Alex MacIntosh

2nd year Research Coordinator

Tell us about yourself

I'm Alex. I work as a Researcher at a Kids Rehab Hospital. I was born in Brampton, and now live in Toronto. It's a great city to bike through! On the weekends I play beach volleyball, go to shows and hang with friends.

What is your research about?

I make games to help kids move better. We use video games like Xbox Kinect to help kids have better control of their body if they are born with a disability. It helps them to exercise and hang out with their friends.

What have you enjoyed the most about your research?

I like looking into what has already been done and applying it to what we are trying to do now. Of course, playing video games with kids is awesome too.

What have you found most challenging about your research?

On a day to day level, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that what you are doing is actually going to help someone soon, especially when you are doing really science-y and math-y stuff.

How has your research experience influenced your career path?

In my career planning now, I always try to keep in mind the best way to connect research ideas to getting something useful out to people.

How has your research impacted the world?

We have made a video game that lets people play and exercise together. No matter how fit you are, the game will be fun and challenging. It makes it way easier for people with disabilities to connect with their friends and get physical activity outside of their therapy programs.

What do you predict will be the next big breakthrough in your field of research?

Exercise games and rehabilitation games should make it to mainstream systems and be networked with the general population. That way millions of people can play and never know the difference.

What motivates you to do research?

I like figuring out problems, and I really like figuring out how the body works and changes. It is great to figure out the body in a million different little problems do develop something big and useful.

Tell us about your 'Eureka' moment

Writing my masters thesis I realized that no matter what data you have there is always a story to tell about it. Even something that looks straight forward or obvious can be lost if it is not presented nicely, but when it is it makes everyone understand better.

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