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Computational Media Research

Alternative Learning Technologies and Games Lab

The Alternative Learning Technologies and Games (ALT Games) Lab is an interdisciplinary team working on projects ranging across multiple domains such as human-computer interaction, learning science, electrical engineering, psychology, and digital arts. The mission of the lab is to create and explore the potential of alternative controllers, novel interfaces, and other forms of unique input/output.

Two students play Mad Mixologist, a game created by ALT Games Lab director Eddie Melcer

Assistive Sociotechnical Systems for Individuals with Special Needs (ASSIST) Lab 

The ASSIST Lab aims to help people with special needs (PSN) maintain a high quality of life through technology. PSN include people with disabilities, older persons, young children, people in the developing countries and people with low socioeconomic status and education—in general those who require special accommodation when learning and using technology

Augmented Design Lab

The Augmented Design Lab focuses on developing basic understandings of the building blocks of design, as well as creating computational assistants that enhance the capacity of humans to perform design activities.

Augmented Design Lab director Jim Whitehead with students and professors Michael Mateas and Noah Wardrip-Fruin

Authentic User Experience Lab

The Authentic User Experience Lab integrates empirical and humanistic methods to conduct research with subcultures. Researchers characterize this relationship of technology with subcultures, design systems to support their notion of authenticity, and fashion new frameworks and methods to inform designs that help people strive for meaningful lives.

Authentic User Experience Lab group photo

Center for Computational Experience

The Center for Computational Experience is a cross-disciplinary center that is home to games and human-computer interaction (HCI) researchers across UC Santa Cruz. The center’s mission has grown to encompass a broad range of computationally enabled activities—from VR stroke rehabilitation, to apps that help users track and manage mood, to wearables that assist conversational balance, as well as cutting-edge games and playful experiences.

Computational media researchers

Creative Coding Lab

The UC Santa Cruz Creative Coding Lab consists of a team of interdisciplinary researchers and artists focused on applied research in interaction and visualization, and also on the exploration of experimental and creative works based on current techniques in human-computer interaction, scientific and information visualization, graphics, computer vision, immersive environments, and machine learning.

3d data visualization created in the Creative Coding Lab

Expressive Intelligence Studio

The Expressive Intelligence Studio (EIS) is a technical and cultural research group at UC Santa Cruz directed by Professors Michael Mateas and Noah Wardrip-Fruin and dedicated to exploring the intersection of artificial intelligence, art, and design.

Expressive Intelligence Studio logo

Game User Interaction and Intelligence Lab

Game design, interactive arts, interactive media are new emerging inter- and multi-disciplinary fields that combine different disciplines, including computer science, design, art, engineering, psychology, social science, science, and business. Members of the Game User Interaction and Intelligence (GUII) Lab focus on these emerging areas with an emphasis on contributions on understanding the user experience, expanding and applying new artificial intelligence algorithms, and engineering new engaging designs.

GUII logo

Interaction Dynamics Lab

The Interaction Dynamics Lab builds research tools and develops theoretical frameworks relating to storytelling and narratives in games and playful interactions, as well as virtual AI characters and social simulation in various forms.

Two computational media students in a game design lab

Misfit Lab

The Misfit Lab consists of a team of interdisciplinary researchers and designers focused on care and access in the research areas of human-computer interaction, community, and accessibility.

Misfit Lab logo

Social Emotional Technology Lab

The Social Emotional Technology Laboratory (SET Lab) focuses on designing, implementing, and studying human computer interaction technologies that enhance physical, social, and emotional experiences.

SET Lab director Katherine Isbister and researchers sitting on a bench on near the Baskin Engineering building

Tech4Good Lab

The Tech4Good Lab does research in social computing, exploring the intersection of computational systems and social interaction. The lab’s mission is to develop systems—integrating design, modeling, and algorithms—to support individual and societal flourishing in work, education, community engagement, and governance.

Tech4Good director David Lee with some of his researchers

Faculty Research Spotlight

Christina Chung

Assistant Professor Christina Chung’s research draws from the fields of human-computer interaction and health informatics to design systems that support health and wellness, specifically on the topics of motivating healthy behaviors, enhancing relationships, and supporting clinical care.

Christina Chung, assistant professor of computational media

Tender Claws

Tender Claws, co-led by Assistant Teaching Professor Samantha Gorman, is an award-winning art and games studio known for innovations in emerging media, a critically playful eye, and a strong foundation in storytelling.

Stranger Things VR game cover