Category Archives: Academics

Animation Career Review has named RIT the top game design school on the East Coast

Two people working on computer screens with animation on the screens and keyboards in front of them.

Animation Career Review has named Rochester Institute of Technology the top game design school on the East Coast. RIT also ranked third on the list of Top 50 Game Design Schools in the U.S.

The 2017 rankings were created by Animation Career Review, an online resource for aspiring animation, game design and development, graphic design and digital art professionals. The annual list also named RIT the top game design school in New York state and second best private school nationally.

“It’s great to be recognized for the hard work we put into our outstanding programs in games,” said David Schwartz, director of RIT’s School of Interactive Games and Media (IGM). “RIT stands out as a game design school because we provide opportunities for students and faculty to collaborate with others across the university—including RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences—and professionals in the industry.”

Animation Career Review noted that RIT offers several programs for aspiring game designers, including two bachelor’s degrees and one master’s. In fact, any student studying computing in RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences has the opportunity to minor in game design and development.

RIT’s Bachelor of Science in game design and development provides a broad-based undergraduate education in computing while exposing students to the breadth of game design and development processes. The bachelor’s program in new media interactive development also explores casual games, in addition to new technologies and experiences with web, wearable and mobile computing.

Students who pursue a master’s degree in game design and development at RIT focus on the technical roots in the computing and information sciences disciplines, while simultaneously covering the breadth of the development landscape through involvement in topics, including computer graphics, game engines, interactive narrative and game world design. The degree culminates with a capstone project in which students create their own games.

RIT game design students can also work with RIT’s MAGIC Center, a nonprofit university-wide research and development laboratory and a for-profit production studio that assists in efforts to bring digital media creations up to marketplace standards and commercialization. RIT’s MAGIC Spell Studios, which officially launched in November and will move into a new building in 2018, focuses on nurturing and growing new companies and publishing and distributing their projects.

The ranking also highlights RIT’s emphasis on cooperative education—full-time paid work experiences that provide students with an opportunity to learn on the job in real-world industry settings. With help from the co-op program, graduates of RIT’s game design and development programs go on to work at companies including Microsoft, Rockstar Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Valve Corp. and Walt Disney Interactive.

For the full game design school rankings, go to animationcareerreview.com/articles/2017-game-design-school-rankings.

RIT is featured among ‘Colleges that Create Futures’

Logo of The Princeton Review in black with red curved arrow pointing up and right.

Rochester Institute of Technology is featured in the 2017 edition of The Princeton Review’s Colleges That Create Futures: 50 Schools That Launch Careers by Going Beyond the Classroom.

Out of nearly 1,000 colleges that The Princeton Review considered for this book, the 50 schools that made the cut comprise only about 2 percent of the nation’s approximately 3,000 four-year colleges. The Princeton Review said it chose the 50 schools based on data from its surveys of administrators and students at hundreds of universities between 2015 and 2017. Specifically, The Princeton Review editors weighed information about the colleges’ career center services; internship, externship, cooperative learning and collaborative research opportunities; and student engagement in community service and study abroad programs.

“RIT and the other colleges showcased in this book offer superb academics,” said the book’s author, Robert Franek, Senior VP-Publisher at The Princeton Review. “But what makes them stand out are the programs and services they offer outside the classroom which offer their students real-world experience, collaborative opportunities with faculty and networking opportunities with alumni, allowing them to graduate with outstanding job opportunities or acceptance to post-graduate studies at first-rate institutions.”

“RIT’s reputation among employers has bloomed over the past few decades, especially in Silicon Valley,” RIT alumnus Tad Hunt said in the book. “RIT graduates are known as something of a ‘secret weapon.’ I’ve been in Silicon Valley since 2000, and the reputation of RIT has grown immensely. When I first moved here, hardly [anybody] had heard of RIT. Now there is a huge number of alumni here working at all sizes of tech companies, and the RIT name is synonymous with folks that just ‘Get Stuff Done.’”

In its profile on RIT, the book says, “With 90 undergraduate programs in areas such as engineering, computing, information technology, engineering technology, business, hospitality, art, design, science, psychology, public policy, game design, photography, film and animation, health sciences, and biomedical sciences, RIT is laser-focused on creating students that are more than prepared to enter the job force. In fact, the RIT Class of 2015 boasts an enviable 95 percent undergraduate outcomes rate—the percentage of graduates who have entered the workforce, enrolled in further study, or are pursuing alternative plans (like military or volunteer service).”

In the book, RIT is cited for:

  • Excellence in its cooperative education program: “Cooperative education ensures that grads have relevant work experience to bring with them into a job interview right out of college... But beyond the security of employment after college, the students we surveyed said that they ultimately chose RIT because job satisfaction and working in a field they found interesting was important to them.”
  • Special interest housing: “If you are inspired by art, curious about computers, or passionate about photography, you may decide to live in one of RIT’s special-interest houses. Designed for students with shared interests, these seven self-governing houses offer a specific academic focus to residence-hall life. Here you’ll find programs and initiatives that range from the whimsical to the practical.”
  • The Construct, a makerspace on the fourth floor of Institute Hall, that provides materials and machinery in a workshop setting that students can use at no cost: “Designed from student feedback, The Construct serves the needs of innovative students seeking to create new products, inventions and applications… The makerspace also seeks to gain the involvement of a larger group of technologists and designers who emphasize general product design and development.”
  • Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship: “This program allows students to bring their entrepreneurial minds to the table and to potentially grow into something they can make a life on. Because the program enlists an equal number of technology, creative, and business students, participants can develop effective, well-rounded teams within their cohorts to develop and advance new business and technology ideas.”
  • MAGIC Spell Studios: “As part of a historical, first-of-its-kind venture, RIT’s MAGIC Spell Studios is a multi-disciplinary launchpad for digital products, including games, apps, animation, film and interactive art installations. RIT will be launching its new facility in 2018 in an effort to further link RIT’s internationally ranked academic programs with high-tech facilities needed to commercialize computer gaming, film and animation, and digital media projects.”
  • Leadership Institute and Community Service Center: “Understanding that students have busy schedules, the Center offers drop-in workshops, flexible programing and weekend retreats. It also offers certificate programs that can be completed in one to two years totally free of charge to RIT students…Coursework gives students a grounding in the theory and practice of leadership and a concrete vocabulary of experiences to share with potential employers during job interviews. It also gets students in touch with the practical concerns of the community through service work.”
  • RIT Alumni Network: Because of its extensive co-op programs, RIT sits atop a vast professional network of friends, alumni, and corporate partners, together providing students with career development support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement and constructive examples. A number of different online mentoring networks make it easy for students to connect with someone in their field who can offer advice and support.”

Schools included in the book are profiled in alphabetical order and are not ranked. Each college profile has general information about the school, plus sections on its distinctive programs and institutes, career center services, and unique hands-on, experiential learning opportunities.

 
 
 
 
 

Winners of RIT/NTID’s Next Big Idea announced

Chris Wagner, Wade Keller, Hans Khols and Gerry Buckley together in front of brick wall with a check.

BAGMAG, a hands-free solution for making skateboards more easily portable on the back of a backpack, took home the $5,000 first prize in the 2017 Next Big Idea competition at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

Judges from the competition’s sponsor, ZVRS, a video relay service headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, reviewed the projects of the four team finalists, asked questions and selected first, second and third place winners:

$5,000 First Place: BAGMAG, uses a strong magnet inserted on the backpack that connects to a strong magnet affixed to the bottom of the skateboard and eliminates the need to remove the backpack and use straps to affix the skateboard.

$3,000 Second Place: ASL Storyteller, an interactive app that offers sign language to babies, both hearing and deaf, to help with language development and creates a richer environment for signing babies.

$2,000 Third Place: Expect Zone, a rear-view mirror with three flashing lights that lets deaf or hard-of-hearing drivers know when an ambulance, police car or fire engine is coming near. It flashes more quickly as the emergency vehicle gets closer.     

Four teams of deaf and hard-of-hearing students from Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf went head-to-head April 26 during The Next Big Idea Competition, a ”Shark Tank” style business competition.

The contest is an annual event where teams of students combine skills related to their individual majors to create innovative products, technology or businesses. Teams work with mentors on their projects and compete before judges for cash prizes. This year marks the sixth anniversary of The Next Big Idea competition.

Team members are:

ASL Storyteller—Julie Love, a Graphic Design major from Riverside , California, and Logan Lugo, an International Business major from Columbus, Ohio.

BAGMAG—Hans Khols , an Industrial Design major from Boston, Massachusetts, and Wade Kellard, a Mechanical Engineering Technology major from Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Expect Zone— Amelia Hamilton, a New Media Marketing major from Austin, Texas, and Tanner Ketchum, an Accounting Technology major from Austin, Texas.

VIGN— Tobin Zolkowski, a Communication and Criminal Justice major from Neenah, Wisconsin, Iswor Ghimire, a Global Computing major from Nepal, Mohd Afifi Ishak, an Industrial Design major from Malaysia, and Jose Lopez, an Applied Computer Technology major from Los Angeles, California. Vign, described as a “Netflix for deaf people,” is designed to stream program content in sign language.

 “The Next Big Idea competition is the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work, creativity and innovation on the part of these student inventors and entrepreneurs,” said Gerry Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “We have seen some amazing products and services start in this competition and move into production. We thank ZVRS for their steadfast support since the beginning of the Next Big Idea, and are grateful for the belief they have in our students.” 

Knowing the Basics Pays Off

Student with baseball cap, mustache and blue shirt posing at Job Fair

Connor Fitzgerald, a student from from Lennon, Michigan, had a co-op as a machinist at Gleason Works in Rochester, New York. He had learned the basics and more in his Computer Intergrated Machining Technology classes and was able to apply his knowledge to the job right away. Connor was offered a full-time job at Gleason Works, which he accepted and he's on his way to a bright future. more

Winners announced in national math competition

Group of four students in matching t-shirts working together on math problem with computer and calculators in front of them.

Winners have been announced in Rochester Institute of Technology’s annual Math Competition for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

The competition, held at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf April 7–9, welcomed 140 deaf and hard-of-hearing middle school students from Alabama; Connecticut; Ohio; California; Georgia; Delaware; Florida; New York; Texas; Indiana; Kansas; Washington, D.C.; Massachusetts; New Jersey; Oklahoma; Oregon; Rhode Island; Minnesota; Colorado; Washington; Tennessee; Pennsylvania; and New Mexico as well as Canada.

They competed in tasks that tested their speed and accuracy, teamwork and math skills.

Individual winners:

  • First ($100): Crystal Salit of Boyds, Md., from Maryland School for the Deaf.
  • Second ($75): Trey Johnson of Kyle, Texas, from Texas School for the Deaf.
  • Third ($50): Luke Wood of Fishers, Ind., from Indiana School for the Deaf.

Team winners:

  • First ($300): Maryland School for the Deaf
  • Second ($200): Texas School for the Deaf
  • Third ($100): Kenneth R. Olson Middle School,

Top Scorer: Crystal Salit of Boyds, Md., from Maryland School for the Deaf.

Most spirited team: E.C. Drury School for the Deaf, Milton, Ontario, Canada.

More information about the contest is available at http://www.ntid.rit.edu/prospective/mathcounts.
 

Outstanding Undergraduate Scholars 2017

Five students and an administrator pose against an orange and brown backdrop on stage

The Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Awards

Congratulations to RIT/NTID’s Outstanding Undergraduate Scholars, who are pictured here with NTID Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Stephen Aldersely: left to right, Radhika Mehra, Joan Bempong, Annie Monaco, Aldersley, Sarah LaMascus and Maxfield Orr.

A tradition at RIT since 1976, the Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Awards honor the top 1% of undergraduate students who are able to maintain a high standard of academic excellence while also giving back to their community through civic or volunteer work, conducting research or being engaged in co-op or work in their field of study.

The awards event itself not only celebrates our Outstanding Undergraduate Scholars, but it also gives them an opportunity to acknowledge a past teacher or professor who has had a significant impact on their academic career.

RIT adds new bachelor’s degree in exercise science

Female student lays on exam table with breathing apparatus in her mouth as another female student reads the output data..

Rochester Institute of Technology is offering a bachelor's degree in exercise science, with its first freshman class beginning in the fall semester.

The four-year program is the first new degree offered through the Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition in RIT’s College of Health Sciences and Technology. Exercise science applies health, fitness, physiology, biomechanics and psychology toward enhancing athletic performance and preventing or managing chronic illness, such as cardiac disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and other health problems. More.