Aug 28, 2018
Brian Magerko, professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC), has been named director of the School’s influential Graduate Program in Digital Media (DGS). The program encompasses master’s and Ph.D. studies, nine labs and research groups, and research strengths in civic media and digital expression.
In announcing Magerko’s acceptance of the director position, LMC Chair Richard Utz said, “With his record, Professor Magerko can claim to lead by example in the areas of research, scholarship, and creative activity. His successful teaching and service activities are at a similarly high level, demonstrating how he gives of his time freely and collegially when advising, mentoring, and collaborating with our graduate and undergraduate students. We are pleased to have him assume leadership of this cutting edge program.”
Magerko joined Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts in 2008. His research explores how to augment human creativity through technology for human expression, learning, and joy.
His achievements, for which he recently received promotion to full professor, include approximately 100 peer reviewed publications in peer-reviewed technical conferences and journals, numerous international keynote presentations, and top paper awards.
He has obtained more than $13 million in federal funding including more than $10 million from the National Science Foundation for EarSketch (with College of Design Chair Jason Freeman), a science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics or STEAM-based approach for underrepresented populations in high school computer science education. From its initial pilot program, the curriculum is now in use by more than 250 middle and high schools nationwide and was recognized by the White House in 2016 as a Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) national initiative. New funding for the program includes a $3 million NSF DRK-12 grant this month in collaboration with the University of Florida to continue research with EarSketch. The focus of this grant will be on developing co-creative learning artificial intelligence (AI) that can help “bootstrap” learning in STEAM environments like EarSketch.
Magerko’s research has also yielded computational media artifacts in the form of software and interactive installations that have been featured in museums, schools, and other learning settings worldwide including the Smithsonian, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and the Arts+Tech conference in San Francisco.
He directs the multidisciplinary Expressive Machinery Lab (formerly ADAM Lab) in which students from across campus work “to create near-future digital experiences that engage people in creative practices with computing — whether that means learning to program by making music, improvising dance and improv theatre with AI characters, or experiencing public installations that combine social creative behaviors with generative music.”