I graduated from the University of New South Wales with a master's degree in cross-disciplinary art and design, with the emphasis on interactive storytelling with physical computing. I'm an artist, developer and educator with more than two decades of experience in computer aided art and design. I started my career in Hungary, and since then, I have worked and taught in various universities and studios in New Zealand and in Singapore, including the Media Design School and the New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Asia. Currently I work as an assistant professor at the College of Design, department of Art+Design at the NC State University. Exploring the intersections between the physical and virtual world my projects communicate real events and scenarios using an abstract computer generated language, provoking new ways of digital storytelling using performative input, data and play.

Education Background

Master of Cross-Disciplinary Art and Design, University of New South Wales, Australia, July 2014.

Certificate in Reflective Teaching, NC State, 2016.

Associate of Arts: 3D Computer Animation, Media Design School, New Zealand, July 2003.

Associate of Science: Telecommunication Technology, MESSC/Pataky I., Yugoslavia/Hungary July 1993.

Teaching Experience

Assistant Professor, Digital Media, Drexel University, 2019 – present

Assistant Professor, Art + Design, North Carolina State University, 2014 – 2019

(Co-Director of the Graduate Program in Art+Design, 2017 – present)

Assistant Arts Professor, Animation and Digital Arts MFA, New York University, 2009 – 2014

Visiting Assistant Professor, Interactive & Digital Media, Nanyang Polytechnic, 2014 – 2014

Lecturer and Department Head, 3D Graduate Program, Media Design School, 2007 – 2009

Lecturer and Department Head, 3D Animation Program, Lifeway College, 2004 – 2007

Professional Experience

Freelance artist on real-time and interactive installations, USA, 2014 – present

Freelance interactive developer, Earth Observatory of Singapore and NTU, 2011 – 2014

Visual effects artist, “Mediation” a film by Jenn Ruff, Singapore, 2010

Consultant, Artificial Life Source Ltd, Singapore, 2010

Lead animator and technical director, BrandSpank Ltd, New Zealand, 2009

Freelance consultant and technical director, Yukfoo Ltd, New Zealand, 2004 – 2008

Project manager and lead designer, Bubble Dome LLC, New Zealand, 2007

Freelance consultant, designer, photographer, Hungary, 1993 – 2001


ACM SIGGRAPH Pioneer Member

New Media Caucus-College Art Association

National Art Education Association

IBM Academic Initiative

NCSU Virtual Reality Special Interest Group

Interaction Design Association

Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) and Learning Center

Singapore VFX and Animation group

Free & Open Source Alliance


Immersive Scholar creative residency, funded.

Development and assessment of a Biofeedback Integrated Virtual Reality System for healthcare and,Rehabilitation

Karen Chen (PI), Emil Polyak (Co-PI), Xu Xu (Co-PI), 2016, NCSU Research Innovation Seed Funding, funded.

EAGER: MAKER: Creating an Educational Nexus: Improving Learning with Interdisciplinary Thinking 
Benjamin Watson, Michael A. Evans, Emil Polyak (Co-PI), 2017, National Science Foundation Grant, pending.

Teaching and Learning Sustainability through Gamification 

Emil Polyak (PI), 2016, NCSU Faculty Research and Professional Development Grant, funded.

Visualization of Nuclear Reactor Flow Simulations in Mixed Reality

Emil Polyak (PI), Dr. Igor Bolotnov, 2016, NCSU DELTA Exploratory Grant, pending.

Gardening + Gaming:  Science and Math Enrichment for K-12 Children in Aftercare Programs

Dr. Nilda Cosco, Emil Polyak (Consultant), 2016, pending.

Food Safety Virtual Reality Outreach and Engagement

Clint Stevenson, Emil Polyak (Co-PI), 2016, NCSU Research Innovation Seed Funding, pending.