Design Student of the Month - Benjamin Coe

There are a lot of creative students in Canada who are doing innovative work to improve people's life through interactive, visual, informational, and other aspects of User Experience Design. I invited them to introduce who they are and share their work with you. To nominate a Design Student of the Month, email us. The Design Student of the Month for August 2008 is Benjamin Coe! Congratulations!! Let's hear from Ben.


Who's Ben?

I grew up in Fergus, Ontario, a small town close to Guelph. I attended the University of Guelph and completed a Bachelor of Computing Honours degree in 2007. I am currently pursuing my Master's degree in Computer Science at the same University.

I am interested in Natural Language Processing, Philosophy, Human Computer Interaction, and Cognitive Science, and I look forward to applying my research in these fields to User Experience Design. I would like to develop deceptively simple interfaces that leverage an ability to understand language and to 'think' beyond the capabilities of current systems.

What cool stuff is Ben doing?

My research primarily involves computational linguistics, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence. I'm very interested in applying cognitive theory, AI and web-ontologies to a field that currently uses mainly statistical approaches to information processing. I'm interested in showing how this technology could be practically applied to web applications, creating intelligent systems that the average Internet user can help build, train, and maintain -- at the same time benefiting from their capabilities.

In my spare time I have been developing a massively multi-player online game, which has been a very interesting (if not yet profitable) experience. Hack Wars, which has 5,000 registered users, has been a valuable learning experience, teaching me about managing online communities, developing complex parallel applications, security, and other user-centred issues directly applicable to my field. Hack Wars is a virtual hacking game which incorporates aspects of programming and web-design, essentially giving players access to a pseudo operating system.

Please see my list of work in the video below.

What are Ben's plans after graduation?

I have been considering continuing my education at the doctoral level, but I would also be very interested in running my own company offering high-performance computing solutions for research and industry, having learned a lot from courses on the subject as well as from running Hack Wars. Having friends with a similar ambition has also made me interested in moving in this possible direction.

Want to learn more about Ben?

My Online Game at

Technorati Tags: DesignStudentoftheMonth,Canadian,University of Guelph