Dr. Lomas, J.D.

Derek Lomas is assistant professor of Positive AI at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. He designs data-informed smart systems for human wellbeing, bringing humanist values into AI systems. He is a classicist, futurist, cognitive scientist and proponent of the magic of resonance in design.

Academic Background

Prior to moving to Delft, Derek Lomas received his postdoctoral training at University of California’s the UC San Diego Design Lab with Donald Norman. He has a bachelor's degree in Cognitive Science (Yale, '03), a master's degree in Visual Art (UCSD, 2009) and a doctorate in Human-Computer Interaction (Carnegie Mellon, 2014). He won a Poptech Social Innovation fellowship, a MacArthur Foundation "Digital Media and Learning" award, a Sesame Workshop & White House "Impact" Award and is an alumni of Techstars. He runs a design consultancy, Playpowerlabs.com, which provides education companies with design, data-science and software development services.


Lomas has produced over 40 learning and assessment games that have been played by millions of children. His design consultancy, "Playpower Labs", provides UX design, data science and software development services.


  • NeuroUX: Research software for mobile cognitive assessment and experience sampling. Game-based assessment of executive functions (working memory, inhibition control, cognitive flexibility, processing speed, etc). Used by psychiatric researchers at UC San Diego, UT Austin, U Miami and Brown University.
  • Zensus: An interactive system that lets doctors schedule “wellness check-ins” to patient mobile phones. This allows for data collection about patient wellbeing to support data-informed improvement.
  • FactFlow: A parent-child system that uses AI to help continuously improve math fact fluency.
  • Vibe Research Labs: Combines Science, Design and Artificial Intelligence to explore new possibilities in positive human experiences. Dutch Design Week, 2019
  • Musical Mind Reading: Using 1000hz 128-channel EEG and machine learning to predict the music people are listening.


  • Social Innovation Fellowship (PopTech)
  • Digital Media and Learning grant (MacArthur Foundation)
  • National STEM Game Competition (Sesame Workshop & White House)
  • Alumni of the Techstars startup incubator (NYC-Kaplan)
  • McGinnis Business Plan Competition Winner (Carnegie Mellon)
  • App Gap Challenge (NYC Department of Education)

Secondary employment

Director/Board Member/Associate/Partner/Owner - Playpower Labs, Inc