R. Michael Young

R. Michael YoungR. Michael Young is a Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, USA. He is the director of the NC State Digital Games Research Initiative and directs the Liquid Narrative research group. His research focuses on the development of computational models of interactive narrative with applications to computer games, educational and training systems and virtual environments.  He has published more than 80 papers in leading conferences and journals in computer games, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, autonomous agents and intelligent user interfaces.

He has worked to co-found and build several of the leading conferences in the area of computer games research and has served as program committee member, program or conference chair for more than 50 leading conferences across the areas of artificial intelligence, virtual worlds and computer games. He has served as editor-in-chief or as a member of the editorial board of the leading journals in the area of games research. He has won a number awards including an NSF Career Award, an IBM Faculty Award and NC State awards for outstanding teaching, extension and engagement.  He was a GlaxoSmithKline Faculty Fellow in Public Policy and Public Engagement in 2010 and his work with North Carolina games companies and state policy makers to strengthen the state’s games ecosystem has been widely recognized.  In 2015, Young was named an NCSU University Faculty Scholar.

Young has supervised 22 M.S. and Ph.D. students over the last 15 years at NC State University. His research group is internationally known as a leading center for work on games research, especially in the area of interactive storytelling and AI in games.  His group has developed algorithms that address issues in cinematic 3D camera control in virtual worlds, the automatic construction of coherent, rich and understandable story lines, cloud-based architectures for the intelligent control of game environments and models of adaptation of story lines in interactive narrative contexts. His students have continued their research past graduation both as tenure-track faculty at leading universities and as senior scientists at companies in the games industry. His group has actively collaborated with many industrial and governmental organizations including Epic Games, Virtual Heroes, Microsoft, The Triangle Games Initiative and the DOD Advanced Distributed Learning initiative. He developed and directs the department’s undergraduate concentration in game development, ranked in the top 4 public univeristy game programs in North America in 2014 by Princeton Review.

Young’s research is currently supported by NSF, LAS and several industrial partners, and he has served as a PI or Co-PI on more than 15 grants.

Detailed information about Michael's background is available on his bio and CV page.

Research Interests
Michael's current research interests are in artificial intelligence, planning algorithms, discourse generation and computational models of interactive narrative. Michael directs the Liquid Narrative research group and is the founder and co-director of the NCSU Digital Games Research Center. He served as  the editor in chief of the Journal of Game Development for two years, from 2007 through 2008 and is an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games.  Michael's group distributes the Zocalo system for intelligent control of interactive virtual environments.

All of Young's papers are available electronically at the Liquid Narrative Group's publications page.

Selected Publications

  • Narrative Planning: Balancing Plot and Character, by Mark Riedl and R. Michael Young,  in the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, vol. 39, pages  217-268 [PDF]
  • Annie: Automated Generation of Adaptive Learning Guidance For Fun Serious Games, by Jim Thomas and R. Michael Young, in IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, vol 3, no. 4, pages 329 - 343, Ocotober-December, 2010.  [PDF]
  • Cinematic Visual Discourse:  Representation, Generation and Evaluation, by Arnav Jhala and R. Michael Young, in IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games, vol. 2, issue 2, pages 69 - 81, June 2010.
  • Proactive Mediation in Plan-Based Narrative Environments, by Justin Harris and R. Michael Young, in IEEE Transactions on Cmputational Intelligence and AI in Games, vol. 1, issue 3, pages 223-244, 2010.
  • Story and discourse: A bipartite model of narrative generation in virtual worlds by R. Michael Young,  in Interaction Studies, 2007. [PDF]

Teaching Interests

Michael teaches the CSC graduate course on Computational Models of Interactive Narrative and the undergraduate classes on Game Design and Development. Previously, he taught graduate and undergraduate courses on Artificial Intelligence.

Michael also created and helps to run the Computer Science Undergraduate Concentration in Game Development.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 December 2014 14:57