Department of Telecommunications
trlross 'at' indiana 'dot' edu
Currently I am in the fifth year of the Joint PhD Program in Telecommunication and Cognitive Science at Indiana University. I am interested in a wide variety of things (game design, behavioral modification, antisocial/prosocial behavior, game theory, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, institutional analysis, and online communities).
More specifically, I am pursuing two distinct research paths. In the first, I am examining the motivational aspects of design - particularly decision structures in game and interface design. For the second, I am examining how social and institutional structures in games influence behavior through social norms, rules, and laws. Through both lines of research, I hope to advance the knowledge of how game design can influence behavior, and the cognitive mechanisms involved in motivation. I believe that both of my lines of research have a potentially wide range of applications from maximizing revenue and player retention in an industry setting, to promoting prosocial behavior and healthy practices in game environments and ultimately the real world. In researching these problems, I have applied a variety of methodological techniques including content analysis, comparative ethnography, experiments (both traditional and behavioral economic), simulation, and large-scale data analysis using data scraped from web services.
This year I am working as a research assistant on a U.S. Government funded project building a video game to reduce cognitive biases in government employees. In the past, I have worked as a software developer, game designer/programmer, and Peace Corps Volunteer. I also have a Masters of Information Science from Indiana University with a focus in human computer interaction and social informatics and a B.S. in computer science from Indiana University Southeast.