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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.
The world of Virtual Reality (VR) has been around for decades. Over 25 years ago, University of Advancing Technology (UAT) led the country as the first university in the nation to offer a fully accredited degree in Virtual Reality. Having been created in 1991, the initial VR degree offering may have been a bit before its time, but UAT is pleased to announce that the Virtual Reality degree is back and available to students for the 2016 fall semester.
What is Virtual Reality (VR)? Virtual Reality is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors. Some examples of Virtual Reality devices include Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, both of which can be demonstrated in the New Technologies Lab on UAT’s Tempe campus.
The world of Augmented Reality (AR) is also gaining traction. The Pokémon Go movement quickly introduced the general public to the possibility of adapting AR into their daily lives with the simple concept of collecting cute Pokémon characters that are visually projected in your city surroundings. Pokémon Go is an example of VR using smartphone technology.
According to an article published on Forbes.com in May 2016, VR jobs in mainstream technology are on the rise. In a short period of time, VR has spiked in job postings by companies and job searches from seekers. SmartRecruiters CEO, Jerome Ternynck said, “Virtual reality is becoming one of the new forms of user experience and user interface.” Ternynck believes “people will gradually find ways to leverage VR for business applications,” as well.
Companies listing VR jobs on Indeed.com include the likes of Samsung, Google, IBM, Facebook, Apple and Intel, in search of VR specialists with skills in backend system development, software development, user experience and visual art.
In recent years, VR has found true applications in many industries providing solutions for healthcare, construction and skilled trades, military, law enforcement, government, automotive, education, advertising, space exploration, and entertainment.
UAT Provost Dr. David Bolman said, “VR is also being heavily explored as a form of film storytelling. Using the Unreal Game Engine, UAT’s Digital Video department designed “CrossRealm,” which is a system for filmmakers to preview visual effects in real time. This innovation provides proof of concept in this type of storytelling.”
Twenty-five years later UAT is excited to return to its roots of leading the way in advancing technology by welcoming the return of its Virtual Reality degree as a bachelor’s degree offering for on-ground students for the 2016 fall semester.
Game Studies Program Champion Derric Clark who remembers UAT’s initial Virtual Reality degree said, “It is exciting to see Virtual Reality technology come full circle. The original VR degree was the predecessor to the degrees in UAT’s Game Studios Suite and now that gaming and other industries are embracing VR, it’s completing the technology circle.
UAT is proud of its history, serving as a leader in technology education for the entire nation. In fact, UAT’s Virtual Reality degree received an award for Best New Program in 1993 by the Career College Association.
In 1996, UAT Virtual Reality students innovated a virtual replica of Bank One Ballpark (currently Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks) using IBM Elysium and Division VR Systems.
Other projects built in early days of UAT’s VR degree-
Virtual Reality education and development has not skipped a beat at UAT.
This fall semester, in addition to the VR degree, a course in programming and developing Augmented Reality apps will be offered by Professor Hue Henry, who specializes in game programming. In fact, many Game Studios students have already completed or plan to develop game simulations for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
What is ransomware and how should one handle it?
In the UAT Cyber Warfare Range, Provost Dr. Dave Bolman and Network Security Professor Al Kelly comment on ransomware and how to handle the threat in a FOX 10 Phoenix interview with special assignment reporters Kristy Siefkin and Tishin Donkersley.
Ransomware - a type of malware that can be covertly installed on a computer without the knowledge of the user which restricts access to the infected computer system and demands that the user pay a ransom to the malware operators to remove the restriction.
The topic of ransomware is frequently discussed in the news like the February attack that took over Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center with ransom set at $17,000. The institution’s computers were infected with malware, locking their records until the ransom was paid. The attack forced the hospital to return to pen and paper for its record-keeping, likely a huge procedural inconvenience in the digital age.
So the question is… should you or should you not pay the ransom?
See the full interview here to find out how to handle the situation if you find your data held for ransom.
UAT Acknowledges Technology Entrepreneur at Annual Commencement Ceremony
Each year, University of Advancing Technology (UAT) recognizes inspirational leaders in technology who have successfully forged a path for our graduates to emulate. UAT is delighted to present Brad Jannenga, Founder of WebPT, with one of this year’s Honorary Doctorate Degrees to be awarded at the UAT Commencement Ceremony on May 6, 2016, at Mesa Arts Center.
Jannenga is an investor, an entrepreneur, a veteran technologist highly experienced in software development and an active leader in the burgeoning Phoenix tech ecosystem. As co-founder of WebPT, one of Arizona’s most successful SaaS companies, Jannenga grew the company from idea to bootstrapped startup to more than 250 employees while serving as President & CTO.
Jannenga gives back to the Phoenix tech community with involvement in several organizations, startup investments and grassroots efforts. His involvement with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the AZ Software Founders Group and #yesphx has helped countless Phoenix startups get off the ground and on the path to success. Jannenga is especially passionate about growth in downtown Phoenix, having galvanized multiple organizations to help make downtown a thriving tech hub.
Jannenga was awarded “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, named one of the “Top Entrepreneurs in Arizona” by the Arizona Republic, a “Tech Titan” and “40 Under 40” by the Phoenix Business Journal, and WebPT has been listed on the Inc. 500 for three consecutive years.
“The University has been serving the Valley for more than 33 years. Our passion and drive to help the Arizona community, especially the burgeoning technology sector, has driven nearly every part of our mission. Mr. Jannenga understands the shortcomings of our technology ecosystem and instead of accepting the status quo, he has sought to take action. His commitments to promoting and growing the Valley as a technology nexus are evident in his success with WebPT, TeamAZ, StartupAZ Foundation and so much more. We are thankful that people like Brad Jannenga are fervent to the cause and helping move the needle in the right direction. It is with great pride that we award this honorary doctorate to a well-deserved individual who continues to raise the bar for us all. Arizona needs more people like Brad Jannenga,” said Jason Pistillo, UAT President.
In 2006, Heidi Jannenga, a leading sports physical therapist and clinic director, was looking for ways to improve her clinic’s bottom line. After identifying dictation as well as paper documentation management as two of her practice’s biggest costs, she started looking for a less expensive solution to documentation and enlisted the help of then-boyfriend Brad Jannenga, a veteran technologist with deep experience in software development. Heidi knew she needed something that would not only fit her workflow as a PT, but also would be affordable, easy to use, and a cinch to implement in her clinic. The more Brad and Heidi shopped around, though, the more discouraged they became. That was when they decided to partner and develop her clinic’s dream solution. Brad started going to work with Heidi to get an idea of her workflow and documentation needs. In the evenings, the two would regroup and brainstorm on how the software should work. Then, Brad would get to coding and Heidi would get to testing. And piece by piece, WebPT—a web-based physical therapy EMR—was born.
UAT Acknowledges Industry Leader in Cyber Security at Annual Commencement Ceremony
Each year, University of Advancing Technology (UAT) recognizes leaders in technology who have paved the way for our future graduates to follow in their footsteps. UAT is pleased to announce DEF CON Founder and CSO, Jeff Moss also known as “The Dark Tangent,” as a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate Degree to be awarded at UAT’s Commencement Ceremony on May 6, 2016, at Mesa Arts Center.
Moss holds many elite positions in the world of Cyber Security, serving as the Founder of DEF CON and the Black Hat Briefings, two of the largest security conferences industry-wide, as well as, an Advisor for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council and Vice President and Security Officer of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. Moss was awarded the President’s Award for Public Service from the Information System Security Association (ISSA). Moss holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Criminal Justice from Gonzaga University.
As a pioneer in Cyber Security, Moss is an inspiration to students enrolled in UAT’s Network Security, Network Engineering, Technology Forensics and Information Assurance degrees, many of which have worked as paid volunteers for Black Hat and DEF CON, a privilege offered primarily to UAT students.
UAT President Jason Pistillo said, “Having built UAT’s Cyber Security curriculum in 1998 and launched it in 1999, it has been amazing to see the industry grow over the last two decades. Moss has been invaluable in spearheading this growth; what he’s done in that same time frame with DEF CON and Black Hat has been incredible to say the least, bringing the hacker community out of the shadows.”
Program Champion of Cyber Security at UAT and CEO/CTO of Security Horizon, Russ Rogers said, “The security industry is expanding rapidly, and it’s imperative we recognize today’s most relevant thought leaders, not only for what they are doing today, but also the strides they’ve made in the past to help us arrive where we are today. Jeff Moss exemplifies the best attributes and consistent leadership of this constantly evolving, and often chaotic, industry. In 2002, UAT made its debut at DEF CON 10, and I made my debut as a Professor at the University. Now, 14 years later, UAT is still incredibly supportive of the community, the CON and each new generation of security professionals.”
University of Advancing Technology (UAT) to offer dancers of Ballet Arizona a higher education opportunity to earn a technology degree by presenting the UAT Dancers of Ballet Arizona Scholarship.
According to Kenna Draxton, of the Artist Relief Fund, “The career of a ballet dancer is often seen as glamorous and blessed, perfecting an art they love, but the tale that is rarely told is the end of a dancer’s career, which if a dancer is lucky extends only into their mid-thirties.”
Typically, the end of a dancer’s career is met with uncertainty of their future career, having spent a life dedicated to the art of dance, most dancers have little to no college education, making it difficult to step forward into a new career path.
Often described as the Juilliard of technology, UAT recognizes the correlation between the art of dance and the art of technology and by offering a half-tuition scholarship to current Ballet Arizona dancers; we are opening a new channel of creative individuals to join the rapidly growing STEAM industry. This scholarship is also available to dancers who wish to enroll and begin classes within one year of retiring from the Company.
Ballet Arizona dancers who qualify can also benefit from flexible class scheduling, a streamlined acceptance process, a hands-on and skills oriented class environment taught by industry professionals and access to all campus technology and resources at UAT.
As Jason Pistillo, UAT President said, “I’ve always been fascinated with performance artists and the dancers of Ballet Arizona are in a class of their own. The combination of discipline, hours of practice, innovation and creativity is pure magic. These are all the same ingredients that make magical technologists. I am at the edge of my seat to see how the dancers can reharness that raw ability through our education to make the next generation of technology innovation.”
About Artist Relief Fund:
The mission of The Artist Relief Fund is to provide the dancers of Ballet Arizona financial support in times of extended injury, personal hardship, and imminent career transition. The Artist Relief Fund raises funds by hosting an annual production created by Ballet Arizona dancers through which the dancers are able to develop meaningful relationships with their community. The Artist Relief Fund, Inc is a 501(c)(3) organization.
University of Advancing Technology (UAT) now offers the option to earn a professional certificate in technology-centric disciplines. These certificate options derived from the reality that local business is starved of technology talent and as such find themselves having a difficult time scaling for growth. As a long time partner meeting the needs of business demands, UAT is seeking to impact sector growth head-on. These certificate options afford business owners and executives the ability to grow their company while offering employees seeking career advancement opportunities an affordable option to add professional development to their resume.
UAT President Jason Pistillo said, “UAT understands that a company’s growth can be stifled due to lack of tech talent. In order to be part of the solution, UAT wants to help businesses reach their full potential by nurturing the current technology workforce and by providing the skills employees in tech need to further their careers. Educating and developing existing staff saves employers time and money by offering their employees a new skillset to take their company to the next level.”
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer of Security Horizon, Russ Rogers said, “The potential for an organization to succeed, and even excel, at meeting its goals is becoming much more dependent on the people within the organization who best understand current technologies. Without this understanding, the organization may be lacking the critical technological advantages needed to perform at the highest level, and may be putting their most valuable assets at risk of compromise.”
UAT’s initial roll out includes options for cyber defense and for software development. Both options offer an intensive courseware for business owners to offer their technology staff in order to learn the most up-to-date information and techniques.
These comprehensive Certificate Programs offer many benefits to business owners and employees, such as flexible schedules – evening, online and hybrid classes are available to accommodate the working professional, a hands-on and skills-oriented classroom environment taught by industry professionals, and access to all campus resources and technology. Certificate credits earned can be applied to a graduate degree, upon completion of three courses; certificate credits can transfer towards a master’s degree.
UAT has partnered with Arizona Bank and Trust, who have agreed to assist startup companies by providing funding and financing for a grant to enroll tech employees in the certificate program. For large companies, employers have the ability to request a customized curriculum in an effort to address specific, more tailored needs.
Presented by Startup AZ Foundation, Code Day Arizona is a 24-hour statewide coding event that puts the focus on engaging young adults in underserved populations and areas with limited technical resources. Code Day Arizona will be held the weekend of Feb. 13-14, 2016, at University of Advancing Technology, in collaboration with State Farm, Go Daddy, Student RND and Valley Leadership. This event will focus on bringing students in from cities and towns across the state of Arizona in an effort to promote technical skills among youth and make Arizona a technology hub for the future.
As an educational institution, UAT is aware of the lack of students enrolled in Computer Science and STEM-related degrees and supports community outreach events like Code Day Arizona increasing the chances for the younger generation to spark an interest in technology.
According to Jaime Casap, Chief Education Evangelist at Google, “By 2020, the United States will have 1.4 million computer science jobs, according to estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with only 400,000 computer scientists to fill them.”
UAT President Jason Pistillo said, “To echo Casap’s quote, for some time now there’s been more demand for programming graduates from industry than students enrolled in Computer Science majors to fill the deficiency in the job market. When we look out across the census data, we realize that there are simply not enough young people engaging in this amazing field, to create the passion before they enter college. We’ve decided to get proactive and make a concerted effort to help; from our longstanding support of schools like EVIT, our sponsorship of the 2015 Great Arizona Code Challenge, to evangelizing the need for a greater focus on STEM education, to hosting Code Day Arizona, the first statewide coding event at our technology-infused campus. We aim to fix the root cause of this national problem and encourage both young females and males to enter into STEM fields.”
Code Day is a 24-hour event that challenges groups of student’s ages 9-20 to form teams to build amazing applications over a 24-hour hacking period. The purpose of Code Day Arizona is to expose youth to future career opportunities that are available in the fields of information technology and coding. The event is a little bit like “Shark Tank,” and lot like “How it’s Made” where students pitch ideas from video games to apps and work with mentors to take their ideas from concept to reality in 24 hours. The event also engages the support of nearly 80 tech mentors from local technology companies and startups, as well as nearly 100 volunteers overall. Mayors and government leadership from cities all across Arizona have been provided with scholarships to send students from their communities to this statewide event. Girls who wish to attend can do so for free when they register here using the promotional code: “GIRLSCODE”
Code Day Arizona begins at noon on Saturday, February 13, and concludes at noon Sunday, February 14, 2016, at the University of Advancing Technology, 2625 W. Baseline Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283.
“We are thrilled to host the largest state-wide code day ever,” said Dr. David Bolman, Provost, University of Advancing Technology. “I can’t wait to see what these young students, who come together from all points of Arizona, create while being immersed in tech for 24 hours on our campus. As we look at workforce development in Arizona, it is beyond clear that to be truly competitive nationally in filling the vast need for STEM positions; we must invest early in our young talent. Code Day Arizona is a critical, exciting and must-do initiative that lights up young people towards a future that we are absolutely counting on.”
UAT Digital Video is thrilled to announce that actor Tony Amendola has been cast in the next project to be directed by Professor Paul DeNigris, called “Toppled.”
Mr. Amendola is perhaps best known for his role in the sci-fi series Stargate SG-1 as the noble Jaffa warrior Master Bra’tac. More recently he has appeared on sci-fi series Continuum and fantasy series Once Upon a Time and was one of the key voices in the video game Fallout 4.
“Toppled” was written by Ayman Samman who previously collaborated with UATDV on “Parallax” and on “Red Sand: A Mass Effect Fan Film” and has more recently been seen in Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper and on the NBC series Blindspot.
“Toppled” is being produced in partnership between Ayman’s company Creacious, Professor DeNigris’ Locked Horns Productions, and UAT Digital Video. Some of the students involved in the project are Jordan Wippell (director of photography), Kristina Hyland (co-producer and location manager), as well as the rest of the current semester’s Production Studio class in key roles. Many of the 200-level Production class will fill out the crew in technical areas.
Look for more updates here as production approaches later this month!
Welcome new students to University of Advancing Technology! You are beginning your journey of innovation with many other technophiles like yourself. We hope you feel at home here – whether you are moving in to the dorms, UAT Founder’s Hall, commuting to campus daily or attending our campus online.
We can’t wait to for you to get settled, get familiar with the campus, meet new friends and learn what it means to be an innovator at UAT. The sky is not the limit, you can take your ideas anywhere with technology!
Don’t miss out on any of the action starting the first week of move-ins! Connect, our new student orientation, is Thursday, Jan. 7. Move-ins at UAT Founder’s Hall begin on Friday, Jan. 8, with classes beginning on Monday, Jan. 11, but we have activities planned for the whole week to keep new students engaged and excited for the new school year.
Thursday 1/7/16 - Dinner and Presentation: Hackers Make History with Technology
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Location: Cafe/ Theater
Hosts: Natasha Vita-More, Graduate Program Champion and Abby Pfeiffer, History Professor
Friday 1/8/16 – Connect Orientation
Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday 1/8/16 - Dinner: Greets, Meets and Eats
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.
Hosts: Jorge Portillo, Game Art and Animation Professor and Spencer Nelson, Digital Maker Professor
Friday 1/8/16 – ZBrush Creatures!
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Host: Lynn Understiller, Game Art and Animation Professor
Saturday 1/9/16 Marvel Movie
Time: 2-5 p.m.
Host: Paul DeNigris, Digital Video Program Champion
Saturday 1/9/16 – History of Computers
Time: 2-5 p.m.
Host: James Gordon, Advancing Computer Science Professor
Wednesday 1/13/16 – GameLoading: Rise of the Indies Documentary
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Host: Ben Reichert, Game Studies Professor
Wednesday 1/13/16 – Heroes of the Storm eSports Event
Time: 6:30-9 p.m.
Host: Hue Henry, Game Programming Professor
Thursday 1/14/16 – Tool Time with Scott and Al
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Location: Cyber Warfare Range
Hosts: Al Kelly and Scott Swenka, Cyber Security Professors
Friday 1/15/16 – UAT Mixer
Time: 5-6 p.m.
Location: Founder’s Lobby
Hosts: Faculty and Staff
“Inhuman: The Next & Final Phase of Man is Here” is not fiction or a mockudrama but a new investigative documentary from Defender Films and Raiders News Productions.
Inhuman travels the globe to unveil for the first time how breakthrough advances in science, technology and philosophy—including cybernetics, bioengineering, nanotechnology, machine intelligence and synthetic biology are poised to create mind-boggling game changes to everything we have known until now about Homo sapiens.
As astonishing technological developments push the frontiers of humanity toward far-reaching morphological transformation (which promises in the very near future to redefine what it means to be human), an intellectual and fast-growing cultural movement known as transhumanism intends the use of these powerful new fields of science and technology as tools that will radically redesign our minds, our memories, our physiology, our offspring, and even perhaps—as Professor Joel Garreau, Lincoln Professor of Law, claims—our immortal souls.
The technological, cultural, and metaphysical shift now underway unapologetically forecasts a near future dominated by a new species of unrecognizably superior humans, and applications under study now to make this dream a reality are being funded by thousands of government and private research facilities around the world. As viewers will learn, this includes rewriting human genetics, combining human and animal DNA, and interfacing our brains with strong artificial intelligence systems.
As a result, new modes of perception between things visible and invisible are expected to challenge bioethics in ways that are historically, sociologically and theologically unprecedented. Without comprehending what is quickly approaching in related disciplines of research and development, vast numbers of individuals could soon be paralyzed by the most fantastic—and far-reaching—implications.
The destiny of each individual—as well as the future of their families—depends on their knowledge of this new paradigm, an unprecedented time in earth’s history already being called the “Hybrid Age.”
Watch the movie trailer here:
For more information on “Inhuman: The Next & Final Phase of Man is Here,” visit: http://www.inhumanthemovie.com/