Jacob Schrum

Associate Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum and the Texas Alpha chapter of Alpha Chi National College Honor Society were awarded the prestigious designation of Notable Chapter for the 2021–2022 academic year. This award acknowledges Schrum and Texas Alpha’s high level of involvement and Southwestern’s commitment to and support for Alpha Chi’s high academic standards and their mission to make scholarship effective for good. Schrum ensured that multiple benchmarks of exemplary chapter health were met and exceeded.

—October 2022

Associate Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum had an article appear on IEEE Xplore in advance of being published in IEEE Transactions on Games. The article, titled “Hybrid Encoding for Generating Large Scale Game Level Patterns with Local Variations,” represents a long collaboration with coauthors Sebastian Risi and Vanessa Volz that started at the 2019 Schloss Dagstuhl seminar Artificial and Computational Intelligence in Games: Revolutions in Computational Game AI. The following summer, Schrum’s SCOPE students Kirby Steckel ’21 and Benjamin Capps ’22 made significant contributions to the project, which led to their inclusion as coauthors of the article. The article explains a novel technique for generating video game levels based on available training data and high-level patterns. A preprint of the article is available online.

—August 2022

Associate Professor of Math and Computer Science Jacob Schrum has had two peer-reviewed submissions accepted to the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, which will be held virtually in July 2021. Both submissions were written by undergraduate coauthors who participated in SCOPE during the summer of 2020: Benjamin Capps ’23 had a full paper, titled “Using Multiple Generative Adversarial Networks to Build Better-Connected Levels for Mega Man,” accepted for publication in the proceedings and will present the paper orally at the conference. Kirby Steckel ’21 had a poster paper accepted to the conference. A two-page extended abstract of his paper, “Illuminating the Space of Beatable Lode Runner Levels Produced by Various Generative Adversarial Networks,” will appear in the companion to the proceedings and will be presented at the conference’s virtual poster session.

—April 2021

Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum has had two peer-reviewed papers accepted to appear in the proceedings of the 2020 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference. Both papers were sparked by research collaborations with coauthors that began at the 2017 Dagstuhl Seminar on AI-Driven Game Design. SU computer science major Jake Gutierrez ’22 later contributed to this line of research as part of SCOPE 2019, and major work finalizing the projects occurred as part of the 2019 Dagstuhl Seminar on Revolutions in Computational Game AI.

  • “Interactive Evolution and Exploration within Latent Level–Design Space of Generative Adversarial Networks” was written along with Gutierrez and four other collaborators: Vanessa Volz, Jialin Liu, Simon Lucas, and Sebastian Risi. It presents a method for interactively designing video-game levels for Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda using techniques that emulate the style of levels from the original games.
  • “CPPN2GAN: Combining Compositional Pattern–Producing Networks and GANs for Large-Scale Pattern Generation” was written with Vanessa Volz and Sebastian Risi and focuses on a way of scaling up the levels generated by our method to very large spaces. This particular approach to encoding game levels still emulates levels from Mario and Zelda but can generate content of arbitrary size that is connected in a cohesive way.
—March 2020

Computer science major Jake Gutierrez ’22 and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum have had their peer-reviewed paper “Generative Adversarial Network Rooms in Generative Graph Grammar Dungeons for The Legend of Zelda” accepted for publication in the proceedings of the 2020 IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Congress on Evolutionary Computation, which will be part of this year’s World Congress on Computational Intelligence. This research started as part of SCOPE 2019 and continued into fall 2019 with a human-subject study, which involved members of the SU community evaluating video-game dungeons created by the artificial-intelligence methods developed for the paper.

—March 2020