Master’s candidate, Computer Science
Supervisor: Brian Ross
Research project title: “Automated Generation of Structures Using Fractal Geometry and Genetic Programming”
Recipient of a 2009-10 and 2010-11 Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (OGSST)
Hometown: Thorold, Ont.
Steve Bergen was on his way to study biochemistry when a high school computer science course captured his interest and imagination. He re-routed his university plans. As an undergraduate student at Brock, he was introduced to the world of artificial intelligence and evolutionary computation. Now, as a master’s student, Bergen’s research could lead to breakthroughs in 3D design tools and take computer-aided design to a new level. His research could impact all facets of life from the films we watch, the homes we live in and the art we create.
Who do you hope to help and how?
My research focuses on evolving mathematical equations that can be used to define the rules for creating a 3D structure or model in a way that allows a designer to propose specific details in terms of aesthetic and geometric properties. The success of the research shows a potential method for generating forms without the need for manual 3D modeling. It holds great interest to anyone involved in physical design — fields such as architecture, furniture and shape modeling, and game/film design.
How did you become interested in your area of research?
A few years ago, my supervisor Professor Brian Ross introduced me to research evolving 2D images while focusing on their resulting aesthetic appeal as a quantifiable measure. I was successful in having my contributions to this work published and realized this approach in 3D has never been extensively researched. When I think of computer science, it’s like being a wizard — you create something amazing from nothing, and most people wonder how you did it in the first place.
What made you decide to pursue your graduate education at Brock?
I enjoy the environment here, the level of attention and interest that graduate students receive from their supervisors. If you take great interest in what you do — your work and your research — you’ll find a great deal of encouragement from like-minded professors and students here. This helps to create a very positive work environment.
What are your other interests/hobbies/activities?
I’m a huge film buff, and really enjoy any creative hands-on work.