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Note: You can contact me at handwritten_email

I am pursuing a PhD in Information Science at Cornell, where I am advised by Erik Andersen and François Guimbretière. Together with the help of Andrew Myers, my advisors and I are currently prototyping a game to teach programming concepts to novices that fades from a block-based language to textual syntax, in the same way DragonBox gamified arithmetic.

Recently, I am also working with Arpita Ghosh and David Easley on a project about the nature of online communication, and as a researcher on the Nairobi Play Project, a UNICEF Kenya funded educational initiative led by Ariam Mogos, Learning Lead at UNICEF Innovation.


Previously I graduated from Concordia University in Montreal, where I double-majored in Computer Science and Computation Art. During my time at Concordia, I worked on a locative media app about plant hunters installed at the Jardin Botanique de Montréal (with Jill Didur and the NT2 Lab), programmed and designed an experimental audio reconstruction game named Jarbles for the TAG research center, and helped conceptualize The Project ARG along with students from the University of Chicago. I also worked as a research assistant at the Topological Media Lab, the Technoculture, Art and Games Lab, the NT2 Lab, the AmpLab, and OBX labs, and conducted independent studies under Dr. Sha Xin Wei and Dr. Chris Salter.

Me on a railroad bridge.

Me on a railroad bridge.

Professionally, I founded The Rotting Cartridge, a Montreal-based games company. Our first game, Kale In Dinoland, was featured by Apple on the App Store (more info). Our second game, Time Trials, is in early development.

I have a (bad) habit of coding things from scratch, avoiding libraries like Cocos-2d whenever possible. Though it has granted me a very firm understanding of programming at all levels of abstraction, it also marks how inefficient programming languages are for rapid prototyping and conveying ideas.

I am interested in creating radically new design tools. My research interests lie at the intersection between the philosophy of notation, sketch interpretation, and computer-aided design. 

If you are here, take advantage of the freely available textbooks and educational material on the web. For quick reference, Wikibot is a great app for travelers which cache’s the wikipedia articles you visit, so that you don’t need to be on WIFI to revisit topics.

Self-taught: Point-set topology and electronics.

Currently reading: Americanah by Chimamande Ngozi Adichie, Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes, Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett

Previously: Calculus on Manifolds by Michael Spivak (here are my notes), A History of Mathematical Notation by Florian Cajori, Twenty Lectures on Algorithmic Game Theory by Tim Roughgarden (2016), An Inquiry into Modes of Existence by Bruno Latour, Inequality in the Promised Land: Race, Resources, and Suburban Schooling by R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy

Fiction: A Wrinkle In Time, Speaker for the Dead, On Writing (Stephen King), Gone Girl, Stranger in a Strange Land, Atlas Shrugged, The Gods Themselves, Foundation Trilogy, Jurassic Park, Hunger Games series, Harry potter series (of course), “She”

I like Earthbound.

© Copyright 2017 Ian Arawjo. All rights reserved.