Education

I started off in linguistics, because I love language. when i learned to program in 2012, it changed my life.

13-ON

>doctor of philosophy (expected 2018)

>UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ

>Computer Science

13-16

>master of science

>UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ

>Computer Science

11-13

>master of science

>university of Minnesota

>Health Informatics, minor in Cognitive Science

09-11

>Bachelor of arts

>uNIVERSITY OF Minnesota

>Linguistics

06-09

>associate of arts

>Normandale Community College

>Liberal Education


ProfessionaL experience

In addition to working on my dissertation project, I WORK part-time with Spirit ai TO HELP DEVELOP THE TECHNOLOGY UNDERPINNING THEIR CHARACTER ENGINE PRODUCT.

16-ON

>AI Specialist (part-time)

>Spirit AI

>Supervisor: Emily Short

13-ON

>graduate researcher

>university of California, Santa Cruz

>Supervisors: Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin (+ Marilyn Walker 13-15)

11-13

>graduate researcher

>university of Minnesota

>Supervisors: Serguei Pakhomov, Genevieve Melton-Meaux

10-11

>Undergraduate researcher

>university of Minnesota

>supervisor: Serguei Pakhomov


HONORS + AWARDS

Audience Choice

>2016 IndieCadE Festival

>for Bad News

Innovative Game Design

>2016 CHI Student Game Competition

>for Bad News

Outstanding Teaching Assistant

>UCSC Computational Media Department

>For 2015-16 academic year

Nomination, Best Paper

>10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2015)

>8th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS 2015)

Honorable Mention, Best Paper

>7th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS 2014)


Media Exposure

[*] denotes selected pieces

"Incredible storytelling computer developed using an IBM 650 in the 1960s is rediscovered"

>TIM COLLINS. tHE dAILY MAIL. auG. 30, 2017.

[*] "Boffin rediscovers 1960s attempt to write fiction with computers"

>Richard Chirgwin. The Register. Aug. 29, 2017.

[*] "Find your next must-play game by flying through a virtual galaxy"

>Douglas Heaven. New Scientist. Jul. 17, 2017.

[*] "Slamdance DIG Spotlight — BAD NEWS"

>Marie Jamora and Jason McLagan. Slamdance TV. May 8, 2017.

"The future is in interactive storytelling"

>Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Michael Mateas. The Conversation. May 4, 2017.

[*] "How the Mixed Reality Game 'Bad News' Brings Towns Like 'Twin Peaks' to Life"

>Steven T. Wright. Rolling Stone. Apr. 27, 2017.

"Slamdance & CreativeFuture present: “How do you #StandCreative?”

>Marie Jamora and Jason McLagan. Slamdance TV. MaR. 7, 2017.

"GameSpace Interview: Games in Academia, Preservation, and Beyond!"

>Xalavier Nelson, Jr. Video Games and the Bible. Feb. 25, 2017.

"SFMOMA spotlights video games as art"

>Benny Evangelista. San Francisco Chronicle. Mar. 1, 2017.

"My Life As A Zucchini"

>Carlos Aguilar and Conor Holt. One Week Only. Feb. 24, 2017.

"Game Art: James Ryan And Eric Kaltman's GameSpace"

>Matteo Bittanti. GameScenes. Feb. 15, 2017.

"GameSpace offers a playable visualization of 16,000 videogames"

>Tim Stephens. UC Santa Cruz press release. Feb. 14, 2017.

[*] "Bad News"

>Mountain Morning Show. Park City Television. Jan. 20, 2017.

"Slamdance announces 2016 Lineup for DIG Festival"

>Peter Graham. VRFocus. Nov. 21, 2016.

"Slamdance announces lineup for second Digital, Interactive and Gaming showcase"

>Tre'Vell Anderson. Los Angeles Times. Nov. 17, 2016.

"Live-Action Indie Games Are the New Hotness"

>Matt Kim. Inverse. Oct. 31, 2016.

"UCSC student games win awards at IndieCade"

>Tim Stephens. UC Santa Cruz press release. Oct. 21, 2016.

"IndieCade features VR, eSports, indie games"

>Kevin Winston. DigitalLA. Oct. 17, 2016.

[*] "Video games where people matter? The strange future of emotional AI" 

>Keith Stuart. The Guardian. Oct. 12, 2016.

[*] "Devs discuss the past and future of the 'roguelike'"

>John Bridgman. Gamasutra. Sep. 16, 2016.

"UC Santa Cruz student games featured at IndieCade Festival"

>Tim Stephens. UC Santa Cruz press release. Sep. 15, 2016.

"How devs are working to design game AI that plays like a human"

>Alex Wawro. Gamasutra. Feb. 19, 2016.

[*] "Cleverness isn’t everything for a gaming artificial intelligence"

>Douglas Heaven. New Scientist. Feb. 18, 2016.

[*] "On AI, acting and the weird future of open-world games"

>Keith Stuart. Eurogamer. Nov. 26, 2015.

"AskScience AMA Series: We do research on making games more findable (and expressive) using computer science approaches such as natural language processing"

>Reddit AskScience AMA Series. Aug. 28, 2015.

"Ask them anything: gaming researchers host Reddit AMA"

>UC Santa Cruz press release. Aug. 28, 2015.

"UCSC students create new tools to archive and explore computer game culture"

>Jennifer Pittman. Santa Cruz Sentinel. Jul. 22, 2015.

"Adventure Awaits: New Game Database Allows Users to Find New Games They'll Love"

>Jenna Shively. Dialog Wheel. Jul. 10, 2015.

"GameNet & GameSage: Two New Tools for Finding Video Games"

>Sara Isenberg. Santa Cruz Tech Beat. Jun. 27, 2015.

"GameSage, 'Rumput Yang Bergoyang' di Dunia Game [Indonesian: GameSage, ‘Swaying Grass’ in the Game World]"

>Rizal Ziz. Segitiga.net. Jun. 27, 2015. [site down]

"Want to find the right game? UC Santa Cruz debuts a new discoverability tool"

>Christian Nutt. Gamasutra. Jun. 25, 2015.

"UC Santa Cruz team introduces new web-based tools for finding videogames"

>Tim Stephens. UC Santa Cruz press release. Jun. 22, 2015.


Publications

hERE'S 45 publications (1 book chapter, 2 journal articles, 16 conference papers, 11 workshop papers, 11 posters + demos + tutorials, 2 technical reports, 1 thesis, 1 other publication) in reverse chronological order. LINKS TO FREELY ACCESSIBLE VERSIONS ARE PROVIDED WHENEVER POSSIBLE.

You can also find me on Google Scholar.

[*] denotes honorable mention or nomination for best paper award

Book Chapters

[B1] James Ryan and Michael Mateas. "Simulating Character Knowledge Phenomena in Talk of the Town". Game AI Pro 3 (2017).

Journal Articles

[J2] Yan Wang, Serguei Pakhomov, James Ryan, and Genevieve B. Melton. "Domain Adaption of Parsing for Operative Notes". Journal of Biomedical Informatics (2015).

[J1] SungRim Moon, Serguei Pakhomov, Nathan Liu, James Ryan, and Genevieve B. Melton. "A Sense Inventory for Clinical Abbreviations and Acronyms Created Using Clinical Notes and Medical Dictionary Resources". Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (2014).

Conference Papers

[C16] James Ryan. "Grimes' Fairy Tales: A 1960s Story Generator". 10th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (2017).

[C15] James Ryan and Mark J. Nelson. "1st Workshop on the History of Expressive Systems". 10th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (2017).

[C14] James Ryan, Ethan Seither, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Expressionist: An Authoring Tool for In-Game Text Generation". 9th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (2016).

[C13] Benjamin Samuel, James Ryan, Adam Summerville, Michael Mateas and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Bad News: An Experiment in Computationally Assisted Performance". 9th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (2016).

[C12] James Ryan and Reid Swanson. "Recognizing Coherent Narrative Blog Content". 9th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (2016).

[C11] James Ryan, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Characters Who Speak Their Minds: Dialogue Generation in Talk of the Town". 12th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (2016).

[C10] James Ryan, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "A Lightweight Videogame Dialogue Manager". 1st Joint International Conference of DiGRA and FDG (2016).

[C9] James Ryan, Eric Kaltman, Timothy Hong, Katherine Isbister, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "GameNet and GameSage: Videogame Discovery as Design Insight". 1st Joint International Conference of DiGRA and FDG (2016).

[C8] James Ryan, Adam Summerville, and Ben Samuel. "Bad News: A Game of Death and Communication". 34th Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2016).

[*][C7] James Ryan, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Open Design Challenges for Interactive Emergent Narrative". 8th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (2015).

[*][C6] James Ryan, Eric Kaltman, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "What We Talk About When We Talk About Games: Bottom-Up Game Studies Using Natural Language Processing". 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (2015).

[C5] James Ryan, Eric Kaltman, Timothy Hong, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "People Tend to Like Related Games". 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (2015).

[*][C4] James Ryan, Casey Barackman, Nick Kontje, Taylor Owen-Milner, Marilyn A. Walker, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Combinatorial Dialogue Authoring". 7th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (2014).

[C3] James Ryan, Serguei Pakhomov, Susan Marino, Charles Bernick, and Sarah Banks. "Computerized Analysis of a Verbal Fluency Test". 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (2013).

[C2] Yan Wang, Serguei Pakhomov, Nora E. Burkart, James Ryan, and Genevieve B. Melton. "A Study of Actions in Operative Notes". American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium (2012).

[C1] SungRim Moon, Serguei Pakhomov, James Ryan, and Genevieve B. Melton. "Automated Non-Alphanumeric Symbol Resolution in Clinical Texts". American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium (2011).

Workshop Papers

[W11] Joseph C. Osborn, James Ryan, and Michael Mateas. "Analyzing Expressionist Grammars by Reduction to Symbolic Visibly Pushdown Automata". 10th Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies (2017).

[W10] James Ryan, Tyler Brothers, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Juke Joint: Characters Who Are Moved By Music". 3rd Workshop on Experimental AI in Games (2016).

[W9] Benjamin Samuel, James Ryan, Adam Summerville, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Computatrum Personae: Toward a Role-Based Taxonomy of (Computationally Assisted) Performance". 3rd Workshop on Experimental AI in Games (2016).

[W8] James Ryan. "Diegetically Grounded Evolution of Gameworld Languages". 7th Workshop on Procedural Content Generation (2016).

[W7] James Ryan, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "A Simple Method for Evolving Large Character Social Networks". 5th Workshop on Social Believability in Games (2016).

[W6] James Ryan, Adam Summerville, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Toward Characters Who Observe, Tell, Misremember, and Lie". 2nd Workshop on Experimental AI in Games (2015).

[W5] James Ryan, Andrew Max Fisher, Taylor Owen-Milner, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Toward Natural Language Generation by Humans". 8th Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies and 4th Workshop on Social Believability in Games (2015).

[W4] Glynn Edwards, Eric Kaltman, James Ryan, Timothy Hong, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Augmented Exploration of Library Videogame Holdings by Techniques from Computational Linguistics". 9th Annual Society of American Archivists Science, Technology, and Healthcare Roundtable (2015).

[W3] Christopher Antoun, Matthew Antoun, James Ryan, Ben Samuel, Reid Swanson, and Marilyn Walker. "Generating Natural Language Retellings from Prom Week Play Traces". 6th Workshop on Procedural Content Generation (2015).

[W2] Stephanie M. Lukin, James Ryan, Marilyn A. Walker. "Automating Direct Speech Variations in Stories and Games". 3rd Workshop on Games and NLP (2014).

[W1] James Ryan, Marilyn Walker, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Toward Recombinant Dialogue in Interactive Narrative". 7th Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies (2014).

Posters + Demos + Tutorials

[PDT11] Jacqueline Roig, Megan Ichinose, James Ryan, Seok Jin Hong, and Sohee Park. "A Computational Analysis of Verbal Fluency in Schizophrenia". 16th International Conference on Schizophrenia Research (2017). 

[PDT10] James Ryan. "Generating American Small Towns for Narrative Applications". 1st Workshop on Tutorials in Intelligent Narrative Technologies (2016).

[PDT9] Alexander Zook, Michael Cook, Eric Butler, Kristin Siu, Matthew Guzdial, Mark Riedl, James Ryan, Ben Samuel, Adam Summerville, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Playable Experiences at AIIDE 2016". 12th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (2016).

[PDT8] Tyler Brothers and James Ryan. "Juke Joint: A Demo". 3rd Workshop on Experimental AI in Games (2016).

[PDT7] James Ryan, Adam J. Summerville, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Translating Player Dialogue into Meaning Representations Using LSTMs". 16th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (2016).

[PDT6] James Ryan, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Generative Character Conversations for Background Believability and Storytelling". 5th Workshop on Social Believability in Games (2016).

[PDT5] James Ryan and Sergiy Ravnyago. "A Typology of Verbs Culled From 23,000 Videogame Walkthroughs". 1st Joint International Conference of DiGRA and FDG (2016).

[PDT4] Megan Ichinose, Kendra E. Hinton, James Ryan, Andrew J. Plassard, Jacqueline Roig, David H. Zald, Bennett A. Landman, Sohee Park, Daniel O. Claassen, and Scott A. Wylie. "White Matter Correlates of Semantic Fluency in Parkinson's Disease." 71st Annual Meeting of the Society for Biological Psychiatry (2016).

[PDT3] James Ryan, Ben Samuel, Adam Summerville, and Jonathan Lessard. "Bad News: A Computationally Assisted Live-Action Prototype to Guide Content Creation". 2nd Workshop on Experimental AI in Games (2015).

[PDT2] James Ryan, Eric Kaltman, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Tools for Videogame Discovery Built Using Latent Semantic Analysis". 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (2015).

[PDT1] James Ryan, Eric Kaltman, Andrew M. Fisher, Timothy Hong, Taylor Owen-Milner, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Large-Scale Visualizations of Nearly 12,000 Digital Games". 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (2015).

Technical Reports

[TR2] James Ryan, Eric Kaltman, Andrew Max Fisher, Taylor Owen-Milner, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "GameSpace: An Explorable Visualization of the Videogame Medium". Technical Report UCSC-SOE-17-14 (2017).

[TR1] Adam J. Summerville, James Ryan, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "CFGs-2-NLU: Sequence-to-Sequence Learning for Mapping Utterances to Semantics and Pragmatics". Technical Report UCSC-SOE-16-11 (2016).

Theses

[TH1] James Ryan. "A System for Computerized Analysis of Verbal Fluency Tests" (Master's thesis). University of Minnesota (2013).

Other Publications

[OP1] Joseph E. Grimes, Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera, and James Ryan. "Translation of 'La Simulación'" (2017).


invited talks

“Q&A with the Creators of Bad News”

>EECS 396, 496: Special Topics in Game AI (Prof. Ian Horswill). Northwestern University. Evanston, Illinois (remotely via Santa Cruz, California). May 31, 2017. [with Ben Samuel, Adam Summerville]

"Adventures in Text Generation, Simulation, and Visualization"

>Technoculture, Art, and Games centre. Concordia University. Montreal, Quebec. Mar. 21, 2017.

"How I Got Here and What I Do Here"

>Computational Media Department Accepted Student Open House. UC Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, California. Mar. 16, 2017.

“In-Game Text Generation with Expressionist”

>CMPM 248: Interactive Narrative (Prof. Michael Mateas). UC Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, California. May 24, 2016.

“Finding Historical Games Using Web-Based Tools”

>ART 80H: History of Digital Games (Prof. Henry Lowood). UC Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, California. Feb. 3, 2016. [WITH Eric Kaltman]

“Semantic Story Encoding with the Scheherazade Annotation Tool”

>CMPS 245: Computational Models Of Discourse And Dialogue (Profs. Marilyn Walker and Reid Swanson). UC Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, California. Apr. 30, 2015.

>CMPS 143: Introduction to Natural Language Processing (Profs. Marilyn Walker and Reid Swanson). UC Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, California. Apr. 24, 2014.



EXHIBITIONS

For more information on Bad News, a collaboration with Adam Summerville and Ben Samuel, see this project page or the project's website.

BAD NEWS

>Bad News at the Rathskeller. The Rathskeller Club. San Francisco, California. Apr. 19, 2017. Invited solo INSTALLATION.

>Bad News, le jeu, à UdeM. Université de Montréal. Montreal, Quebec. Mar. 23, 2017. Invited solo INSTALLATION.

>Experience Bad News!. Concordia University. Montreal, Quebec.  Mar. 23, 2017. Invited solo INSTALLATION.

>PlaySFMOMA Mixed Reality Pop-Up Arcade. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. San Francisco, California. Mar. 2, 2017. Invited group exhibition.

>Slamdance Digital, Interactive, and Gaming showcase. Treasure Mountain Inn. Park City, Utah. Jan. 20-26, 2017. Juried group exhibition.

>Slamdance Digital, Interactive, and Gaming showcase. Big Pictures Los Angeles. Los Angeles, California. Dec. 2-11, 2016. Juried group exhibition.

>IndieCade Festival. University of Southern California. Los Angeles, California. Oct. 14-16, 2016. Juried group exhibition.

>Playable Experiences at the AAAI AIIDE Conference. Embassy Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport—Waterfront. Burlingame, California. Oct. 11, 2016. Juried EXPERIENCES TRACK.

>Come Out & Play San Francisco. Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture. San Francisco, California. Sep. 30, 2016. Invited group exhibition.

>Roguelike Celebration. Eventbrite Headquarters. San Francisco, California. Sep. 17, 2016. Juried CON.

>ACM CHI Conference Student Game Competition. San Jose Convention Center. San Jose, California. May 9-10, 2016. Juried COMPETITION TRACK.

>Experimental AI In Games 2. University of California, Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, California. Nov. 15, 2015. Juried DEMO TRACK.


SOFTWARE PACKAGES

vfclust

>A Python package that uses artificial intelligence techniques to augment analysis of neuropsychological tests of verbal fluency.

>The subject of my master's thesis at the University of Minnesota.

>Project page

>package page


Teaching

* Named 2016-17 Outstanding Teaching Assistant

tEACHING aSSISTANT

>UCSC CMPM 170: Game Design Studio I* (FALL 2015)

>UCSC CMPM 171: Game Design Studio II* (WINTER 2015)

>UCSC CMPM 172: Game Design Studio III* (SPRING 2016)


Undergraduate Mentorship

During my time at UCSC, I’ve incorporated several talented undergraduates into my research practice. The following students carried out formal independent studies, primarily under my mentorship, during the quarters listed.

^ denotes informal projects

* denotes a publication, co-authored by the student, resulting from the project