Abhishesh Homagain

Kinesiology (Neuroscience)
Abhishesh Homagain is a MSc student looking at studying the link between emotion and gait in humans. His research aims to use virtual reality and induce different emotions in humans, analyze the emotional gait behaviours behind emotional states, and try to answer the question 'can we detect different emotions using human gait, and could we in the future use gait as a method to predict/recognize emotions in humans?
AC Atienza's Face

AC Atienza

English - Experimental Digital Media (Alumni)

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Ahmed Anwar

Management Science

Ahmed is a Masters student in the Management Science department supervised by Oliver Schneider. Previously, he completed his undergrad from Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan with an interdisciplinary coursework in Management Science and Computer Science.

Aleksander Franiczek


Aleks is currently working towards an English PhD. His doctoral research synthesizes perspectives from game studies, phenomenology, and critial design to consider how a player's sense of immersion in a videogame can provide a means towards self-reflection through creative engagement both during and outside gamplay. He is also an associate editor at the Games Institute's online journal, First Person Scholar. 

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Alessandra Luz de Medeiros Ferreira

Computer Science

Alessandra is a P.h.D. student in the Cheriton School of Computer Science under the supervision of Dr Lennart Nacke and Dr Daniel Vogel. She holds a MSc in HCI-E from University College of London, where her supervisors were Dr. Nicolai Marquardt and Dr.

Alexander Glover

Alexander Glover

Systems Design Engineering

Alexander Glover is a Systems Design Engineering MASc candidate. His focus is on Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI), particularly how AI can be used to teach decision making processes to approach complex situations through explanation.

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Alex Fleck

English Language and Literature

Alex studies retrogaming hardware, software, and modding/fan communities to understand changes over time to consumer culture, material literacy, and legacy platforms. He also helps design games with other GI researchers in ongoing GI projects and partnerships. Alex is currently interested in finding and collecting license-expired retro games (games unlikely to be released again), as well as expanding his 90's era A/V set up.

Ali Haider Rizvi

Management Science

Ali Rizvi (MS, Columbia University; B.Tech, NIT Jalandhar) is a PhD student studying Human-Computer Interaction. He is interested in studying the interaction between technology management, human factors and data analytics as it applies to non-traditional interfaces Prior to his PhD, Ali was a Senior Product Manager on Amazon's Alexa platform. When Ali is not at work, he is either climbing mountains or flying a tiny Cessna.

Headshot of Amerald Xian Liang Fang

Amerald Xian Liang Fang


Amerald is a BSc student in Geomatics currently researching the use of game engines for scientific visualization, analysis, and knowledge mobilization.

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Ana Lucia Diaz de Leon Derby

Systems Design Engineering

Ana Lucia is a MSc student in Systems Design Engineering under the supervision of Professor Oliver Schneider. She received her Bachelor degree in Innovation and Development Engineering from the University Tec de Monterrey (ITESM).

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Arielle Grinberg

Management Sciences

Arielle is a PhD Candidate working with Mark Hancock and Rob Duimering. Her interest in Human-Computer Interaction began when she worked as a research assistant at the GI. Her research interests span across a wide range of disciplines.

Bibhushan Raj Joshi

Management Sciences

Bibhushan is a PhD student in Management science department of UW. His research background is in computer engineering and management. He is interested in creative research projects related with HCI, Haptics, Software Engineering and Product development.

Chris L

Chris Lawrence

English Language and Literature

Chris is a PhD Candidate in the department of English Langauge and Literature. Their dissertation research focuses on identifying world-building mythopoetic structures in games and distinguishing them from traditional narrative approaches. Chris is currently Editor-and-Chief of First Person Scholar and Senior Curator for Critical Distance. 

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Diana Khater

RA, Haptics Lab

Diana Khater is a third-year undergraduate student pursuing a BSc in Biology at the University of Waterloo. She's a co-op research assistant at the Haptic Lab, working under the supervision of Dr. Schneider. Her research focuses on hand receptors involved in the haptic experience.

Diana on a pier

Diana Moreno Ojeda

English Language and Literature

Diana Moreno Ojeda has loved science fiction and board games ever since she can remember, moving from Stratego—at the adventurous age of 6— to Netrunner and Ascension—more recently.

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Diane Watson

Computer Science

Diane Watson was a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. Her focus is on gamification, in particular, how positive behaviours can be encouraged through games.

EKat with red glasses and a black sweater

Ekaterina Durmanova

Systems Design Engineering

Eliana Hill-Zeesman

Legal Studies

Eliana is a BA student in Legal Studies, currently helping Dr. Shana MacDonald and Dr. Brianna Wiens in researching vaccine hesitancy.

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Emily Shiu


Emily (BA in Psychology and MASc in Developmental and Communication Sciences) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology. Currently, she is studying voice assistant interactions in bilingual populations.

Fiona Yang


Fiona is a BA student in Psychology who is passionate about the intersection of haptics, accessibility, and social justice. She is currently assisting in the research of AR/VR and accessible storytelling.

Cartoon drawing of Guiseppe

Giuseppe William Femia

English - Rhetoric and Communication Design

Giuseppe Femia completed a BA (English, Rhetoric, Media, and Professional Communication & Honours Arts and Business) and an MA (Rhetoric and Communication Design) at Waterloo.

Hannah Delamere

English Language and Literature

Hannah is currently Dr. Shana MacDonald's research assistant, and is assisting in researching the connections between second-wave feminism to fourth-wave feminism, as well as planning to make her own collection to archive of feminism in social media

Aqua from Kingdom Hearts

Jenn Rickert

English Language and Literature

Jenn is an interdisciplinary-trained academic (BA Hons Classical History & Anthropology; MA Public Issues Anthropology) specializing in the interconnectivity of people, technology, and culture. She is in the dissertation research stage of her English PhD, focusing on gender, power structures, and social dynamics surrounding competitive gaming communities, particularly within World of Warcraft. In addition to her primary research goals, she also is particularly interested in accessible and applicable research, bridging research and industry, and other socially constructed aspects of video games (e.g. cheating & modding, emotion, etc.).

John Edison Munoz Cardona

John Muñoz

Postdoc - Systems Design

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Joseph Tu

Systems Design Engineering

Joseph is a Master’s student pursuing a M.A.Sc in Systems Design Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Lennart Nacke at the University of Waterloo. He is currently working on an escape room board-game that uses physiological measures as a game mechanic. He enjoys doing photography.

Junhyeok Kim

Computer Science

Junhyeok Kim is a PhD student in the Cheriton School of Computer Science. He completed Bachelor's and Master's degrees at the University of Manitoba. He practices and designs interactive systems using latest technology to improve immersion of computing.

Karina Arrambide

Systems Design Engineering

Karina Arrambide is a Ph.D. student pursuing a degree in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, under the supervision of Dr. Lennart Nacke. She holds an MSc in Information Technology with Business and Management from the University of Sussex in the UK, and a BSc in Information Technology from the University of Monterrey in Mexico. Her main interests include understanding player's behaviors and emotions by applying diverse games user research methodologies, specifically biometrics such as electromyography and galvanic skin response.

Karthik Theivendran

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Karthik is an MSc student in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He received a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering at Monash University. Karthik's interests lie in Human-Computer Interaction, Artificial Intelligence, Haptic Computing and Wearables. He has industrial experience in developing and commercializing wearable technology products.

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Kateryna Morayko

Systems Design Engineering

Kateryna Morayko is pursuing a Masters in Systems Design Engineering through the SWaGUR program under the supervision of Dr. Mark Hancock. She is interested in human computer interaction, and her main project involves the study of daydreaming during video game play.

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Katja Rogers

Computer Science

Katja Rogers is a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Lennart Nacke's research group. She completed her PhD in Computer Science at the Institute of Media Informatics at Ulm University, Germany.

Ken Jen Lee

Computer Science

Ken Jen is a PhD student in the Cheriton School of Computer Science, advised by Dr. Edith Law. He is researching methods of using extended reality technologies to nurture and facilitate rational compassion, transformational learning and altruistic attitudes and behaviours.

Leila Homaeian

Leila Homaeian

Systems Design Engineering

Leila is a PhD student in Systems Design Engineering. She studies large interactive surfaces, such as wall displays and digital tabletops, and how to support co-located collaboration around them. Leila received her MSc. degree in Software Engineering from the University of Alberta. 

Leslie Xin

Systems Design Engineering
Leslie Xin is a fourth-year undergraduate Systems Design Engineering Student and researcher. She is currently working with Dr. Lai-Tze Fan and Lulu Liu to explore how AR/VR and interactive digital storytelling can be leveraged to represent transformative quantum technologies. Her other areas of interest include creative coding, climate tech, and web3. 
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Lindsay Meaning

English Language and Literature

Lindsay Meaning (BA English, Wilfrid Laurier University; MA Experimental Digital Media, University of Waterloo) is a fourth year PhD candidate in the English department at UWaterloo.

Luka Ugaya Mazza

Public Health and Health Science

Luka graduated with a BA in Graphic Design from the Federal University of Paran, Brazi. There, they conducted research on serious games as tools to teach medical practitioners. Currently, Luka is a MSc student in Public Health and Health Systems. Their interests include data visualisation, information design, information design systems, serious games, and games for mental health.

Lulu Liu

Systems Design Engineering

Lulu Liu is a digital multimedia artist, photographer and filmmaker whose work disseminates technology’s coalescence with art, and how one stays grounded through this metamorphosis. Some of her previous works have been featured by the Toronto International Film Festival and the Art Gallery of Ontario. 

Marcela Bomfim

Marcela Bomfim

Applied Health Sciences

Marcela Bomfim is a PhD Student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems (AHS), working under the supervision of Dr James Wallace. She holds a BSc in Nutrition and in Systems Analysis and an MSc in Computer Science with specialization in Human-Computer Interaction. 

"My research focuses on exploring Gameful Design to improve Food Literacy among people. My research leverages Self Determination Theory to build peoples' competence, autonomy, and relatedness around food, with the aim of making people more knowledgeable and skilled when planning and selecting foods, as well as promoting a celebratory food culture bringing people to eat together."

Marcela Bomfim

Marco standing in front of the CN tower

Marco Aurelio Moran Ledesma

Systems Design Engineering

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Marvin Pafla

Systems Design Engineering

Marvin Pafla is a PhD student at the Cheriton School of Computer Science. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in both Psychology and Computer Science at the University of Konstanz (Germany), and a Master's degree in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Marvin's interest lie Games Research, Human-Computer Interaction, and Artificial Intelligence. Marvin is supervised by Prof. Dr. Kate Larson and Prof. Dr. Mark Hancock.

Michael Hancock

Michael Hancock

English Language and Literature

Michael Hancock, is a Ph.D. student in the English Language and Literature Department at the University of Waterloo.

Nicholas Hobin

Nicholas Hobin

English Language and Literature

Nicholas Hobin, BA (King’s University College), MA (University of Waterloo), is a PhD candidate in the English Language Literature program at the University of Waterloo.

Nicholas Tibert

Kinesiology and Health Sciences
Nicholas is a clinical exercise physiologist and high performance trainer that is interested in muscle and bone physiology, resistance training and training adaptations, cognition and video games, and the link between esports and physical performance. 

Pierson Browne

Sociology and Legal Studies

Pierson Browne's research focuses on the propagation of concepts and information through the social networks formed around and within communities of play. Pierson is a methodologically-focused mixed-methods researcher: he has contributed to the field of Social Network Analysis with his work on Exponential Random Graph Models for Directed Acyclic Graphs, he has generated insights into Swarm Ethnography and Rapid Ethnographic Assessment as part of his work with game development intermediaries, and he has produced research stemming from his work as an Embedded Ethnographer with Montreal indie game development studios.

Rachel Woo

Public Health and Health Systems

Rachel is a master’s student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems, with an expected graduation date of 2022. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Toronto where she became interested in information visualization. At the University of Waterloo her research will centre on immersion and experience in AR games and their implications for public health. Rachel is under the Supervision of Dr. James Wallace and a member of the Human-Computer Interaction and Health Lab.

Robert P. Gauthier

Robert P. Gauthier

Public Health and Health Systems

Robert P. Gauthier is a PhD Student from the School of Public Health being supervised by Professor Jim Wallace.

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Sabrina Alicia Sgandurra

Experimental Digital Media

Sabrina is a PhD student specializing in games studies. Her research focuses on the intersection of narrative structures and gameplay in narrative-driven video games.

Sahand Ajami

Applied Science

Sahand is a MASc student in Applied Science working on upper-limb rehabilitation with wearable robots and haptic feedback. His interests include Human Robot and Human-Computer Interaction

Samira Mehrabi

Aging, Health and Well-being

Samira Mehrabi is a PhD candidate and research /teaching assistant at the University of Waterloo.

Sid Heeg

Sid Heeg

Sustainability Management

Sid Heeg is a PhD student within the Faulty of Environment for Sustainability Management. Their research focuses on the spread and effect of misinformation about farmers and agricultural practices. In their down time, they like exploring various farming simulator games and doing internet deep dives.

Headshot of Stuart Hallifax

Stuart Hallifax

Postdoctoral Fellow, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Faculty of Mathematics

Stuart Hallifax was born in the UK, moved to France when he was 10 years old, and lived there for 19 years before coming to Canada. During his PhD Stuart had the opportunity to meet Dr. Lennart Nacke at a conference in 2018 during his course on Gamification.

Thuvaraka Mahenthiran


Thuvaraka is BSc student is Psychology, currently assisting Dr. Shana MacDonald on the Feminist Digital Media project.

Toben standing and smiling in a blue t-shirt

Toben Racicot

English PhD

Toben Racicot, BA Creative Writing (BYUI), MA Rhetoric and Communication Design (University of Waterloo), is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Waterloo. Toben’s research focuses on role-playing games, collaborative worldbuilding, loot mechanics, and the magic circle in digital forms.

Triskhal DeHaven

Systems Design Engineering

Triskal is pursuing a PhD in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, under the supervision of Dr. Lennart Nacke. He holds an MSc in Human Centered Interactive Technologies from the University of York in the UK, and a BSc in Pre-graduate Psychology from Middle Tennessee State University in TN, USA. He is also a User Experience Research for the AbleGamers Charity. His main interests include making games more accessible for player with disabilities, virtual reality, and Games User Research.

Headshot of Wing Lam (Veen) Wong

Wing Lam (Veen) Wong

Public Health and Health Systems

Veen is a PhD student in the School of Public Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo and is supervised by Dr. James Wallace.

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