Thomas Methven

thomas methven

Dr Thomas Methven

Lecturer

Biography

An innovative, Scottish BAFTA award-winning academic and game developer, with experience in data science, game design and development, learning and teaching, programme creation and leadership, interaction design, statistical analysis, and user engagement. Experienced in a wide range of academic pursuits such as: leading the creation of impactful applications currently in use by Research Councils and international universities, creating a new Graduate Apprenticeship undergraduate programme, leading multiple programmes and increasing their industrial engagement, performing world-leading interdisciplinary research, and presenting my funded work at international and local levels to foster external engagement and offer truly research and industry-led teaching.

Dr. Methven gained an MSc (with Distinction) in Software Engineering from Heriot-Watt University. His dissertation involved creating a finger-tracking system using an infrared LED array and a Wiimote that allowed school children to play a virtual piano by moving their fingers in the air. Following from this, his PhD investigated using images of glossy, complex surfaces rendered with a physically accurate reflectance model, to discover whether viewing images in stereoscopic 3D – rather than as simple images – altered the perceptual strength of the surface gloss. This, early on, highlighted his dual interests of Data Science and Game Design – two areas which are intertwined and interlinked by his passion for communicating complex systems to users.

As a post-grad, he moved into the areas of Data Science and Visualisation, with a particular interest in interactive visualisation of both small and big data sets. He creating Well Sorted (www.well-sorted.org), an online web tool for performing and visualising remote card sorting tasks. At the time of writing, the application has been cited in two major funding calls worth more than £10 million and has been used for 205 meetings, with users including five UK Research Councils, InnovateUK, and more than 50 national and international universities. Beyond that, he has worked on designing visualisation for large data sets, using a combination of dimensionality reduction and clustering methods.

After moving to Edinburgh Napier University in 2018, he has become embedded in the growing Data Science special interest group and became a public games developer in Edinburgh. In particular, he designed the BSc (Hons) Data Science (Graduate Apprenticeship) course, and took over the BSc (Hons) Games Development programme with the aim of making it more industry led and focussed.

Esteem

Fellowships and Awards

  • SGDA Scotland Community Choice Award - dYAd/CRT7
  • John Walker's Top Ten Games of 2021 - SOLAS 128, Kotaku (12.5 million readers a month) - "It’s an intricate and quite brilliant creation, and would be a very welcome addition to your Switch library."
  • BAFTA Winner Scotland - Games Category (SOLAS 128)
  • The Best Switch Games of 2021 - the 39th best game released globally on Switch in 2021
  • IGDA Scotland Community Choice Award (Edinburgh) - REP: :AIR
  • UKIE's UK Game of the Show Finalist - UKIE (the trade body for the UK's creative games section) picked 15 of the best unreleased games in the UK to go head to head on Twitch
  • IDGA Scotland Community Choice Award (Edinburgh) - HJEM
  • IDGA Scotland Community Choice Award (Edinburgh) - Central Limit Theorem

 

Invited Speaker

  • Game Talks Live: Scotland (Edinburgh) - A series of talks from international game developers, publishers, and creatives. First speaker.
  • Game Talks Live: Scotland (Glasgow) - A series of talks from international game developers, publishers, and creatives. First speaker.
  • Game Talks Live: Scotland (Dundee) - A series of talks from international game developers, publishers, and creatives. First speaker.
  • The Scotland Sessions (BAFTA Scotland and Screen Scotland) - Game Design Panel to give audiences an exclusive behind the scenes look at the making of some of Scotland's best films, games and TV this year
  • The Kilted Otter Scots Gaelic Video Game Jam - Invited to speak about game design to over 54 teams attending the jam
  • Glasgow School of Art - Invited to speak about my game maker journey from when I started developing games, all the way to looking at publishing my first game

 

Media Activity

  • NintenDomain Podcast - I was invited to speak about talk about the development of SOLAS 128 for Nintendo Switch

 

Public/Community Engagement

  • Edinburgh Global Game Jam 2022 - Lead organiser of a hybrid (in person and remote) COVID-safe game jam, with 65+ attendees from students and industry, with keynote speakers from Unity.
  • Edinburgh Global Game Jam 2020 - Lead organiser of a huge game jam, with 150+ attendees from university, industry, and related creative fields. With keynote speakers from Rockstar North and Build a Rocket Boy

 

Date


15 results

Tiny Teams Festival 2020

Exhibition / Performance
Methven, T. (2020)
Tiny Teams Festival 2020. [https://store.steampowered.com/sale/tinyteamsfestival / https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/1257850/view/2729697381088908335]. Exhibited at Steam. 9 August 2020 - 15 August 2020. (Unpublished
UK-based entertainment company Yogscast Games and the Yogscast network today announced the first ever Tiny Teams Indie Festival. This festival aims to shine a spotlight on ga...

Improving User Confidence in Concept Maps: Exploring Data Driven Explanations

Conference Proceeding
Le Bras, P., Robb, D. A., Methven, T. S., Padilla, S., & Chantler, M. J. (2018)
Improving User Confidence in Concept Maps: Exploring Data Driven Explanations. In CHI '18 Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systemshttps://doi.org/10.1145/3173574.3173978
Automated tools are increasingly being used to generate highly engaging concept maps as an aid to strategic planning and other decision-making tasks. Unless stakeholders can u...

Image-based Emotion Feedback: How Does the Crowd Feel? And Why?

Conference Proceeding
Robb, D. A., Padilla, S., Methven, T. S., Kalkreuter, B., & Chantler, M. J. (2017)
Image-based Emotion Feedback: How Does the Crowd Feel? And Why?. In DIS '17 Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, (451-463). https://doi.org/10.1145/3064663.3064665
In previous work we developed a method for interior designers to receive image-based feedback about a crowd’s emotions when viewing their designs. Although the designers clear...

Understanding Concept Maps: A Closer Look at How People Organise Ideas

Conference Proceeding
Padilla, S., Methven, T. S., Robb, D. A., & Chantler, M. J. (2017)
Understanding Concept Maps: A Closer Look at How People Organise Ideas. In CHI '17 Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, (815-827). https://doi.org/10.1145/3025453.3025977
Research into creating visualisations that organise ideas into concise concept maps often focuses on implicit mathematical and statistical theories which are built around algo...

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words but Can it Paint Just One?

Conference Proceeding
Robb, D. A., Padilla, S., Methven, T. S., Kalkreuter, B., & Chantler, M. J. (2016)
A Picture Paints a Thousand Words but Can it Paint Just One?. In DIS '16 Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, (959-970). https://doi.org/10.1145/2901790.2901791
Imagery and language are often seen as serving different aspects of cognition, with cognitive styles theories proposing that people can be visual or verbal thinkers. Most feed...

Well-Connected: Promoting Collaboration by Effective Networking

Conference Proceeding
Robb, D. A., Methven, T. S., Padilla, S., & Chantler, M. J. (2016)
Well-Connected: Promoting Collaboration by Effective Networking. In CSCW '16 Companion Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing Companion, 90-93. doi:10.1145/2818052.2874333
We have developed a method and system that uses mutually agreed problem structuring and self-selection to bring together meeting attendees with complementary interests. The me...

What To Study In HCI? A Reflection Based On CHI and UK Research Data

Presentation / Conference
Padilla, S., Methven, T. S., Robb, D. A., & Chantler, M. J. (2015, April)
What To Study In HCI? A Reflection Based On CHI and UK Research Data. Presented at What to Study in HCI? Workshop at CHI’15: 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
HCI is a wide, varied, and complex field that covers a broad spectrum of research. We therefore believe that there is no simple answer to the question 'what to study in HCI?' ...

I Don't Think We've Met: Encouraging Collaboration via Topic-Based Search

Conference Proceeding
Methven, T. S., Padilla, S., & Chantler, M. J. (2015)
I Don't Think We've Met: Encouraging Collaboration via Topic-Based Search. In CSCW'15 Companion Proceedings of the 18th ACM Conference Companion on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing, 29-32. doi:10.1145/2685553.2702678
We present PaperPilot1 (bit.ly/paperpilot) a new tool which performs smart collaborator search using research concepts automatically extracted from the CSCW domain, as charact...

Is British HCI Important? A topic-based comparison with CHI

Presentation / Conference
Padilla, S., Methven, T. S., & Chandler, M. J. (2014, September)
Is British HCI Important? A topic-based comparison with CHI. Paper presented at HCI 2014 - Sand, Sea and Sky - Holiday HCI
We have applied topic modelling to the full-text British HCI and CHI corpora in order to automatically derive one hundred topics and their trends. We use these to compare the ...

Hot topics in CHI: trend maps for visualising research

Conference Proceeding
Padilla, S., Methven, T. S., Corne, D. W., & Chantler, M. J. (2014)
Hot topics in CHI: trend maps for visualising research. In CHI EA '14 CHI '14 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 815-824. doi:10.1145/2559206.2578867
The aim of this paper is to introduce a novel method of identifying and visualising research trends in an automated, unbiased way. The output of this we call a 'Trend Map', an...

Pre-Napier Funded Projects

  • Business Document Categorisation
  • Changing the Culture of Strategy Development / Transforming National Research Portfolio Management
  • Charting the Digital Lifespan
  • ICT Perspectives