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Photograph of Mark Nelson

Mark Nelson Assistant Professor Computer Science

Mark Nelson
CAS | Computer Science
Don Myers Technology and Innovation Building 108G
PhD, Computer Science (Georgia Institute of Technology)

BSc, Computer Science (Harvey Mudd College)

Languages Spoken
English, Greek (modern), and a little Spanish
Favorite Spot on Campus
Prof. Mark J. Nelson is a computer scientist with a research focus on artificial intelligence (AI). His research primarily uses games as a domain of study. This includes: technical research that uses games to analyze the robustness of AI decision-making algorithms; work on bots that can play and analyze games; design-support work that uses AI to empower professional and novice designers; and conceptual work on formal models of games' mechanical and meaning-making elements. In addition to the Department of Computer Science, he researches and teaches in the interdisciplinary AU Game Center.

He is currently (2020–2023) the Principal Investigator of the National Science Foundation research project Characterizing Algorithm-Relative Difficulty of Agent Benchmarks.

Other research interests include computer music, domain-specific programming languages, and the history of computing.

Before coming to American University, he was a faculty member, researcher, and student at various places around the world: Falmouth University (UK), the IT University of Copenhagen (Denmark), the University of California Santa Cruz (USA), the Georgia Institute of Technology (USA), and Harvey Mudd College (USA).
See Also
Personal Website
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Spring 2024

  • CSC-421 Design & Org Programming Lang

  • CSC-496 Selected Topics: Non-Recurring: Generative AI in Games

  • HNRS-050 Honors Supplement: Generative AI in Games

Fall 2024

  • CSC-421 Design & Org Programming Lang

  • CSC-468 Artificial Intelligence