360 Huntington Avenue
162 Meserve Hall
Boston, MA 02115
Britton Horn is a PhD student in the Computer Science program at Northeastern University’s College of Computer and Information Science, advised by Professor Gillian Smith. Before coming to Northeastern, Britton earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Trinity University. He started tinkering with computers at a young age while growing up in Houston, Texas, and discovered a way to combine his interests for the arts and computers when he started researching procedural content generation. Britton is interested in computational creativity, artificial intelligence, and the vast capacity and applicable opportunities of human creativity.
- BS, Trinity University
- Hometown: Houston, Texas
- Field of Study: Computer Science
- PhD Advisor: Seth Cooper
What are the specifics of your graduate education (thus far)?
My research so far is focused on procedural content generation (PCG) and evaluating ways of visualizing PCG systems to better understand their output. I wrote my first research paper on the analysis of different Mario level generators and how they are different/alike. I also created a system called Viv that takes, as input, a user-supplied image and produces, as output, a vase with similar aesthetic qualities as the image. This was a model of cross-domain inspiration. Recently, I also worked on a computer science education game to teach algorithmic thinking to middle school students. This game uses PCG puzzles to create content for a specific user so that they can be guided through the learning process in a more personalized way.
What are your research interests?
I am interested in procedural content generation and computational creativity. I always knew I wanted to bridge my hobbies of art and computers.
What’s one problem you’d like to solve with your research/work?
I would like for my research to help others better understand human creativity and how everyone can harness their creative power to learn and be more productive.
What aspect of what you do is most interesting?
In my research, I look into both human and computational creativity and I always find it fascinating how people are creative on a daily basis without knowing it. People usually do not realize that the process of learning a task or doing something new is actually creativity at work.
What are your research or career goals, going forward?
After completing my PhD, I would like to move on to an academic career where I can teach the next generation of computer scientists. I want my research to show that computer science, especially artificial intelligence, can be applied to almost everything in life and interdisciplinary endeavors can be extremely innovative.
Where did you grow up or spend your most defining years?
I grew up in Houston, Texas, and I spent most of my days playing baseball and video games. I grew up loving everything about computers and when I wasn’t on the baseball field, I was tinkering with computers. I also played baseball during my undergraduate studies at Trinity University.