David Schwartz has been named director of Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Interactive Games and Media.
Joining RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences in 2007, Schwartz has served as assistant professor, associate professor and undergraduate program coordinator for the School of Interactive Games and Media.
“I am very excited to take on this new role and make IGM a nexus of change at RIT,” said Schwartz, whose school is part of the Golisano Computing College. “We plan to collaborate even more across all of RIT, especially to create more opportunities for students to learn, study and make things together.”
Schwartz received a bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. in civil engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo. With a background in civil engineering and experience as a computer science educator, he enjoys teaching in the areas of game programming, prototyping, design and physical modeling.
“I’ve always enjoyed bringing the engineering, physics and mathematics mindset into game development and helping students to not be afraid of it,” said Schwartz. “Most recently, I’ve been researching and developing educational engineering simulation games.”
Before coming to RIT, Schwartz taught computer programming at Cornell University, where he began to notice student interest in creating video games. After founding the Game Design Initiative at Cornell in 2001, Schwartz went on to help create an academic minor in game design—the first formal Ivy-League game design program.
“David has been a valuable contributor to our nationally-recognized game design and development programs and we’re excited to see those programs evolve under his leadership,” said Anne Haake, interim dean of RIT’s Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.
The Princeton Review named RIT one of the top schools in the world to study video game design for 2015. RIT’s game design and development program was ranked sixth at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.