Aaron Bauer
Graduate Student
Center for Game Science
Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
University of Washington
awb <at> cs <dot> washington <dot> edu


I am a PhD graduate student in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. My advisor is Zoran Popović . During my undergrad at Williams College I worked with Rónadh Cox.

I enjoy musical theater, hiking, Dungeons & Dragons, and writing about history.


I work across a broad range of areas on projects related to problem solving, educational technology, and learning. My PhD dissertation work focuses on understanding how users in Foldit and other scientific-discovery systems learn, behave strategically, and collaborate. This research deals with questions of human-computer problem-solving, collaboration, and large-scale data analysis.

Some of my other work focuses on creating games (such as Dragon Architect) and other educational systems, and exploring how best to design and use these tools. Other projects center on AI-assisted mixed-initiative game design tools. I explore ways to augment the human designer and allow them to work at the level of playspace properties (i.e., mechanical properties of gameplay) rather than raw level geometry.

While an undergrad at Williams College, I worked on numerical modeling of impacts on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa.


I was the instructor for CSE 374: Intermediate Programming Concepts and Tools Winter 2016. In Winter 2014 I was the instructor for CSE 373: Data Structures and Algorithms.

Every Summer since 2014 I have been a programming instructor for the Summer Science Program (SSP), an intensive, five-week residential program for advanced high school students. I teach the programming curriculum at the New Mexico campus.

Summer 2011 and 2012 I was a TA at SSP. I took responsibility for the programming component of the curriculum. I designed assignments, held review sessions, and graded most of the programming homework. In 2013, as an independent consultant to SSP, I created a new set of introductory programming lectures, and restructured and rewrote the assignments. SSP continues to use this new curriculum every summer.




Aaron Bauer, Zoran Popović, Collaborative Problem Solving in an Open-Ended Scientific Discovery Game, in Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, vol. 1, issue CSCW, article no. 22, 2017. Best Paper Award. [pdf]
Aaron Bauer, Jeff Flatten, Zoran Popović, Analysis of problem-solving behavior in open-ended scientific-discovery game challenges, in Proceedings of the Conference on Educational Data Mining (EDM 2017). [pdf]
Aaron Bauer, Eric Butler, Zoran Popović, Dragon Architect: Open Design Problems for Guided Learning in a Creative Computational Thinking Sandbox Game, in Proceedings of the Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2017). [pdf]


Aaron Bauer, Seth Cooper, Zoran Popović, Automatic Redesign of Local Playspace Properties, in Proceedings of the Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2013). [pdf]


Aaron Bauer, Zoran Popović, RRT-based game level analysis, visualization, and visual refinement, in Proceedings of the Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE 2012). [pdf]



Rónadh Cox, Aaron Bauer, Impact breaching of Europa's ice: Constraints from numerical modeling, in Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, vol. 120, no. 10, pp. 1708--1719, 2015. [pdf] [youtube] [Daily Mail]



Aaron Bauer, Eric Butler, Zoran Popović, Approaches for Teaching Computational Thinking Strategies in an Educational Game: A Position Paper, in Proceedings of the Blocks and Beyond workshop at the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC 2015). [pdf]

Technical Reports


Aaron Bauer, Eleanor O’Rourke, Kyle Thayer, Eric Butler, Whitaker Brand, Stuart Reges, Practicum: a scalable online system for faded worked examples in CS1. UW-CSE-18-09-01. Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. University of Washington, Seattle. 2018. [pdf]



Rónadh Cox, Aaron Bauer, Crust-Breaching Impacts at Europa: Hydrocode Models and Geomorphologic Constraints on Ice Thickness, Poster at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting & Exposition (GSA 2011). [conference abstract]
Aaron W. Bauer, Rónadh Cox. Hydrocode modeling of impacts at Europa, Poster at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC 2011). [poster][conference abstract][video]
Aaron W. Bauer, Tomasz F. Stepinski, Machine Cataloging of Lunar Craters from Digital Terrain Model, Poster at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC 2011). [conference abstract]


Aaron W. Bauer, Rónadh Cox, Veronica J. Bray, Hydrocode modeling of ice-penetrating impacts on Jupiter's moon, Europa, Poster at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting & Exposition (GSA 2010). [conference abstract]


What is an Operating System? [youtube]


Happy Birthday Mr. President: The Herbert Hoover Edition [link]
Preparing America for World War II: Franklin Roosevelt, Isolationism, and America First [link]
How Certain was Allied Victory in WWII? [link]
Last updated: October 8, 2018