Invited Speakers

Rich Hilleman, VP and Chief Creative Director at Electronic Arts.

For the last 25 years, Richard Hilleman has soldered cables, copied disks, built copy protection, mastered and manufactured more than 200 titles, installed and ran the first Ethernet and Internet in the business, and then he started making product. Starting with Chuck Yeager's Flight Simulator, through a broad range of simulators and driving games on the 8 and 16 bit computers. Continuing with the first Genesis titles for EA, culminating in the first Madden and NHL. He was then the GM of organizations in San Mateo, Origin Systems and the UK. Finally, the last product line he worked on was the Tiger Woods PGA Tour. Since 2000, Richard has been spending his time teaching master production classes inside of EA and contributing to university programs outside of EA. In 2008, he assumed the large shoes of Bing Gordon as the Chief Creative Director for the company.

Dr. Marek Michalowski, co-founder of BeatBots, LLC.

Dr. Marek Michalowski co-founded BeatBots LLC in 2007 with Dr. Hideki Kozima, designer of the Keepon robot. Based in San Francisco, BeatBots produces the Keepon Pro autism research platform; designs custom hardware and software for interactive robotic installations; and licenses its characters for use in fields from toys to advertising. Michalowski holds a PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University and previously studied Computer Science and Psychology at Yale University.

Dr. Zoran Popovic, Professor of Computer Science at University of Washington.

Dr. Zoran Popovic is the Director of the Center for Game Science and a Professor of computer science at the University of Washington. Zoran's research interests lie in the design and development of interactive games and computer graphics research, focusing on scientific discovery through game-play, learning games, high-fidelity human modeling and animation. His innovations in game technology have been licensed by Sony and Electronic Arts. More recently, his Center for Game Science spearheaded the genre of scientific discovery games, and produced Foldit, a biochemistry game with discoveries published in two Nature papers. Foldit introduced a brand new method of scientific discovery by showing that through carefully designed game mechanisms, novices can be turned into highly-skilled domain experts capable of advancing scientific frontiers.

Dr. Hannes Högni Vilhjálmsson, Associate Professor at Reykjavík University.

Dr. Hannes Högni Vilhjálmsson is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Reykjavik University where he leads the Expressive Computing group at the Center for Analysis and Design of Intelligent Agents (CADIA). He has been doing research on the automatic generation of social and linguistic nonverbal behavior in avatars and agents since the mid 90s. His focus has been on making embodied communication in virtual environments both effective and intuitive, targeting primarily entertainment, education and training applications. Prior to joining Reykjavik University in 2006, Dr. Vilhjálmsson was the technical director on the Tactical Language and Culture Training project at the Center for Advanced Research into Technology for Education (CARTE) at USC. He is a co-founder of Los Angeles based Alelo Inc, that builds serious games for language and culture learning, and a co-founder of Reykjavik based MindGames ehf., the first company to release mind training games for the iPhone that incorporate consumer-level brainwave headsets. He received his Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab in 2003.

EA Sports Panel

Expert game developers from EA Sports will give their perspective on the use of AI within sports games. Where have current AI techniques been successful and where are the challenges for future research in this area? The panelists are:

  • Daniel White (Madden NFL/NCAA)
  • Scott Rich (NBA/American Football)
  • Jason Rupert (NHL)
  • Fraser Lott (NHL)
  • Paul McComas (FIFA)
  • Dong Hun Kim (FIFA)
    The panel was organized by Daniel White and Rob Hyder at EA Tiburon.