Seth Cooper Office 280, Paul Allen Center
University of Washington Box 352350
Seattle, WA 98195

scooper at cs washington edu
News - Peer-Reviewed Publications - Other Publications - Games - Awards - Teaching
I am the creative director of the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington. I received my PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington. My dissertation, "A Framework for Scientific Discovery through Video Games," advised by Zoran Popović, won the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award in 2011. My current research focuses on using video games to solve difficult scientific problems; I have delivered TED talks on the topic. I am co-creator of the scientific discovery game Foldit and early math educational games including Refraction and Treefrog Treasure. I have also done research in real-time animation for games, often in the motion capture lab. I have previously worked at Square Enix, Electronic Arts, Pixar Animation Studios and the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory (on BOINC, the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing).
2014-10-10 Nanocrafter nominated as a finalist in the Serious Games Showcase & Challenge.
2014-10-03 Interview in Wired article on public involvement in science covering Foldit.
2014-08-26 KIRO Radio interview on Foldit and Nanocrafer (at about 6:50).
2014-07-28 My dissertation, A Framework for Scientific Discovery through Video Games, published by Association for Computing Machinery and Morgan & Claypool.
2014-05-28 Article in Fast Co.Labs on games for science covers Foldit and Nanocrafter.
2014-05-28 Interview with the UW Daily.
2014-04-25 Nanocrafter discussed on NPR Science Friday.
2014-04-23 Our new scientific discovery game, Nanocrafter, announced at Games for Change.
2013-12-20 "On the Job" interview with
2013-12-16 Article in Harvard Magazine, about citizen science and Foldit.
2013-12-04 Flow Jam, a game for formal verification of software, launches.
2013-09-25 Talk at Social Media Week Berlin.
GSummit (2013-07-03) The Contenders (2013-01) Fold It (2012-11)
TEDxPanthéonSorbonne (2012-11-08) TEDMED (2012-04-12) TEDxVancouver (2011-11-12)
King 5 News (2012-05-21) Nature Medicine (2012-04-13) MedCrunch (2012-4-12)
NSF Visualization (2012-02-03) Science (2012-02-03) MSNBC (2011-09-18)
King 5 News (2011-09-19) New Day NW (2011-10-14) Triple J Radio (2011-09-20)
Brian Lehrer Live (2011-09-28) NPR (2011-10-02) Al Jazeera (2011-10-05)
The Takeaway (2011-09-22)
Peer-Reviewed Publications
User behavior transformation through dynamic input mappings.
Dun-Yu Hsiao, Seth Cooper, Christy Ballweber and Zoran Popović.
Proceedings of Foundations of Digital Games (2014).
WeFold: a coopetition for protein structure prediction.
George A. Khoury et al.
Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics (2014).
Automatic redesign of local playspace properties.
Aaron Bauer, Seth Cooper and Zoran Popović.
Proceedings of Foundations of Digital Games (2013).
Verification games: making verification fun.
Werner Dietl, Stephanie Dietzel, Michael D. Ernst, Nathaniel Mote, Brian Walker, Seth Cooper, Timothy Pavlik and Zoran Popović.
FTfJP'2012: 14th Workshop on Formal Techniques for Java-like Programs (2012).
Increased Diels-Alderase activity through backbone remodeling guided by Foldit players.
Christopher B Eiben, Justin B Siegel, Jacob B Bale, Seth Cooper, Firas Khatib, Betty W Shen, Foldit Players, Barry L Stoddard, Zoran Popović and David Baker.
Nature Biotechnology (2012).
The impact of tutorials on games of varying complexity.
Erik Andersen, Eleanor O'Rourke, Yun-En Liu, Richard Snider, Jeff Lowdermilk, David Truong, Seth Cooper and Zoran Popović.
Proceedings of ACM CHI (2012).
Best Paper Nominee
Algorithm discovery by protein folding game players.
Firas Khatib, Seth Cooper, Michael D. Tyka, Kefan Xu, Ilya Makedon, Zoran Popović, David Baker and Foldit Players.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2011).
Science Editor's Choice
High-resolution structure of a retroviral protease folded as a monomer.
Miroslaw Gilski, Maciej Kazmierczyk, Szymon Krzywda, Helena Zábranská, Seth Cooper, Zoran Popović, Firas Khatib, Frank DiMaio, James Thompson, David Baker, Iva Pichová and Mariusz Jaskolskia.
Acta Crystallographica D67, 907-914 (2011).
Crystal structure of a monomeric retroviral protease solved by protein folding game players.
Firas Khatib, Frank DiMaio, Foldit Contenders Group, Foldit Void Crushers Group, Seth Cooper, Maciej Kazmierczyk, Miroslaw Gilski, Szymon Krzywda, Helena Zábranská, Iva Pichová, James Thompson, Zoran Popović, Mariusz Jaskolski and David Baker.
Nature Structural and Molecular Biology 18, 1175-1177 (2011).
NSMB Article of the Month
Analysis of social gameplay macros in the Foldit cookbook.
Seth Cooper, Firas Khatib, Ilya Makedon, Hao Lu, Janos Barbero, David Baker, James Fogarty, Zoran Popović and Foldit Players.
Proceedings of Foundations of Digital Games (2011).
[link] [pdf] [project]
On the harmfulness of secondary game objectives.
Erik Andersen, Yun-En Liu, Rich Snider, Roy Szeto, Seth Cooper and Zoran Popović.
Proceedings of Foundations of Digital Games (2011).
[link] [pdf] [project]
Feature-based projections for effective playtrace analysis.
Yun-En Liu, Erik Andersen, Rich Snider, Seth Cooper and Zoran Popović.
Proceedings of Foundations of Digital Games (2011).
[link] [pdf] [project]
ROSETTA3: an object-oriented software suite for the simulation and design of macromolecules.
Andrew Leaver-Fay et al.
Methods in Enzymology 487, 545-574 (2011).
Predicting protein structures with a multiplayer online game.
Seth Cooper, Firas Khatib, Adrien Treuille, Janos Barbero, Jeehyung Lee, Michael Beenen, Andrew Leaver-Fay, David Baker, Zoran Popović and Foldit Players.
Nature 466, 756-760 (2010).
[link] [project]
The challenge of designing scientific discovery games.
Seth Cooper, Adrien Treuille, Janos Barbero, Andrew Leaver-Fay, Kathleen Tuite, Firas Khatib, Alex Cho Snyder, Michael Beenen, David Salesin, David Baker, Zoran Popović and Foldit players.
Proceedings of Foundations of Digital Games (2010).
[link] [pdf] [project]
Active learning for real-time motion controllers.
Seth Cooper, Aaron Hertzmann and Zoran Popović.
ACM Transactions on Graphics 26(3) (SIGGRAPH 2007).
[link] [pdf] [project]
Continuum crowds.
Adrien Treuille, Seth Cooper and Zoran Popović.
ACM Transactions on Graphics 25(3) (SIGGRAPH 2006).
[link] [pdf] [project]
Other Publications
A Framework for Scientific Discovery through Video Games.
Seth Cooper.
Book, ACM and Morgan & Claypool (2014).
Increasing public involvement in structural biology.
Seth Cooper, Firas Khatib and David Baker.
Commentary in Structure 21(9) (2013).
Foldit a scientific discovery game for protein folding and design
Play! (Download required)
The Dr. Frank H. Netter Award for Special Contributions to Medical Education 2013
Honorable Mention (Technical Excellence), Independent Games Festival 2013
Category Winner (Behavioral Change), Katerva Award 2012
1st Place (Interactive Games), NSF International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge 2011
Innovation of the Year, TechFlash Newsmaker Awards 2011
Finalist, I/ITSEC Serious Games Showcase & Challenge 2011
Finalist, Games for Change Direct Impact Award 2011
Nominee, World Technology Award 2010
Runner up, Madrona Prize 2008
Nanocrafter a scientific discovery game for building nanomachines
Finalist, I/ITSEC Serious Games Showcase & Challenge 2014
Refraction an educational puzzle game about fractional partitioning
Best Work (Primary School category), 38th NHK Japan Prize 2011
Top 25, Kongregate Summer Mobile Game Contest 2011
Grand Prize: Best in Show Award, Disney Learning Challenge, SIGGRAPH 2010
Weekly 2nd Place, 2010
Vampire Vision a visual search game about perception
Daily 2nd Place, 2011
Treefrog Treasure an educational platforming game about number lines
Creature Capture an educational card game about fraction comparisons
Flow Jam a problem-solving game for verifying software