University of Advancing Technology is an elite, private college that serves its student body by fostering knowledge creation and academic excellence in an environment that embraces the young technophiles of the world. With three centers of research and a suite of technology-centered undergraduate and graduate degrees, the University is a recognized leader in technology education.
UAT would like to take a moment to thank our active military and veterans for their courage, sacrifice, effort, time, and service to our country. Our 100% STEM university is dedicated to providing our military friends with an innovative higher education, ongoing support through giving and community engagement, and pathways for achieving success. On Veterans Day, we find it most appropriate to honor our original veteran and UAT’s founder, Dominic Pistillo.
Among his many accomplishments, Dominic Pistillo is a beloved veteran and founder of the military-friendly University of Advancing Technology (UAT). UAT, also a member of the Arizona Veteran’s Association, is recognized as one of the top computer technology universities in the nation, offering an elite, private higher education and immersive technology experience to students who want to play a role in the evolution of technology. UAT prepares graduates with real-world experience and the skillsets that not only drive innovation, but also fill the in-demand tech talent gaps.
Those that know Dominic would say that he is incredibly dynamic and multifaceted. Over the last 40 years, he has created a massive influence that has positively impacted many military and technical individuals, as well as inspired the non-technical to explore the opportunities and benefits of utilizing technology to make life better. He has created an astounding legacy that will impact society far beyond his years.
Today, Dominic is individually skilled in all areas of enterprise, business, college operation, accreditation, State and Federal regulation, and in building Total Quality and Systems Thinking into all industries — especially Higher Education and Technology. He is not simply an entrepreneur, but an expert in forging education, industry, and employer alliances, as well as an expert in many technical fields.
Much like his military uniform, his career is decorated with accomplishments including awards, technology innovation, start-ups, higher-education establishments, and successful businesses. Throughout his service and while obtaining his education, Dominic also held US Top Secret and NATO Cosmic Top-Secret security clearances. It may be surprising, however, that his younger years started out similar to most.
In his youth — before choosing a college or enlisting in the military — like many of us, his future wasn’t planned out. He didn’t know exactly where he’d go to school, fit in, or have a clear picture of what he wanted to do with his life. Like the majority of UAT students, though, he knew that he had an intense curiosity and appreciation for technology.
His first encounters with technology consisted of building crystal radios and rockets, and as he got older, he progressed into building radio controls for airplanes and HAM radios from scratch. Then, when Dominic was in high school at the height of the Cold War, he determined he was destined for military duty.
He had zero doubts about enlisting and was fully backed by his desire to serve by his father, who even drove him to the recruiting station at 17. “We all lived under the threat of potential nuclear war. As a young man, I wanted to join the defense effort and do whatever I could to help our country”,Dominic honorably stated.
Upon enlisting, Dominic enrolled in a two-year US Navy electronics program. After high school, he served in the US Air Force for eight years and was initially based at the Lowry AFB training facility in Colorado, where he also attended the College of the Air Force and his studies primarily focused on Nuclear Physics, high explosives, demolition, and management. He then transferred to the Davis Monthan AFB base in Arizona in the ICBMs and nuclear weapons divisions and enrolled to the University of Arizona, where he went to school five nights a week — plus the weekends — learning computer programming. He earned his Business/Commerce, General degree in 1971 and was also winner of the prestigious missile combat competition at Vandenberg AFB in 1970 and 1971.
Upon transfer to the Ramstein Air Base Germany, he focused his efforts in Mission Control, Planning and Intelligence and continued his education, enrolling in Harford to earn his Computer Science degree in 1976. Well ahead of his time, he explained, “I was certain that someday we would fight our wars in cyberspace, although that word had not yet been invented”.This vision drove his intensity for going to school in Germany for four hours a night, six nights a week to learn everything he could about computer science and advancing technology.
After his impressive service and an honorable discharge, Dominic kicked off his professional career starting in management for Litton Industries’ technology and graphics division. Dominic shared that this experience, “convinced me that computer technology would very soon become key to all design disciplines, including architectural, mechanical, and electronic fields. It seemed that someone needed to jump start the adoption of these technologies – so… why not us?”
After seven years with Litton, he shifted his focus on entrepreneurship and building high performance systems. He was inspired to take the future of technology into his own hands by his bosses that he had worked for in both military and civilian life, as well as his heroes who were pioneers of their time, like Napoleon Hill, Peter Drucker, Peter Senge, and Fritjof Capra. Dominic also attribute his inspiration to his eight years of service with the US Air Force, when he was a tactical and strategic planner for Mission Control in West Germany.
Joining the military was a critical piece of his successful career. He encourages anyone considering the decision to go for it, saying, “It will make you a better person in so many ways.”
Dominic is convinced that joining the military is the fastest and best way to grow up, learn how to take orders, give orders, and take responsibility. He believes the experience infuses the understanding that life is far bigger than any individual, and teaches members to learn a deep respect for being part of a team, providing the discipline to see projects through to success.
Dominic also attributes a key personality trait, one that most who pursue military service fundamentally have, as a big factor of his success:
“It’s not money or financing or any of that – because we never had that – but, rather, tenacity. If you simply refuse to give up, you cannot fail. I think I have modeled my life around Thomas Edison’s example – simply continue on until you run out of things that don’t work!”.
In 1983, Dominic founded CAD Southwest Corporation, a Computer Aided Design and engineering systems integrator, growing it into the world’s largest AutoCAD Dealer for 7 years running, until he sold it to Data Image of Texas in 1990. Simultaneously, he started CAD Institute, a highly acclaimed Computer Aided Design Training Center, from start-up to the largest and highest rated AutoDESK Authorized Training Center in the world. He then founded, and was Director of Research and Development for Megasystems, a high-end computer hardware manufacturer, which he sold to American Computer and Peripherals, Inc. in 1989. At that time, Dominic also started LandCAD with a partner architect, which established and launched the first on-line packaged distance-learning program for Computer Aided Design, named CADLine.
By 1990, Dominic was frustrated with the slow pace that industries were embracing and the lack of tech being incorporated into business processes. Envisioning the opportunity to create a learning resource for those interested in tech, he founded University of Advancing Technology (UAT).
“I knew we had to do something to speed up the process [of embracing technology]. A couple of partners and I broke off and started three companies to help engineers and architects utilize tech in their design practices. These were computer manufacturing, systems consulting and integration, and education and training companies”, Dominic stated.
In planning and designing UAT’s learning structure, Dominic knew that military men and women had the training and discipline to successfully complete UAT’s most demanding programs. Through UAT’s Synchronic Flexible (SyncFlex™) learning model, the structure he created allows students to take classes online, on-campus, or both with evening classes offered and a supportive, truly mentored education.
At the time, this methodology was a revolutionary innovation for the higher education industry, and it has continued to evolve to fit even the most demanding of schedules in order for the most elite-in-tech to achieve their degrees in a complimentary way. Dominic and his partners not only made UAT available to military vets, but also set up several on-base schools such as Davis Monthan, China Lake and the Air Force Academy, to name a few.
After getting UAT off the ground, Dominic also started the Computer Reality Center in 1992, which did cutting edge research into computer graphics, and the Center for Learning Research in 1997, which began the innovation of the learning systems now in use by UAT.
With significant influence from Dominic and his partners’ visions and efforts, UAT dramatically grew over the last 33 years from a single-certificate program school, to multiple state-of-the-art Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs – and today is recognized as one of the premier technology universities in the world. UAT is also regionally accredited by the elite North Central Higher Learning Commission.
One of Dominic’s greatest contributions to the nation has been his founding and leadership of the Leonardo da Vinci Society for the Study of Thinking in 2004. The da Vinci Society brings great thinkers to Arizona each year to mentor staff, faculty and students and to provide input into developing world-class thinking curriculum for higher education. The Society also provides scholarship opportunities for promising young thinkers.
Dominic Pistillo is still a recognized expert in Computer Technology and Computer Graphics and has been a speaker for the National Computer Graphics Association in these fields. Additionally, he was a Commissioner and a college accreditation evaluator for the Accrediting Commission for Independent Colleges and Schools in Washington, D.C.
Like you, Dominic has been faced with life-changing decisions for his future, from his education, to joining the military, his career, then entrepreneurship, and so much more. But through it all, he shared that he has never been afraid to take risks, and now having started over a dozen companies throughout his civilian career, he knows that good ideas will always win out over naysayers, or those many who say ‘it cannot be done.’
“All it takes is dedication and discipline to be a great success in whatever you want to do. Ignore discouragement and follow your heart. If you have a passion for something, you cannot be stopped. Tech is a great field and the innovation is only just beginning.” - Dominic Pistillo
As the business market expects to continue to lack tech talent in the workforce for years to come, especially in regards to women in STEM careers, Dominic has dedicated his career to combatting this challenge. UAT’s innovative degrees are industry and government recognized, and many students are quickly recruited upon graduation. UAT will continue to more progressively emphasize studies that teach the honing of skillsets, critical knowledge, and advanced real-world expertise that lead to the highest-paying entry-level — and in general — the best STEM career opportunities available.
Dominic Pistillo and all of UAT are proud to be a military-friendly university and invite anyone interested in learning technology to schedule a UAT discovery tour or attend one of our upcoming events to learn more.
UAT honors and thanks Dominic Pistillo for sharing his inspiring story with our writing team, his service to our country, and all that he has created for the world through advancing technology.
Local High School and College Students Team Up at UAT for 24 Hours of Innovation
This Saturday, November 9th, students of all coding skill levels in the Phoenix area will gather on the campus of University of Advancing Technology (UAT) for CodeDay. This is a 24-hour event hosted nationally by SRND, where students are immersed in coding, build games and apps, learn a variety programming languages, participate in a cyber competition, attend workshops, present projects, and compete for awards and code-master bragging rights. The event is held three times a year to promote interest in programming and related STEM studies at a young age.
“Phoenix is seeing a 40% growth in tech jobs, so CodeDay attracts students that may have 0% interest until they’re exposed through events like this. We want to fix the pipeline issue with having enough tech workers to fill the demand that’s coming to the Phoenix area specifically”, says Jacy Smith, a well-connected local entrepreneur, Business Development Specialist for Perimeter83, Professor at UAT, and a long-time CodeDay Phoenix organizer, who UAT interviewed to gather insights to share with the local Phoenix community to boost awareness for future CodeDays.
CodeDay Phoenix events have brought in and connected up to 240 students at past events. Since focusing in on improving the quality of experience for students, the organizers have worked hard to strategically balance the three events throughout the year, and are expecting around 120 bright minds for the last CodeDay in 2019.
CodeDay is generally attended by high school students, but middle schoolers, college students, and anyone under 25 can register to attend. It’s a great event for student programmers, artists, actors, and anyone that is interested in tech to come and participate.
Jacy emphasized that CodeDay is also a huge supporter of contributing to the increase of Women in STEM fields and Women in Tech. On average, around 40% of CodeDay attendees at each event are female, which is a great accomplishment for a tech-centric coding event. Jacy and her fellow CodeDay organizers work hard to keep the events demographically balanced, diverse, and inclusive. CodeDay national provides the organizing committee a dashboard to give them detailed insights on who is attending, and that’s how they are able to be proactive in promotion and recruitment efforts.
If you want to hone and test your coding or game design skills, learn a new programming language, app development, or practice public speaking and working with a team, and if you’ve never had any experience with coding but want to learn, CodeDay is the perfect place to go for a fun and fast deep-dive.
This weekend’s participants will arrive early on Saturday morning to get fueled up at UAT’s cafe, settle in, and then the kick-off begins in UAT’s innovation theater. Students will be greeted, the mission and opportunities of CodeDay will be presented, inspiration will be delivered, and teams — including any students that have attended alone — will get connected to one another. Following the kick-off, participants will attend workshops such as ‘Intro to Coding’, ‘Big Data’, ‘Project Management’, and more to get the fundamentals they need to begin their projects.
In the evening, students will team up to compete in an exciting, nation-wide cyber security competition, ‘Capture the Flag’. At 10:00 pm, halfway through the event, there will be a lively game tournament. Throughout the early morning, students will continue to work on game and app development projects and will be judged at Sunday’s awards ceremony at 10:00 am to then conclude the event.
For attending, other than the many awards that are given out, students earn a certificate and real-world production experience they can utilize for their resumes and portfolios.
CodeDay is one of a few local resources for Phoenix students to come together and experience tech in a well-organized, real-world production environment; get exposure to coding, programming, and local tech talent from around the world; get access to potential mentors; learn about internships with companies; and be exposed to incredible community tech resources like UAT’s 100% STEM university campus.
“Getting students together to experience the combination of creativity, tech, innovation, and trying something new is what CodeDay is all about.”, stated Jacy Smith.
Within 24 hours, students are able to learn coding and new programming languages, compete and create projects in the topics of cyber security, video game production, and app development, hone skill-sets like design and project management, and pick up soft skills like leadership, collaboration, and public speaking. Another take-away is the opportunity to make friends and get kids connected to people within the tech community to support their growth and help get them where they want to go in life. The opportunity and impact for any one individual can be incredible and life-changing.
“Watching students have confidence to come in without knowing anything about coding and make something into a project that they present to judges on Sunday morning when they’re exhausted, but so excited about the work they’ve accomplished, what they’ve learned, and the opportunities ahead, is really something to see and be a part of, and why I continue to help put on this event. I’ve never missed one.”, said Jacy Smith.
Jacy shared several inspiring accounts of coding innovation she’s seen take place at past CodeDay Phoenix events over the last five years. Once, a group of middle school students who had never coded before won the ‘Best in Show’ award (most prestigious award at CodeDay) with a retro game they designed. At another event, a group of talented Physics students made an advanced calculator with a new programming language that they had learned at that very CodeDay, and it blew the judges and mentors away. Occurring before the widely-used ‘Neighborhood’ app was developed, a group of all female students built a similar app designed for those within their local communities to connect and easily report problems and discuss topics going on in their neighborhood in order to get issues resolved more quickly.
To get an idea of how CodeDay impacts students outside of the event, many that have competed have embarked down successful pathways they may not have had the opportunity to lead without an experience like this. Whether they’ve transitioned to advancing tech studies in high school, are earning their undergraduate or graduate degrees in STEM majors at elite tech universities like UAT, have created their own tech start-ups, or have gone on to be successful in high-paying and in-demand tech careers, they’re working toward filling in the tech-talent gaps that are currently and will continue to be an issue in the workforce.
For example, a returning CodeDay female participant currently enrolled at the Phoenix Coding Academy has started a non-profit that benefits local kids in need of school supplies and hygiene products. After high school, several students have been recruited from CodeDay events to college tech internships with progressive companies such as State Farm. And as one example of a career path, one previous CodeDay Phoenix participant is now a prime cyber defense expert for American Express, one of the largest banking organizations in the world.
CodeDay continues to provide these amazing events and opportunities to promote interest and provide opportunities to students because of organizers like Jacy Smith and her CodeDay crew, as well as hosts like UAT, who is well-known in the community for moving the needle and getting kids excited about STEM careers through its advancing technology campus and innovative degrees, as well as sponsoring tech companies like State Farm, that provide mentors and volunteers from the local community.
“UAT has hosted CodeDay for us for several years and is one of the easiest and most advanced tech event spaces to work with in Phoenix,” said Jacy. “I’ve been working directly with them [event committee at UAT] for the last four years, and CodeDay is how I originally heard of UAT and got connected in its amazing tech community. It’s a really innovative campus and makes for an optimal CodeDay experience.”
State Farm has steadfastly provided industry experts as mentors and volunteers to CodeDay Phoenix, donates technology such as laptops for students to use at the events, and supports CodeDay significantly at the national level, allowing these events to continue across the nation.
Tech companies can join in to support the event by contributing to CodeDay Phoenix in small amounts like $250 or more, which also provides free marketing exposure. Tech companies can also provide tech mentors and volunteers to help with coordination and support students throughout the event, provide judges and/or promote internship opportunities with their company, and more.
The local community, tech-savvy or not, can volunteer by encouraging kids to register to attend, or adults can take on tasks like cooking for the attendees, making sure students are staying hydrated, taking registrations at check-ins, collecting waivers, and taking on a shift of supervising within the 24-hour event.
To get connected and support future CodeDay Phoenix events, please reach out to the organizing committee here!
Maxwell has been a resident of the quad for about two years now. Believe it or not, last month was the anniversary of Maxwell’s first appearance on campus!
Ever since Maxwell came, I've seen so many amazing things happen between him and the UAT students. I’ve seen students come together to play with him and to talk about him. When we’re not around him, we’re either reminiscing on what weird thing he did earlier or joking about Maxwell's quirks (don’t we all just love Maxwell’s screams?). This brings in mind the time that I and a bunch of other students bathed Max. I honestly don't know half of the people that I was bathing Max with, but it was that cat that brought us together.
Maxwell acts like a middleman for interactions between UAT students. For two people who have different backgrounds (degrees, family, beliefs, etc), having them speak to each other is, in my opinion, a huge stretch. In this school now, where the majority of people are introverted, social interaction might be hard. However, Maxwell, with his charm as an actual live, friendly cat, brings people together. Two people who love cats but have nothing else in common would have to share the same space that Maxwell is in if they want to interact with him, which, in turn, forces them to interact with each other. Maybe they take turns petting Maxwell or maybe they talk about why they like Maxwell. Who knows!
But, on that note, Maxwell can act as a point of conversation for people on campus. For example, Founders Hall created a discussion tab on their discord chatroom, which is dedicated entirely to pets. People post dozens of pictures of Maxwell, and others who are on discord would be able to talk about how cute these pictures are, and then show pictures of their cats and/or dogs to sort of compare and see which is the cutest. Everyone wants to show how cute their pets are, which creates a sort of friendly competition among residents. If they are not participating in that kind of competition, then they are usually fawning over the pictures of Maxwell that are posted on the server, and agreeing with each other on how cute he is. Some residents even create art of Maxwell, which they show off and gain feedback from the people on discord. In some way, all of these interactions somehow lead back to Maxwell.
Outside of pushing for social interaction, Maxwell has been a very nice therapy pet for the students here at UAT. Since this is college, many people are going to be going through transitions. People will get stressed, and, sometimes, homesick. Maxwell has helped, acting as a friend. He’ll cuddle up to those who are stressed, and all that stress ends up melting away.
Maxwell has shown to have been a positive inclusion into the UAT family! Without him, I do not think this campus would be what it is today. He has brought so many people together and will continue to do so throughout his time here at UAT. He is just an amazing cat! Plus, take a moment to think about this…
Which other university has a cat officially living with its residents?!
In honor of Veteran’s Day approaching, the military-friendly University of Advancing Technology (UAT) is hosting an open Military Appreciation night on Thursday, November 7th from 5 - 8 pm to honor and thank those that are actively serving or have served for the U.S. military.
Get full event details and reserve your free tickets to UAT’s Military Appreciation Reception.
UAT welcomes veterans, active military, reservists, guardsmen, and the greater Phoenix community for an evening of military appreciation, entertainment, refreshments, and more. This event will provide a unique opportunity for guests to be immersed in the UAT experience through a series of veteran speakers, campus tours with live demonstrations, and many other military-honoring activities including preparing notes to send to actively deployed military groups serving oversees.
Military guests are welcome to wear their respected uniforms so that all attending are able to personally show their appreciation.
UAT is a member of the Arizona Veterans Association, and proud to be designated as a military-friendly university with a long history of helping military students succeed. UAT’s dedication to providing a military-friendly education began in 1983, when it was founded by a U.S. Air Force veteran. Since inception, UAT is committed to maintaining a deep understanding of military students’ needs and supporting our nation’s armed forces, veterans, their families.
We know that active military, veterans, and first responders have a thirst to learn about technology. Whether active duty, a reservist or a veteran, if you are seeking to advance in a civilian career, complement your military skills, or pursue a fresh path in advancing technology, UAT is here for you and equally committed to your success. Our 100% STEM University offers a variety of flexible advancing technology programs offered online or on-campus, that support military students in achieving their educational goals.
By attending UAT’s Military Appreciation Night event, military and veteran guests will also have the opportunity to take advantage of a military discount at the bookstore, meet and mingle with faculty and staff, learn more about our hands on technology degree programs, the admissions process and potential career opportunities.
Exclusive to our veterans, our financial aid department will be able to provide information on how to use the GI Bill® and discuss the available military scholarships such as Warriors Heart Veteran Scholarships and the Yellow Ribbon GI Enhancement Program. Guests will also have access to financial aid staff to discuss opportunities to fund education for those who qualify, and determine additional resources and ways for active, reserve, or retired personnel to continue their education.
The industry is in high-demand for innovative experts in the tech workforce and UAT is consistently recognized by the community, industry, and government for filling the tech talent gap through its advancing technology degree programs. As a top technology university, UAT maintains ongoing relationships with several U.S. government organizations as a Center of Academic Excellence as designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, and can help connect our graduating military students to incredibly fulfilling civilian career opportunities.
Learn more about UAT’s military-friendly advancing technology degrees.
UAT looks forward to hosting the military and community for an evening devoted to appreciation, support and resources.
The Network Security club here has been named THICC which stands for short The Hacking Informational Cyber Crew a clever name for the gang in the Network Security Class or Cave.
THICC first started out with the seniors that were at first freshman and created the club as they stayed late at school and figured why not make it into a club. The club was designed for students who just hang out in the cave and have a fun time. THICC do participate in a lot of different events and competitions such as CTFs (Capture the Flag). The club also does many different tutorials and sessions to educate the members and teach us different things such as a Linux tutorial, PicoCTF, and watch some videos on different things like Stuxnet.
THICC plans with all members on Discord! We have new students add the server to their Discord accounts and that’s where all information is housed about the club and Network Security Major events. There is a ranking system in THICC that goes from Members to Non-Skid to Admin then finally Council. It’s all measured on how often you’re in the Cave so if you become close to the Council then they have decided to include you in their ranks as long you have the passion.
So far THICC is averaging about 30 members every Friday for the meetings and events. Every semester the numbers change from a full house to just a handful of members.
THICC will still be around after I leave, and I have 2 years ahead of me. Future Network Security students I do recommend attending THICC and using the Cave as a place to work as it’s a valuable resource for new students.
University of Advancing Technology is excited to announce that eight of our students earning cyber security degrees will be competing in the 2019 Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition (CPTC) Regionals event October 11-13th. Although UAT's on-ground campus is physically located in Tempe, Arizona, our cyber security students have been invited to compete with the Northeastern Regional group hosted at Penn State University.
The UAT students that have earned their position at the Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition this year include: James Rogers (Captain), Jackson Nestler (Co-Captain), Karina Salkin (Member), Robert O’Connor (Member), Jordan Nutt (Member), Jace Alexander (Member), David Austad (Alternate), Elijah McKay (Alternate), along with their coach, Professor Mason Galatas.
This will be UAT's first-time competing at this particular event but the private tech university's students have been participating in the sister series for years, the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC), where students showcase their network security defense skills. Both events are designed to provide students with real-world scenarios to better prepare them for a high-in-demand career in the field of Cyber Security.
Participants at the CPTC will need to demonstrate how to effectively identify, mitigate, and resolve critical security vulnerabilities in a professional environment from an offensive approach. Throughout the event, students will practice building and honing their network engineering skills while attempting simulated cyber-attacks on a fictional organization's defense systems.
The method of penetration testing (also known as pen testing, ethical hacking, or the red hat strategy) is often considered the more challenging approach in the network security field because of the extensive creativity and aggressive strategy required to discover all the ways a cyber security breach could be performed on any particular subject.
All CPTC competitors will be judged on three categories including technology, communication, and collaboration. Competitors must prove their technical knowledge and ability to spot weakness in a simulated corporate environment without impacting the operations of simulated business activities. They must also demonstrate their ability to communicate deeply technical concepts to technical and non-technical audiences. Lastly, they have to prove they can work strategically within the allotted time, and collectively, to bring together unique skillsets to achieve success for their team.
The CPTC competition is an incredible opportunity for UAT's cyber students to gain new insights while being in an external learning space, observe other students' skills and ways of thinking, as well as practice their own innovative techniques.
Participants will also have the potential opportunity to be observed by the influential industry experts and well-known sponsors that may be in attendance including: IBM, Google Cloud, EATON, FireEye, Crowe Horwath, UBER, Hurricane Labs, NCC group, IEEE Cyber Security, indeed, RIT, SE Computing Security, and other attending businesses looking for future talent or internship recruits.
Due to the significant rise in security breaches over the last few years, organizations of all sizes are beefing up their cyber security strategies and pen testing is considered a necessary component of a strong defense. Some businesses even open up cyber security feedback loops, offering rewards to anyone associated with the organization or not, that can identify and inform the organization of the errors their security system may have. This strategy will continue to become increasingly important for businesses to practice to be able to consistently secure customer data and information systems as well as prevent any future breaches from occurring in our rapidly developing and technologically advancing society.
The world, individuals and businesses alike, are in a desperate need for innovative cyber security professionals and University of Advancing Technology is proud to offer four degree programs for various cyber security studies to fill the gap in today’s cyber prevention workforce.
UAT's prestigious cyber security degrees include the undergraduate majors of Network Security, Network Engineering, Technology Forensics, and the elite Master's Degree in Information Assurance (Cyber Security) that are each transporting graduates to the leading edge of the industry.
UAT’s cyber security degree majors and cyber security lab are recognized by industry and government entities alike for their ability to help generate the future innovators of the cyber security industry. We focus on creating true leaders who will have mastery in ethical hacking and uphold the highest industry standard of integrity in our quickly evolving world of cyber security tech and online security.
Leading cyber security education in the southwest, University of Advancing Technology (UAT) is marking 20 successful years since the inception of its elite Network Security degree program. As one of the longest-running cyber security degrees in the southwest, our complete continuum of undergraduate and graduate cyber security degrees have helped prepare more graduates with a NSA and CAE-credentialed education than any other university’s cyber security program in the southwest.
The CPTC National competition will take place in November in Rochester, NY for the winning teams from the 2019 Regionals. We wish our UAT Cyber Security Degree students the best of luck this weekend!
Interested in cyber security or earning a degree in technology from a 100% STEM University? Select the degree that's interesting to you and request information here! Or, if you're not sure what you want to study but you love tech, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a private consultation to learn about our university, majors, and how you can graduate in less than 3 years online or at UAT's state-of-the-art campus. Unleash your potential at UAT!
by Taylor Nakakihara
On Tuesday, October 8th we celebrate the achievements of women in STEM on Ada Lovelace Day. UAT takes pride in our support of girls and women in tech. We collaborate with the Girl Scouts of Cactus-Pine and the Boys and Girls Club on the development of STEM curricula for their organizations. It is our pleasure to continually support the events and efforts of Girls in Tech, Girls Who Code, Girls Rule Foundation, ISAACA She Leads Tech, Women Techmakers, Phoenix Women IT Unite, and more.
Held on the second Tuesday of October each year, Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration highlighting the achievements of women in STEM and aiming to increase the profile of women in STEM, leading to the creation of new role models who will help lead more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in the field.
Who is Ada Lovelace?
Born in London, England, in 1815, Ada Lovelace was born to Romantic poet Lord Byron and Anne Isabelle Milbanke. Her mother, who preferred that her daughter be tutored in math and music at an early age, desired a more stable life for her daughter than that held by her poet father. Anne Milbanke, also known as Lady Byron, was also a mathematician herself.
By 17, Lovelace had begun correspondence with inventor and Cambridge Professor Charles Babbage on topics such as math and logic. This connection would prove incredibly valuable for Babbage, who in 1842 had found international support for his new project, the Analytical Engine. However, this support came in the form of a memoir from Italian mathematician Louis Menebrea , written in French. Initially, Lovelace was brought on by Babbage to simply translate these notes on the Analytical Engine.
Through her work as a self-identified “Analyst and Metaphysician”, Lovelace’s translation and accompanying notes over the course of 9 months would earn her enduring recognition by the tech community. Despite Babbage’s achievements with the Analytical Engine, he had failed to produce a compete program for the machine. Lovelace was able to write a computer program to prompt the Analytical Engine to generate Bernoulli Numbers, thus successfully publishing the first, most complete, and most elaborate program of its kind. Furthermore, Lovelace was the first to explain the creative potential of the Analytical Engine through the use of the right programming to expand the machine’s capabilities well outside of its ability to calculate numbers. Lovelace is a herald of the future of the general-purpose computer, and noted that the Analytical Engine was suited for “developing and tabulating any function whatever... the engine is the material expression of any indefinite function of any degree of generality and complexity.”
Many Network Security students and individuals in everyday life are concerned about identity protection and rightfully so. Trusted companies are breached every day and information is leaked. The legal aspect aside, it still happens and private information is still breached. This is one reason information should be monitored and watched over. Some of the resources for my identity protection I use are going to be listed below.
I personally use identity protection services to monitor the activity of my information. While this can be a security risk in itself, as your information is held by a company that could be breached, some individuals like myself take this approach to monitor identity activity. These services usually provide an ability to view new credit cards made under your name or breaches that have happened and could have affected you.
Open Source Intelligence is another resource that can be used to increase your awareness of the protection of your identity. Understanding what is currently out on the Internet about yourself is a large step in understanding what other individuals or employers can see about yourself. This is helpful to all individuals especially individuals pursuing Network Security as your online presence is vital to your digital citizenship.
Changing passwords and information is a good step in securing your identity in the cyber world. Not using your actual name and changing passwords frequently for different accounts is a good idea in certain situations. Every situation will differ as some areas might require a full real name like bank accounts (which can also be breached) and other services.
I could write a book on identity protection, but this covers some of my main points and core areas I see in my daily life. Whether or not you are a Network Security student or just looking into securing your identity I hope these tips will help you further your endeavor in identity protection.
Thanks for reading!
-Andrew M - Student Ambassador/Network Security Student.
The UAT campus tour is all about highlighting what sets us apart from other universities. And what better way to learn about the campus than from a current student, a student ambassador. We have an outline of the areas we take you through, but each of us is unique and so are our experiences. Because of that each of us likes to include those experiences which make the tour unique as well.
I am going into my seventh semester here at UAT as web design and business technology majors. At the beginning of the tour, we start with some of the qualities that set UAT aside from the rest. Each of the student ambassadors has had their own experiences with each of the qualities. The quality that stands out the most, at least to me, is the individualized attention. I transferred into UAT from a large university where my average class size was 40, with my largest class somewhere around 400. I felt like one of the crowd and never got to know my professors. The class sizes here are on average 13:1. Not only have I had the chance to meet my professors, they know who I am as well.
While on the tour we are to speak on each part of the school but its always easier in the places we spend the most time. My favorite parts of the tour are the robotics lab and the maker space. I have always loved to make things so to have space with tools has been amazing. Throughout the semester I like to ask what students are working on so that I can highlight current projects throughout the tour. However, we do have a running project that each robotics student has the opportunity to work on while at UAT. Murphy, our robotic tour guide. The goal of Murphy is to be a tour guide for the school; however, students are still determining how to navigate going upstairs. Even though the stairs are a challenge, he has many other features that students have recently added that make him so cool. Such as sensors to assist with not running into walls, and a screen to show what those sensors are reading. Murphy is one of the many cool projects that you can see around campus.
The maker space is just as the name entails: it’s a place to make. The lab homes 3 of our several 3D printers, a CNC machine, a vinyl cutter, laser engraver, a foam cutter, and a vacuum former, as well as a variety of tools. In there you can make just about anything you want. The only catch is that there is a one-time safety class each student must take before using the machines. In the safety class, you learn how to properly handle each machine. After that, you are free to make as you please. There are always students working on projects, so it is neat to check out what they are doing.
You can come in for a tour Monday thru Thursday at any of our tour times: 10:30, 1:30, or 3:30. Or click here to schedule a tour now!
As this is being written, we are finishing up the second week of the 2019 fall semester here at UAT. With an incoming class of over 250 students, things have been busy here on campus. Nervous and excited energies are abundant. Starting college is a new and sometimes scary experience. For many, college is a big move from home with a bunch of people you have never met and a newfound sense of adulthood. The challenge can be daunting but here are a few tips and tricks to making it through your first semester.
Attend Orientation and Campus Events
CONNECT (orientation) is a great way to meet people. Starting off here at UAT, you are put into groups to do team activities and that is a great way to get to know people and have familiar faces for the first day of classes. During orientation you are also put with an EXL leader that will be a mentor throughout your first semester. The EXL leaders have been around for a few semesters and can help guide you if you have any questions. The campus and Founders Hall host events every month ranging from guest speakers to movie nights. Those events are also great ways to meet peers, professors, and industry professionals.
Create a Calendar – And then follow it
Setting up a calendar with classes, assignments, work schedules, and events helps immensely. Being able to see your schedule helps manage your time and work ethic. Whether it is a dry erase board, a monthly planner, or even a calendar on your phone it will assist with keeping everything organized.
Go to your classes
UAT offers three different course types. On campus, SyncFlex, and online. The SyncFlex and online classes are awesome options for students that work or live away from campus. I have had the chance to take a few SyncFlex courses and they have proven convenient when my work schedule was a mess. However, while these class may be recorded so you can watch later, the best experience, comes from in the classroom or live online attendance. Being able to ask the professors questions during the class is often going to result in better answers.
Talk to your instructors
Everyone wants you to succeed in your classes. If you are struggling, talk to your professors, they will find the time to help you out or get you in contact with a tutor. If you are not struggling (awesome!), still talk with your professors. The professors here at UAT are industry professionals that have great insights in the fields of your major and will sometimes provide good references. And for those wanting to start their own businesses, the professors give some amazing tips that will help you along as you are starting out.
Join a club
The entire campus is busy with events, both within the university but also the dorms. When events are not running, student clubs are also going on throughout the week. There is a club for everyone. Many students at the school share a love for anime and manga, there’s a club for it. Are you looking for something a bit more active? Join the kendo or fencing club. Are you a gamer? We’ve got eSports, League of Legends and table top gamer. And those are just a few gaming clubs. There is a long list of clubs that you can join but if there is not one that interests you, you can make one! For a list of our club visit our clubs page.
Only bring what you really need
Before you start packing everything in your room to bring to your new dorm room, think about if you really need it. If you are planning on living in the dorms, keep in mind that you will likely be sharing your space with a roommate. Just pack the essentials! Clothing, bedding, and hygiene products are a must. You’ll probably want your computer to assist with homework and a gaming console, if you have one, for some free time entertainment. College is a new experience and a good time to start fresh. While packing, if you are thinking “but what if…”, chances are you won’t. And if it turns out you do, you can have it shipped or pick it up next time you go home. Also remember to check with the dorms as well for items that may not be allowed. Check out our student housing page for tips on what to bring and what to expect when moving into the dorms.
Be mindful of your health – mental and physical
College can be stressful, so be mindful of yourself. Your mental and physical health are important to maintain. Take the time to relax and de-stress from classes. Go hang out with some friends, play some video games, or check out the Phoenix/Tempe area. If you’ve got a meal plan, take advantage of it. The UAT Restaurant has some awesome options that vary each day.
Believe in yourself
College is meant to test you and be a challenge. Not everything is going to make sense at first, but that’s okay. Staff and faculty are on your side and are ready to help you out. Believe in yourself and you will get through it.
If you are a parent of a student that has just started college, your student is doing great! And you have done a great job in getting them here. We are excited to welcome them into UAT!
by Jayson Goetz, Contributor
As the digital age progresses, technological innovations push 'smart' goods into more and more facets of our daily lives. From voice assistants to kitchen appliances connected through the 'internet of things,' these breakthroughs continually bring us unprecedented convenience and ease of use—and it becomes difficult to picture getting through our daily tasks before these technologies were available.
The automotive industry is at the forefront of using this technology to challenge the status quo. For many Americans, driving is a necessity. With so many people who rely on their personal vehicles to get them from A to B every day, fundamental improvements to the way cars operate can benefit countless drivers.
When people hear 'AI' and 'car' in the same sentence, a vision for a road full of autonomous electric vehicles often comes to mind. And while a future without human drivers hardly seems out of the realm of possibility, there are many ways that artificial intelligence is already improving the experience of commuting for many people on the road.
While there's a lot in the works for the future of vehicles, many advanced assistance features have actually been in production and on the road for quite some time now—some for longer periods of time than others. We'll start with some common features.
This feature that's just beginning to make its way onto most drivers' radars was introduced by Nissan in 2001 for the Japanese market via the Cima. Many of Nissan's—and its competitors'—vehicles now employ versions of this software that has made leaps and bounds over the years. Some models make a noise or flash a light, and some physically prevent the vehicle from moving further while bringing it back to the center of the lane.
Forward Collision Warning:
Forward collision warnings are an advanced technology that uses a number of means to detect and alert drivers of a collision that's about to occur in front of them. These systems use sensors that monitor the vehicle's speed, the speed of vehicles in front of or in close proximity to it, and the distance between them. If the vehicle is going too fast in relation to the vehicle in front of it, a warning sound, visual, or both will alert the driver so they can take corrective action. These types of systems do not take any actual control of the vehicle.
Automatic Emergency Braking:
Automatic emergency braking is very similar to forward-collision warning systems in that it uses sensors to detect an impending collision in front of the vehicle. As the name implies, however, automatic emergency braking systems slow down the vehicle (some systems can take evasive steering action at higher speeds) to prevent a crash without any input from the driver at all.
Blind Spot Monitoring:
First introduced by Volvo in 2007, many automakers have since added this capability to their lines of vehicles. It's not hard to imagine why—at high speeds on the road, especially in larger vehicles, blind spots can be particularly dangerous. Blind-spot monitoring helps to alert drivers of other vehicles on the road that are in their blind spot as they're about to merge. Typically with an audible chime, a light on the mirror, or some type of vibration. Some models even alert drivers who put on their turn signal but have not begun to merge if there's are a car in or near their blind spot.
This technology is still in the early stages of development, but some auto manufacturers already have rolled out vehicles with autopilot—the most well known being Tesla. While these features are not meant to let drivers completely stop paying attention or do things like sleep through their commutes, the potential seems endless. And for now, these autopilots seem to be able to handle long stretches of highway without incident.
While fully autonomous vehicles are not currently a reality, many large-scale entities are pouring massive amounts of resources into the research and development of driverless cars. From a freight industry comprised of automated semi-trucks to cars that drop us off and park themselves for us, it certainly seems like the ambitions of many manufacturers is going to steer us into a future of vehicles that drive themselves—what remains to be seen is how long this process will take.
Progress has been quick thus far, but a lot needs to happen before we're all scrolling through our social feeds as our autonomous vehicles drive us to work. Safety will be of utmost importance, and to ensure these vehicles are all interconnected and keep us out of danger, the development of AI in vehicles needs more time for refinement. That said, this is currently being hammered out by a number of companies. Only one thing is for certain, and that is that AI is changing the way we drive and how we interact with our vehicles at an astonishing rate.
“Driver Assistance Technologies.” NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 11 June 2019, www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/safety-technologies#faq-30606.
“Features You Auto Know: Blind Spot Monitoring Systems.” CarMax, 15 June 2018, www.carmax.com/articles/features-blind-spot-monitoring.
The Space Exploration course is a Special Topic in Technology class offered here at the university. The overall goal of the class is for everyone to work together to go beyond their limits to create a functioning weather balloon payload. The course has been running for currently four semesters and each start with the same expectations of a successful weather balloon launch and a successful recovery. And so far, reality of each has been somewhat successful. With four missions we have failed to bring home two payloads and only had one failed launch, which was just delayed and successfully launch later.
The class is made of a diverse group of majors in various stages of completion that are to work toward the common goal of a successful launch. I first took the class in my fifth semester as a Web Design/Business Technology student, along with finishing seniors in Advancing Computer Science (ACS) and first semester Game Designers and Developers. While there is a place for anyone, its not for everyone as it is not a lecture or homework-based class and a very hands on experience.
From the beginning we were split into teams such as STEAM and Corporate outreach, HAM radio and tracking GPS, flight computer, payload design and experiment research. With milestones every two to three weeks each team was expected an update to their portion. I took part in the STEAM outreach which mostly involved reaching out to local grade school teachers and interacting with students to create an experiment that would be launched with the payload. The experiments allowed both the students and our own class to study the effects of high altitude conditions.
The data and information that we have received has just propelled us to try new things and reach for better results.
UAT is a very hands on school and each course pushes its students to achieve great things, however with the courses open ended possibilities, students are expected to go beyond the typical textbook learning and step outside the box with what they can create, and some great things have been made. With the great expectation, each student comes away with a great portfolio piece that stands out.
For some aspects of the project students are able to also use other courses. For example, the flight computer is a major component that is being developed in such a way that students are able to also make it into their student innovation project.
My experience in the course has been great. While disappointed that some of the payloads have not been recovered, the journey just getting there was educationally fun. Working with grade school students and as a team with the class was a great learning experience and showed real world team work and problem-solving skills when we had issues.
Schedule balancing has never been a strong suit of mine, however with the in-class time to problem solve and work together, as well as, the clear milestones throughout the semester, I was really able to stay focused, manage my other classes, and still be able to work.
I loved many of the classes that I took here. The teachers are extremely sociable and the lessons are always made to be interesting! I gained something new from each class that I took, making my experiences in these classes to be amazing. So imagine how hard it was for me to have to choose one to be considered my favorite class! The first thing that came to mind was Introduction to Game Tools, since I was allowed to learn about the tools relevant to my industry and even create something unique in them. That is definitely up there on my list of favorite classes, but then I thought about how much I loved Composition, due to my love for writing and research. I had a lot of choices and it was a hard to choose one.In the end, the class that I choose to be my favorite ended up being Nathan Eskue’s TCH115 - Thinking Strategies!
When I first entered TCH115 , I wasn’t expecting a lot. I knew that I had to take it to fulfill one of my degree’s requirements.I also knew that it was blended, and that I was going to be in for a pretty long seven weeks. My friends confirmed this, saying that this class was hard, but, since I had taken numerous hard classes before TCH115, I didn't really think it would be too bad.Honestly, I thought it was going to be boring. But when the class started, I ended up seeing its true colors.
The class acted like a sort of leeway into understanding some of the degrees that we have here at UAT. Eskue incorporated elements from game design, robotics, programming, cyber security, and even digital video. This means that he incorporated a lot of technology into his lessons, so, while we learned some content from each degree, we also had the chance to have a lot of hands on experience the tools that the students within that degree used. I didn’t have any experience with Raspberry Pi’s or video editing before I entered this class. But, when I left, I learned a bit about CPU's, editing with some of the adobe applications, and a lot more too!
An assignment that always comes to mind is the assignment that had us create an actual game. The assignment required us to design a video game, create a game controller for it, and create a trailer that would promote what we had created. It incorporated aspects of degrees that I was already in - such as game design and advancing computer science - but also incorporated aspects from the digital video degree, so it was a pretty interesting project from the start. This was a group project, so I had to work within a group of three. Each one of us had differing skill sets, so we needed to learn how to combine what we know in order to achieve what we wanted. This went well, as we came out of the class with a console text adventure, a controller that can work with the console, and a short silent film to promote our product!
But, from working on that project and from just being in this class, I found myself rapidly developing skills that would prove to be beneficial in my future inside and outside of UAT. On top of what I already mentioned, I learned a lot about working as a team, while also learning about how to look at problems from different angles. Many of the things that I learned from this class transferred pretty well into my future classes. For example, this class taught me about rapid learning, which proved to be extremely helpful during my game design classes, where I would have to quickly learn about engines that I never used so that I could contribute to my teams. The things that I learned about Raspberry Pi’s transferred pretty well into my Production Studio, as I would have to be regularly working with that kind of technology to help my team develop an AI robot. I can go on, but this class really helped me become a stronger person.
But remember what I said about how this class was blended? I think we all know how demanding these kinds of classes can get. The class was pretty fun, but there were moments where we were just relentlessly pelted with information and work. Deadlines were short, and the consequences for missing a deadline were harsh. This, on top of my other classes, left me with little time to myself. I do not regret taking it, though. Matter of fact, the only thing that I regret is not taking it sooner. With all the skills that this class gives you, I know that I could have used them pretty well in the classes that I took prior to that semester. But in the end, I believe that TCH115 launched me in the right direction, and gave me the skills that I needed to work well within my own industry. I would definitely recommend this class to any student here who hasn’t taken it yet, as this would help them get that advantage in their future semesters.
Erin Ali, an alumna of UAT, has been a Producer in the gaming industry for twelve years. She is a Senior Producer at Turn 10 Studios working on the Forza Motorsport team. Erin has worked in production previously at other companies such as Blizzard Entertainment (Battle.net, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft II) and Monolith Productions (Shadow of War) with twelve game launches in addition to multiple global product launches. She most recently spent the past two years working at Twitch with the Developer Experience team on Extensions and the Twitch Developer Site.
As I've navigated my career, I've found a number of tactics and advice that I've used throughout. I've also engaged with a mentee on some advice I've given on the matter as well. I was hoping to format the presentation around 'tools' that students can think about using as they also go through their career that can help throughout. For example, your voice (speaking up/asking for what you need), balancing scale for what you know you need in your career early/late (so how do you prioritize a good manager, content or team as usually you can't get a perfect score for all three every job you take) and other ways to help!
Over the weekend, I had the awesome experience of being able to participate in the UAT summer game jam. A game jam, for those of you who don’t know, is an event where teams are challenged to create a game with set restrictions in a short amount of time. For this game jam, we were given the theme “Abstract Art” and were given 48 hours to make a game around that theme!
Once the theme was announced, teams quickly formed and began brainstorming. My team consisted of myself, Jordan Brown, as programmer, V Greffin as designer, and Joey Chilton, Natalie Johnson, and Syndey Brown as artists. The first hours of a game jam usually consist of mostly bouncing ideas off each other and finding something that works for your team. For our team, this process took around six hours total! We wanted something that would be unique, but also immediately fun for the player. I also wanted to be sure that we kept the scope of our game very small. With only 48 hours to create the entire game, it was very important to avoid over scoping the game and keep our ideas small.
So after about six hours, we had designed what we wanted the game to be. Inspired by a walk to a nearby gas station to grab snacks at midnight, we thought about how 24/7 gas stations must encounter some very strange people and decided that we could make that into a game. The theme “Abstract Art” made it very clear that we should be as weird and abstract with our characters as we could. With this in mind, the artists got to work drawing some very unusual characters for the player to encounter in their gas station. While they did that, I began programming the base mechanics for our player to interact with the characters.
For the next 40 hours, we worked (and occasionally slept) to finish the game. Artists drew assets for the gas station such as the counter and the items inside, all while I worked on allowing the player to look around, move items, combine items, and give them to the customers. Then finally, after 48 hours, it was over. We had created a complete game from scratch: Pitstop Picasso.
After the time is up, we set our game up for others to play, and we went to play the other teams’ games. A panel of judges also came out to try all the games. The results were awesome! Every team did something completely unique. One team built a virtual reality horror game with abstract elements, while another team created a game about flying a paper bag in the wind. There were a lot of really amazing games made and it was a lot of fun to play other games and to see them try ours for the first time.
Once we had finished playtesting and the judges had seen every game, we were all gathered together to hear the winners. Our team managed to win “best gameplay”. The judges really liked our focus on gameplay and creating unique situations for the player to interact with. It was an incredible feeling to work for 48 hours straight and create something cohesive in that short amount of time and I would recommend for anyone who is interested in game development to jump in on the next jam!
You can try out all the games made for free here: https://itch.io/jam/uat-summer-game-jam-2019/entries
You can try our game Pitstop Picasso here: https://itch.io/jam/uat-summer-game-jam-2019/rate/457384
Fall semester is right around the corner and in just over a month new freshman will arrive on campus excited, nervous and full of ideas and expectations. One of UAT's best attributes is its ability to make everyone feel welcome and like family. Our campus isn't full of fast food chains and shopping malls, but it's jammed packed with tech and intelligent, creative people not only attending but also making UAT their career and home for educating other like-minded individuals.
UAT Provost Dr. David Bolman (left) recognizes the dedicated Experience Leaders (EXL) who make new students feel welcome on campus. Because they successfully completed one full year of service, they are receiving a coveted letter of recommendation from Provost Bolman that will go into their portfolios. EXL leaders are enthusiastic, outgoing student leaders who apply and are selected by UAT to help familiarize new students with the campus, share insights about life at UAT, work on-campus events, and help them begin to feel connected and at home.
Along with EXL members, you can also find other student workers giving tours, working the front desk and other departments on campus. Almost every Monday you will see UAT staff and faculty walking around with black UAT shirts that say mentor. Each Mentor Monday students are encouraged to engage with faculty and staff outside of the classroom setting and learn more about "the real world" or career paths in tech, or even how to make the best ramen bowl on Thursdays in the UAT restaurant.
There's a reason why alumni come back and sit in on classes often and how quickly that anxious freshman feeling is only a memory. So if you're new on campus this fall and you don't know where something is or you have a question -- just ask someone.
Beginning to feel welcome already? So what are you waiting for? Take a tour today. uat.edu/tour
This semester here at UAT, I’ve had the opportunity to take some really cool classes. I’m now in my sixth semester, which means I’m taking some of the later courses in the average student timeline. This semester I got into some of the big ones like Game Production Studios (GAM281) and Student Innovation Project/Portfolio Presentation I (SIP401). Alongside those, I also took Technical Writing (ENG301), Communication in Technology (COM226), and my personal favorite, a very unique class called Game-a-Week: Rapid Prototyping (SPT323). I want to go a little bit more in depth, so I’m going to briefly talk about my experience with each of these classes to hopefully give you an idea of what you will learn when taking the courses.
Game Production Studios (GAM281)
This class is a unique one. Game Production Studios is a class that simulates working in an actual game studio. What this means, is that students will pitch projects, then a small group of them will be approved as studio projects. Once approved, they form teams for each project and work on it like an actual studio. This semester, I had the privilege of getting my project into Game Studios and have formed a team to help me build my project which I have called “Kill the Rogue” (@KilltheRogue on twitter). To produce the games, we use an agile system called scrum. Every week is a sprint where we establish goals for our production and set out to achieve them in a certain amount of time. Every three weeks is a milestone where we present the game to the studio, gain feedback, then re-evaluate and plan our next three sprints. This style of software production cycles is common throughout the industry and getting into this class is a great way to prepare for the real world experience of working in the games industry.
Student Innovation Project/Portfolio Presentation I (SIP401)
At UAT, there’s a big focus on innovation. One big way that is represented is in our Student Innovation Projects (SIP). Every student must have an innovation claim that goes through an approval process via the subject matter experts in their area. Once their claim is approved, they must build a prototype to demonstrate the innovation and show that they are capable of innovating. Alongside their SIP, students must build a portfolio during their time at UAT. This portfolio should show their accomplishments, projects, and objectives, so when they are looking for a job, they can demonstrate their value through a strong portfolio. This class is focused on working towards both goals, SIP and portfolio.
Technical Writing (ENG301)
The ability to write in a clear, concise, and understandable way is something that everyone should want. Technical writing is all about that, with a big focus on writing in a professional capacity for things like instructions or guides/manuals. In the class you do things like analyzing documents, looking for ways they could write more clearly, rewriting things in a way that improves understandability, and writing and compiling instructions for an iFixIt project.
Communication in Technology (COM226)
Communication is important in any industry whether tech related or not. In this class, you learn about how to better communicate your ideas to an audience. This means you learn how to give speeches in front of an audience and avoid the common pitfalls that affect many speakers. Right away from the start of the class you will be speaking in front of an audience to get the practice that you need to gain confidence in that setting. There is always helpful critiques to ensure that you move forward and get better as you go.
Game-A-Week: Rapid Prototyping (SPT323)
Last but certainly not least is the game-a-week class. This class is focused on creating games with a very small scope under a new theme weekly. Each week, you are given the theme, then 7 days to build the game. After that, you present the games to your classmates and get feedback as well as talking about what you learned. It’s an excellent exercise in avoiding scope creep as well as an awesome way to build your portfolio with projects that you create. The themes also provide a good platform if you have a tough time coming up with game ideas. Not every game I have made so far is a good one, and that is part of the process. It’s about learning how to scope properly as well as how to build a prototype in the short time allotted.
So that’s my schedule for this semester! I’m in a lot of interesting classes and I’m definitely keeping busy, but that’s never a bad thing. I’m excited for the things I’ll have created by the end of the semester and I’m always looking forward to what I can take to advance my skills in the coming semesters.
Consider this scenario; You are in the middle of your college semester, and your classes are starting to get harder. The number of assignments that you need to complete has grown, while your time to complete them has shrunk. On top of that, these assignments make up a large portion of your grade, so skipping them or doing poorly on them is not an option. If you were ever in this situation, What did you end up feeling? What did you do during these instances?
When I first started attending UAT, I got stressed a lot, and when I get stressed, I end up stress eating. Maybe, for others who had better control over themselves, they would have a slice of pizza or a burger and have that be the end of it. However, with how easily I got stressed, I usually found myself eating loads of food in a small time frame. By the time of my 5th semester, I’ve gained dozens of pounds from this bad habit. I have overcome that eating habit, but I still have many issues when it comes to stress. Now, when I get stressed, I become distant from people and easily angered. All of this prevents me from being productive.
In both situations, the stress of college life ended up causing numerous issues that directly affected me and my way of functioning inside and outside of school. I carried/still carry many of the issues around where I go, and it has negatively affected me. Many college students experience these same kinds of issues, unfortunately, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), forty million adults suffer from an anxiety disorder (ADAA, n.d).
Out of that forty million, “85% of college students reported they had felt overwhelmed by everything they had to do at some point…” (ADAA, n.d) and 30% stated that this stress has affected their performance in college.
What led to these high numbers?
Academics play a huge part in students’ stress (Walker, K, 2018). everything is based around a students grade, portfolio, and projects. Students are always on the clock, completing all of their individual and group assignments. They are, also, trying to make sure that their portfolio is up to industry’s standards, requiring them to tack on even more work to their schedule in order to populate their portfolio with top-level material. Along with all of this, the student is also trying to maintain their GPA so that they could keep their scholarships, job opportunities, and their presence at school.
There is also a financial burden that plays into a students’ stress (Walker, K, 2018). While many scholarships are given to those who have a certain GPA, some of these students might need even more money to function properly while going to school.
We looked at the academic and financial reasons for students issues, but we should also look into the life of a student to get a better understanding of their struggles. Since many college students have traveled from different parts of the world to get an education, they might not be used to the environment or culture of their university. They might experience homesickness (Walker, K, 2018), which would be the gateway for depression and anxiety. Many students live with other people, as so to make living expenses cheaper. This is not a problem, but then this creates the possibility of having roommate issues, some of these that require possible outside intervention. Then, in the case of a student's social life, that student might have rolled that back due to the onslaught of work and the job that they might have (Walker, K, 2018). All of these either make it harder for the student to do things that help them relieve stress or actually make their current stress much worse. I can make a list of the things that can cause stress, but the fact of the matter is that there are hundreds of reasons why someone can be stressed. It might not even have anything even relevant to school; maybe their home life is not so good. Some of these reasons can be easily solved, while others might be too nuanced to benefit from a simple and easy solution. There isn’t really a one-size-fits-all solution to everyone's problems. However, from my experiences in college and with other people, I can give a few possible ways to help someone who is being weighed down by stress:
Be someone that can be spoken to/Be someone that can listen
Sometimes, a person just needs another person to speak to. You do not need to be someone's therapist, but just sitting down with this other person and allowing them
to vent to you about their struggles is very therapeutic. Show them that you understand their struggles and maybe even share some stories that relate to the situation. Just speaking about these things is a great way to handle stress. Who knows. Maybe you are stressed yourself, and finding someone else who is going through the same thing might make things easier for you.
Offer assistance if you can
If you can offer ways to help them with what they are struggling with. Maybe, if they are struggling in class, you can offer some pointers about the next assignment. If they are struggling financially, then
maybe help them find a job or to find ways to pay their debts. Offer them your shoulder that can share the troubles with them, so that they do not feel alone and that they have someone to look towards.
Take into account what you are doing
I am not trying to say that you are the main reason why this person is stressed. However, acknowledge how the things that you do and how they affect the other person because this could mean the difference between helping them or hurting them more. If talking to them when they do not want to be spoken to does not help the situation, then don’t do it. But if sitting next to them when they seem down somehow brings their spirits up, then do that! Just be aware of the effect of your actions.
Sometimes we are taking up too much at one time, and sometimes it is the things around us that are making things harder for us. Changing the layout of our life and removing some stressful factors might prove to your benefit. For example, let's say that you usually struggle to finish an assignment before a deadline because you are constantly working on other assignments instead of this specific one. Maybe change your schedule to where you are doing a bit of all of your assignments each day so that everything can become much more manageable. Or let's say there is a person who is doing something that makes things more difficult for you( a group member that does not show up, a person who talks behind your back, etc). Talking to them about the issue and/or removing them from daily life might prove to your benefit as well.
Speak to someone/Therapy
Be someone that can be spoken to/Be someone that can listen. Venting helps get all that stress out, while also opening up opportunities for others to give you some assistance for your struggles. But some of your problems might be better solved by talking to a therapist. In either situation, talking to others about your issue is therapeutic.
Take a break
You can say that this can be considered as you making a change. But, for this one, all you have to do is just stop. Stop whatever you are doing, lay back, and take a breath. Relaxing for a bit before you go back to the grind can help lower your stress and get your head together.
All of these are not blanket answers for everyone, as some people might be in very special situations that make it harder for them to get help. However, no one is incapable of resolving their issue. It’s only when they take the first step that things will get better.
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Using the phone application “FaceApp” has blown up on social media over the past week. But experts are warning that the fun of instantly aging a person’s photo can come with a catch.
“What they’re doing is they’re using very powerful deep-learning AI tools to take people’s photos and compare those to other photos of how people age,” said Dr. Dave Bolman, provost of the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe.
Bolman says all those photos have to go somewhere.
“For this to work, it’s taking your picture and everyone else’s picture, and putting it into a database, so you’ve got tens of millions of pictures,” Bolman said.
And when you download the app, you agree for your picture to be used in virtually any way the company sees fit.
“What you don’t know is, does that picture link back to me? Is it a situation where my location, my personal information went with that picture?” Bolman said.
Adding another twist is FaceApp was developed in Russia by the Russian company Wireless Lab.
“I would say that it’s highly likely that any image you send to a private company that goes to Russia is going to end up on a government server,” Bolman said.
Most people who used the app that Arizona’s Family spoke to said they didn’t know their data could be in jeopardy. Bolman says that’s by design since user agreements can be hard to decipher.
Still, he says people shouldn’t panic.
“I think the likelihood that something bad is going to happen is relatively small. But you do have to be cautious,” Bolman said.
Bolman had two recommendations for people looking to minimize their risk while using the app. First, he says users can prevent the app from accessing their entire photo libraries. Second, he says people can go into the “settings” section of their phone to limit the amount of data that is transmitted alongside photos.
Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
My first semester here was quite an experience. I envisioned an experience completely different than what occurred. I expected it to be a struggle rushing from class to class. Instead, I found myself relaxed. The homework is reasonable, and the due dates are well spread out, giving me more than enough time to get it done. My experience at UAT has been more enjoyable than my highschool experience. UAT has its own experience...
My morning class was Entrepreneurship to Market – BUS200. Granted, I have passion towards business yet never envisioned myself opening and operating my own business. It was quite interesting to think of ideas and goals for said business. We even went as far as creating a logo and motto with paperwork.
I major in Network Security, so I took a Net Set intro course: Foundations of Networking Engineering – NTS102. My first mission was to look for someone extroverted and make friends. Our instructor, Mason Galatas, was very keen on doing actual labs rather reading from a book. Our labs were based on real world problems and actual templates that we may use in our future. I enjoyed that aspect of the Networking Basics course immensely.
Identity Protection and Personal - NTS103 was next on my class schedule. Major specific, this course and the subject of most of its assignments were personal. One of the assignments was teaming up with a classmate, researching them on the Internet, apps, etc. to gain information on them. It showed us how easy our digital print is to access. Then the most fun, in my opinion, was the Malware Lab. We were actively playing Blue Team (Security Defender/White Hat) vs. Red Team (Infiltrators/Black Hat) as you tried to clean up a Virtual Machine running Windows 7.
Introduction to Game Design – GAM101: I love video games and got a chance to brain storm and participate in the game making experience. The class was filled with back to back group projects, giving us hands on experience. We ended up making a lot of unique games. It was a fun experience for an elective class.
However, my most enjoyable class outside of Network Security was Communication in Technology – COM226H (Honors Program). It was envisioned to help students with communication skills and public speaking. It was perfect to me as I enjoy talking... A lot. The instructor, Gavin Regnaert, is also a Japanese teacher here at UAT and sprinkled some Japanese within COM226H. I found it enjoyable regardless of not knowing a single word in Japanese. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience which made the entire class focus on fun, communication and breaking out of their shell.