Seth Cooper Assistant Professor
Playable Innovative Technologies Lab
College of Computer and Information Science
Northeastern University
 
Media - Papers - Other Works - Games - Students - Teaching - Awards - Misc
 
  I am an assistant professor in the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University and a member of the Playable Innovative Technologies Lab. I received my PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington. My dissertation, "A Framework for Scientific Discovery through Video Games," advised by Zoran Popović, won the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award in 2011. My current research focuses on using video games to solve difficult scientific problems; I have delivered multiple TED talks on the topic. I am co-creator of the scientific discovery games Foldit and Nanocrafter and early math educational games including Refraction and Treefrog Treasure. I have also done research in real-time animation for games. I have previously worked at the Center for Game Science (as creative director), Square Enix, Electronic Arts, Pixar Animation Studios and the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory (on BOINC, the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing).

I am looking for graduate and undergraduate students who would like to work in game science research. Contact me if you are interested!
 
 
  Media  
 
 
TEDxPanthéonSorbonne  -  TEDxVancouver  -  TEDMED
The Contenders  -  Fold It  -  MSNBC  -  NPR  -  Al Jazeera
GSummit  -  Nature Medicine  -  MedCrunch  -  NSF Visualization  -  Science  -  Triple J Radio
Brian Lehrer Live  -  The Takeaway  -  King 5 News  -  King 5 News  -  New Day NW
 
 
  Papers  
 
 
Player rating systems for balancing human computation games: testing the effect of bipartiteness.
Seth Cooper, Sebastian Deterding and Theo Tsapakos.
Proceedings of the 1st International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG (2016).
[pdf]
 
 
Large-scale finite state game engines.
Matt Stanton, Sascha Geddert, Adrian Blumer, Paul Hormis, Andy Nealen, Seth Cooper and Adrien Treuille.
Proceedings of the Eurographics/ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Computer Animation (2016).
[link] [pdf]
 
 
Proactive sensing for improving hand pose estimation.
Dun-Yu Hsiao, Min Sun, Christy Ballweber, Seth Cooper and Zoran Popović.
Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2016).
[link] [pdf]
 
 
Flow Jam and Paradox.
Tim Pavlik, Craig Conner, Jonathan Burke, Matthew Burns, Werner Dietl, Seth Cooper, Michael D. Ernst and Zoran Popović.
In Lessons learned in game development for crowdsourced software formal verification.
Drew Dean et al.
USENIX Summit on Gaming, Games, and Gamification in Security Education (2015).
[link]
 
 
Nanocrafter: design and evaluation of a DNA nanotechnology game.
Jonathan Barone, Colin Bayer, Rowan Copley, Nova Barlow, Matthew Burns, Sundipta Rao, Georg Seelig, Zoran Popović, Seth Cooper and Nanocrafter Players.
Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (2015).
[link] [pdf]
 
 
User behavior transformation through dynamic input mappings.
Dun-Yu Hsiao, Seth Cooper, Christy Ballweber and Zoran Popović.
Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (2014).
[link] [pdf]
 
 
WeFold: a coopetition for protein structure prediction.
George A. Khoury et al.
Proteins (2014).
[link]
 
 
Automated redesign of local playspace properties.
Aaron Bauer, Seth Cooper and Zoran Popović.
Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (2013).
[link] [pdf]
 
 
Verification games: making verification fun.
Werner Dietl, Stephanie Dietzel, Michael D. Ernst, Nathaniel Mote, Brian Walker, Seth Cooper, Timothy Pavlik and Zoran Popović.
Proceedings of the 14th Workshop on Formal Techniques for Java-like Programs (2012).
[link] [pdf]
 
 
Increased Diels-Alderase activity through backbone remodeling guided by Foldit players.
Christopher B. Eiben, Justin B. Siegel, Jacob B. Bale, Seth Cooper, Firas Khatib, Betty W. Shen, Foldit Players, Barry L. Stoddard, Zoran Popović and David Baker.
Nature Biotechnology (2012).
[link]
 
 
The impact of tutorials on games of varying complexity.
Erik Andersen, Eleanor O'Rourke, Yun-En Liu, Richard Snider, Jeff Lowdermilk, David Truong, Seth Cooper and Zoran Popović.
Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2012).
Best Paper Nominee
[link] [pdf]
 
 
Algorithm discovery by protein folding game players.
Firas Khatib, Seth Cooper, Michael D. Tyka, Kefan Xu, Ilya Makedon, Zoran Popović, David Baker and Foldit Players.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2011).
Science Editor's Choice
[link]
 
 
High-resolution structure of a retroviral protease folded as a monomer.
Miroslaw Gilski, Maciej Kazmierczyk, Szymon Krzywda, Helena Zábranská, Seth Cooper, Zoran Popović, Firas Khatib, Frank DiMaio, James Thompson, David Baker, Iva Pichová and Mariusz Jaskolskia.
Acta Crystallographica (2011).
[link]
 
 
Crystal structure of a monomeric retroviral protease solved by protein folding game players.
Firas Khatib, Frank DiMaio, Foldit Contenders Group, Foldit Void Crushers Group, Seth Cooper, Maciej Kazmierczyk, Miroslaw Gilski, Szymon Krzywda, Helena Zábranská, Iva Pichová, James Thompson, Zoran Popović, Mariusz Jaskolski and David Baker.
Nature Structural and Molecular Biology (2011).
NSMB Article of the Month
[link]
 
 
Analysis of social gameplay macros in the Foldit cookbook.
Seth Cooper, Firas Khatib, Ilya Makedon, Hao Lu, Janos Barbero, David Baker, James Fogarty, Zoran Popović and Foldit Players.
Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (2011).
[link] [pdf]
 
 
On the harmfulness of secondary game objectives.
Erik Andersen, Yun-En Liu, Richard Snider, Roy Szeto, Seth Cooper and Zoran Popović.
Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (2011).
[link] [pdf] [project]
 
 
Feature-based projections for effective playtrace analysis.
Yun-En Liu, Erik Andersen, Richard Snider, Seth Cooper and Zoran Popović.
Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (2011).
[link] [pdf] [project]
 
 
ROSETTA3: an object-oriented software suite for the simulation and design of macromolecules.
Andrew Leaver-Fay et al.
Methods in Enzymology (2011).
[link]
 
 
Predicting protein structures with a multiplayer online game.
Seth Cooper, Firas Khatib, Adrien Treuille, Janos Barbero, Jeehyung Lee, Michael Beenen, Andrew Leaver-Fay, David Baker, Zoran Popović and Foldit Players.
Nature (2010).
[link]
 
 
The challenge of designing scientific discovery games.
Seth Cooper, Adrien Treuille, Janos Barbero, Andrew Leaver-Fay, Kathleen Tuite, Firas Khatib, Alex Cho Snyder, Michael Beenen, David Salesin, David Baker, Zoran Popović and Foldit players.
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (2010).
[link] [pdf] [project]
 
 
Active learning for real-time motion controllers.
Seth Cooper, Aaron Hertzmann and Zoran Popović.
ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH) (2007).
[link] [pdf] [project]
 
 
Continuum crowds.
Adrien Treuille, Seth Cooper and Zoran Popović.
ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH) (2006).
[link] [pdf] [project]
 
 
  Other Works  
 
 
Massively multiplayer research: gamification and (citizen) science.
Seth Cooper.
In The Gameful World: Approaches, Issues, Applications.
Steffen P. Walz and Sebastian Deterding, eds.
Book chapter, The MIT Press (2015).
[The MIT Press] [Amazon]
 
 
A framework for scientific discovery through video games.
Seth Cooper.
Book, ACM and Morgan & Claypool (2014).
[link] [Amazon]
 
 
Increasing public involvement in structural biology.
Seth Cooper, Firas Khatib and David Baker.
Commentary, in Structure (2013).
[link]
 
 
Foldit screenshot of a retroviral protease.
Seth Cooper and the Foldit Team.
Digital image (2011), display at Wing Luke Museum (2012).
 
 
A framework for scientific discovery through video games.
Seth Cooper.
Doctoral dissertation, University of Washington (2011).
[link]
 
 
  Games  
 
 
Foldit
A scientific discovery game about protein folding and design
The Dr. Frank H. Netter Award for Special Contributions to Medical Education (2013)
Honorable Mention (Technical Excellence), Independent Games Festival (2013)
Category Winner (Behavioral Change), Katerva Award (2012)
1st Place (Interactive Games), NSF International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge (2011)
Innovation of the Year, TechFlash Newsmaker Awards (2011)
Finalist, I/ITSEC Serious Games Showcase & Challenge (2011)
Finalist, Games for Change Direct Impact Award (2011)
Nominee, World Technology Award (2010)
Runner up, Madrona Prize (2008)
[website (download required)]
 
 
Nanocrafter
A scientific discovery game about building nanomachines
Top Ten Citizen Science Projects, SciStarter (2015)
Top 10 (Interactives), NSF Visualization Challenge (2015)
Best Social Media Crowdsourcing, I/ITSEC Serious Games Showcase & Challenge (2014)
[website]
 
 
Refraction
An educational puzzle game about fractional partitioning
Best Work (Primary School category), 38th NHK Japan Prize (2011)
Top 25, Kongregate Summer Mobile Game Contest (2011)
Grand Prize: Best in Show Award, Disney Learning Challenge, SIGGRAPH (2010)
Weekly 2nd Place, kongregate.com (2010)
[play] [iOS] [Android]
 
 
Vampire Vision
A visual search game about perception
Daily 2nd Place, newgrounds.com (2011)
[play]
 
 
Paradox
A problem-solving game about boolean constraint satisfaction
[play]
 
 
Treefrog Treasure
An educational platforming game about number lines
[play] [iOS] [Android]
 
 
Creature Capture
An educational card game about fraction comparisons
[play] [iOS] [Android]
 
 
Riddle Books
An educational game about word problems
 
 
Flow Jam
A problem-solving game about verifying software
 
 
  Students  
 
  • Sophie Spatharioti
 
  Teaching  
 
  • at Northeastern University
    Computer Graphics, CS5310, Graduate, Instructor (2016 Spring)
    Programming in C++, CS3520, Undergraduate, Instructor (2015 Fall)

  • at University of Washington
    Capstone Software Design (Game Design), CSE481D, Undergraduate, Co-Instructor (2012 Spring)
    Capstone Software Design (Game Design), CSE481D, Undergraduate, TA (2010 Spring)
    Computer Graphics, CSE557, Graduate, TA (2007 Winter)
    Computer Programming II, CSE143, Undergraduate, TA (2004 Fall)
 
  Awards  
   
  Misc