Lead Staff

Leanne Chukoskie
Director

Leanne focuses her research on sensory-motor behavior, especially eye movement behavior and its neural correlates across both typical and atypical development. Leanne has taken her experience to Experiential Learning Academy at QI and translated it to workforce development for neurodiverse young people.

Joseph Snider
Co-Director

Joe uses the tools of virtual reality, neural imaging, and psychophysics to study how humans deal with the noisy, ever-changing, and confusing, environments we evolved in. Through this and his training in computational physics, he has 10+ years of integrating cutting-edge pieces of technology into coherent systems.

Trish Stone
Creative Director

Trish is a new media artist and teaches classes for Visual Arts UC San Diego in the Media and ICAM areas. She serves as a Program Coordinator for Qualcomm Institute, supporting initiatives for the gallery@calit2 and the IDEAS performance series. This is her second year mentoring interdisciplinary student groups with the Qualcomm Learning Institute.

Sarah Hacker
Lab Research Supervisor

Sarah incorporates her background in Cognitive Psychology to develop new studies that help us understand the cognitive performance in a variety of populations. She acts as the lab manager and contributor to ongoing projects by providing input on design elements, scientific background, and hardware and software technical resources.

Development Team

Jack Chen
Lead Developer

Jack is a UCSD graduate with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering which focuses on artificial intelligence and control systems. He likes to design games that AI can learn and compete with human players in.

Khalil Jackson
Project Developer

Khalil Jackson is a San Diego native and graduated from Dartmouth College in 2019 with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science with a sub-focus on Digital Design.  He started out teaching K-12 students basic Python programming, then pivoted his passion for gaming and coding to a lead position at PoNG.

Ara Jung
User Experience Lead

Ara has merged her background in psychology and love for games to work at PoNG Center as a user experience (UX) lead. She continues to be an active member of the Games Research and User Experience SIG to further integrate UX principles into the development cycle and products at PoNG.

Brandon Fletcher
Software Programmer

Brandon attended Arizona State University for computer science and game development before attending San Diego Code School, where he found the opportunity to join PoNG Center. He focuses on backend development through cleaning and optimizing code, while maintaining his personal project that challenges the limits of game mechanics.

Nathan Patrick
Quality Assurance Analyst & Audio Producer

Nathan has joined the team through the PoNG Summer Internship. He works as PoNG’s QA tester, finding and reporting bugs in the games. He also has a newfound talent as a game music producer, so you might hear some of his music if you get to experience our games.

Corly Huang
Game Artist

Corly is a UC San Diego student studying Interdisciplinary Computing and Media while working at PoNG as a 2D and 3D artist. In addition to computer graphics, she is also passionate about scientific literacy and illustrates for an undergraduate research journal. Corly is expected to graduate spring of 2021.

Richard Ellks
Research Data Analyst

Richard graduated from UC San Diego in June 2020 with a B.S. in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience. Some of his previous work includes teaching martial arts and working at Research on Autism and Development Lab (RADLab) as a Research Assistant. He is hoping to continue the work he has done at RADLab and PoNG in the future as he applies for graduate school.

Thomas Circle
3D Technical Artist

Thomas fell in love with 3D graphics at an early age, thanks to Toy Story and Donkey Kong Country.  He dreamed of learning the skill until he finally started learning 3ds Max at Palomar College in the mid-2000s. He joined PoNG Center through the PoNG Summer Internship and has been modeling and texturing many UCSD buildings since, as well as rigging characters for our games.

Zhuoqun (Robin) Xu
Software Developer & Engineer

Robin have some experience of developing Extended Reality research projects and medical applications with C#, C++, Java and OpenGL. His main research mostly focuses on HCI design, game development, and telepresence. With background of CS and Speculative Design, he joined PoNG Center with eager to get further depth on learning and understanding the relation between human somatic sensing and social behavior.

Ian Miller
Researcher

Ian researches how people communicate and interact in virtual spaces, particularly as it pertains to training and education. He is designing a VR-based interview training scenario as a volunteer researcher in PoNG’s Future of Work Program. Ian is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University (BA Psychology ’16) and is applying to graduate programs to study the influences of virtual and augmented reality on young peoples’ lives.

Graduate Students

Trent Simmons

1st Year Language and Communication Disorders Joint Doctoral Program

Sundararaman Rengarajan

2nd Year Language and Communication Disorders Joint Doctoral Program