Max Birk is an Assistant Professor in Human-Technology Interaction group at Eindhoven University of Technology. With an interdisciplinary background, Max draws from psychology, interaction design, data science, and game design, to investigate the effects of game-based design strategies on mental processes and design-induced behaviour change. His research contributes to games user research, digital health, and motivational interface design. He is interested in projects contributing to a healthy society, improving entertainment experiences (e.g., eSports), and developing tools and methods for researching interactive experiences.
Max' research is published in international top HCI venues, and he has contributed to research on player experience, individual differences in play, task adherence, crowdsourcing, and on the intersection between video games and mental health. He has organized well-received workshops across the globe and led research projects spanning multiple continents. Max has collaborated with game-designers in North America, Europe, and China, and experience working with independent developers like AlienTrap and global tech companies like Tencent.
Max Birk received his graduate degree in Psychology from the University of Trier, Germany, in 2012. He completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada 2018. During his Ph.D., Max investigated avatar customization as a motivational design strategy to increase engagement with technology-enabled services for health. He received several awards, including the TU/e Young Researcher Award 2023, Best MSc Teacher Industrial Design 2022, the Governor General’s Gold Medal, the Bill Buxton Award, the University of Saskatchewan Doctoral Dissertation Award, the GSA Excellence of the Science Award, and multiple ACM honorable mentions or best paper awards.
Max currently works on the NWO ENW Veni project "Game-based Digital Biomarkers for Acute and Chronic Stress, " developing methods and protocols to devise digital biomarkers from complex behavioural data.
Max is the vice-chair of the Eindhoven Young Academy of Engineering and supports the EWUU Centre for Unusual Collaboration as a board member.
He was technical program co-chair for CHI PLAY 2020 and 2021, and is a co-editor for JMIR Mental Health. He co-organized the Spotlight track for CHI PLAY 2017, CHI PLAY 2018, and the Interactivity track for CHI PLAY 2019. As the Assistant to the General Chairs, Max was part of the organizational team of CHI 2018 in Montréal. As a reviewer, Max frequently contributes to venues such as CHI, CHI PLAY, JMIR, IJHCS, or ToCHI.
The potential of game-based digital biomarkers for modeling mental healthJournal of Medical Internet Research (2019)
Fostering intrinsic motivation through avatar identification in digital games(2016)
Combating attrition in digital self-improvement programs using avatar customization(2018)
Current Educational Activities
No ancillary activities