January 30, 2018
Ian Endresen '16 is taking his degree in neuroscience in an unexpected direction—video game development.
After graduation from Susquehanna, Endresen took a year off before starting a Ph.D. program and founded a company called Gaming Lab, which offers free user research services to independent game developers.
"I was planning on pursuing a Ph.D.; however, I decided that I was much more interested in collaborating with industry professionals, instead of being purely academic in my research," he says.
Instead, he decided to earn a master's degree from the human factors and ergonomics program at San Jose State University. There, he's had the chance to network with industry professionals from companies like Google, Facebook and LinkedIn and make valuable contacts in Silicon Valley, including Regis McKenna, a prominent marketing specialist who did work with Steve Jobs.
"The connections I have made have been numerous, and the information I have learned from these contacts has been fantastic!" says Endresen, who also is a teaching associate for Braven, a company that helps underrepresented and minority students acquire job skills.
"After graduation, I plan on working as a researcher at a large game developer, as well as expanding my work at the Gaming Lab and continuing independent research in understanding how players behave with one another in different gaming environments," Endresen says.
At Susquehanna, Endresen discovered a true love for studying the brain and behavior.
"It just fascinates me how complex our neurological system is, but we live without even realizing the amount of events occurring within our own bodies," he says.
He particularly enjoyed how the program encompassed so many disciplines, such as biology, chemistry, psychology and mathematics.
"Neuroscience allowed me to have a larger, more general understanding of important key concepts," says Endresen, who also minored in Spanish.