Invited Speakers


Matthias Müller


Matthias Müller received his PhD in atomistic simulation of dense polymer systems in 1999 from ETH Zürich. During his post-doc with the MIT Computer Graphics Group (1999-2001), he changed fields to macroscopic physically based simulations. He has published papers on particle-based water simulation and visualization, finite element-based soft bodies, cloth simulation, and fracture simulation. The main focus of his research are unconditionally stable, fast and controllable simulation techniques for the use in computer games. Most relevant to this talk, he is one of the founders of the field of position based simulation methods. In 2002, he co-founded the ETH-spin-off company NovodeX developing a physics library for games. The company was acquired in 2004 by AGEIA and in 2008 by Nvidia. He is currently the head of the physics research team at NVIDIA.

Title: Advances in Position Based Dynamics

Position Based Dynamics (PBD) is one of the most popular simulation methods used in games. In contrast to classical force or impulse based approaches, PBD computes the position changes in each simulation step directly, based on the solution of a non-linear, quasi-static problem. PBD is fast, stable and controllable which makes it well-suited for the use in interactive environments. It has not become as popular in other fields mainly because the resulting behavior is time step and iteration count dependent and non physical units are used.

At Nvidia we have recently expanded our activities into the field of robotics. In our most recent project we work on creating physically and visually accurate virtual environments to train robots. To this end, we are working on extending PBD to meet the new accuracy constraints while remaining as stable and simple as the original approach.

In the talk I will first introduce basic PBD. I will then explain its relation to backward Euler integration and how we used this insight to devise the extended version XPBD. Finally I will describe how traditional FEM can be formulated as a special constraint in XPBD and show a simple way to write a full fledged rigid body engine within the XPBD framework.

Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera


Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera is an Assistant Professor in the School of Computing and the Entertainment Arts and Engineering Program at the University of Utah, where he directs the Laboratory for Quantitative Experience Design. Alongside his students, he researches technologies to improve and define the science of game design and development through cognitive science, with an emphasis on artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology. He will be awarded the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from North Carolina State University in 2018 and received his B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. Rogelio has interned as a computational narratologist at Sandia National Laboratories and Disney Research and his research is supported by IARPA, the Department of Energy, and the National GEM Consortium.

Title: Toward a Science of Game Design

Game development is costly, technically challenging, and poorly understood. Increased demand for games as a form of entertainment has motivated research into technology to help ameliorate the burden involved in development. This technology unfortunately has the potential to create more problems than it solves.  In this talk, I will argue that this increased demand should motivate more research into human-centered game design, involving both artifact and person. This research requires computationally modeling our human intelligence, as part of an agenda that seeks to codify the precise interplay between a person’s cognition (an inner environment), the game’s controls (an interface), and a fictional universe (an outer environment); the interplay is concerned with attaining design goals by adapting the inner environment to the outer environment. I will present examples of this agenda as embodied through my own work and identify key challenges that I think the MIG community is well-poised to address in service of establishing what Herb Simon might have called a “science of game design.”