

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