About

 

  • Find me on…

Github | Twitter | LinkedIn | Researchgate | Mobygames

  • Involved in…

gamedevgraz | gamelabgraz  | gamedevdays.com | ISDS@TUGRAZ     

  • Short Bio:

Dr. Johanna Pirker (Dr. tech. Dipl.Ing. BSc in Software Engineering and Economics and Computer Science from Graz University of Technology) is university assistant, software engineer, and researcher at the Institute of Interactive Systems and Data Science at Graz University of Technology (TUG). She finished her Master’s Thesis during a research visit at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) working on collaborative virtual world environments. In 2017, she finished her doctoral dissertation in computer science on motivational environments under the supervision of Christian Gütl (TUG) and John Belcher (MIT). She specialized in games and environments that engage users to learn, train, and work together through motivating tasks. She has long-lasting experience in game design and development, as well as virtual world development and has worked in the video game industry at Electronic Arts.  Her research interests include AI, data analysis, immersive environments, games research, gamification strategies, HCI, e-learning, CSE, and IR. She has authored and presented numerous publications in her field.

  • Extended Bio:

Dr. Johanna Pirker (Dr. tech. Dipl.-Ing. BSc in Software Engineering and Economics and Computer Science from Graz University of Technology) is university assistant, software engineer, and researcher at the Institute of Interactive Systems and Data Science at Graz University of Technology (TUG). She finished her Master’s Thesis during a research visit at the Center for Educational Computing Initiatives at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) working on the integration of simulations and animations of electromagnetic fields into collaborative virtual world environments.

In 2017, she finished her doctoral dissertation in computer science on immersive motivational environments under the supervision of the computer scientist Christian Gütl (TUG) and the physicist John Belcher (MIT). Her dissertation contributes to the field STEM education. As part of her dissertation, Dr. Pirker developed the award-winning virtual learning platform “Maroon”. Maroon is designed to make STEM education more attractive and engage more students (also girls) to study STEM fields.

She specialised in games and environments that engage users to learn, train, and work together through motivating tasks. She has long-lasting experience in game design and development, as well as virtual world development and has worked in the video game industry at Electronic Arts and still consults studios in the field of games user research. She collaborates closely with industry partners and regularly gives keynotes speeches and talks at educational but also industry-related events.

Pirker’s efforts to spread programming and computer science knowledge among non-engineers are internationally known and established. She designed a workshop to teach non-developers (e.g. archaeologists, art historians) how to use game engines to create digital interactive experiences such as digital museums. Pirker was already invited to universities such as Harvard, Berlin Humboldt Universität, or the University of Göttingen to organise this workshop. Already several of her students built start-ups or new research groups based on this interdisciplinary expertise.

Her research interests include immersive environments, game research, gamification strategies, human-computer interaction, e-learning, computer science education, and information retrieval. She has authored and presented almost 50 scientific publications and has edited three books in her field.

She regularly organises the international conference “Game Dev Days” (gamedevdays.com) which connects industry experts with students and researches in the field of game development. She is general chair of the third annual International Conference on Game Jams, Hackathons, and Game Creation Events (ACM) in San Francisco at the GitHub HQ (gameconf.org). Since 2015, she is special track chair of the international “Immersive Learning Research Network Conference” (https://immersivelrn.org/ilrn2018/).

  • Upcoming Talks & Events:

2018

2017

  • Sep 20-22 Panel with Kate Edwards, Tara Brannigan (Flaresgames) “How to survive in our industry – The state of the games industry” European Games Executives Summit, Spain
  • Sep 1-3 Game Dev Days Graz 2017, Graz, Austria
  • Sep 1 VR Panel with Tristan Schulze, Alen Ladavac, Reni Hofmüller, Kris Staber, Robert Glashüttner “The Future of VR” Playful Art, Graz, Austria
  • Aug 20 “Social Network Analysis 
in Games and Communities” Respawn @ Devcom, Cologne, Germany
  • Jun 26-29 “Local-based App Presentation” ILRN 2017 Coimbra, Portugal
  • May 9 Keynote “Games: The Future of Hollywood” at ct-v conference, St. Poelten, Austria
  • Apr 24 Talk “Designing Games for The World after Playing Games from the World” Quo Vadis Conference, Berlin, Germany
  • Mar 15-16 Talk about Maroon REV 2017 Columbia University, New York
  • Feb 27-Mar 3 Game Developers Conference, San Francisco, CA
  • Feb 26 Talk “Social Network Analysis of the Global Game Jam Network” ICGJ 2017 Github, San Francisco, CA
  • Jan 19-21, Workshop at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  • Jan 13, Workshop at Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

2016

2015

2014

 

  • Teaching

Summer Semester 2016:

Fall/Winter Semester 2015/16:

Summer Semester 2015:

Fall/Winter Semester 2014/15:

Summer Semester 2014:

Fall/Winter Semester 2013/14:

  • Awards and Grants 
  • GDC 2017, San Francisco (2017)
  • Anita Borg Scholar, Grace Hopper Celebration, Tx, Houston (2016)
  • Scholarship for Heidelberg Laureate Forum, Germany (2016)
  • Global Game Jam Scholarship to attend GDC 2016, San Francisco (2016)
  • OEFG (Österreichische Forschungsgemeinschaft) International Communications Grant for attending FDG 2015, Pacific Grove, CA, USA (2015)
  • ACM-W (by Oracle) Scholarship for attending CSCW 2015, Vancouver, BC, Canada (2015)
  • Google Travel Grant for JSConf EU 2014 Berlin, Germany (2014)
  • ACM Grant for SIGCSE 2014 New Educators Workshop, Atlanta, US (2014)
  • Named Scholarship of the Faculty of Computer Science, Graz University of Technology (2012)
  • Named Scholarship Marshall Plan (Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation) (2011-2012)
  • Invited Talks (Paper Presentations excluded)

  • Mar 10, “Crossing: Virtual Experiences, Games, and Teaching”, SRI International, CA
  • Feb 4, Subotron “Know your Player”, Vienna, Austria
  • Nov 30 – Harvard Ludics Seminar “Crossing: Virtual Experiences, Games, and Teaching”, Cambridge MA
  • Oct 27 KF Uni Graz, ZIMG – Lunchtime Lecture “3D Immersive Digital Humanities – Möglichkeiten im Virtuellen Raum” Graz, Austria
  • And what do we now? Steps after the Game Jam, Klagenfurter Game Jame, 2015
  • Innovation by Game Design, Game Jam Graz, Jan 2015
  • Usability Testing and Eye Tracking. – in: IEEE Education Society Technical Meeting with Andrews, K., December 2014
  • Virtual Worlds, Galileo Educational System Universidad Galileo, November 2013 (virtual presentation)
  • Presentation of the Virtual Incubator World, iED Summit Boston, June 2012 (virtual presentation)
  • Presentation of the Virtual Incubator World, iED Europe Summit Madrid, November 2011 (virtual presentation)
  • Entrepreneurship Training using Immersive Virtual Worlds (Talk in German Language), ÖAD, Vienna, September 2011
  • Media & Press

  • Interview with the national radio station: ORF series (OE1) “Matrix” about virtual worlds for physics education, September 2014
  • Interview with the national radio station: ORF series (OE1) “Digital Leben” about cooperation of IICM with MIT about 3D-worlds for training, July 2011

 

  • Services 

Conference Organization:

Selected Program Committee and Reviewing Services:

Event and Workshop Organization:

 

me

(Artwork by Yue Li)

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