Chris Martens

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

I am an assistant professor in the Computer Science (CSC) Department at NC State, where I direct the Principles of Expressive Machines (POEM) Lab. My interests span programming languages, formal methods, human-computer interaction, and (symbolic) artificial intelligence.

Previously, I was a postdoc with the Expressive Intelligence Studio at UC Santa Cruz, and I did my Ph.D. in the Principles of Programming Group at CMU.


See my publications.

I am broadly interested in using formal reasoning tools to interface with (amplify, analyze, or augment) human cognition, including social reasoning, imagination, and creativity. Like poems (the namesake of my lab), my projects generally employ a combination of formal structure, language, playfulness, the affordances of human inference and emotion, and social context. Examples include using linear logic to generate stories and conversations, using dynamic epistemic logic to give a theory of mind to game-playing agents, examining user interfaces through the lens of programming languages, using relational programming to generate art, and developing a logic-based framework for interactive narrative authoring. My goal is to make the act of creating formal models more accessible and relevant to the activities of new media storytelling, system design, urban planning, public policy creation, and other domains, so that in turn, those experts may communicate their ideas more effectively.

For more information on current projects and opportunities for students, see the POEM Lab webpage.

Please read this before you email me.


Spring 2017, 2018: CSC-281 Foundations of Game Design

Fall 2016, 2017, 2018: CSC-791 Generative Methods for Game Design


If my research interests appeal to you, you may also be interested in the following professors at NC State: Arnav Jhala, David Roberts, Tiffany Barnes, and James Lester.

Outside of NC State, you may also be interested in the research of Anne-Gwenn Bosser, who led the charge on applying linear logic to interactive storytelling.


My Mathematics Genealogy Project entry

My spouse Rob Simmons teaches private and group classes on foundational Computer Science that you can take online or in Raleigh.