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Melanie Dickinson

Expressive AI • Social Simulation • Intelligent Systems

First-year doctorate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in EIS (the Expressive Intelligence Studio), advised by Michael Mateas and Noah Wardrip-Fruin.


My research centers around building expressive AI systems intended to augment human curiosity, learning, creativity, communication, connection, etc., and to engage users in exciting new forms of deeply interactive play experiences. My educational foundations in more traditional computer science has led to an interest in adapting computational models from programming languages, architecture, algorithms, data science, and databases for expressive AI goals. But a parallel motivation lies in analyzing existing paradigms in order to critically examine how existing technological systems embed culturally-informed, subjective ways of thinking about the world, which may benefit or marginalize different communities of people. My current focus involves logic programming-based AI ontology design and design augmentation.

I also love programming, woodworking, and games!


  • Jacob Garbe, Aaron Reed, Melanie Dickinson, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. "Author Assistance Visualizations for Ice-Bound: A Combinatorial Narrative." Foundations of Digital Games (2014). Exemplary Full Paper. [PDF]