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Nov. 18, 2008
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
ward.mullens@emich.edu 734.487.4400

Eastern Michigan's new academic program puts students in gaming action

YPSILANTI — The Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents approved a new undergraduate degree program in simulation, animation and gaming at its regular meeting Nov. 18.

“The College of Technology is always looking to become more relevant to the needs of our students and the job market,” said Morell Boone, dean of EMU’s College of Technology.  “This new interdisciplinary program will do just that. It is morphing the curriculum in various disciplines into an exciting offering for today's students."

“The bachelor’s degree in Simulation, Animation and Gaming (SAG) is an interdisciplinary program that will prepare students for careers in designing and developing traditional and digital animation, games, entertainment, film and videos, 3D models, realistic simulations and programming,” said Pamela Speelman, professor of graphic design and multimedia at EMU.

While other schools offer degrees in multi-media and animation or gaming, Speelman said EMU’s program is different because of the visual simulation component.

“This program is based on the reality that the entertainment industry is the fastest growing industry today, according to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA),” Speelman said. “And EMU’s program will have a component not addressed by other colleges – simulation.”

“Simulation differs amongst academic disciplines. This program focuses on visualization and the appearance of realism,” Speelman said.

The program, which will begin in January 2009, will consist of courses in art, computer science, graphic design, management and communication, and some newly developed SAG classes. SAG will implement a multi-disciplinary approach and, after two years, will allow students to either continue with design or branch off into computer programming.

The program will be housed and administered by the School of Technology Studies in the College of Technology.

There are not additional admission requirement for this program.

“This distinct program in SAG will allow EMU to compete against national universities as it simultaneously strives to distinguish itself within the fast growing fields of the video gaming market and simulation, which are expanding globally and across disciplines.”

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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