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Going to grad school

Add Comment! By Phillip Isola on September 26th, 2009

Working this past year on Overgrowth has been a great experience. I feel really privileged to be taking part in such a large, creative, and self-directed project with a group of friends. At the same time, for many years now, my long-term goal has been to move into scientific research. In college, I narrowed in on the brain as an especially intriguing bit of matter to look at, and I began thinking about making a career out of studying cognition. I knew that in order to do this, I would eventually have to go to grad school; and so, ever since I started at Wolfire, we've been planning for my eventual necessary departure.

MIT Building 10Image from wikipedia - source

The time has now come that I must take my leave from full-time Wolfire work. Earlier this month, I started a doctorate program in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. For the curious, I'll probably be focusing on the mechanisms behind visual perception. This may seem a bit of a jump from programming a graphical editor, but the problem of vision actually has a lot to do with the problem of graphics. Whereas graphics involves taking a physical description and representing it as an image, vision involves taking an image and interpreting it as a physical description.

Since we've been anticipating this transition all year, please don't worry, Wolfire and Overgrowth will continue forward according to plan! In fact, we've now had some time to test the new arrangement. As I hope you can see from the blog posts, progress has been smooth, and, with a rabbit model in-engine, it's actually accelerating!

I will, of course, continue to be around online and contribute when I can. Certainly there are a few loose threads I need to tie up in the editors, and I will make sure to iron out any remaining bugs that pop up in my code. But mostly, I will now be joining you readers and watching eagerly as the rest of the team moves forward.

Thanks for all your feedback and support this year! I think your input has really helped the editor design, and validated the usefulness of our open development policy. I've had a lot of fun at Wolfire, and I plan to keep up game development at least as a lifelong hobby.