Game Design for Citizen Science

The Computer Science and Engineering Department's newest course, Game Design for Citizen Science, aims to take an interdisciplinary approach, exploring the intersection between games, technology, education, psychology, and culture, and to bridge the gap that exists between the arts and the sciences.

The concept of “Citizen Science” describes an emerging set of tools and techniques that utilize crowdsourcing, distributed problem solving, and other socially ­focused research methods. Citizen Science allows non­-experts to contribute in significant ways to large­ scale scientific projects. They collect data about the natural world in The Great Sunflower Project; solve puzzles to model proteins with FoldIt; and map the neural connections in our brains with EyeWire.

Read about EyeWire in the New York Times.

In this class massively multiplayer online games will be designed under the constraints of scientific discovery, general education, and teaching problem solvingskills. The course is a combination of the technology, design, and philosophy underlying citizen science games, as well as the real-world implementation challenges faced by developers.

This class represents a collaboration between all of the different departments that comprise MAGNET­ (NYU’s Media and Games Network): Computer Science and Integrated Digital Media (NYU School of Engineering), the NYU Game Center (Tisch School of the Arts), Education Technology (Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development), and the Media Research Lab (Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences).

This course is co-instructed by professor Andy Nealen.

Interested in taking this course? Download the syllabus here.

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