If you think that being a researcher is glamorous, you are very romantic 🙂
This is how I spend my time:
I write research proposals and develop collaborations for my division and school, and I perform various duties as a consultant in my areas of interest (health, behavior & interactive media). As the founder and director the USC Games For Health Initiative (est. 2007), my mission is to translate interactive media innovations to the health researchers and practitioners community and develop new areas of investigation at the intersection of medicine, neuroscience, and public health.
This involves a lot of lecturing and outreach at professional conferences and workshops (a.k.a. lots of travel economy class and living out of a suitcase). I also get interviewed from time to time (see press). A more recent audio interview that is about virtual reality, art, and health is here: CG Garage Podcast.
I love writing (most of the time) and have maintained an semi-private/semi-public website since 1995. Lots of the old stuff has vanished from the web and lives only on CD backups. I am sure it will come back to haunt me one day, as will my worst and best poetry…
I have co-developed, co-authored and contributed to over 100 proposals since 2007 for intramural, foundation, corporate and federal funding. A percentage of these have been successful and some are listed here.
I publish in peer-reviewed and invited journals and proceedings, although not as regularly as faculty from the sciences and engineering. Scholarly output for MFA degree holders in the form of peer-reviewed publications is not as common.
I have contributed to research development across all of our division’s priority areas: game design, mobile and environmental media and immersive technologies through working with faculty from my school and other units. It is more fun to work with other people. Collaborative work isn’t easier, but it is better and more fun. Did I write ‘fun’ twice? Yes, I did…
I love teaching and supervise some awesome students from multiple disciplines across the USC campus on research projects, theses or dissertations. I designed the curriculum for two new degrees at USC. I currently teach CTIN 503 in the spring, and IML 543 in the fall (theme changes annually).
Other silly things you should know about me? It is not unusual that I am photographed cross-legged on tables or floors. Also, you never know what my next hairstyle will be. It is more boredom than vanity at this point. I hate salons and spas typically, but I have a deep emotional connection to Liberated salon in Glendale. They are good people.
I have one remaining cat left alive who is aging just like I am (relax–never had more than 3 total). Nini is quite popular on YouTube. My previous cat lived to be 19 and he took all my secrets with him when he passed. I have an astonishing number of cat pictures, and I am not ashamed to post them. I also like dogs, birds, horses, sheep, and most four-legged creatures, but I am too busy with aforementioned activities to maintain a petting zoo, or attain my dream farm at the moment 🙂
My favorite activity is staring into the blue sea for hours at a time (the perfect antidote to hours of staring at my computer screen even if you think it is cheesy) and spending time at my father’s village in the Messinia region of Greece. I am a practical romantic and take full responsibility for what that means.
My most favorite recent quote was uttered by my (also practical romantic) godfather:
“If you are going to take on a lover, you better eat your sandwich!”
On a more serious note, I am a big fan of philosophy and one of my favorites is Epicurus. Among his many principal doctrines, a designer who is an amateur scientist should always remember this:
“If you fight against all your sensations, you will have no standard to which to refer, and thus no means of judging even those judgments which you pronounce false.”