picture of me
Adam M. Smith, Ph.D.

Founder
Quasilinear Research

Lecturer
Department of Computational Media
Jack Baskin School of Engineering
University of California, Santa Cruz

adam@adamsmith.as
+1 (831) 295-2624
@rndmcnlly

About

I'm Adam M. Smith, computer scientist, design researcher, and software artist. Tens of people have read my dissertation, tens of thousands have listened to my music, and tens of millions have played with my software toys.

Artificial intelligence for design is my description for the work I started with Michael Mateas at UC Santa Cruz and continued with Zoran Popović at the University of Washington. My dissertation, Mechanizing Exploratory Game Design, built a design automation practice in the interdisciplinary space between game design, design studies, computational creativity, and symbolic AI. I often employ answer set programming (and related combinatorial search/optimization tools such as model checkers and constraint solvers) in the service of exploratorily posing and automatically solving high-complexity analysis and synthesis problems arising in creative design domains. As a postdoctoral researcher, I applied these ideas to deep design automation for educational games played by millions of students around the world.

Recently, I've been researching ways of making this search-intensive automation available to everyday who are invested in domains outside of artificial intelligence. The result, blending recent ideas from machine learning, formal verification, processor design, and cryptography, is a surprisingly intuitive new way of programming. This idea is being developed by my new company: Quasilinear Research.

In addition to the serious stuff above, I like to explore generative visual art and music, recreational programming all the way down to the hardware level, and infinitesimal-thrust spacecraft design and orbital dynamics. I also bake bread.



Slightly out of date: Curriculum Vitae (pdf) | Portfolio (pdf, 7.3MB)

Research

Significant Contributions

Interests

Ultimate goal: Dramatically increase the creative resources available to our civilization by using machines to amplify the creativity of those facing complex design problems (particularly those involving the self-improvement of civilization, e.g. education).

Teaching

I am deeply passionate about teaching technical topics, particularly where I can steer them to overlap with creative and aesthetic endeavors. I regularly volunteer to give guest lectures, design new projects, and consult on the curriculum for new classes. I provide lifetime support to my students on selected topics and delight in hearing the challenges they encounter in industry and grad school elsewhere. Where possible, I work to legitimize self-teaching outside of established institutions.

Instructorships: Game AI; Scientific Computing on Android Tablets.

Teaching assistantships: introduction to computer graphics; scientific visualization and computer animation; game engine architecture; fundamentals of game design; game design studio; advanced analysis of algorithms; computer literacy.

Guest lecture topics: game programming with python; the spectrum of game engine architectures; designing a simple game framework; image compositing; non-photorealistic rendering; programmer-oriented tools for creativity in graphics; livecoding for music, sculpture, and poetry; overlapping notions of time in programming languages and software engineering.

(Ideally not-so) Controversial curriculum I advocate: Bayesian inferential calculus; geometric algebra; computational thinking and procedural literacy; massively multi-language introductions to programming.

Awards: 2006 Outstanding Teaching Award (School of Engineering); 2007 Excellence in Teaching Award for Teaching Assistants (UCSC Grad Division)

Publications

Journals

2011
Adam M. Smith, Michael Mateas, "Answer Set Programming for Procedural Content Generation: A Design Space Approach," IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games, 2011.

Conferences

2015
Eric Butler, Erik Andersen, Adam M. Smith, Sumit Gulwani, Zoran Popović, "Automatic Game Progression Design through Analysis of Solution Features," In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing (CHI'2015), 2015.
2013
Eric Butler, Adam M. Smith, Zoran Popović, "A Mixed-Initiative Tool for Designing Level Progressions in Games," In Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2013), 2013.
Adam M. Smith, Eric Butler, Zoran Popović, "Quantifying over Play: Constraining Undesirable Solutions in Puzzle Design," In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2013), 2013.
2012
Adam M. Smith, Erik Andersen, Michael Mateas, Zoran Popović, "A Case Study of Expressively Constrainable Level Design Automation Tools for a Puzzle Game," In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2012), 2012.
Adam M. Smith "Strange Loops in cfml, A Livecoder's Riddle" In Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Music (ICMC 2012), 2012.
2011
Adam M. Smith, Michael Mateas, "Knowledge-Level Creativity in Game Design," In Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Computational Creativity (ICCC 11), 2011.
Adam M. Smith, Michael Mateas, "Towards Knowledge-Oriented Creativity Support in Game Design," In Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Computational Creativity (ICCC 11), 2011.
2010
Adam M. Smith, Mark J. Nelson, Michael Mateas, "Ludocore: A Logical Game Engine For Modeling Videogames," In Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games, 2010.
Adam M. Smith, Michael Mateas, "Variations Forever: Flexibly Generating Rulesets from a Sculptable Design Space of Mini-Games," In Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games, 2010.
Kathleen Tuite, Noah Snavely, Dun-Yu Hsiao, Adam M. Smith, Zoran Popović, "Reconstructing the World in 3D: Bringing Games with a Purpose Outdoors, In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2010), 2010.
2009
Adam M. Smith, Mark J. Nelson, Michael Mateas, "Computational Support for Play Testing Game Sketches," In Proceedings of the 5th Artificial Intelligence for Interactive Digital Entertainment Conference (AIIDE 2009), 2009.
2008
Zachary Pousman, Mario Romero, Adam M. Smith, Michael Mateas, "Living with Tableau Machine: A Longitudinal Investigation of a Curious Domestic Intelligence," In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 08), 2008.
Adam M. Smith, Manfred K. Warmuth, "Learning Rotations," In Proceedings of the 12th Annual Conference on Learning Theory (COLT 08), 2008.

Workshops and Symposia

2013
Adam M. Smith, "Open Problem: Reusable Gameplay Trace Samplers," In Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in the Game Design Process (IDPv2), 2013.
2012
Kathleen Tuite, Adam M. Smith, "Emergent Remix Culture in an Anonymous Collaborative Art System," In Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Human Computation in Digital Entertainment (HCIDE12), 2012.
Kate Compton, Adam M. Smith, Jim Whitehead, "Anza Island: Novel Gameplay Using ASP," In Proceedings of the Third International Workshop of Procedural Content Generation in Games (PCGames 2012), 2012.
2011
Adam M. Smith, Michael Mateas "Computational Caricatures: Probing the Game Design Process with AI," In Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in the Game Design Process (IDP11), 2011.
Adam M. Smith, "Two Methods for Voxel Detail Enhancement," In Proceedings of the Second International Workshop of Procedural Content Generation in Games (PCGames 2011), 2011.
2010
Sherol Chen, Adam M. Smith, Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Arnav Jhala, "RoleModel: Towards a Formal Model of Dramatic Roles for Story Generation," In Proceedings of the Intelligent Narrative Technologies III Workshop (INT3), 2010.
2008
Adam M. Smith, Mario Romero, Zachary Pousman, Michael Mateas, "Tableau Machine: A Creative Alien Presence," in Proceedings of the 2008 AAAI Spring Symposium on Creative Intelligent Systems, 2008.

Technical Reports

2011
Adam M. Smith, Chris Lewis, Kenneth Hullet, Gillian Smith, Anne Sullivan, "An Inclusive Taxonomy of Player Modeling," Technical Report UCSC-SOE-11-13, 2011.
2010
Adam M. Smith, Manfred K. Warmuth, "Learning Rotations Online," Technical Report UCSC-SOE-10-08, 2010.
2008
Adam M. Smith, James Skorupski, James Davis "Transient Rendering," Technical Report UCSC-SOE-08-26, 2008.

Demos and Posters

2011
Adam M. Smith, Chris Lewis, Kenneth Hullett, Gillian Smith, Anne Sullivan, "An Inclusive View of Player Modeling," In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2011), 2011.
2010
Adam M. Smith, Michael Mateas, "Variations Forever: A Game of Exploring Game Design Spaces," Demonstration at the Fourth International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2009), 2009.
2009
Adam M. Smith, Mark J. Nelson, Michael Mateas, "Prototyping Games with BIPED," in Proceedings of the Fifth Artificial Intelligence for Interactive Digital Games Conference (AIIDE'09), 2009.
Adam M. Smith, James Skorupski, James Davis, "Understanding Video at 30 Billion Frames Per Second with Transient Rendering," Poster at Bay Area Vision Meetup (BAVM 2009), 2009.

Affiliations