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Game Design and Development
Port Washington NY

The T in RIT: Labs & Software

Kevin Granger on Friday, 28 December 2012. Posted in Computing

I’m going to guarantee you that RIT has more labs than your local animal shelter.

I was just thinking about how much time I spend in computer labs, and I realized that there’s such a variety of them at RIT! Since I’m a Game Design Major with a Physics Minor, I wind up in many different labs over the course of a single day. Even if I have a day without a class in a lab (which I don’t, actually), I’ll be in a lab doing work. There’s some benefits to doing work in the labs:

  • You’re around others who may be knowledgeable in the problem you’re tackling
  • You’re away from distractions in your room, focused on work
  • You have access to free printing, if you’re in a relevant lab (computing majors typically don’t need to print much)
  • The computers have software which you may not, and can typically be expensive for personal use
  • If you don’t have your own computer, well... you have access to a computer.

The point I make about software is a big one. In the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences you’ll find Final Cut, Adobe Creative Suite, Maya, and other tools. In the College of Science, you’ll find Mathematica, Matlab, and Maple. In the College of Engineering, you’ll find AutoCAD. In the College of Computing and Information Sciences, you’ll find so many development tools, Virtual Machine tools, network inspection tools... there’s too much to list it all, for every college. But if you were to pay for this software yourself, your bill would... well, you may have just paid for your entire time here at RIT. And then some.

Luckily, this software is all available in the labs. You’re not required to have your own computer at all! However, a lot of departments and companies have recognized how it might make students’ lives easier to work on their own computer. Autodesk provides a student version of maya for free, and Microsoft has Dreamspark (the artist formerly known as MSDNAA), from which can get you Visual Studio, VM software, and Windows installs for free if you’re in the computing college.

As for me? Well, if I’m not in one of the labs in Orange Hall for my Game Software Development class, I’m in the mac lab in Gosnell hall working on a computational physics assignment in Matlab. Or if I’m not there, I’m in the interactive media lab working on a 3D model in Maya. Or if I’m not there, I’m in the main Interactive Games and Media lab working on whatever other computer project I may have.

So much time sitting can’t be good for me. Eh, I’ll head to the gym later.