WPI Names Gillian Smith Director of Interactive Media and Game Development | New

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Award-winning game designer, associate professor Gillian Smith, has been appointed director of interactive media and game development. The appointment took effect on July 1, 2021.

IMGD at WPI, one of the nation’s premier gaming programs, covers a variety of topics such as digital painting, 3D modeling, writing for games, game audio, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. Smith takes over the department at an exciting time for IMGD and for WPI. Last year, two new graduate programs were approved: the first Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at WPI and a PhD in Computer Media. These programs, along with many other initiatives, contribute to the growth and diversification of the student body.

“I am delighted to take on this new role. IMGD is such an important field of study because so many different fields come together in one place, including technology, art, design, social justice, writing, audio, and design. user experience, ”says Smith. “I look forward to leading the program and supporting our amazing students and faculty in the years to come. “

The opportunities for game creation have also been greatly enhanced with the recent addition of the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDigi). Founded at Becker College, the award-winning center for academic cooperation, entrepreneurship, and economic development in the Massachusetts video game ecosystem moved to WPI this summer.

“We are very happy to be working with Gillian,” says Tim Loew, Executive Director of MassDigi. “She is brilliant, creative and exactly the right person to lead IMGD at a time when the cultural, technological and economic impact of games and interactive media has never been greater.”

In addition to leading the IMGD, Smith will continue his interdisciplinary work, which merges technical research in artificial intelligence (AI) and human-machine interaction (HCI) with creative practice in textiles and games, with the goal of address social issues and broaden participation and perspectives on informatics.

Prior to joining WPI, Smith was a faculty member at Northeastern University. She received her doctorate in computer science from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she was a student at the Center for Games and Playable Media.


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