Research & Talks

Programming Language Construction and Effects on Learning
Doctoral research topic, University of Florida, CISE Department (2014-2018)

My research goal is identify the assumptions built into programming languages, particularly those targeted to children, and to test, analyze, and draw conclusions about more effective and less effective approaches as it pertains to the intended audience's learning abilities. I am currently conducting my literature review, and this research is currently in its early stages. Several languages targeting young children as learning tools have been identified. My goal is to begin collecting data September 2015.

Master Thesis Students in the Video Game Industry
SIGGRAPH Asia (2015)

I gave a brief talk at SIGGRAPH Asia (in Kobe, Japan) in Nov 2015 on how we approach Master Thesis projects in the Game Studies graduate programs at Full Sail University. This involves a hybrid approach consisting of research and game industry elements in a single project.

Bridging Educational Programming and Production Languages
Accepted, IDC2015, "Every Child a Coder" Workshop (2015)

Researchers have been developing educational programming environments to facilitate the learning of computer science concepts at younger ages. These tools have made significant gains in engaging a younger audience and making programming more accessible. Current tools lack a unified bridge from early educational to practical, applied programming environments. We propose an age-appropriate bridge that could facilitate transfer of knowledge and skills by applying techniques shown to encourage such transfer in learning science research.

GDC, IGDA Game Education SIG: Survey of Game Industry Employers
Ongoing annual collaboration with IGDA (2014-Present)

To identify the specific needs of the industry, the Game Industry Education Survey was developed. This survey is a yearly survey, with results updated annually and presented at the Game Developer's Conference (GDC). The survey was developed over the course of 2014 and first administered in February 2015. The preliminary results were presented at the GDC 2015 IGDA Game Education SIG session. A followup survey is planned for year-end 2015, with results to be presented at GDC 2016. For details about the Game Education SIG, see www.igda.org/group/game-education.

Moderator: "Indie Gaming in Orlando" Panel
Full Sail Hall of Fame, 2015

A panel of independent game development professionals discussed the challenges, benefits, and drawbacks of being in independent developer in Central Florida (and the Orlando area in particular.)

EduGaming Conference, Advisory Board
NSF funded (2014)

The EduGaming Conference is funded by the National Science Foundation and aims to bring together educators in game studies, educators using games as instructional tools, and game industry professionals to advance the effective use of games in post-secondary institutions. The EduGaming Conference first ran in August 2014. It will have its second annual meeting in August 2015. Details can be found at www.edugamingconference.com.

Panelist: "Avoiding Gender, Racial, and Cultural Stereotypes in the Entertainment Industry"
Full Sail Hall of Fame, 2014-2015

The entertainment industry can either reinforce cultural stereotypes or create alternative ways of supporting diversity. Panelists shared their views on how the industry can avoid problematic labels regarding gender, race, and culture.

National Flight Academy: Flight Simulation as K-12 Instructional Tool 
Research and development project at Full Sail University, 2011-2012

With the National Flight Academy and through the Full Sail Institute for Research in Entertainment, I managed the project development team to develop and test flight simulator components and training scenarios to teach middle and high school students mathematics, physics, and history. The National Flight Academy continues to use the tools and scenarios developed with Full Sail's researchers to successfully reach young people and generate interest in STEM-related fields. Further details can be found at www.nationalflightacademy.com.

NASA and Design Interactive: CogGauge Game-Based Cognitive Battery
Research collaboration, 2009-2010, NASA grant-funded

With Design Interactive and through the Full Sail Institute for Research in Entertainment, I served as a lead developer to create and and test an initial prototype for CogGauge, a NASA grant-funded game-based cognitive battery. This included development and delegation of programming and art-related tasks to others. CogGauge is now a successful product available from Design Interactive. For more information, see designinteractive.net/coggauge.

Monkeying Around in C++ - A Beginner’s Guide
Textbook in progress, future publication; co-author

"Monkeying Around in C++" is the first in a series of textbooks intended for high school and college use. This title approaches the daunting task of learning a powerful programming language from the perspective of the learner and instructor rather than as an exhaustive reference. Care is taken to introduce key concepts in a friendly and coherent manner with plenty of examples and exercises mixed with comic illustrations that reinforce the learning process and introduce an element of fun to the often challenging elements of this commonly used development language.

Digital Libraries and Role-Based Systems 
Undergraduate research project, 2002

As an undergraduate University Scholar, I researched the integration of digital libraries and role-based systems using XML under supervision of a professor acting as an advisor. The results can be found at ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00091523/00210.