My name is John Drake and I am a PhD computer science student at the University of Pennsylvania.
I am associated with the SIG graphics lab, though I have been working off-site for a couple of years under the guidance of my advisors Maxim Likhachev and Alla Safonova.
I previously graduated in May 2010 from the University of Pennsylvania's Digital Media Design undergraduate program.
My research currently involves virtual worlds, artificial intelligence, and real-time acoustic simulation.
I could state my overarching research goal as one of making non-player-characters which behave more like humans do in virtual worlds, to serve there as better companions to humans.
I am currently developing a new approach to artificial intelligence for virtual agents which assist humans in video games. Existing systems don't allow video game squadmates to learn over time how best to assist the player nor to think ahead to help solve complicated challenges. The work may later be applicable to real world autonomous wingman work.
Some of my hobbies include motorcycle maintenance and several forms of visual art. I especially enjoy 3d modeling and animation, but sometimes dabble in other things too.
I am a fourth degree member of the fraternal service organization the Knights of Columbus and currently the Programming Director and Inside Guard for St. Paul Cathedral Council 14474 and a council delegate to the Pittsburgh Chapter.