April 9, 2006

California Dreamin’

by Michael Mateas · , 1:56 pm

Quickly on the heels of my previous personal announcement, I have another one. This summer will be my last summer at Georgia Tech. Starting this fall I will be joining UC Santa Cruz, where I will help in building up their new, technically-focused undergraduate degree program in computer game design (here are some working papers describing the degree program), as well as help in building up a new game research lab. The last few years at Georgia Tech have been good ones; I will certainly miss my friends and colleagues here, though I’m sure we’ll continue to actively collaborate and will see each other on a regular basis.

It will be ten years ago this August since my wife and I moved away from the West Coast, first to Pittsburgh (CMU) and then Atlanta. It will be great to be back west, and to forge new and exciting relationships both with my new colleagues at Santa Cruz, and with colleagues in game studios, research labs and universities throughout the greater Bay Area. UC Santa Cruz, with its history as an alternative UC, and its culture of interdisciplinary work, will be a great place to pursue research and teaching in Expressive AI. And it doesn’t hurt that Santa Cruz is a drop-dead gorgeous place to live. So, starting next August, I’ll be in Santa Cruz. Till then I’ll be California Dreamin’.

16 Responses to “California Dreamin’”


  1. nick Says:

    Michael, congratulations! When this job at Santa Cruz was advertised, I thought you seemed the ideal person for it … I suppose they figured that out at Santa Cruz, too. Obviously your move will be a loss for Tech, but it seems like you’ve made several lasting contributions there via the Experimental Game Lab and the computational media class and degree program.

  2. Phoebe Says:

    Michael, congratulations on your move. I know you and Anne will be happy to be near home base again. There’s so many great things happening at Santa Cruz and wonderful people, I expect you’ll be very happy there!

  3. Fox Harrell Says:

    Congratulations on your new position. It is a beautiful place to live, it is like an ewok village. My wife and I make scuba diving trips in that area almost every month so I hope to see you more frequently now that you will be back on the left coast. I’ll second that it’s a big loss for Georgia Tech but I know you’ll forge new opportunities. I wish you and your family the best in your move. I can’t wait to welcome you to the Bay!

  4. andrew Says:

    Sung to the classic Beach Boys’ song, “California Dreamin'” (you know, “all the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray..”)

    Pittsburgh gets me down, it’s so cold and gray
    I’ve been down South with its humidi-tay
    Gonna research games that I wanna play
    California dreamin’ been waitin’ for the day

    Logged in to my blog I surfed along the way
    They tell me Grace just doesn’t listen, and that Trip is gay
    You know that gamers like it old
    They need Expressive A…
    I… California dreamin’ been waitin’ for the day

    Pittsburgh gets me down, it’s so cold and gray
    I’ve been down South with its humidi-tay
    Gonna research games that I wanna play
    California dreamin’ been waitin’ for the day

    California dreamin’ researchin’ games I wanna play
    California dreamin’ PA‘s not far away…
    California dreamin’ boogie boardin’ in the Bay
    California dreamin’ lots of sun for my babay
    California dreamin’ 10 years to the day…!
    California dreamin’ been waitin’ for the day
    California dreamin’ been waitin’ for the day
    California dreamin’ been waitin’ for the day

  5. michael Says:

    Awesome Andrew! Thanks.

  6. josemanuel Says:

    I thought the song was originally by The Mammas and The Pappas. If I’m not mistaken it was written by John Phillips.

  7. andrew Says:

    You’re right… in fact here’s some excellent midi so you can sing along… :-)

  8. jeremy hunsinger Says:

    congratulations, which department?

  9. John Swisshelm Says:

    Its been fun this semester slashing our way through GBA hardware registers like a 16-bit Indiana Jones. The undergrad CM students will miss you! Good luck at UCSC!

  10. scott Says:

    Congrats, Michael! It sounds like a lifestyle upgrade. California’s getting a great infusion of new media talent between you, Noah, and Talan.

  11. michael Says:

    congratulations, which department?

    I’m in CS, though I’m sure I’ll be collaborating with folk in digital media, art, various humanities departments, etc. My friend Warren is there – I’m sure we’ll be cooking up something together…

  12. mary Says:

    yes congrats michael. greetings all from sweden. andrew you failed to include a link to the mp3 version of your musical talents, i’m still waiting. . . ; )

  13. michael Says:

    Robin, over at Gewgaw, gives me a warm welcome to the Bay Area, while describing that she’s interested in students from programs other than the big three (CMU, Georgia Tech, USC). Interestingly, unlike the “big three”, UCSC is building an undergraduate program first (USC and Georgia Tech are developing undergrad programs, but they developed their masters programs first). As more game-focused undergrad programs devevlop, it will be interesting to see what pressures this puts on masters programs, which got to enjoy several years of being the only game-oriented academic programs in town. Much of what’s taught in game-related masters programs can be easily pushed into the undergrad curriculum. This will eventually force masters programs to really teach graduate-level game material, rather than patching curricular holes and integrating undergraduate-level interdisciplinary knowledge. We’ve already begun to feel this upward pressure at Georgia Tech with the undergrad computational media degree. Perhaps there will be two types of masters programs in the future, those designed for students who did disciplinary work in something tangentially related to games (e.g. art, film studies, literary studies, traditional CS) and are looking for a masters programs to retool them as game people, and masters programs designed for people who’ve already been through an interdisciplinary game-oriented program, and wish to truly do advanced, graduate-level work in games. From an admissions perspective, this will create chaos for the masters programs, as mixing the two types of students will generally be ineffective (boring half the students while drowning the other half).

  14. Glyn Says:

    Props to Andrew for the idea…

    Well East coast schools are hip
    I really dig “The Don’s” cool hair
    And the Southern schools with the EGL
    They knock me out when I’m down there

    The Mid-West schools like MSU really make you feel alright
    And the Northern schools like Algoma U
    They keep their curriculum quite tight

    I wish they all could be California
    I wish they all could be California
    I wish they all could be California schools

    The West coast has the sunshine
    And the devs all get so tanned
    I dig a sushi meal with Mahk Leblanc
    Chilled by a palm tree in the sand

    I been all around this great big world
    And I seen all kinds of schools
    Yeah, but I couldn’t wait to get back to CA
    Back to the coolest grads in the world

    I wish they all could be California
    I wish they all could be California
    I wish they all could be California schools

    I wish they all could be California
    (Schools, schools, schools yeah I dig the)
    I wish they all could be California
    (Schools, schools, schools yeah I dig the)
    I wish they all could be California
    (Schools, schools, schools yeah I dig the)
    I wish they all could be California
    (Schools, schools, schools yeah I dig the)

    Congrats Michael, just don’t like start saying “like” unless like you are making like a comparison or like you like something.

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    [...] ;. This project will be full-time for me, and part-time for Michael who is now a full-time assistant professor at UC Santa Cruz. For me it will mean [...]

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