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Dr. Stefan Rank
Stefan Rank
Associate Professor



URBN Center, 220H

Stefan Rank came to Drexel's Game Art & Production Program after ten years of distinguished service and research at the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the University and Medical University of Vienna. Rank’s gaming and digital technology career is heavily steeped in research on Artificial Intelligence and various cognitive sciences. He was involved in eight European research projects in the last years, most recently in IRIS and Cyberemotions. His work in those multi-national and multi-disciplinary projects focused on interactive characters and affective human-computer interaction. He also serves as the portal editor for the Humaine Association for the Advancement of Affective Computing.

Rank specializes in development and application of computational affective behavior models for users and synthetic characters, intelligent software agents, game design, interactive narrative and human-computer interaction. In 2009, he received his Ph.D in Computer Sciences from the Vienna University of Technology, Austria, graduating with highest distinction being in the top 1 percent of his class. He also received a Prize of Appreciation from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science for his Ph.D. Thesis and a Prize of Recognition by the Austrian Society for AI based on originality, quality and relevance. Rank’s in-depth exploration of AI, narrative, and interactive media has been featured in more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and journals worldwide.


  • Journals:

    • S. Rank, S. Hoffmann, H.-G. Struck, U. Spierling, S. Mayr and P. Petta, “Authoring vs. Configuring: Affective Agents for Interactive Storytelling,” Applied Artificial Intelligence, forthcoming.

    • M. Skowron, M. Theunis, S. Rank and A. Kappas, “Affect and Social Processes in Online Communication–Experiments with an Affective Dialog System,” IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, 4(3):267-279, doi:10.1109/T-AFFC.2013.16, 2013.

  • Book Chapters:

    • S. Rank, “What Issue Should Your Virtual Butler Solve Next?” in Your Virtual Butler: The Making of, R. Trappl, Ed., New York: Springer, 2013.

    • M. Skowron and S. Rank, “Interacting with Collective Emotions,” in Collective Emotions, C. Von Scheve and M. Salmela, Eds., Oxford University Press, forthcoming.