Meet CIS Member: Alexander Dockhorn


Meet: Alexander Dockhorn, Chair of the IEEE CIS Content Creation Subcommittee

What is your title, and place of work? (or Technical Field of Research)?

I am currently working as a Junior Professor for Computer Science at the Institute for Information Processing of the Leibniz University Hannover, Germany. My research revolves around machine learning, decision-making, AI in games, and game development and represents a combination of my passions in computer science. I love this application-oriented type of research and how it enables me to see these topics coming together for creating new and exciting gaming experiences.

How long have you been a member of CIS and what was the reason you chose to join IEEE CIS?

I have been member for 9 years. Initially, it was the promise of discounted conference fees at the IEEE Conference on Games that caught my eye. But soon after, I found a vibrant community in Game AI within IEEE CIS and multiple opportunities to impact the community through volunteering efforts. From organizing competitions to educational projects, I've been moving from one subcommittee to another. It has been quite a pleasant experience!

What Computational Intelligence Society committee do you serve?

My activities mostly focus on the IEEE CIS Education committee, in which I am involved in most subcommittees. This includes volunteering work on Competitions, Summer Schools, Content Creation, and the Education repository that collects and preserves materials from different IEEE CIS events. Recently, I have been the chair of the Games Technical Committee. Together with many other researchers working on games, we are pushing to make this field of application more popular. To those reading this, please feel free to reach out to me or any other committee members if you have inquiries or wish to contribute. We warmly welcome new volunteers and their ideas to enrich our community.

What has been the most fun/rewarding thing about being a volunteer for the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society? What have you enjoyed the most?

In the past years I had the chance to implement a new type of article format, called the Immersive article as part of the Computational Intelligence Magazine. Having seen many interactive blogposts and interactive articles of the Distill journal, I wanted to see similar technology implemented as part of the IEEE environment. After reaching out to the former Vice President of Education, Simon Lucas, we proposed the development of a test article to highlight opportunities and at the same time allowing us to better understand requirements to implement them within IEEE Xplore. I have to thank James Keller for picking up on our idea and providing us with all the tools we need while getting different people of IEEE on board for making our concept of immersive articles a reality.

After 2 years of development, the first immersive article was released. Soon after, we had the opportunity to publish a 2-part special issue of the Computational Intelligence Magazine including 6 immersive articles on various AI topics. If you haven’t seen them yet, please take the time to check them out and get immersed in the many interesting facets of computational intelligence (part 1, part 2 ).

After all it has been quite a journey and I am thankful for all the people that have listened and helped to make immersive articles a reality.

Tell us something about you that we don't know.

A chapter of my PhD thesis delves into Hearthstone and the creation of AI agents for the game. Surprisingly, despite my academic interest, I haven't extensively played Hearthstone myself, although I've certainly appreciated its mechanics.