James Lomas

Personal Information

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Brief Bio: 

Derek Lomas is a co-director of the 2009 DML competition winner Playpower.org.

Currently, Lomas is a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University's Human Computer Interaction Institute, where he is researching learning game design methods. He received his MFA in Visual Arts from UC San Diego, where he studied Social Design. He received his BA in Cognitive Science from Yale University, where he studied skill learning, music cognition, and the neurological bases of empathy.

Full Bio: 

Derek Lomas researches the relationship between fun and learning during videogame play. He designs and evaluates computer-aided learning games, and seeks to develop new design processes for creating games that target nationwide curriculum goals. Lomas is a co-founder of the Playpower Foundation, which recently received support from the MacArthur Foundation to further its goals of building affordable, effective and fun learning games to improve education around the world. Lomas believes strongly in an open-source approach to academic software development.

Lomas received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts from UC San Diego, where he wrote his thesis on "Social Design." Lomas co-founded the Social Movement Laboratory (socialmovement.org), a hybrid science/art laboratory for the investigation of the aesthetics and dynamics of social interaction. He developed the action-research course "Social Architectures," based on the theory that objects and architectures can be designed to catalyze social change (socialarchitectures.com).

Lomas lived in Mumbai, India from 2007-2008. He interned for a major mobile phone company on a project called "Mobile Phone as First Computer" where he conducted ethnographic research and led the development of several mobile phone applications targeting Bottom-of-the-Pyramid consumers (revolv.in). Later, he remotely taught a course to students at UC San Diego via Skype and other web technologies. The course, "Design for Development," conducted case studies of technologies that triggered large-scale social changes (design4dev.com).

Lomas received his BA in Cognitive Science from Yale University, where he studied music cognition, skill acquisition, and the neurological basis of empathy. He is married to an artist/psychologist from Bremen, Germany, and is expecting his first child in August 2009.