Class of 2023

Undergraduate, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Undergraduate, Single Year


Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CMSW

2018 — 2019


I had the honor of working with Professor Nick Montfort and his research group in investigating computational creativity and oral poetics. As part of the Trope Tank, I co-founded Taper, an online publication focusing on very short computational art and poetry, and helped create an AI system grounded in the traditions of orature. The system can play with humans in the group game of “Chain Reaction” as defined in Gladstone’s Games to Go.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL



I had the honor of having Professor Patrick Winston as a mentor, while working with his graduate AI research group as an undergraduate student. As part of the group, I studied and developed models to enable machine reasoning on ethics and analysis of ethical scenarios.

A Celebration of Patrick H. Winston’s Life

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, EECS

2018 — 2019

Lab Assistant, Teaching Assistant

I served under Dr. Silvina Hanono Wachman as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant in MIT’s class on computer architecture and digital circuit design, 6.004 (now 6.1910), during the Fall 2019 term. I helped create and proctor exams, and assisted students on lab assignments and class materials. I also served as a Lab Assistant during the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 terms.

University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS)


Lab Assistant

I worked as a lab assistant for ESE 111: Atoms, Bits, Circuits and Systems during the Spring 2017 term, where I helped students complete circuits and lab assignments, debug code, and test hardware using oscilloscopes and digital logic analyzers.

University of Pennsylvania Game Development and Research Environment

2016 — 2017

Co-founder, Vice President, Project Gravity Leader

UPGRADE is the definitive game development student organization at the University of Pennsylvania. I co-founded the group alongside Luigi Mangione (UPGRADE President), and served as its Vice President and Lead for Project Gravity, a 2D space exploration game.


Montfort and Bartlett Fernandez


We describe our system for playing a minimal improvisational game in a group. In Chain Reaction, players collectively build a chain of word pairs or solid compounds. The game emphasizes memory and rapid improvisation, while absurdity and humor increases during play. Our approach is unique in that we have grounded our work in the principles of oral culture according to Walter Ong, an early scholar of orature. We show how a simple computer model can be designed to embody many aspects of oral poetics, suggesting design directions for other work in oral improvisation and poetics. The opportunities for our system’s further development include creating culturally specific automated players; situating play in different temporal, physical, and social contexts; and constructing a more elaborate improvisor.

Trope Tank

2018 — 2020, 2022

Co-founder, Editorial Collective Member, Contributor

As a member of the Trope Tank during the Spring 2018 academic term, I co-founded Taper together with Professor Nick Montfort, Dr. Angela Chang, and Professor Lillian-Yvonne Bertram. As described on its home page, Taper is an online magazine published by Bad Quarto, focusing on very short web programs (2048 characters or fewer) that exhibit poetic and/or artistic qualities. I was a member of the Taper Editorial Collective for Taper #1 – Taper #4, and have contributed works to Taper issues 1, 2, 3, and 8.

Talks and Presentations

Summer 2022

Poster Session

I presented the “Chain Reaction Time” system described in A Minimal Computational Improviser Based on Oral Thought (Montfort & Bartlett Fernandez) at the virtual Poster Session of Wordplay: When Language Meets Games @ NAACL 2022 (The 2022 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics).

PennPlay 2017

University of Pennsylvania Game Development and Research Environment (UPGRADE)

Fall 2017


After concluding my studies at Penn, I was invited to speak at PennPlay 2017 on introductory game development. In my presentation, I showed how to create a polished 2D platformer in under 1500 lines of Lua + Love2D code.

Sebastian Bartlett Fernandez