All posts by pfry

PHD STUDENT HAS PAPER ACCEPTED IN CHI CONFERENCE

The Goldsmiths computing department has recently received wonderful news that PhD student Timea Farakas had her paper submitted and accepted in the CHI Conference.

Pronounced ‘kai’, the CHI conference is a place where researchers and practitioners gather from across the world to discuss the latest in interactive technology and is generally considered the most prestigious in the field of human-computer interaction.

You can watch the full interview where Timea discusses her research below.

Timea is in her fourth year of her PhD programme and is enrolled on the IGI Programme Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI) where students from partnering universities can study, learn and interact with each other.

Timea’s research focusses on player experience and how board game players interact with technologies implemented on these board games. Examples of these type of board games are the ones on apps. Timea’s accepted paper tries to understand players to create more interactive design forms. The paper is titled

“The Effects of a Soundtrack on Board Game Player Experience”.

In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’22), April 29- May 5, 2022, New Orleans, LA, USA”

Timea’s unique study also includes research conducted during lockdown which yielded unique results. The university is incredibly proud of the achievements of Timea and would like to say a big congratulations to her!

Computing alumni’s have research papers accepted at the ieee 2022 conference

The Goldsmiths computing department has recently received wonderful news from 3 previous MA students who have had their research papers accepted in the IEEE 2022 Conference

What is the IEEE?

IEEE stands for International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Virtual Environments for Measurement Systems and Applications. The organisation boasts nearly 2,000 annual conferences and events worldwide for all of the technical fields of interest within IEEE.

The organisation annually allows new submissions of research projects,  articles and more to be submitted for publication followed by a paper-selection process and are peer reviewed before they are published. 

Due to the pandemic, the conference wasn’t held in New Zealand as previous advertised. The event was instead held via a unique virtual experience.

Video of the virtual IEEE conference

3 Goldsmiths Alumni’s had the pleasure of attending the event, share their experience of it and their excitement when finding out that their paper’s were accepted in this year’s intake.

Meet Sasha Jiang who recently graduated from the MA/MSc Virtual and Augmented Reality at Goldsmiths. She now works in an Ad agency as a junior designer where she explores how to include VR work into advertising. Her accepted poster in the IEEE was titled “Rereading the Narrative Paradox for Virtual Reality Theatre – collaboration with Prof Jonny Freeman, Goldsmiths Psychology”.

Alumni Interview with Sasha Jiang

Meet Celine Yu who recently graduated from the MA/MSc Virtual and Augmented Reality at Goldsmiths. With a background in film and TV, Celine was drawn to explore how VR and AR could affect different ways of story telling. Her accepted poster in the IEEE was titled “A validation study to trigger nicotine craving in virtual reality” in collaboration with Prof Daniel Freeman, Oxford University.

Alumni Interview with Celine Yu

Meet Fang Ma who recently graduated from the MA/MSc Virtual and Augmented Reality at Goldsmiths. Fang’s interest in VR and AR explores avatar fidelity and making the whole VR experience more immersive. Her accepted poster in the IEEE was titled “Visual Fidelity Effects on Expressive Self-avatar in Virtual Reality: First Impressions Matter”

Alumni Interview with Fang Ma

What happens after?

Now that the papers have been accepted they will be peer reviewed and then published by the IEEE. This is a big ordeal for our Alumni students as less than 10 papers per conference are accepted.

The university is incredibly proud of the achievements of our Alumni students and would like to say a big congratulations to all those involved!

Masters student hosts departmental social event

Image: Rose; Organiser of the social event

Meet Rose, a programme representative for MA Computer Games: Art and Design. Rose, recently organised a social event for the department which garnered a lot of attention. We sat down to interview Rose about the event and what student’s can continue to look forward to.

Rose stated that “The main theme of the event was dress up and storytelling and a lot of snacks! All students from the masters computing department were invited to come. Students spent their time chatting, sharing stories about their lives as well as cultures and indulged in the chocolate fountain.”

Rose’s motivation for creating the event was to help form a community amongst students that would create a pleasant atmosphere while studying and make lasting connections among themselves. 

Image: Food Spread at the social event


At the events students were encouraged to play on the switch together, engage with icebreaker activities and in the story telling sessions which combined both worldly and personal stories. 

Rose has noted that her most memorable experience from this event was when they all shared their unique life stories as she got to connect with her fellow class mates and computing students better.

“There were a few challenges when organising the event”.

Rose noted, with the most challenging being finding an appropriate place to host the event. However, this logistical challenge was soon resolved.

Image: Students Socialising at the social event.

Rose confessed to us that by creating the event, she had developed new skills. “I would say that I definitely learnt a lot about time management whilst hosting this event. I had to plan accordingly in order for the timing to work well with people’s schedule and I also had to make sure that the pacing of the event was enjoyable.” 

Rose’s successful delivery of this event has prompted her to create more gaming and social events for the computing students to participate in in the future. Rose stated;

“I have several ideas for new events such as a group cinema outing,  a psychology and board games event and so much more! I am planning to host one event at the end of Easter Term, as well as other events in term three. 
If anyone would like to get more information about future social events, please either contact me on 
rpokr001@gold.ac.uk.”

We encourage other all computing students to engage in these social events as they are a great way to meet fellow students! You can also join the Goldmsiths’ Student discord and keep up to date with the Computing announcement emails.

Computing student wins J.P. Morgan’s Code for Good

Students at JP Morgans Code for Good
Melat, in the centre, with team mates from other London universities

BSc Computer Science student, Melat Gebreselassie, is on the winning team for J.P. Morgan’s annual hackathon, Code for Good.

JP Morgan’s annual Code for Good programme gives participants the chance to use their coding skills to build creative solutions for problems faced by not-for-profit organisations.

Melat’s team worked with Project Access, who run an international mentorship programme to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds navigate applying for university. The team had to address the issue that the huge amount of data available online about university applications can be overwhelming.

“The challenge was to find a solution for students age 16-18 all around the world who have very little knowledge in how they should apply, where they should apply etc. in one place online in an accessible simple way” Melat said.

Melat and her team decided the best approach was to create a chatbot implanted into Facebook messenger, which would be accessible to young people who are used to texting and messaging through social media. They used Google’s machine learning brain, DialogFlow, to power the chatbot. This means that the more chatbot is used the better the algorithm becomes.

Melat’s BSc Computer Science degree was important as she used knowledge of node.js to build the chatbot, a coding language she is currently learning in her Data and the Web module taught by Dr. Elaheh Homayounvala.

Her team completed the challenge in just 16 hours, and after presenting to an audience of 400 people and 5 judges, were announced the winners of the competition.

Congratulations to Melat and the team!

Games Library Night

Games Library Night at Goldsmiths, University of London

For the second year in a row, at Goldsmiths we have celebrated the connection between our library and the world of games. The social space in the library is an incredible setting for showcasing games and have a friendly meetup and talk sessions with people from the game industry.

Plus, we had popcorn, cupcakes and tea for getting cosy and relaxed as the reading week is fading out and the winter is kicking in.

Across the evening we showcased many student games, some of which are making their own way to publishing and hitting the market. We played and talked together, giving and receiving feedback.

After a brief opening by Eve Jamieson and Alan Zucconi we’ve welcomed on stage our speakers.

Jupiter Hadley has introduced the audience to her job as a journalist and a reviewer, pointing out what are the elements that stand out in independent and game jam games.

Allan Cudicio, the second speaker of the evening, talked about how to research precolonial Africa for games. His talk was very well received, especially given how strong the discussion about decolonising the library currently is.

Anisa Sanusi closed the event talking about her mentorship programme for underrepresented genders in the game industry. We think this discussion is extremely relevant and important in an industry that is changing a lot and which is not always welcoming people in the best way.

We recorded all of the talks, which you can see in this playlist:

We’ve literally filled the space up to the brim and the Games Library Night has been a success for Goldsmiths. The feedback has been great, and the event was also featured on Timeout London.

Alan Zucconi, Federico Fasce, Eve Jamieson and Pete McKenzie

Goldsmiths undergraduate projects presented at CHI Play

Dr Sarah Wiseman, programme leader for BSc Games Programming, reports on two student projects which were presented at the Chi Play conference in Barcelona this October.

In their last year at Goldsmiths, our undergraduate students design and deliver their final year project, which runs through the course of two terms. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to learn new skills and explore in depth the areas of computing that are of particular interest to them.

Often these project result in games or software being produced, but sometimes the students are able to conduct research in conjunction with that development.

In our graduating class of 2019, two such students produced work that was of such high quality that it was recognised at an international academic conference. As a result, the work of Kevin Lewis (BSc Creative Computing) and Rees Morris (BSc Games Programming) was presented at CHI Play conference in Barcelona last week.

Kevin’s work looked at how technology can affect the way that social deduction games are played.

Kevin Lewis shows his thumbs

If you’ve ever played the games Werewolf or Mafia, you’ll know that social deduction games involve you needing to determine who amongst your fellow players are lying, and who you can trust.

In Kevin’s game, an app provided players with facts about how the players were playing – who had lied, who was being more trustworthy – and explored whether players trusted the app or their own instincts more. Instincts won.

Rees’s work focused on Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBAs).

Rees was unable to attend the conference, so his supervisor Dr Sarah Wiseman took his place

MOBAs are incredibly popular, and the eSports scene around them is worth a massive amount of money. MOBAs are interesting from a games perspective as often players will dedicate time to online one game in the genre because of the amount of time required to become expert and acquire the in-game items.

As part of Rees’s final project, not only did he create a MOBA, but he also conducted a comprehensive survey of MOBA players to find out why they chose the particular MOBA they were interested in. Surprisingly, players didn’t often cite the game play itself, but more commonly chose the game based upon social connections, wanting to play with their friends.

Well done to Kevin and Rees!

The papers can be found here:

Games Library Night

To celebrate International Games Week, Goldsmiths Computing and Goldsmiths Library present a night with special guest speakers from across the games industry.

The event is free and open to the public, all are welcome. Participants will have an opportunity to play exciting new games created by Goldsmiths alumni and current students.

  • When: Friday 8 November 2019, 5pm – 9pm. Talks start at 6pm
  • Where: Goldsmiths Library
  • FREE. Register on Eventbrite

Speakers

Jupiter Hadley: Game Jams and Games You’ve Never Heard of….

Jupiter Hadley

This talk will explore Game Jams and highlight a collection of amazing game jam games that you have probably never heard of before.

Jupiter Hadley is a games journalist and YouTuber, primarily of indie games. Jupiter is also the Games Wizard at Armor Games.

Allan Cudicio: Make Pre-Colonial Africa Great Again – in Your Game

Allan Cudicio

This talk will tell you why you should start thinking about including precolonial Africa in your game (or other media) and will provide actionable first steps on how to research and implement it.

Allan Cudicio is Founder & Creative Director at Twin Drums, a new independent games studio focused on bringing together the fantasy genre and African folklore. Berlin based, Allan has worked for, among others, Candy Crush’s maker King and story driven mobile game developer Wooga.

Anisa Sanusi: Mentorship for the Underrepresented

Anisa Sanusi

Anisa discusses the story behind Limit Break Mentorship, a program created specifically to connect senior women in games to new or mid-level developers who are considered to be underrepresented in the industry.

She delves into how help can be sought after at any level of ones career, and the importance of giving back to a community – whoever you are.

Anisa Sanusi is a video games UI/UX Designer and Founder of Limit Break, a mentorship program for developers of underrepresented genders in the games industry. Throughout the years Anisa has cultivated a devotion to ethical UX design, speaking at the first UX Summit held at GDC in San Francisco and also served as a Juror for the BAFTA Games Awards for multiple years.

Anisa is an advocate for diversity and inclusivity in the industry, and this year she was listed as one of the Top 100 Influential Women in the UK Games Industry.