PhD student Max Birk receives Research Excellence in the Sciences Award



Max Birk, PhD student

Congratulations to Max Birk, a Computer Science PhD student at the University of Saskatchewan, who was awarded the Research Excellence in the Sciences Award by the Graduate Students’ Association on March 5, 2016. 

This award honours a graduate student who has made significant impacts in the field of science and has produced outstanding research results throughout their course of study. The awarded graduate student will be a favourable member in the research community who exemplifies scholarly achievement and positive research collaboration.

Max Birk is a PhD Student at the University of Saskatchewan supervised by Dr. Regan Mandryk. His research evolves around the psychological concept of the self, focusing on implications for player experience research and game design, e.g., modeling motivation and engagement. Max studied at the University of Trier, Germany, where he researched the physiological and endocrinological effects of videogames. Working in psychophysiology, experimental psychology, games user research, and HCI, Max has a variety of experience, all connected by his interest in games. He has consulted for several indie game companies and served as a program committee member for multiple international HCI conferences. With 20 published or accepted papers related to games, and several best paper awards, Max was selected for the prestigious IGDA Games Developer Conference scholarship 2016. As a lecturer, Max aims to spark curiosity for interactive systems and the research opportunities that digital games provide. In the same spirit, Max volunteers his time to support local outreach programs, summer camps, and the local Game Jam. The goal of his dissertation is to show that interaction design approaches that increase identification with digital representations can improve the engagement with and the efficacy of game-based interventions for health and well-being.