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ABOUT UAT
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.

Learn More About UAT

    How to Teach Computer Science


    Advancing Computer Science Professor Tony Hinton started coding when he was 12. But one boring computer class in college almost broke him. “It made me second guess whether I wanted to work with computers or not,” Tony lamented.   Tony spent an entire semester developing a fake HR system, “just to throw it all away at the end of the class.” That experience...

    Advancing Computer Science Professor Tony Hinton started coding when he was 12. But one boring computer class in college almost broke him. “It made me second guess whether I wanted to work with computers or not,” Tony lamented.

     

    Tony spent an entire semester developing a fake HR system, “just to throw it all away at the end of the class.” That experience inspired him to build computer science curriculum around solving real-world problem such as increasing crop yields and streamlining systems administration.

    “Coding is not like riding a bike,” Tony said. That’s why his ultimate goal is to assign projects that students “find so interesting that they continue developing them after the semester ends.”

    Screen Shot 2018-12-07 at 11.40.05 AM

    UAT student Brandon Nay (far left) poses with the rest of the UAT Space Exploration crew.

     

    For example, Advancing Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence student Brandon Nay didn’t have room for the UAT Space Exploration class on his schedule this semester, but he stayed up all night tweaking on-board electronics before a recent stratospheric balloon launch, developed a data graph twitch stream for the next launch and mentored elementary students in the K-12 program anyways.

     

    Students in Professor Jay Carpenter’s class develop blockchain solutions for real-world problems. They also attend conferences with him and network with professionals at the Desert Blockchain Meetup he hosts on campus.

     

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    Advancing Computer Science Professor Stephen Gose.

     

    Professor Stephen Gose integrates music into his Introduction to Python class, which Game Design student Kevin Albregard described as “less of a lecture and more of an immersive experience.” Professor Gose purposefully makes mistakes during class to test students. “When you catch him in the act, you feel this adrenaline rush and morale boost,” Kevin said.

     

    READ: The Lovable Goofball We Call Gose.

     

    With the evolving data privacy laws and precedent set by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it is also important to integrate the study of law and regulation into technology curriculum. All UAT students have to take Legal Issues in Technology. (But most of them probably wouldn't call it their favorite class like UAT Network Security alumna Tara Cooke.)

     

    Students expect engaging, relevant content. They also expect instant feedback and answers to their questions, which is why UAT professors don't hide in private offices or labs. Instead, they sit in the commons area, where they help students with homework and get to know them.  

     

    Technology will never stop evolving, and neither will UAT computer science curriculum. Professors proactively seek industry feedback, read a lot and spend their free time coding. According to Tony, “Full Stack won’t be Full Stack without AI in a few years.” That’s why UAT continues to reshape our technology curriculum to emphasize artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, mobile development and other trends that aren’t going away.

     

    If you want to future-proof your career, then check out the Advancing Computer Science degree program at the University of Advancing Technology today.

     

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    Reducing Risk, Improving Compliance & Lifting Weights


    Cybersecurity may seem like an intimidating and overwhelming concept for people who do not know much about technology and information security, but others live for the challenge of deciphering the unknown and protecting the vulnerable. And that challenge excites and motivates UAT alumna and risk and compliance manager Terra Cooke. ...

    Cybersecurity may seem like an intimidating and overwhelming concept for people who do not know much about technology and information security, but others live for the challenge of deciphering the unknown and protecting the vulnerable. And that challenge excites and motivates UAT alumna and risk and compliance manager Terra Cooke.

    Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 12.38.25 PM

     

    Terra Cooke graduated from the University of Advancing Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Network Security in 2010 and has been working in the information security field ever since. She has worked for the United States Department of Defense, Ernst & Young and Limeade, and she regularly contributes to Black Hat and DEF CON. She is passionate about security governance, risk, and compliance and geeks out about internal control assurance processes and procedures.

     

    Terra prides herself on her work ethic and commitment to life-long learning. She is currently working toward her CISSP certification and learning Python. Currently, she works as the risk and compliance manager at a well-being and engagement company based in Washington, where she spends her days developing systems to “drive security, privacy and compliance efforts throughout operations.”

     

    Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 12.38.48 PM

     

    In Terra’s free time, she powerlifts, cooks for her cat and boyfriend and sleeps. Terra recently competed in her first powerlifting competition and placed first in her weight class!

     

    Terra’s time at UAT prepared her for a successful career in cybersecurity. She said that her educational experience helped her to “bridge gaps between technical and non-technical folks,” which is a big part of her job. Classes such as Identity Access Management and Legal Issues in Technology inspired her and helped her figure out what she wanted out of her career.

     

    Terra also learned a lot about adulting.

     

    “I learned that it’s okay to fail and you will fail. It’s fine. Don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s what you do AFTER you fail that really shows who you are.”

    Job searches can feel nerve wracking. “Do not get discouraged,” Terra advises. When entering an interview, she said the most important thing is to be yourself and act natural, so the hiring team knows “what they see is what they will get as an employee.” She recommends taking care of yourself and making thoughtful decisions when you’re job hunting “because you’re the only person you have to answer to when you close your eyes at night.”

     

    She also advises info sec professionals to keep evolving and moving forward. “Compliance is not a static world, and it takes a dynamic spirit to keep all the wheels turning and build the bridges between the engineers and the business or external parties,” which is exactly why Terra loves her career.

     

    If you want to become a cybersecurity boss like Terra, check out our Network Security degree program!

     

    Don't live in Phoenix? Complete your degree online.

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    Online shopping with a VPN: Find deals and protect yourself


    This blog post was originally published on the ExpressVPN blog. Stand aside, brick-and-mortar stores: Online shopping has been growing exponentially, bringing with it undeniable upsides, but also a few risks. A...

    This blog post was originally published on the ExpressVPN blog.

    vpn

    Stand aside, brick-and-mortar stores: Online shopping has been growing exponentially, bringing with it undeniable upsides, but also a few risks. A virtual private network (VPN) is your essential companion for shopping online, steering you to better deals while also helping protect you from fraud and theft.

    This guide will show you how to use a VPN to maximize your savings, and your security, anytime you go online to shop.

    How a VPN can help

    A VPN acts as a tunnel between your device and the sites and services you use. Websites categorize users by their physical IP address (the one your internet service provider assigned you), but you can use a VPN to hide your real location as you connect to a secure server in another area. If shoppers in New York connect to a VPN location in the UK, they’re able to browse UK-specific sites. Google.com becomes google.co.uk, Amazon becomes amazon.co.uk, and so on.

    What’s more, a VPN automatically encrypts whichever network you’re using. That means if you’re browsing on a public Wi-Fi hotspot (airport, coffee shop, etc.), a VPN instantly secures your connection—making it possible for you to send sensitive information online without having to worry about your network being logged, recorded, or spied on.

    How websites dictate prices

    You may not realize it, but websites and services do not treat all customers the same. Everything an online vendor can discover about you can affect how you are treated—and how much you’ll be asked to pay.

    Location may play a big role, as online prices are often believed to be higher for users browsing from more affluent countries, cities, or even ZIP codes. These types of price-gouging techniques are known as “dynamic pricing” and are an increasingly common strategy among many e-tailers. Some sites have even been found to charge users morebased on whether they’re using a Mac or a PC.

    By using a VPN to connect to various server locations around the country or the world, you’re able to check the price of specific items in different regions. You can actually save money by using your VPN to find better deals while also securing your online network. This process takes only a little effort, but the results could save hundreds—if not thousands—over the course of a few years.

    Use a VPN to find better deals online

    First, make sure you’ve successfully cleared your cookies before beginning a new search. Because most sites use your physical location (IP address) plus cookies to track your online behavior, you’re going to want to search with a clean slate.

    Next, open your VPN app and connect to any VPN server location in a different city or state.

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    Now open a new “incognito” or “private browsing” window and enter the specific site where you want to shop. Take note of the prices. When you’re done browsing, close the window, clear your cookies, connect to a different server location, and repeat the process.

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    While there are no hard-set rules for finding better prices, you’ll likely notice little changes based on where you’re browsing. Note that before you commit to any specific deal, you should read over the site’s terms of service and check whether you’re able to purchase from a virtual location.

    How to save money on flights

    Taking these steps to hide your identity works really well with time-sensitive transactions like airfare, hotels, and more. Airline sites, in particular, are believed to use cookies to upcharge users on flights they check often, so in order to find the best deal, you’re going to want to be as thorough in your initial search as possible.

    First, make sure you check prices from a handful of different VPN locations. Once you’ve hopped around a few countries, compile your findings to see where fares are offered for less. Keep in mind that there are no set rules for finding cheap airfare; sometimes users simply get lucky and see better deals in random locations.

    Case in point: We were able to save a few hundred dollars on a flight from Frankfurt to L.A. just by checking prices on a VPN server location in Norway. Some users have also reported finding cheaper airfares by booking from lower-income places like Mexico and India, so be sure to check rates from a handful of countries.

    That said, larger cities and more affluent areas are often known to charge more for airfare, so you may want to start with a few smaller countries and work your way up. You can also use Google’s built-in exchange rate calculator to see if prices are cheaper. Keep in mind that tax isn’t always included, so you’ll want to check the total amount before you decide on a specific listing.

    How to save money on hotels

    The same trick also works with hotels. Because most lodging sites use your IP address as the main criteria to determine your unique pricing structure, you can basically “trick” websites into offering you better deals for less.

    Start by checking prices around the immediate area of where you’re planning to stay. You’ll often find cheaper deals if the location you’re browsing from and the location where you want to stay are near each other. That’s because rates are typically cheaper for locals than they are for tourists. Sure, it may sound a little unfair, but that’s generally how these services work.

    You may also be able to find cheaper rooms if you don’t book your reservation too far in advance. One study found that the lowest hotel rates can often be found between 21 and 28 days before your travel date, so you may want to hold off on locking in that reservation early.

    Extra tips to help you save the smart way

    While most experts used to suggest people book their flight on a Tuesday, a new study has declared Sunday as the best day to buy tickets. Friday is known as the most expensive day of the week to book a flight, so you’ll probably want to avoid that day altogether. It also pays to be flexible with travel dates; if weekend options are too expensive, check to see if the corresponding weekday is any cheaper.

    Another nifty trick to help save on everyday items is to add products to your shopping cart and then leave them alone leave for a day or two. According to one Lifehacker report, many big-name companies will often send customers coupons to help encourage them to take the plunge and order what they have stored.

    Again, it all comes down to experimenting with the VPN and price-checking different sites. There are no guarantees, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see significant savings at first.

    How to tell if your VPN is working

    While the whole process of using a VPN for online shopping is fairly simple, it only works if the VPN is legitimately connected to a different location. An easy way to check if you’re VPN is working is to look at your IP address. If you’re connected to a different location, your IP address should reflect this. If it doesn’t, it’s an easy tell that you’re VPN is off.

    You can also check how secure your connection is by using ExpressVPN’s built-in DNS leak checker. It only takes a few seconds, and it’s a safe and easy way to make sure your network is protected.

    Do you want to help people protect their data (and themselves) online? Check out our NSA-certified Network Security degree program.

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    Watch Your Language!


    One of the requirements for graduation at the University of Advancing Technology is to complete a Student Innovation Project. ...

    One of the requirements for graduation at the University of Advancing Technology is to complete a Student Innovation Project. The purpose of the Student Innovation Project, or "SIP", is to innovate within your field of study. You can create a product from the ground up or improve upon an existing idea. This better prepares us for the real-world and sparks our entrepreneurial spirit. 

    Here at UAT, you have three semesters to complete your SIP. Most UAT students wait until their last three semesters, like I did, because you have more experience in your field of study. I was able to go into my SIP classes confident in my programming expertise. 

    SIP

    My SIP is relatively simple: Gamers love to curse while playing video games! Whether it's a multiplayer game or a single-player game, cursing seems to be a common denominator. In one of the games I'm working on, Communication Meltdown, cursing over voice-chat will cause sirens and alarms to go off, followed by a prompt: Watch Your Language! on the T.V. monitors. The more you cuss, the quicker you lose the game. 

    Our innovation claim is "To intensify gameplay by turning the foul language gamers use so often into a mechanic for punishment."

    If you are interested in seeing my Student Innovation Project presentation, as well as the other student's, join us on campus for the SIP Fair on December 6th! The SIP fair is open to the community and I encourage you to come.You can watch the video I'll be using for the fair here. Happy Holidays everyone!

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    Learning In a High Pressure Environment : CCDC Invitational


    The biggest misunderstanding with Collegiate Cyber Defence Competition (CCDC) teams is that only the most technical people can be effective team members. But in reality, passion and willingness to work with other is more important. Seniors can always teach younger students the basic technical skills beforehand, and the...

    The biggest misunderstanding with Collegiate Cyber Defence Competition (CCDC) teams is that only the most technical people can be effective team members. But in reality, passion and willingness to work with other is more important. Seniors can always teach younger students the basic technical skills beforehand, and the competition itself is supposed to be a learning experience.

    The CCDC competition is focused on the blue team aspect where you defend against a red team. The college team with the best defense wins. Scores are measured by services, security and injects, which are calculated through a scoring engine. Services is categorized as the service a server is performing such as a website. If the website goes down, then the team gets penalized for it.

    Security is a measurement taken by the red team when they test different attacks on the servers. If an attack is successful, then the team gets penalized.

    Injects are different tasks given by the white team, or judges, that our team needs to complete. These security tasks include documentation and security policies. The higher the quality of the inject, the higher points the team will receive for the inject. Teams get more points for clean, concise file formats, spelling, grammar and presentation style. 

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    The high risk of failure is a very common deterrent for people not wanting to join their school's CCDC team. I understand no one wants to feel like dead weight or feel like they caused the team to lose.

    But in reality, everyone will make mistakes. A big part of the competition is being able to fix those mistakes before the red team can find them. Clear communication and teamwork will help the team resolve mistakes faster. 

    When picking teammates for the WRCCDC Invitational, I chose people who I knew were good at communicating and passionate about network security.

    The WRCCDC Invitational is like a practice round for the Western Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

    I decided to use this practice round as an opportunity to see who would want to fill what roles such as active directory, documentation and Linux admin.

    photo-1533729149121-1e2dce0c2f51

    This went exceptionally well since we got first place overall for the second practice round.

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    I believe our success is due in part of because of the team's technical talent but also everyone's ability to work well under pressure. 

    In the future, I hope that we all improve our technical skills and have fun as we go through this competition season.

    I talk more about the ideal characteristics of CCDC team members in another blog post that details my personal CCDC story about my fight for a spot on the team, which you can find here.

     

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    UAT Hosts 'VR for Good 2018 Summit, Sponsored By VR Voice & Baltu Studios'


    Tempe, Arizona - October 29, 2018 - On November 5 and 6, 2018, University of Advancing Technology (UAT) hosted the VR for Good 2018 Summit, sponsored by VR Voice and Baltu Studios.   A prime location for this national event, UAT’s technology-infused campus in Tempe, Ariz., is full of VR equipment, developers and mentors. The ...

    Tempe, Arizona - October 29, 2018 - On November 5 and 6, 2018, University of Advancing Technology (UAT) hosted the VR for Good 2018 Summit, sponsored by VR Voice and Baltu Studios.

     

    A prime location for this national event, UAT’s technology-infused campus in Tempe, Ariz., is full of VR equipment, developers and mentors. The event schedule boasted the industry’s best all presenting and discussing the ways Virtual Reality can positively impact society. The lineup included UAT Chief Academic Officer and Provost Dr. David Bolman.

     

     

    VR-Mayor-Mark-Mitchell-2

     

     

    UAT has been teaching Virtual Reality and sending alumni to the industry for about twenty years. The positive social impact Virtual Reality can have on the world was detailed further in a recent Study International article featuring UAT’s program. The article discusses that in addition to entertainment functions, VR can be used to, “simulate big data, create augmented reality apps…and recreate day-to-day experiences.” In the early 1990’s, UAT staff and students were working with the best VR technology of the time on immersive experiences, including an archeological site map for the Egyptian government and an architectural rendering of the then-named Bank One Ballpark.

     

    Today, UAT’s VR students begin developing in the virtual world from day one. With UAT’s year-round schedule and project-based curriculum, students can obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Virtual Reality in less than 3 years and gain real world skills along the way.

     

    About UAT

     

    UAT is an elite intimate private college in Tempe, AZ focused on educating students in advancing technology who desire to innovate in the areas of emerging technology disciplines. Living on campus, students are surrounded in a true living learning technology environment that incubates their ideas into innovations that students can patent and take to market. Students must create an innovation project to graduate.

     

    About VR Voice

     

    VR Voice has developed a unique event that covers virtual reality’s positive social impact in different industries. Our speaker line-up is committed to making change via VR/AR that promotes the greater good. Industries and organizations covering healthcare, learning and education, historic preservation, museums, government agencies, communications, news and journalism, and charitable causes are being profoundly affected by the VR/AR revolution and are covered in The VR for Good Summit.

     

    Contact(s):

    Ashley Murry Valerie Cimarossa

    University of Advancing Technology

    913-526-5249 602.390.9213

    amurry@uat.edu valerie@uat.edu

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    UAT Digital Video Faculty & Students' Creation of "Bohemian Rhapsody: Star Wars Edition" Viral Hit Makes Resurgence


      A long time ago in a Digital Video class far, far away...   In reality, four...

     

    A long time ago in a Digital Video class far, far away...

     

    In reality, four years ago several Digital Video majors, with help from faculty at UAT, produced the above video: Bohemian Rhapsody - Star Wars edition. What more than likely started as a fun idea and hilarious project, turned out to be a viral hit that's now approaching close to 5 million views.

     

    The talent at UAT is always admirable, but some of the best ideas and projects come from students bouncing ideas off each other and having a good time in the common areas and labs. The Commons has been a co-working space for almost 10 years now and was an idea brought about by our staff prior to the current boom in "co-working" office spaces.

     

    Now with the popular Bohemian Rhapsody movie, that just went over the $300 Million mark in the box offices, our student-created video above is getting some resurgence and we felt like it was a great time to showcase it once again.

     

    If you'd like to learn more about the Digital Video program or any other technology degrees at UAT, follow this link: https://www.uat.edu/ to learn more! 

     

    Video credits:

     

    • Produced by the Students and Faculty of the Digital Video Program at University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Arizona (http://www.uat.edu)
    • "Star Wars Edition" Lyrics by Stephen Panagiotis, Jamall Richards and Paul DeNigris
    • "Star Wars Edition" Vocals Produced by Joey Sawhill & Adam Newton
    • All vocals by Adam Newton Engineered & Mixed by Joey Sawhill
    • Yoda Puppet by Philip Robinson and James Wright (http://www.droidonthemoon.com)
    • Samurai Fett armor by Allen Amis (http://geektyrant.com/news/2012/7/1/i...)
    • Spanish subtitles courtesy of Juan José Melero Gómez
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    The Importance of Saving and Backing Up Your Work


    "A corruption has been detected. Please format hard drive to continue"My heart sank as I read this trying to access my homework located on my portable hard drive that use for school. I started to panic as I ejected the USB cable and tried it again. Same error. Again and again I tried to get past the error with no success. With my head hung low I sighed and...

    "A corruption has been detected. Please format hard drive to continue"

    My heart sank as I read this trying to access my homework located on my portable hard drive that use for school. I started to panic as I ejected the USB cable and tried it again. Same error. Again and again I tried to get past the error with no success. With my head hung low I sighed and put the hard drive back into my bag. I had been careless and not backed up my work for multiple weeks. It was one of the worst feelings I have ever felt.

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    File corruption and loss of data is a huge risk and a real threat to many computer savvy students. Here are some way to prevent and alleviate the stress of hard drive failure or loss of saved work.

    1. Save and Back Up Your Work

    One of the most effective ways to prevent loss of work is to save your work. a good rule to live by is "Save Fast and Save Often." This can prevent you from losing hours of progress by programs crashing or having other issues. Remember it always happens to someone else until it happens to you.

    2. Invest in a Back-Up Hard Drive.

    a Portable hard drive is a blessing to have on hand as it functions like a giant USB Flash Drive. It can store almost any type of file and has ton of storage space. They cost about $60 for a 1 TB (Terabyte) Hard drive. A bit pricey, but is extremely useful to have a place where you can just dump your files into and they will be safe and sound. Remember to back up this as well to be extra safe.

    external-hard-drive-1200006_960_720

    3. Take Care of Your Storage Devices

    Buy a small case for your hard drive or get a plastic cover for the port on your flash drive. Making sure that your hard drive is safe and sound from drops and spills can alleviate the headaches of having a nonfunctional data port.

    Hopefully these small tips help you keep you and your data safe. A few precautions now can save you a lot of stress worry in the future.

    Did these tips help? Do you have any data safety tips you would like to share? Let me know in the comments below.

    ~Happy Saving!

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    Should There be a Dark Souls Esq. Genre?


    Dark Souls took the Video Game Industry by storm, From Software's Medieval/Fantasy action role-playing game had players groan and rage as they died time and time again to the games unforgiving enemies and bosses. At the time of release, no other game was quite like Dark Souls, with its game play...

    Logo

    Dark Souls took the Video Game Industry by storm, From Software's Medieval/Fantasy action role-playing game had players groan and rage as they died time and time again to the games unforgiving enemies and bosses. At the time of release, no other game was quite like Dark Souls, with its game play heavily relying on players to learn enemy attack patterns. Some developers have decided to hop on the bandwagon and create "Soul-like" games. I feel like this brings down what makes the Soul Series so great. Now it's not to say that these are bad per say, but a game should not be created on the basis of revolving around dark souls-like mechanics. Here are some reasons against a Souls-like genre.

    souls-like

    A main reason is that the closer a game is to Dark Souls, the harder it is to for it to be a success. For example, Lords of the Fallen has a lot of similar elements to Dark Souls including: recognizing enemy attack patterns, death penalties and the like. Yet, it failed to deliver a satisfying experience due to a lack of polish and a lack of understating of what makes Dark Souls, Dark Souls.

    lords-of-the-fallen-boss-guide-10-1024x576

    Another reason why is that creating a game to be souls-like is that you are restricting the games development to an older games mechanics and flow. This can lead to pitfalls that the game can fall into making it difficult to try and separate the game from being to similar to Dark Souls.

    A problem that can stem from creating too many games similar to one another is that eventually as features are dropped in favor of new ones, the games will barely resemble what they were trying to replicate in the first place. when a game is labeled "souls-like" is really unspecific as its treated like genres when they are really just describing a set of characteristics in place of accurate, detailed descriptions of what the game really has to offer.

    That is not to say Souls-like games are just copied and past, a lot of them, in fact, do take the game mechanics and turn them on their head. Ska Studio's Salt and Sanctuary is a 2D souls-like game with salt gained instead of souls, sanctuaries instead of bonfires and there are definitely some nods to Dark Souls in a few of boss designs. but it also has elements to more traditional RPGs, such as a detailed class system and a companion system, to name a few. If anything, one would describe Salt and Sanctuary more in line to Ska's previous 2D action RPG.

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    All in all, Games should be describe and categorized based on their unique game play mechanics and features and not force them to be labeled as being like a game that may not be the closest comparison that can be draw. What do you think? Should there be a genre dedicated to games that ramp up difficulty?

    ~Cheers!

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    Why Every Game Developer Should Participate in Game Jams


    Have you ever made an entire video game from scratch in two days with your friends? We do all the time at UAT. It sounds like something that should be left to the professionals and experts, but that’s just not true. I believe that every single game developer, new or experienced, should participate in game jams when the opportunity...

    Have you ever made an entire video game from scratch in two days with your friends? We do all the time at UAT. It sounds like something that should be left to the professionals and experts, but that’s just not true. I believe that every single game developer, new or experienced, should participate in game jams when the opportunity arises.

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    You may ask, “Why should I join? 48 hours is a lot of time to give away.” Participating in a game jam is definitely an investment, setting aside the whole time to complete one single goal. But it's worth it. Every single game jam I have participated in has been an incredible experience. At worst, I end up learning important things about game development and having a lot of fun; at best, I come out with a fully functional game that I am proud of and can expand upon in the future.

    What if you're new though? Should you still participate? Absolutely!

    Everyone interested in game development should participate in game jams. I did my first jam when I was 16 years old in high school. I knew very little about programming and was extremely new to game development. Making the decision to do it anyway gave me valuable game development and programming experience that I still think back on often.

    One big benefit of participating is, in a game jam when you encounter a problem, you will solve it as quickly as you can. At the end of the time, your game might be a little worse off because you took extra time to solve the problem, but for all future projects, you will know how to handle it. This applies to programmers, artists, and designers alike. If an artist is challenged to create something they’ve never made before, they’re on a limited time scale and will get it done as fast as possible! This mindset of always making things even when you’re inexperienced is how you become experienced. Every game jam I’ve done after that first one has been an improvement and every game I’ve worked on outside of game jams have improved because of them.

    On top of constant self-improvement, game jams leave you with something you can show. Many of the projects I’ve worked on for game jams are presentable enough to show on my resume. Rather than having nothing to show because games take so long to develop, you dedicate two days to creating something brand new that you can show off. Otherwise, in the case that it’s not presentable, it’s usually pretty close to being presentable and can be quickly fixed and polished after the jam ends to become a great portfolio piece.

    For example, a group of UAT students created the VR game Bust A Worm during a game jam!

    {% video_player "embed_player" overrideable=False, type='scriptV4', hide_playlist=True, viral_sharing=False, embed_button=False, player_id='6517642497' %}

    If you aspire to be a game developer or to work in the games industry, I highly recommend jumping into the next game jam you can. The Global Game Jam is going to be happening January 25th, 2019, and UAT will be a participating site, so make sure to check it out and jump in!

    Want to learn how to make video games at UAT? Check out our Game Programming degree program today!

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    The Future of Robotics and AI


      Over recent years, many leaders of the tech revolution have celebrated the life of Alan Turing's. For his 100th birthday, Google made a Turing Machine Doodle.  Wired has a ...

     

    Over recent years, many leaders of the tech revolution have celebrated the life of Alan Turing's. For his 100th birthday, Google made a Turing Machine Doodle.  Wired has a retrospective on Turing's influence on computing, and a discussion of the validity of the Turing Test for machine intelligence.

    robotics engineering degree at UAT

     

    In relation to today's advancing AI technology education and robotics engineering to Turing's groundbreaking work, the Between the Lines blog has a great article on the near future of robotics and AI, with opinions by computing pioneers such as Peter Norvig and Judea Pearl.

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    5 Soft Skills Tech Nerds Need


    In my short time with UAT, I have been fortunate enough to interact with talented students, incredible professors and some top-notch industry professionals. The knowledge they have in STEM is awe-inspiring, but at the end of the day, to be successful in any industry, you must possess more than just technical skills. As a communications scholar, I know first-hand the...

    In my short time with UAT, I have been fortunate enough to interact with talented students, incredible professors and some top-notch industry professionals. The knowledge they have in STEM is awe-inspiring, but at the end of the day, to be successful in any industry, you must possess more than just technical skills.

    As a communications scholar, I know first-hand the communication skills you need to master to be successful. These are the things you won't put on your skills list on your resume, but they are the things you need to show others you have.

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    Public Speaking

    As a former instructor of public speaking, I can tell you that this is the most important professional skill you can develop. You may be the smartest person in the company, but if you cannot properly express yourself in a room full of your peers, it’s going to be tough for you to be successful. More than 70% of the American population has a fear of public speaking (Glossophobia). The best way to overcome your fears? Get organized. Practice. Record yourself. Practice some more. Focus on the material, not the audience. Practice.

     

    Verbal Communication

    Similar to public speaking, verbal communication is a skill you must have because if you cannot interact with your boss, peers, customers or anybody else you come across in a professional setting, you will be labeled as “difficult” to work with. While you may be a quiet type, try actively engaging others with small talk. Although a typical workday is 8 hours long, it’s impossible to work the entire time. When there is a lull, go talk with a colleague or your boss. On the flip side, make sure you are open with your communication regarding your work. If you are struggling or if you made a mistake, let somebody know. Don’t try to do it yourself. The more open you are, the more respect you will get.

     

    Written Communication

    I could write an entire essay on the importance of writing. However, I will save you the time and just tell you this: Make sure you proofread everything. If you need help with this, give Grammarly a try. Master the art of the cold email. Also, make sure you understand the “email loop." If you email somebody, and they provide you with a response, make sure you close the loop by responding and thanking them for their time or their response.

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    Non-Verbal Communication

    Have you ever heard the term, “Fake it until you make it”? While you may be a little quiet, or you may be lacking in self-esteem, you must appear confident. Your non-verbal cues are the biggest indicator of your confidence. So, stop slouching, have a firm handshake, look people in the eyes and walk around like you own the place.

     

    Public Speaking

    Oh, this isn’t a mistake. Public speaking is so important it’s on the list twice. Like the famous Patches O'Houlihan said, "Remember the 5 D's of dodgeball: Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge."

    Remember the five soft skills you need. Public Speaking. Verbal Communication. Written Communication. Non-Verbal Communication. And, Public Speaking.

    Need help mastering these soft skills? Send me an email!

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    UAT Featured: SI News Asks, “How Relevant Is VR?"


    Study International News, an Independent news site focused on international students studying in the US, recently wrote an article about the relevancy of Virtual Reality in today’s society.   SI News explains, “According to ...

    Study International News, an Independent news site focused on international students studying in the US, recently wrote an article about the relevancy of Virtual Reality in today’s society.

     

    SI News explains, “According to TechHQ, VR isn’t just for gamers: ‘Although VR is transforming the gaming landscape, the technology also has possibilities outside of this space. Enterprise VR is a quietly successful segment of this emerging industry that perhaps doesn’t get the attention it so rightly deserves.’”

     

    It’s a short article that quickly explains the growing tech that is finding its way into a range of business verticals such as marketing, sales, education and you guessed it -- gaming. The job market continues to grow in this space as the technology progresses rapidly, which is why SI News begins the article on UAT’s Bachelor of Arts degree in Virtual Reality.

     

    VR college degrees, uat, university of advancing technology

     

     

    “To remain in sync with digital demands, many universities have upgraded course selections with a range of contemporary, technological degrees,” SI News said.

     

    “One university that’s doing just that is the University of Advancing Technology in Arizona. Through its Bachelor of Arts degree in Virtual Reality, students are transforming the standards of gaming technology and practices.”

     

    The VR program at UAT applies the design principles of gaming to serious, life-changing applications in such fields as corporate training, medical and therapeutic, military and education. This highly technical field of serious games requires the specialized education that UAT’s virtual reality development degree provides.

     

    Visit SI News to read more about the the relevancy of VR (if you don’t know already) or learn more about UTA’s Virtual Reality Degree right here.

     

     

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    Get a Makeover with Special Effects Makeup


    It's been a while since I’ve written about the courses I’ve been taking, electives in particular. This fall semester, I’ve found a class that is creatively challenging and seems to cover certain skills that would be useful amongst artists and filmmakers alike. For this blog, I’m going to be covering the DVA234 course, otherwise known as Special Effects and Character Makeup....

    It's been a while since I’ve written about the courses I’ve been taking, electives in particular. This fall semester, I’ve found a class that is creatively challenging and seems to cover certain skills that would be useful amongst artists and filmmakers alike. For this blog, I’m going to be covering the DVA234 course, otherwise known as Special Effects and Character Makeup.

     

     Already from the beginning, students are presented with kits that hold the most fundamental makeup supplies from foundation to latex. Now don’t worry, the professor ensures that students are not allergic to each of the supplies. If someone is, they will find an alternative means of approaching objectives. But other than that, the course emphasizes getting familiar with your classmates since you won’t be applying the makeup to yourself. You’ll be applying them to partners who will serve as models of your work, FaceOff style!

     So, if you feel like the type who is shy and may be has trouble talking to others, this course will eliminate that awkward tension since everyone is in the same boat as you. And if you happen to be the type of person who is used to applying makeup to themselves, time to get used to putting it on someone else! Besides, it’s a great way to show off whatever skills you have. And even if it’s your first time using makeup (like it is for me), there’s no need to feel embarrassed. If anything, you’ll be celebrated for exploring new territory.

     Now, you might be interested in the course but you want a head start by knowing what kind of things you’ll be doing. Though I’d be happy to oblige, I only know what we’ve done and the very next thing. So, I do not think there’s a theme to what we cover. However, everyone’s first assignment was to try their best to emulate a werewolf design with their makeup. Yep, make your partner look canine with any real way of “molding” their face.

     At first, it seems like daunting task. But, once you think from a point of perspective (or rather, the power of perspective), you’ll come to realize just how well we can fool our own eyes. It’s a feeling that is often unmatched when you succeed in pulling something like that off.

     The next assignment is going to be creating a “rotting flesh” effect, meaning it’s time to get nasty. How we do it is again, like the rest of the course, is entirely up to us. However, there is one rule I should mention that is important for anyone in that course: You cannot use fake blood. That’s right, you absolutely cannot use the one packet of fake blood. Any kind of blood or bleeding effects you must find another way to do so. Other than that, everything goes!

    Sometimes the class even gets to go on field trips. In the past, they have brought their SFX makeup skills to the Renaissance Festival and Arizona Science Center!

     I have a few ideas on what I’m going to do, but I am most definitely going to have fun doing it regardless. Plus, I can see why others would take this course. It emphasizes creativity, research and letting loose. Not many courses that I can think of would match those descriptions. So if you feel like getting a makeover or pulling off some special effects (the non-digital kind), check out DVA234.

    If you like the SFX makeup course, then check out our Digital Video program!

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    UAT Robotics Professor Demonstrates Advancing Technology at CactusCon


    UAT attended CactusCon 2017 in the Robotics Village on Saturday, October 1, at Phoenix Convention Center.   UAT Professor Joseph Horen showed off robot demonstrations as well as Arduino programming labs for attendees to learn to program and see the results via the hardware.   The Robotics Village was a new edition to Cactus Con but turned out...

    UAT attended CactusCon 2017 in the Robotics Village on Saturday, October 1, at Phoenix Convention Center.

     

    UAT Professor Joseph Horen showed off robot demonstrations as well as Arduino programming labs for attendees to learn to program and see the results via the hardware.

     

    The Robotics Village was a new edition to Cactus Con but turned out to be a popular event for 8-17-year-olds who wanted to learn about Cyber Security and Robotics.

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    Game Professors Present VR at Science With A Twist


    The Arizona Science Center is blowing up the night for a special adult-only event featuring a twist on science demos and experiments, a high energy DJ, specialty drinks and a presentation on "Animation and Virtual Reality" by UAT Game Studios Professors Jorge Portillo and Ben Reichert, who just returned from a week at E3, the Electronics Entertainment Expo in California. ...

    The Arizona Science Center is blowing up the night for a special adult-only event featuring a twist on science demos and experiments, a high energy DJ, specialty drinks and a presentation on "Animation and Virtual Reality" by UAT Game Studios Professors Jorge Portillo and Ben Reichert, who just returned from a week at E3, the Electronics Entertainment Expo in California.

     

    UAT’s VR slide show presentation, which will be held in the IMAX Theater, will include information about UAT degrees in Game Design, Game Programming, Art and Animation and Virtual Reality. Professor Portillo, who specializes in game art, will touch on the principles of animation, and other areas he teaches to students at UAT such as concept art, texturing, rigging, and 3d modeling.

     

     

    UAT Professor Jorge Portillo, Game Art and Animation
    UAT Professor Jorge Portillo, Game Art and Animation

     

     

    Virtual Reality games and concepts from UAT Game Studios will be featured showing off a few of our student’s recent game builds from Busta Worm and Call Center Simulator. Professor Reichert will also discuss trends from E3 and what the future of VR has in store for us tech lovers!

     

    UAT Professor Ben Reichert, Game Studios
    UAT Professor Ben Reichert, Game Studios

     

     

    Come out to Arizona Science Center tonight to be part of the action. Remember Science with a Twist is a 21+ only event! Buy your tickets here.

     

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    Trading in 2D Art for 3D Art


    John Goodall arrived at UAT like many freshmen, with a very specific career goal of becoming a 2D concept artist. Then he discovered 3D art. “I realized that was my home,” John said. “A lot of the pipelines for 3D art are the same or similar to real-time and pre-rendered projects,” he added....

    John Goodall arrived at UAT like many freshmen, with a very specific career goal of becoming a 2D concept artist. Then he discovered 3D art. “I realized that was my home,” John said. “A lot of the pipelines for 3D art are the same or similar to real-time and pre-rendered projects,” he added.

     

    JohnGoodall

     

    While John mastered design software such as Max, Maya, ZBrush, Substance Designer and Substance Painter in his classes, he started working toward a career as a video game artist. He created 3D environments, props and characters for the UAT homegrown indie studio Opera Skunk, and he even worked as a game art tutor.

     

    But now John is more likely to make 3D “art” for architects than gamers. As a 3D artist on the architectural visualizations team at Point in Time Studios, John is currently working on interior renderings for a student housing project. He creates models based on furniture and architectural references to bring the client’s vision to life.

     

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    Point in Time Studios Student Housing Demo Reel

     

    John credits his post-graduation success to rigorous research and rockstar professors (and a little bit of luck and persistence). Before interviews, John visits the company’s website to make sure the mission aligns with his professional goals and ideals. He also researches their current projects and practices interview questions. “It feels great when they ask you a question that you’ve practiced!”

     

    The curriculum and group projects prepared John for his career, but his teachers inspired him inside and outside of the classroom. “Lynn, Jorge and Matt are amazing people. They want to help their students succeed and be the best that they can be at what they do. I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for me,” John said.

     

    Most of John’s memories of UAT are happy ones, but he does recall feeling a little stressed out at times. “School is important, but don’t be afraid to have fun at the same time. Life is all about balance,” he said. Following a schedule and taking breaks helped him stay on track.

     

    “Just roll with the punches and don’t be afraid to adapt to what life throws at you. It might be your next big opportunity.”

     

    Do you want to study 3D design and jumpstart an exciting career like John? Check out our Art & Animation degree program today!

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    My Time At CactusCon


    I had a blast at Arizona's premier cyber security conference CactusCon, where I learned a lot about cyber security trends and tools and met a lot of cool people. The first thing I did was go to the lockpick village. I was surprised to find out I could still pick locks and have fun doing it. Being knowledgeable...

    I had a blast at Arizona's premier cyber security conference CactusCon, where I learned a lot about cyber security trends and tools and met a lot of cool people.

    The first thing I did was go to the lockpick village. I was surprised to find out I could still pick locks and have fun doing it. Being knowledgeable about lock picking helps you understand basic security principals because you identify what makes a lock secure and how to identify and fix various vulnerabilities.

    I spent most of my time attending a capture the flag (CTF) event, which was really challenging. The concept of a capture the flag event is to try to find a file on a network. The goal of this specific game was finding different user passwords.

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    The Badges where also cool because you did the wire soldering yourself, which can make for a cool project. Different vendors had tables set up with info on new projects, services and resources, which was a good method for obtaining different information about industry trends.

    I also got to connect with top cyber security employers such as Bishop Fox, American Express, Early Warning Services and PayPal. Their representatives were friendly and helpful and offered insight into their hiring processes and needs.

    After the conference, I got invited to a dinner with one of my friends and some people I meet at DEF CON. It was very insightful to hear their different perspectives on the industry. Picking up these tidbits is my favorite part of attending these conferences.

    Being able to start networking and talking to people in the industry that I am trying to go into is invaluable. I make these opportunities for myself because I put myself out there and typically attend conferences and events with friends. Pro tip: I recommend going to a security conference with other people.

    Want to study cyber security and crush CTFs with me at UAT? You can find more info about our network security degree program here.

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    My Path to Security – How Gerben Kleijn Got into Security


    Meet Gerben Kleijn, Security Consultant and Penetration Tester at Bishop Fox.    ...

    Meet Gerben Kleijn, Security Consultant and Penetration Tester at Bishop Fox. 

     

     

    Senior Security Analyst Gerben Kleijn received his Master’s degree in Psychology in the Netherlands before he decided to move to the United States to pursue his MBA. His lifelong “go with the flow attitude” and a love for learning would eventually lead him to UAT, where he first discovered his passion for security.

     

    The Q&A below between Gerben and Bishop Fox Content Coordinator and Cool Human Britt Kemp was originally posted on the Bishop Fox blog.

     

    What originally drew you to security?

    I probably would have never found myself in the security field if I hadn’t been pushed into going back to school in 2012. I needed a visa to stay in the USA and ultimately decided a student visa was the easiest path to take. I knew several friends who studied at UAT and I was interested in doing a technology-oriented major, such as programming. When I looked more into UAT, I found out that they offered classes in network security and digital forensics, and that seemed interesting. The idea of becoming a hacker was exciting, so I figured “Why not?” and enrolled. I didn’t know as much about the field as most of the other people in my major, so I had a lot of catching up to do. I worked hard though, and it paid off.

     

    How did you end up in the USA?

    I landed in the States thanks to kismet. Way back when, I worked for an American company in the Netherlands until they closed down their international office (where I worked) in 2009. I was offered a chance to continue working for them in the US and I figured “why not”. I moved to the USA in October 2009 with nothing but a few suitcases and no place to live other than a 2-week hotel reservation. The first couple of months in the US were crazy, but then … I figured it out.

     

    What was one thing you took away from your time at UAT that has helped you in the long term?

    What you do outside of class matters more than what you do in class. If you can get into the habit of studying in your free time, this will help you later! Even after you graduate and find a job, it is still important to develop yourself and keep learning. Developing a thirst for knowledge and a drive to get better is something that will aid you throughout your life.

     

    What was one thing you wish you had known as a student?

    Be prepared to spend a couple of years in a job that might not be your dream job. Just because you graduated with a degree and a reasonably good GPA doesn’t mean that people will start throwing great jobs at you. Experience matters, and you probably don’t have much yet, if any. The security field is a great field to be in, and good jobs will eventually come your way. Be patient and stay focused.

     

    How did you get your first job in the industry?

    Thanks to UAT, I worked as a volunteer at Black Hat. There was another UAT alumni volunteering who was working for Bishop Fox. He introduced me to their recruiters and the rest, as they say, is history.

     

    Tell me about one career highlight.

    The first time I got remote code execution during an external penetration test was amazing. For the first couple of years, my job at Bishop Fox was in enterprise security, so basically auditing and control reviews. In my spare time, I studied penetration testing techniques and I did the OSCP, but that was all done in artificial environments that were created to be hacked. I didn’t really feel like I knew what I was doing until I got my first shell on an actual penetration test. Then I had more of a sense of, “Yeah, this is what I want to do.” I’m fortunate to have experienced that.

     

    Where would you like to be in the next 5-10 years (career wise)?

    I’ve never planned my life that way. I never knew what I wanted to study, what kind of job I wanted after graduation, where I wanted to live, etc. I usually just go with the flow and take opportunities as they present themselves, and it has worked out well for me so far. All I can say is that I am always trying to get better at what I do, and that I am very happy working at Bishop Fox. If, in five years, I am still here hacking things, then I am totally okay with that.

     

    What was one unexpected challenge you have encountered?

    Dealing with projects that require a lot of travel for an extended period of time. I don’t mind traveling for work and I am aware that it’s one of the not-so-great parts of being a consultant. However, at one point I was on a project that required me to be on-site from Monday through Friday for a period of more than six months. This took a toll on my personal life and it required adjustments. Sometimes you just have to put up with a situation if it leads to something better.

     

    What advice would you give to someone wanting to break in and/or advance in security?

    Dedicate yourself and work hard. Spend as much of your free time as you can studying and getting better. Maybe you need to give up another hobby; if that’s not worth it to you then maybe you don’t want it as bad as you think you want it. At the same time, don’t get discouraged because you feel like you’re too far behind the curve. The field is not made up only of people who started hacking as a teenager. I didn’t start until I was 28 – I was quite the late bloomer. So it’s possible to enter the field with a late start.

    What is the greatest resource you have found?

     

    HackTheBox.eu and Pentesterlab.com. Both offer free exercises in hacking techniques, although it’s worth it to get the paid subscription for both as they are relatively cheap. If you’re new to the field, they will teach you a lot of the stuff that you need to know. If you’re a veteran, they will help you stay sharp.

     

    What’s the biggest misconception in security?

    For me, it’s that your company can be secure by practicing “checkbox security,” meaning that if you do your yearly audit, and you buy the most expensive firewall, you should be safe from hackers. Security needs to be an integral part of the company culture, and it must be a part of every department and operation. Of course, there are no guarantees even then, but the companies that keep information security segmented to its own department don’t stand a chance.

     

    Tell me one interesting fact about yourself.

    I attended an English high school in the Netherlands for no other reason than that I thought it would be fun. This obviously ended up being a useful decision.

     

    Want to study cyber security at UAT like Gerben? You can find more info here

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