May 6, 2015
Gamers Succeed Where Scientists Don’t- Combining Humans and Computers to Solve Scientific Problems
Seth Cooper, Northeastern University
Rather than solving problems with a purely computational approach, combining humans and computers can provide a means for solving problems neither could solve alone. Video games provide a compelling framework for this approach: they are a natural space for problem solving and can foster the engagement necessary for people to make a contribution. Seth Cooper will describe the challenges of mapping real-world problems onto games and ways to address these challenges. As a primary example, Seth will discuss Foldit, an online game about biochemistry whose players have contributed to several scientific discoveries through gameplay. Further, Seth will discuss other current problem solving game projects and future possibilities.
About the Speaker
Seth Cooper is an Assistant Professor in the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University, where he earned his PhD. He is interested in using video games to solve difficult real world problems. He is the chief architect and lead designer of Foldit, a video game that has allowed hundreds of thousands of players to contribute to biochemical scientific research. He is currently working on games with applications in a variety of fields, from nanotechnology to software verification. He has also developed game technologies for real-time crowd simulation and character control.
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