Dr. Joshua Tanenbaum receives Dean's Convocation Medal

June 01, 2015

As one of SFU's most outstanding graduate students from the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology, Dr. Joshua Tanenbaum is being recognized with the award of the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal. On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Dr. Tanenbaum on his outstanding achievements.

Dr. Joshua Tanenbaum chose SFU for his master's degree because he was inspired by the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) researchers that he encountered at a SIGGRAPH conference. It was a lifechanging decision that has eventually culminated in his current position as a tenure track assistant professor at UC Irvine in the Department of Informatics, where he is the founding member of the Transformative Play Lab

He says, "My current research explores how games and play can be used to develop empathy with the life experiences of marginalized and misunderstood peoples, drawing on techniques from theatre and the performing arts. I also research the use of narrative techniques of envisioning in the context of advancing public discourse around scientific agendas and promoting understanding of possible technofutures."

While at SFU, Dr. Tanenbaum made the most of every opportunity available to him — and created a few of his own. His publication record includes one book, seven refereed journal articles, 6 chapters or magazine articles and 19 peer-reviewed conference papers. He delivered 17 workshops or conference presentations, and participated in 12 artistic exhibits. On top of that, he is an avid steampunk cosplayer, and received awards for his costumes at the TEI 2011 Student Design Competition and the Vancouver Maker Faire.

All his efforts have paid off in the form of awards and prizes, from Graduate Fellowships to his latest prize of a CORCL Grant for Costumes and Wearables as Game Controllers Research at the University of California, Irvine earlier this year. He was also named SIAT's best graduate/research student in 10 years at SIAT’s tenth anniversary celebration in 2013.  

Dr. Tanenbaum says "I've been extraordinarily privileged to have had access to the breadth of interdisciplinary training and mentorship that is on offer at SIAT. The collaborations that I've participated in — particularly with my supervisors Alissa Antle and Jim Bizzocchi — and the friendships I've had in this program have enriched me as a person and as a scholar in ways I couldn't have imagined when I first arrived. I'm incredibly lucky that I get to pursue an academic career in an area that didn't even really exist 20 years ago, and to find myself in a place where I can explore the wide range of interests and passions that SIAT nurtured in me."

We'd also like to send our best wishes to Josh and Karen Tanenbaum (herself a recipient of a Dean's Convocation Medal) on their impending co-creation, and hope to welcome a member of your Team Tanenbaum family to SFU in about 20 years! ]

Josh Tanenbaum (UC Irvine) at the IVECG Symposium on March 12, 2015:

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