Grad student profile: Steve Bergen

Steve Bergen

Steve Bergen
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.

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8 comments on “Grad student profile: Steve Bergen”

  1. Lesley Bergen says:

    Steven is my son…he makes me very proud! This is a great article about him however, it is missing one thing. It doesn’t show the true passion he has for what he does. As a family, we were latecomers to the world of computers. We didn’t get one until his Grade 6 teacher insisted we invest in one for him. After that, he discovered a whole new world and one that will take him anywhere he chooses to go.
    Again, great article and many thanks to Professor Ross for the interest he has shown in Steven. It is most greatly appreciated.

  2. Clarisse says:

    Steve is a good friend of my fiance (who is also a computer science student at Brock), and he was my tutorial leader at my semester when I took COSC1P02. He’s very helpful, and enthusiastic about what we need to know to succeed in computer science.

    Way to go Steve!

  3. patty powers says:

    Steven is my nephew. I do not claim to understand what he does I’m just so proud that he does it. Kudos Steven!

  4. Fahad says:

    I just want to confirm what Clairsse said. Steve is the most helpful person in computer science department. He always answer students question and welcoming to look at the actual code to help the student debugging it.

  5. Mike Berstling says:

    Congratulations Steve

  6. Marilyn Cottrell says:

    Steve, I wish to thank you for the wonderful work you did for me. Many have seen and admired your work,’The Taxman can be Indirect’.
    I trust you will meet with much success in the future.
    All the very best,
    Marilyn Cottrell

  7. Ryan Spring says:

    Congratulations Steve!!
    Don’t forget to enjoy your successes

  8. Lesley Bergen says:

    CONGRATULATIONS STEVEN!!! Your Dad and I are so proud of you. We know the hard work you put into your accomplishments and how deserving you are. I wish you the best life has to offer….but then again, you already know that.