Dr Tommy Thompson

Position: Programme Leader for BSc Computer Games Programming

College: College of Engineering and Technology

Department: Computing and Mathematics

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I am a lecturer in the School of Computing and Mathematics and the Programme Leader for Computer Games Programming. I teach on both the Computer Science and Computer Games Programming modules, focussing on introductory programming modules, software engineering and Artificial Intelligence.

Furthermore, I am an active researcher in the field of artificial intelligence, with a specific interest in how AI can be applied to games. This is an interesting field of study that has seen significant growth in the last 10 years, since games act as a useful tool both as a potential benchmark domain for methodologies, but also presents new challenges to the field.

Teaching responsibilities

Teaching Responsibilities for 2013/14:

Term 1:

  • (4CC510) Programming 1

Term 2:

  • (4CC511) Programming 2
  • (6CC507) Game Behaviour

Research interests

Experimentation and application of Artificial Intelligence methodologies in the context of games. Focus is placed upon the use of machine learning algorithms as well as automated planning and scheduling technologies, with their potential to be used to control non-player characters (NPC), develop in-game content and provide intelligent analysis in simulations, serious games and commercial video game applications.

Membership of professional bodies

Professional member of the British Computer Society.  Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.  Member of the Institute for Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE).

Programme committee member for the IEEE Conference on Evolutionary Computation (CEC), the IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence in Games (CIG) and the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour (AISB) and reviewer for the IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence in Games (IEEE-TCIAIG).

Editorial board member for www.AIGameResearch.org: a new website that focuses on disseminating new games developed by AI researchers and enthusiast to showcase their work and emerging ideas in the field.

Former member of the EPSRC AI & Games Network: an effort to promote discussion and collaboration between academia and the games industry to explore the application of AI methodologies in commercial video games.


Undergraduate qualifications

  • BSc (Hons) Computer Science, University of Strathclyde

Postgraduate qualifications

  • MSc Artificial Intelligence, University of Edinburgh
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE), University of Derby

Research qualifications

  • PhD on Application of Automated Planning and Evolutionary Robotics for Games, University of Strathcylde

Recent publications

Experience in industry

Spent time working as a consultant to clients in the investment banking sector upon completion of my PhD. This included working with prominent firms in the sector based both in Europe and the US developing a range of software. This includes extensive development of databases, enterprise systems and mobile applications for several investment banks.  Active software developer making games and researhc projects in my spare time.

In the media

I have been interviewed on our work conducted within the school. This has ranged from speaking to local press to international websites and print publications that focus on the games industry.

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