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.
Amid full-time work and school during this quarantine, I still find myself with hours of boredom per day. If you are anything like me, you’ve probably been blasting the same 3 playlists over and over and searching for new Netflix shows every 3 days. Fret not, I have complied a list of entertainment recommendations to help cure your boredom. If I’ve done my job, you’ve never heard of most of these recommendations.
Perfect Spotify Playlists to Jam to While Studying:
Club Quarantine 2020 Spotify Playlist – If it’s good enough for Michelle Obama and Drake, it’s good enough for you.
Amazing Songs: (unless you like artists with 'Lil in their name)
Tomorrow – The Roots before Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
The Mack - Fetty Wap is an amazing House/EDM song
Hustle & Motivate – (Explicit) RIP Nipsey
PassionFruit (Drake) – Indie Remix
Can I Kick It? –A Tribe Called Quest
If you are not worried about the government listening in and own Alexa, try playing one of her many games. Using your Amazon Echo, you can play HeadsUp where Alexa gives you clues, Song Quiz, Would You Rather, Deal or No Deal, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure games, and more! Pfft. Who says you need friends to play games?!
Shows to Binge: Netflix & Quarantine
Person of Interest – An ex-CIA agent and a wealthy programmer save lives via a surveillance AI that sends them the identities of civilians involved in impending crimes. However, the details of the crimes--including the civilians' roles--are left a mystery.
Medical Police – Two American physicians in São Paulo, Brazil, discover a civilization-threatening virus and are recruited as government agents in a race against time and around the world to find a cure and uncover a dark conspiracy.
Imposters - A dark comedy that focuses on a female con artist who marries people and then disappears with their money.
Brooklyn 99 is the only show you will ever need. Period.
Books That Will Help You In Life Without Being Self-Help:
Stay safe and have fun!
Hi, again! Happy to be back to writing gaming blogs for all of you guys! This time around, I’m going to be talking about a game that I just rediscovered my love for - Don’t Starve! More specifically, Don’t Starve Together - the multiplayer sequel to the original game.
Back when I was in high school, I played this game all the time. Given, I was pretty horrible at it (and, honestly, I still am), but I always found myself having fun even when I failed. I loved building up my first base, making friends with all the pigs, and ultimately having both ripped away from me suddenly by hounds and Deerclops (Okay, maybe not so much the last part, but it did give me an adrenaline rush to keep trying).
Even as they added more content to the game and made it harder to survive, I still always found myself enjoying the game. With the inclusion of insanity in The Insanity! Update, new seasons in the Reign of Giants DLC, and a whole ton of other content that was added in, I found it harder to survive. But, in the end, despite the constantly increasing difficulty, I still kept on coming back and having fun.
But then how did Klei make it to where the game was this fun? What keeps bringing people in?
Our first stop in figuring this out would be the character select screen. Don’t Starve has grown a lot over the years, creating characters that have provided different things to the player. However, we are going to go to the simpler time of the Don’t Starve early access beta, where there were only 5 characters to use.
Each character provided something new that the player could use, but none of them were better than each other. This provided an asymmetrical dynamic within Don’t Starve, which allowed for players to pick any character they want and have experiences for each playthrough, while still being able to have access to a lot, if not all, of the same opportunities in each world.
On that note, to understand how Klei made this character choice matter, we would have to look at how they designed each character.
Take, for example, Wilson, the first character that the player could choose. During the beta of Don’t Starve, he was the only person who could have grown a beard, which made it easier for the player to keep warm and not freeze to death when the in-game season changed to winter.
In the case of Willow, she was the only person who had an infinite lighter, which allowed her to ward off Charlie - an enemy in the game that would strike the player if they stood in darkness for too long.
For Wolfgang, he was the only person who could change his max stats, allowing him to increase his health and strength to survive longer. Wickerbottom had access to books that allowed her to activate in-game events ( plant growth, Lightning, etc) and a higher tier of knowledge, which allowed her to get quicker access to stronger survival tools.
Lastly, for Wendy, she could summon her ghost sister, which attacked enemies for her automatically.
While each character did something great or sometimes better than other characters, it was not like a character was completely stronger than the last. After all, it’s not like Wolfgang can grow a beard like Wilson, and it’s not like Willow has instant access to stronger weapons. Outside of Wilson - the beginner character of the game-each character had their downfall that made the playing field equal in some way. For example, Willow would light fires at her feet when it gets too dark, which would cause the structures of the surrounding areas and items to catch on fire and be destroyed. Wolfgang would need to eat a lot of food to boost his stats, thus making resources scarce in the world. Wickerbottom could not sleep, locking her away from gaining health via sleeping items. Lastly, Wendy had lower health and strength, making survival in fights harder to pull off.
Another thing to consider would be those opportunities that I mentioned beforehand. A world in Don’t Starve has a lot of items that the player can create, alongside a lot of natural events that the player could benefit from. A character a person plays as does not affect the availability of either of those things. Whether you play as Wilson or Wendy, you will still have access to some items that can keep you warm during the winter. And whether you play Wolfgang or Willow, you will still have access to some form of a light source to ward off the darkness. If anything, the availability of an item or event would be based around the world generation settings, which I will speak about later.
Overall, the choice between characters was based around preference and wanting to try something new in the game. Anyone could play any character and have an equal chance of surviving or failing within the game.
That was all within the beta, however. Again, we had more characters added to the game, with each providing their pros and con. As of right now, we have a total of 22 unique playable characters. We have a lot of other content and scenarios that allow for each character's ability to shine, while still maintaining that asymmetry that makes these characters interesting and fun to use.
On a side note, the asymmetry seen within beta Don’t Starve and current-day Don’t Starve/Don’t Starve Together is completely different. While the choice of characters was based on preference beforehand, it is now sometimes based on preference, skill, or both. This started to happen around the time Wes was introduced to the game. Wes was designed solely around providing a challenge for the player, having little to no advantages ( unless you consider him starting with a Pile o’ Balloons item as an advantage, despite how it can quickly drain sanity and having a low damage output), having weaker damage output and being able to starve faster than the rest of the cast.
While future characters were not as difficult/skill driven to use, a lot of them had similar designs applied to them. We currently have a few characters - Wigfrid, Warly, and Wurt- designed in a way that locks them out from eating certain foods, forcing the player to find new means of keeping each character's hunger up while also managing their other downfalls. However, if the player can find ways to overcome these challenges, then a lot of benefits would naturally come to them. For example, if Warly could get a decent farm at their base and consistent food supply, and if they can make a variety of filling foods for themselves, then they can easily keep their hunger up to comfortable levels while also creating stat-boosting foods for the rest of the team ( if playing Don’t Starve Together). Wigfrid can use her strong armour to easily hunt down enemies that provide a lot of meat, which not only makes hunting/farming easier but also makes her a good fighter for the harder bosses in the game, Lastly, in the case of Wurt, she can save the fish that she can not eat for the spawning of a Merm king, which automatically boosts the stats of Wurt and any other Merms in the world.
In other words, the newer, harder characters, have a lot more risks compared to other characters, and some items are locked away from them in some way. However, they also have huge rewards to make overcoming these challenges worthwhile, thus maintaining the asymmetry, but for mostly skilled players.
However, while the asymmetry gets maintained with each individual character, team combos do break that. In the case of team combos, a Warly, with his stat increasing foods, and a Wolfgang, with his high damage output, completely makes any other team combo irrelevant, as the Wolfgang can now dispatch enemies quickly without taking a lot of damage. No other team in the game will ever match the damage output that this team provides. I do have a problem with that as that does make the game somewhat unbalanced, but it’s not like Don’t Starve is competitive in any way. It’ll be multiple players working together, so, maybe, having the choice of creating such an overpowered team might be okay if everyone agrees with it. Plus, again, it’s all up to preference; players do not have to play these extremely strong teams if they are not interested.
Overall, I believe that one of the reasons for Don’t Starve being fun is due to the ability of the player to choose different characters that can fit their playstyle. Another reason would be due to how these characters provide unique challenges that force the player to find unique solutions, which creates a lot of room for creativeness and open-ended gameplay. Lastly, the game is fun due to how there isn’t a wrong answer when it comes to these characters, providing differing experiences that are no worse than the last unless it is simply something that the given player does not like.
By Lisha Dunlap, Sr. PR Assoc., Media & Influencer Relations.
As if dealing with a pandemic isn’t difficult enough for most of our nation, 2020 has presented a new challenge for families—homeschooling. While many are adjusting to working from home, most are also trying to figure out how to be a teacher, too. And if that just isn’t enough stress, there are those who are also functioning as working-adult-student-parents.
Whew. Let that sit for a moment.
Fortunately, these badasses are making it work. Now that doesn’t mean there aren’t frustrations and occasional break downs—it means they’re giving it their best and not giving up—so we’ve asked some of our UAT faculty and staff to let us know how they’re keeping up as parents slash employees slash educators slash students, and this is what they had to say.
Our daughter, being very young and an only child for the time being, requires fairly constant attention and guidance in her daily activities. Therefore, when our daughter's daycare suddenly closed, thankfully my husband was also approved to work from home so that we could navigate this challenge together. We quickly created a schedule where we alternate responsibilities throughout the day. One parent is a primary employee and the other is the primary parent/teacher for 2-3 hours at a time. This enables us to work at peak times for our work schedules and also keep our daughter's schedule as consistent as possible. Since she is capable of playing alone for short bursts, when a parent is primary to our daughter, we are still able to be attentive, responsive to messages, emails and calls for work to some degree. In the evenings after our daughter goes to bed, we make up work for an hour or two and I also do my schoolwork until as late as I can.
Navigating this has definitely been a challenge and I've had my ups and downs. My biggest advice if you're struggling is to reach out to your employer. UAT and my manager have been incredibly understanding as all other parents are going through these same challenges. I have been approved to work hours outside of our normal schedule and appreciate that my manager is able to trust that I will still get my work done in return for the leniency and flexibility. My manager also helps me navigate this by staying in communication with me on my progress, expectations, goals, agenda, deadlines and keeps me aligned with priorities. UAT also knows I am working toward my education goals and that by supporting me through with flexibility will enable me to be a less stressed, more productive, and more capable employee with new and enhanced skills.
Secondly, reach out to your professor if you are also a student. I am currently in challenging classes learning amazing new technology skills but they require focused time to work on projects and I happen to currently be shorter on time. After stressing about potentially not finishing my assignments on time, I had to have a heart-to-heart with myself and come to the realization that I needed to shift my expectations. I simply cannot do it all at, but I most certainly can continue forward. I reached out to my professors to explain and requested an extension on my larger assignments due this week. They responded stating that they would be more than happy to work with me during this time, and reminded me that many of us are experiencing this together. I am relieved and glad I made my well-being a priority so that I can be capable of taking on another day.
While we’re all navigating this challenging time, we still need to be the best we can be for ourselves, our employers, our families, and our education. Give yourself a break, do what you can when you can, ask for help when you need it, and try to make the most of each day.
Stace Dixon and her daughter, Charlotte.
In our house, we have used this as an opportunity to show how the real world works by being inclusive of our activities. For instance, while I was setting up the Zoom and Twitch software over the weekend for Game Jam presentations, my oldest connected, streamed, and help me test settings and setup of the environment. This exposed him to technology as well as how businesses and educational institutions are coping with remote working. He also monitored the twitch stream during the live event, being a part of the team that put on a successful event for other students.
Education is more than just the formal aspects of school; it is about adapting to what life throws at you. This is an opportunity to show your kids how to cope and adapt as your environment and working conditions change. You can model balance, work ethic, and healthy work habits that they would not see otherwise.
Other elements that can be brought in deal with empowering your kids. If you are getting into homeschooling or following a remote curriculum from your school, there is opportunity to allow your kids to make their own schedule, managing their time and resources to complete the work while keeping other aspects of their life in balance. One of the biggest elements kids can lose from missing the structure of school is a feeling of everything spinning out of control. Allowing them to take control of the situation and be a part of the solution to move forward in uncertain times will be a life lesson they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Turn this into a time that you spent more time with your kids, supported their needs, and guided them through. They will remember the positive aspects you provided and will be better off because of it.
Tyler Walling, Parent of 2 boys (kindergarten and 2nd grade), Student in the UAT Network Security Bachelor Program, Registrar/PDSO
Both my wife and I try and get up around 5:30 to get in a bit of uninterrupted work before the kids wake up around 6:30.
We try and keep them on some sort of schedule similar to school start time at 8:30. After breakfast and cartoons, we take them on a walk around the park or on a bike ride to get going.
When we get back, we start working on school assignments with one of us taking one kid apiece, so they get individual help while we are still able to work alongside them. After homework, we currently just “play it by ear” and see what the kids are wanting to do.
Things we’ve discovered along the way:
I think the most important thing to take from this is to enjoy the time you do have with your family and make the most of it.
Tyler Walling's two boys.
Ashley Fuentes, Parent of a 3-Year-Old Daughter, Sr. Student Services Coordinator
For me, communicating boundaries and limits with my 3-year-old, Violet, is key. She needs and wants attention, so I give it to her in the morning, during lunch time and after work instead of throughout the day like I normally would. She doesn’t always cooperate, but we are learning together. Work is a priority for me, just like school should be for each student. Create a schedule, and stick to it. Make it fun for your kids and families so that we are truly all in this together!
This quote from Walter Anderson speaks to me:
“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have—life itself.”
Ashley Fuentes and her daughter, Violet.
Brandi Beals, Parent of 4 daughters (Junior at a STEM high school, 7th grader at an arts school for ballet, preschooler and a 1-year-old), Manager of Student and Academic Services
When taking breaks or mini walks, involve the kids. Do something fun so they do not feel the stress and anxiety of what is currently happening.
Do not try to homeschool kids, they feel the stress and anxiety that causes the parents and actually makes things worse.
I will often sit side-by-side with my 4-year-old throughout the day. I will create lined paper for her and give her letters, numbers or words to practice writing. I will work while she does her work. When she is done, we review it together. After that, she gets to play as a reward.
When in meetings, the kids will often want to say “hi”. They look at my computer, see everyone, smiles, then walks away to do their own thing. Involving them with what I am doing helps them realize it is not interesting to them, they give me the time I need and then focus on them when I am done.
Remember, everyone is dealing with the pandemic in different ways. My struggles are not more or less significant than anyone else, they are different and unique to me.
Brandi Beals' four daughters.
Herb Mathers, Parent of 1 daughter (1st Grade), Digital and Inbound Marketing Manager
We are in this together. Be quick to help others and don’t be too prideful to ask for help. Here are some recommendations from my daughter’s school:
In the morning my wife does writing exercises with her to be able to recognize numbers and letters.
My daughter usually has gymnastics 2 times a week, so I have converted the garage into a little gymnastics studio for her to play for a few hours. I have also converted my daughter’s bike into a stationary bike so she can ride her bike at home. We usually go for a walk around 6-7 as the sun starts to set.
Mark Smith's daughter, Mariana.
If you’ve gotten anything from this (other than the exceptional advice), is that every parent—and every routine—is completely different. Our lives are all unique, and right now, every situation is, so pull what you can from others to help yourself, but ultimately you will find your own groove. As for me, I’m a parent of a 3rd grade boy, with a husband in school, and the Sr. PR Assoc., Media & Influencer Relations at University of Advancing Technology. Every day has its own challenges, but it also has a lot of good in it, too. I’ve cried. I’ve made jokes. I’ve read books, inspirational quotes, and anything I can get my hands on now that Amazon has stopped nonessential delivery. I’ve run, I’ve walked, and I’ve tried to find a quiet place for yoga. I’ve had my son work very hard on schoolwork some days, and little on others. I’ve even tried crafts.
But what haven’t I done? Quit. Or even considered it. Bad days are okay, and as Pinterest would say, a bad day doesn’t mean a bad life. At UAT, we know being an adult student with a million other home, work, and parental responsibilities is hard, but we believe in you, because YOU CAN DO IT. Remind yourself of that as many times a day as you need to, and know that we are here for you. Student Services is just a call away for a good pep talk, and your instructors are ready and willing to help you make this work. Show us what you’re made of.
Now go hug your kid. A good hug fixes lots of things.
For more information on our advancing degree programs and our SyncFlex program that allows you to pursue your degree virtually, call one of our Admissions Advisors at 877.828.4335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Uncertain times. Those are the words repeated in every news program, commercial, article, and post. And although accurate, these two words have a very heavy connotation and carry the weight of our nation’s current fears.
But at the University of Advancing Technology, we call ourselves pioneers, and the very definition of a pioneer is someone that prepares the way for others to follow—and our way is paved by knowledge. So if an education in advancing technology is your goal, we want to do all that we can to make sure it’s still achievable—because the one thing we are certain of is that UAT's educational experience prepares graduates with tools and perspectives that foster a successful life in a dynamic world.
Valerie Cimarossa, UAT Vice President of Marketing & Technology, states, “We don’t want economic hardships to stop people who were planning on advancing their education from achieving their goals; we know everything is scary and unpredictable, but UAT has the ability to operate consistently no matter what happens, so you don’t have to worry about moving forward with us.”
Valerie Cimarossa, UAT Vice President of Marketing & Technology
To make attending more feasible to incoming students, UAT has adopted a new policy for this year, announcing that if you have been displaced from work due to COVID-19, UAT will waive your enrollment fee if you enroll by April 30 for any start date through September 2020. Valerie also notes that a meeting with Financial Aid will be required to determine the student is eligible, and that this is actually a good time for them to make this investment.
UAT is making these changes alongside the newly announced CARES Act, the $2 trillion stimulus package as a result of COVID-19. Federal student loan borrowers aren’t required to make payments through September 2020, and there will be no new interest accrued during that time. Additionally, for borrowers who choose to continue to make payments, the full amount of the payment will be applied to the principal amount of the loan, according to the U.S. Department of Education. But it is important to reaffirm that this only applies to federal student loans—not private student loans or FFEL Loans. So, what exactly does that mean? It simply means that:
1.) Your federal student loan balance won’t change; you are simply getting a break from student loan payment.
2.) This plan does not include student load forgiveness.
3.) And if you decide to pay, your entire amount will go to principal.
This is all great news for current loan holders, but we understand that if you’re considering starting the first time or going back to school, paying for college can be daunting. We want you to feel confident that UAT staff is ready and available to help navigate you through the system.
Elizabeth Eastin, UAT’s Director of Financial Aid, says:
The Financial Aid team works with each student and/or family individually through the entire financial aid process. Once students complete their FAFSA, their Financial Aid Advisor walks through an estimate with them to breakdown tuition costs, scholarships they're eligible for and their financial aid eligibility. From there, the Financial Aid Advisor works with students and/or families on any additional scholarships they can look into, private loans they can apply for or flexible cash payment plans that may work for them as well.
Currently, our Financial Aid Team is scheduling virtual financial aid appointments with students and their families to help better assist them in completing the financial aid process during a time when in-person meetings aren't available.
Elizabeth Eastin, UAT’s Director of Financial Aid
And at UAT, as soon as students are accepted and make their deposit, they are covered by the UAT Tuition Guarantee, so their rate is locked in for their entire program, helping to plan for exactly what’s needed.
Set up a private consultation with one of our Admissions Advisors by calling 877.828.4335 or emailing email@example.com. You can set up a private consultation at your leisure to learn more about how we can help your passionate technology student realize their dream and provide them with the head start they need to become a technologist and industry innovator.
Find out more at https://www.uat.edu/tuition#federal-aid.
At UAT, Professor Nathan Eskue is an excellent resource for space enthusiasts, with 20 years of aerospace/defense industry experience, including work for NASA, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman.
Professor Eskue has taught at UAT since 2010. Classes include Thinking Strategies, Space Expedition, Introduction to MicroControllers, 3D Build Tools, Entrepreneurship to Market, Embedded Programming, and many others.
Professor Nathan Eskue
His professional experience includes managing a team of analysts in charge of $2B in material for launch vehicles (rockets), targets, and missile defense interceptors—the missiles that go into space and blow up nukes! And as an AI Architect, Professor Eskue currently manages the AI strategy across Northrop Grumman’s engineering, manufacturing, and logistics functions. (Find out more about his experience and read his published works on his Linkedin, and please note, the following is Professor Eskue’s personal opinion and in no way does he represent the views of any organization.)
We asked Professor Eskue his thoughts on SpaceX, the private aerospace manufacturer and space transportation company founded in 2002 by Elon Musk. Likely best known for its mission to colonize Mars, SpaceX looks to advance the future by “working on a next generation of fully reusable launch vehicles that will be the most powerful ever built, capable of carrying humans to Mars and other destinations in the solar system.”
Here’s what Professor Eskue has to say on the matter:
I’ve been following SpaceX’s journey since around 2008. I try to stay abreast of the major developments from other countries (mainly government-based), NASA, and American aerospace corporations. The strong increase in seemingly viable aerospace upstarts over the last 10 years has been a unique trend not seen since the beginning of the space race. Access to advanced, affordable technology, high precision manufacturing techniques, and exponential increases in computing power have allowed some major milestones to be achieved, and a number of these were accomplished by SpaceX.
As a citizen of Earth, I’ve been intrigued with Elon Musk’s vision to get humanity to Mars and increase our species’ chances of long-term survival. I’ve also enjoyed watching how the sometimes almost random pursuits of Mr. Musk create such confusion with the general public, even as he explains how they all fit together in his plan for Mars.
SpaceX has focused on reusable launches (a necessity for Mars travel), and with that focus have been able to create a reusable launch business model that has become (relatively) routine. Without access to their financials I couldn’t say if this model is more profitable than others (there are pros and cons to this approach), but I think what is significant is that they have achieved a necessary milestone that gets humanity one step closer to Mars.
The other aspect, in my opinion, that has been different about SpaceX is their marketing not just to their customers, but to the general public. This has been pretty fascinating because for a while, SpaceX was an unknown player. They had to sell their value to the paying customers—commercial and government satellite owners (mainly). However, they wanted to gain the trust of the public too, and so they put a lot into branding and social media and documenting all aspects of their launches. Another area they had to address was the inevitable failures they would endure as they developed their launch vehicle. Instead of being very secretive until successful (Blue Origin’s strategy), they doubled down on transparency. How many aerospace companies have a greatest hits YouTube video showing all their failed launches and landing attempts? And truthfully, this would probably be a really bad idea for established aerospace companies, who already have a proven flight record. But from a business perspective, this garnered trust with the public, and also helped to illustrate just how far SpaceX had progressed since their first launch.
Time will tell what role SpaceX has in the greater aerospace industry. As an upstart, they’ve come a long way and their iterative development process has clearly shown value. I don’t see them taking over the industry by any means, but I do think that competition in any industry makes all the players that much sharper. I also think there’s been a renewed interest in space travel and the unique wonder it brings out in us. There are a lot of reasons for that, but I appreciate SpaceX’s role in making space launches that much more interesting to the general public. I know my science fiction-loving boys and I got a kick out of the “Don’t Panic” sign in the Tesla Roadster as the Falcon Heavy launched it into space.
Photo of Gila River Farms, Abandoned Test Track, taken during a UAT near-space launch.
UAT provides computer science students the tools, stewardship and technology-infused environments necessary to fully grasp and become a maven in the current and future computer science field. Pursue your software engineering and computer science career dreams at UAT and code the future with the tech leaders of the next evolution. Find out more about UAT’s Advancing Computer Science programs at https://www.uat.edu/advancing-computer-science-degree.
More about UAT Space Program Projects:
For some, keeping their distance from the rest of the world is a dream come true, and for others, it’s a bit of a nightmare. But no matter where you fall in the spectrum of introvert vs. extrovert, we all could use a little help keeping busy throughout this time of self-quarantine. Because everyone needs a better option than a Hallmark movie marathon…
Check out these ideas for some ways to keep entertained and sane while we all stay home.
Where do you want to go? Livestreams and virtual tours are being set up all over the place, so whether you want to settle in and watch puppies play, or travel to the Great Wall of China, you can do so—virtually. You can event check out Mars! Here are some great links to see what’s happening around the globe:⇒Smithsonian Science Education Center
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou
From PC games to board games and everything in between, we’re sure you’re no stranger to playing games to stay entertained.
Want to get creative? Build your own board games with these steps: https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Own-Board-Game. Then, show it off online in a YouTube video. Who knows? You could create the next Monopoly.
Prefer something a little more interactive? You could become a detective with a Hunt a Killer game subscription! Detective Pikachu is on the case.
Get crazy creative with Legos! Some of the ideas from Bored Panda may take longer than your degree—like a Lego fish tank or full guitar build—or you can feel free to design UAT's catscot, Max a new home. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be like this Lego 5-story cat mansion!
This is also a great take the time to make your portfolio the best it can be by building out a new website. Start by getting inspired with some of the best online tech portfolios, then try a different platform and see how creative you can get yourself. The Muse and Prototypr have some great suggestions for freebies.
Sell your crap on the internet! Your trash just may be another’s treasure, and since we’re not having the outside garage sales at Founder’s Hall right now, you can move your merch online. Want to get rid of clothes? Try Poshmark. Have some extra tech? You can sell it on Swappa. Plus, there’s Mercari, and many other places you can sell right from your phone.
Try some new fitness… or if you’re not into it… don’t. But seriously, if you live anywhere near our campus, you have access to some of the greatest, free workout equipment there is—and they’re called trails. Arizona hiking is nothing less than spectacular, and there are mountains with very different trails in every direction. Most of the locals will recommend All Trails, and the app is your best bet. It can help keep you from getting lost and accidentally getting waaaay more exercise than intended.
Stream a video on demand! Geek Culture reports that several new movies from NBCUniversal will be available to stream for 48 hours for twenty bucks, since now most theaters and other entertainment venues are closed. Or, you can spend your weekend binging your favorite shows on the couch… just grab a blanket because many of Geek Culture’s recommendations, like The Haunting of Hill House, may give you the chills!
Put together a time capsule! Time flies, and soon this pandemic will be long behind us. Collecting some of your favorite memories from UAT—tech lessons, friendships, best game hacks—could really help you look on the bright side. And we’ll be happy to look at it in a few years when the tech has likely already changed dramatically.
Yoga and meditation can help keep you in a good place mentally. Calm.com has rounded up many free resources for meditation, and SarahBethYoga’s YouTube channel has hundreds of free yoga videos for all skill levels.
If it’s not really your thing, you can try some more interesting ideas like listening to Josh Gad read stories live on Twitter. Or, you can really step out of the box by learning some, well, unique martial arts skills—or maybe you just watch and laugh.
This is UAT, so OF COURSE this is the grand finale. Take an extra course, go for an extra degree, or just get started for the first time! Now is an excellent time to study virtually or online with us. The beauty of being a university focused on advancing technology is that the current climate and in-person limitations doesn’t slow us down—in fact it shows our strengths.
Our President, Jason Pistillo, recently said, “Our first iteration of SyncFlex began in our graduate program a decade ago, and for the last four years we've been aggressively expanding and perfecting that educational model. The University has been on instant messaging platforms for decades as well. It's times like this, when we need to act quickly, that we see the benefits of decades of pioneering.”
Due to recent events, UAT has transitioned to online classes. But how do you go from an on-ground class to online and still remain the successful student you are? From a student who takes both online and on ground classes, here are a few tricks I use to help get me through.
Write out my assignments for the week
What assignments are due that week, how many points are they worth, and how much time will each take to complete? Make a list and order them by importance: due date, estimated time to complete and points. Work on what is due first. I myself work on large point assignments first then work towards smaller ones. Larger assignments are likely going to take the most amount of time, so take breaks and work on the smaller ones. I like to do smaller assignments from a different class. Then the best part of the list is crossing off the finished assignment.
Reward yourself with breaks
I work on a 1-hour block, 45 minutes of working 15-minute break. These times can be adjusted to whatever you feel is best for yourself and your schedule. With this system I know that if I focus and work for at least 45 minutes I can do what I want for 15 minutes then get back to it. On days that I know I am going to be working all day I will do this cycle three times, take a half hour to hour break, and repeat. Set timers and hold yourself to them; you would be surprised how much you can get done in a dedicated 45 minutes.
If you are having problems or don’t understand the assignment, ask your professor. They don’t bite, especially online. Online courses can be more challenging and the professors understand. They are are willing help where ever they can. For myself, I know that sometimes I have a hard time putting my question into an email and it can be frustrating. Many professors will allow you to call or Skype them to have further discussions. While I would try not to send a million emails, don’t be afraid to keep searching for the answer.
Join the live sessions
If you can, join the Teams live sessions with your teachers. The classes are still taught with screen recording. And the teacher is right there, ready to answer questions. You don’t have to wonder when they will respond because they are going to see the questions within that class time. If you are unable to join the live sessions, watch the recordings. Teams recordings only stay for a week so watch them quickly.
If something is stopping you from doing your assignments, let your teacher know. If you have a job the overlaps the class time, let your professor know. Each professor has specific office hours, but they will work with you to find a time that fits best.
If you can, work ahead in your classes. A good majority of the assignments and course materials are available on canvas. Work ahead in the assignments and still ask questions. If you finish the class early, then that is less stress to worry about. If you don’t have time to work ahead, look at what assignments are coming up and what you know you will need to prepare for.
At UAT, we are proud of our exceptional students. Every year our graduates impress the world as they go on to become respected innovators in their fields. One such person is Yasmin Nejad, a UAT alumni who graduated with not just one, but three degrees! Yasmin share her experience and insight with us, as she gets ready to continue her education in a master's degree program.
Tell us more about you… where are you from, what are your interests?
My name is Yasmin Moftakharikhalilinejad (Yasmin Nejad). I was born in Tehran, Iran. I earned my first degree in Software Engineering in 2013. I immigrated to San Jose, CA, one week after I graduated. I recently became a U.S. citizen in August 2019. I graduated from UAT with 2 other degrees in ACS – Advancing Computer Science and BT – Business Technology, in December 2019.
As I always love to keep myself updated when it comes to technology. I am actively attending tech-related events and have joined professional campaigns including Girls in Tech and mobile developing contests. My most favorite habit is building mobile applications and watching technological and motivational Ted Talks presenting successful world leaders. I am passionate and committed to ongoing success and never stop exploring.
What made you decide to attend UAT? What did you study and UAT and why did you choose that field?
As California is known as Innovation Land and contains thousands of tech companies including Facebook and Google, I mainly immigrated to the USA to pursue a master’s degree and apply for a professional career in the software engineering industry.
However, it required me to either have the U.S. education or sufficient hands-on experience in the programming field to move on. I looked for schools for a while, until a great friend suggested me to consider UAT as my next tech destination. So, I moved out of CA after receiving the acceptance from UAT.
As UAT is a hands-on tech school and offers accelerated programs, it was the best candidate school for my case. I was looking forward to refreshing my knowledge from my first bachelor's from overseas to move on for my passion. So, as a junior software engineer, I decided to study Advancing Computer Science at UAT to gain real-life experience in coding.
Over time, I became interested in finance, accounting, and business classes, and discovered that UAT offers multiple degree programs for its students with no extension on the graduation date. In addition, during my internship as a Developer and Agile Coach at Arizona Public Service Co. (APS), I learned the business is in high demand and it's a very hot topic when it comes to technology. With the golden advice of the Business Technology Program Chair, Dr. Mark Smith, and Professor Nathan Eskue, and the influence of my amazing leadership team at APS, I was able to confidently add the Business Technology major as the second official degree to my curriculum.
It was the greatest decision I have ever made because now I am an engineer with 3 degrees in Software Engineering, Computer Science, and Business Technology, who has sufficient experience in Computer Science, Developing Web/Mobile/Desktop Applications, Agile Methodology, Project Management, Pitching and Presenting new ideas, Sales Skills, Accounting, and Business. At this point, I basically just need to hire some artists and start my own Tech Software company as an entrepreneur in a few years once I have the budget.
What were some of your proudest moments as a student?
The proudest moments as an honored student at UAT were showcasing my ideas and demonstrating my innovative thoughts in the Mobile/Desktop application scheme. UAT’s supportive faculty and staff taught me how to professionally face the challenges and blockers, and strategically set plans to solve problems while considering the legal issues in Technology to master the victory and accomplish our technological goals.
I am proud to share that I am the 2nd place winner in the Delos Coding Contest for West World in the entire Arizona state in Oct 2019. My idea was designing, building, demonstrating and implementing the usage of Artificial Intelligence in Android Mobile Application. I remember I was debating to join the competition or not for the whole week. I joined the very last 48 hours and worked on my mobile app; spending 48 hours nonstop behind the monitor with absolutely no sleep, and I showed up to the session a few minutes after the faculties started to review the projects... and I had the pleasure to be the 2nd place winner among the competitors in the entire state.
What have you been doing since graduation?
Before graduation, for the last 2 semesters at UAT, I was an IT intern at Arizona Public Service Corporate (APS Co.) as a Microsoft Power Bi Developer and Agile coach for my internship Project (May 2019 - Dec 2019). A few days before graduation, I accepted full-time employment as a Data Integration Analyst at APS. A month after graduation, I got promoted to be an IT Solution Engineer.
Would you recommend UAT to other students, and if yes, why?
I recommend UAT to other students because of the advantages of the accelerated tech degree programs that it offers. Plus, you can't go wrong with the amazing and supportive staff and educated faculty who go above and beyond and invest as much effort as needed for each student to successfully accomplish the projects or technical papers.
What advice do you have for current students?
Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise.
Is there anything you want to add?
Last but foremost, I’m recognized as an individual today, but I would have not reached this level of success without the help of God, my marvelous family and the significant professors' and friends' encouragement. Thanks to God who always supported me in difficult times. Mentally you have to be very strong to achieve something. There were many ups and downs, but with the grace of God every time I was able to choose the right path.
I would like to take a minute and thank my amazing family, especially my remarkable parents, and my wonderful sister Negin, supportive mentor/faculties, fabulous leaders, and great friends for their support and encouragement throughout the years.
There are no better words to use today than "thank you," Mom and Dad. You have given me the greatest gift of all: an education, the best legacy that parents can pass on to their child. Thank you so much for believing in me. You are the best parents in the world, and I owe my success to you. Words alone are not enough capable to express how fortunate and grateful I am for such supportive parents. I couldn't have made it without your support to this point. Please know how much I appreciate everything you have done for me! It's just the beginning though, I am sure I will have years of success ahead of me with your love and inspiration to celebrate.
Dear Mom and Dad, I feel so honored and blessed to have you as my parents and want to express my gratitude for your care and support over the years. Thank you for instilling me with a strong passion for learning and for doing everything possible to put me on the path to greatness. I will never forget the important values you have passed down to me —particularly perseverance and honesty. Words cannot describe how important you are to me.
Seeing what a great impact Yasmin's parents have had on her and her quest for knowledge, we asked them how they felt about her education. They said:
Nowadays, education and enhancing the knowledge level is essential for our lives. Basically, higher education is the key to the success bridge. The impact of higher education is absolutely perceptible and would provide guaranteed peace and wealthy life in the future for the younger generation as they work hard to pursue their proficiency.
It's such an honor and recognition when you reach a certain point of proficiency in your career to serve your country as a doctor, lawyer or engineer. Education is important enough to shape and figure our personalities.
I am proud of my self-motivated daughter, Yasmin, because she dedicated her effort towards her success and passion to earn 3 bachelor's degrees in the highest demand majors and never would stop learning and exploring. She just got accepted for graduate school in Information Technology Management while working full time as an IT Engineer. I wish my beloved daughter the best because she is my wish that came true.
We all know about the recent events in the news. From the start of this year, we have encountered many different events. The current event we're dealing with is the pandemic and many students like myself are recommended to not be on campus. Due to this precautionary method, all of our classes are now virtual!
Some of us are already online so this doesn't affect their daily lives. While I and many others go to campus together, this new shift to virtual classes came unexpectedly yet it was almost seamless. I just booted up my laptop and got on Microsoft Teams and watched my professors teach just as usual.
My math professor Heather Peters taught Stats. and I'm not a math guy but it wasn't bad as she used her drawing tablet and drew out all the math to it. While I and the class answered her questions in chat. The whole session lasted all of the class time then I ended the call and went on my lunch break.
Another class I joined is being taught by professor Mason Galatas, is Foundations of System Administration. It took Mason awhile to get everything together and present as his camera was being weird but during this, we talked and chatted a bit as more classmates joined then he presented his slides and taught us group policy objects (GPOs). Some students had their mics on while others preferred the chat. It was a nice class session and it was more "alive". I feel the online feature helped some students be more vocal and ask questions.
Even with this virus going around us students were still able to attend class and participate. As UAT has a flexible virtual curriculum already for the online and non-traditional students, so all on-campus students just had to transition in. It will be an interesting couple of weeks weeks as the event continues to unfold, but I am glad we are still able to pursue our education and talk to our classmates and professors.
When your HP runs out, the game is over.
How many games follow that same strategy of punishing the player for not following the rules failing to meet an objective?
Mario Bros, Zelda, Call of Duty, Final Fantasy… games across multiple generations use that same sort of strategy, and, honestly, it does work well. Getting a Game Over in a video game equates to losing the progress that you made up to point of where you died or losing out on some once in a blue moon opportunities ( those no death runs, am I right?), so it provides a punishment that is big enough to push the player to think about what they are doing.
This strategy is not going to go away anytime soon because of how useful it is, but, really, it isn’t that creative. It’s been done for decades, and, for some specific games, there are other options that can be used that provide a creative approach towards handling game overs, while still providing that incentive for the player to think. I can think of a few from the top of my head:
The Borderlands games are special (outside of Tales of the Borderlands) as none of them have game overs in them. Matter of fact, you can’t really die (at least, in the traditional sense) when you run out of HP. When you HP goes down to 0, you are placed into a segment called “Fight For Your Life”, where your movement is slowed but you can still attack/kill enemies. If you can kill at least one enemy, you are revived, giving you a second chance at the fight that you are in.
This segment is timed, however, so, if you fail to kill an enemy, you will end up being transported to the closest New-U Station (revive station) at the cost of some money and progress. These are usually close to major boss fights, so if you die during a boss, you can just walk back up and continue fighting them.
Kingdom Hearts 2
In Kingdom Hearts 2, the majority of your deaths will lead you to a black screen that gives you two options - Continue or Load Game. However, in some boss fights, if you were to run out of HP, you will be brought to a white screen that gives you two options - “ I won’t give up” and “It’s all over…”. Pressing the latter option will bring the player to the original black screen. Pressing the former option, however, would bring the player back into the boss fight, but now they will be playing as Mickey Mouse/King Mickey.
King Mickey is somewhat stronger than Sora, but he does not have access to a lot of Sora’s kit, such as summons, items, the majority of his magic, etc. He can attack the boss though, and his damage output is pretty decent(however, he can not defeat a boss - Sora needs to land the finishing blow to end the battle). Or, if the player wants, he can charge himself up so that he can revive Sora to full HP. If King Mickey was to be hit too much in the battle, he will automatically revive Sora, but Sora will be at half HP.
Dying actually provides some benefits within these conditions. However, constantly dying and getting saved by Mickey lowers the chances of him actually coming for you, so the player will still need to be cautious so that they can preserve their King Mickey uses for when they need him the most.
Mario Kart (DS)
In the Mario Kart DS battle mode, you will have about 5 lives in the forms of balloons ( You start off with 3, but you can add more by blowing into the mic or by pressing the select button). One of your balloons will be popped when you get hit or when you fall off the map. If you were to lose all of your balloons, you will be taken out of the main game and turned into a “ghost” that is invisible to other players.
As a ghost, you can not steal other peoples balloons and you can not break item boxes. You are also disqualified from winning, so the game is pretty much over for you. However, you are able to drop fake item boxes around the map to throw off other players, allowing you to either assist the player that you want to win or to get back at all of those who made you lose.
So, even when the players game is over, they still have a chance to play and have fun with other players. Plus, it unlocks a whole new dynamic in how you play battle mode - you can team up with other players and assist them while they take out all the other active players.
In all of these options, a lot more happens when the player dies. They are either given a whole new role or given some form of a second chance to correct their mistake. In the case of more recent Mario Kart games, you can not get a game over. The race might end with you at last place, and you might not get the trophy at the end, but you still have the ability to continue forward into the game and you even have the ability to gain more add ons for your cart! And that actually fits into the theme of Mario Kart - a casual kids game with no real end goal in mind.
I feel like a lot of other games could take a few lessons from games that design their punishments like that. Let’s use Call of Duty for example; Call of Duty isn’t a one man vs a world sort of game. It involves you working with your fellow (AI) soldiers to complete objective, and I feel like the developers can use that to its fullest when developing their punishments/incentives. Imagine if, when you lost all of your HP, one of your soldiers would drag you to a safe spot and then you take complete control of that soldier or if you just flat out died and you are given access to another soldier that is within your team, but with their loadout. It connects well to the idea of working within the army, while also having the capability of forcing the player to think. For example, you might get a lower rank when you finish the level if a lot of your soldiers die, or maybe this soldier might not have the loadout that you like.
Another example would be Don’t Starve. I have no issue with how Don’t Starve handles death/game overs, as you are always given ways to avoid it, such as activating a touch stone, creating a meat effigy, or equipping a life giving amulet. In the case of Wilson, you have the innate ability to create meat effigies by using the hair from your beard. I believe we can add on to this by creating a multi use item that revives the player, but, unlike the life giving amulet which forwards the game by one day, this new item would rewind a game by a single day - rewinding rng, spawns/despawns, and any other events in the world back to what they were when that day first started. This would allow the player to get a second chance at tackling the obstacle that killed them beforehand, while also allowing them to branch off and change the flow of the day. This works within the context of the game, because we already have items that prevent death within the game. There are also items in the game that change time, such as the mandrake, Siesta Lean-to, etc.
There are so many different ways to push the player to improve while still being creative. But then finding that alternative punishment while making sure that it works well is where the difficulty lies. Yes, the player could lose points when they fail an objective or maybe they will be forced into a different part of the game, but then we have to consider why the player would care about that.
Take for example Lego Star Wars. If you lose all of your health, you lose a lot of your buds ( a currency within the game) and then you get spawned back to a safe point in the level. You don’t lose progress, you just lose currency.While this method is indeed different, due to how plentiful the buds are in that game, this punishment does not set the player back much. If anything, they can die, continue to throw themselves at the problem without thought, and still get past that problem without learning much. In defense of this tactic, Lego Star Wars is meant to appeal to children and above, and so they would have to craft the game around making it easy for children to play, advance in, and have fun with. So there is not a lot of risk but there is a lot of reward, and, no matter what, the player can complete the game without improving their skill. It makes sense, but this kind of punishment is weak at pushing players to find new methods and to grow.
Finding that balance between creativity and effectiveness is key when creating stylized punishments/learning moments in the game that you are developing. If you want some more ideas, just go and play games in multiple genres and see how they handle punishing the player.
For technophiles, CES isn’t just a conference—it’s bigger and better than any theme park, and there are even more possibilities than most can imagine. Business and tech leaders from all over the world converge to show off what’s happening now, and even more exciting, what’s possible for the future.
As a university wholly focused on technology, we are constantly looking ahead, because if you’re only on par with the latest, you are already behind. This year looks to be an exciting one for tech; 2020 brings roll-up TVs, 8K resolution, and AI everything.
Dr. David Bolman, UAT Provost, documented some of his favorite elements from the past CES, and he’s sharing them as a series of blogs that will give you FOMO if you didn’t make it, and probably encourage you to start planning your trip next year. In this first edition, you’ll understand how CES is like a high-tech carnival, with amusements for people with only a basic knowledge of tech to those working on cutting-edge projects.
“When you're curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” Walt Disney
From Dr. Dave:
To understand CES, consider that Samsung alone has 25k+ square foot pavilion. People walking shoulder to shoulder, like a summer day in Disneyland, through technology sensory stimulation chambers that are 150% higher than the max settings of the human brain. Curved OLED screens as tall as a building firing resolutions well-beyond what our eyes can perceive. Large panel screens that pivot on the wall from horizontal to vertical, matching the orientation of cell phones. 8K resolution screens with tasteful white frames so that when the TV display is turned off, one of thousands of the works of art housed in museums is displayed—at resolutions that looks as good to our eye as viewing the original piece. Having viewed A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte in person during December and then calling it up via Samsung at CES, I was impressed (even though the Samsung version is much smaller).
“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”
Each year the shows are similar (big, loud and encompassing). There are always dancing robots, big TVs, gadgety home tech, IoT, next generation smart cars, C/net broadcasting live, AI attached to anything and everything and at least one person in a wet suit swimming in a giant aquarium to show off the kind of underwater jet propulsion rig that you expect in a James Bond/Johnny Quest shows from the Mad Men era. In the thick of all this highest tech imaginable, the oddity of getting between the main halls by following (on foot or by golf cart) a faux grass path crossing what is normally the driveway to loading bays. If this is your first time at CES, these demonstrations of what tech will be will leave your brain center fired up long after you have left the pulsating halls and the straight out of Tokyo bus rides are in your rearview.
“Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.”
Dialing down some of the flash for an edgier tech intensity per square foot means heading to the Eureka Park—aka a very amped up SIP showcase. Imagine a vast room parceled into stalls like a cross between a digital Persian market and the neighborhood in Blade Runner’s dystopian LA where Hannibal Chew makes replicant eyes. This is one of the busiest halls of CES where thousands (maybe hundreds, but it feels like a million, so I split the difference) of vendors are grouped into neighborhoods by country, college or type of tech. These are not the polished techs of the main halls, this is the kickstarter zone filled with prototypes and rough cuts. Some promising, some junk, some just weird (anyone feel like funding an AI-driven electric guitar system designed to entertain your cat?). Bumping shoulder to shoulder like riding in a NYC subway inside of this not ready for prime-time player version of tech you see plenty of tech creativity. Surgical ready stereoscopic VR systems, and Korean vertical farming were the kinds of solid applications looking for funding inside of Eureka. And of course there was the smart potato. A booth that was so wrapped in fandom, that the closest I could get was a “phone held high shot” that confirmed the celebrity status that this bluetooth enabled Nueraspud achieved. Here is a link to their crowdfunding page: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-world-s-first-smart-potato-smartpotato#/
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
Robots and drones are always on display at CES and there was no shortage of squads of airborne or pushup pumping devices performing synchronized routines accompanied by lasers, steam and bass. This year more of them were consumer-ready and available at price points that had me picturing a near future where it will be normal to see people going about their day surrounded by ground and aerial possess providing digital vanguards announcing their arrival with song and dance like modern day Roman generals. More practical in use, but no less oozing anime cuteness, were the robots cruising the floor using their AI to perform some butler’ish service. There were ‘bots ferrying supplies from one booth to another, others that were serving drinks and plenty of others demonstrating hands capable of alternately nimbly picking up small glass objects and then bricks.
“First, think. Second, dream. Third, believe. And finally, dare.”
Watch for more of Dr. Dave’s experiences with the latest tech, and let us know what you’re most looking forward to as AI continues to wow and surprise us with exciting ingenuity. If you are an innovator or wanting to get started, you can find the latest in tech revolution at UAT, where our mission is to educate students in advancing technology who innovate for our future.
We accomplish that by re-imagining the future of learning, intellectual property and talent cultivation to accelerate Arizona and national tech-entrepreneurship. UAT has developed a vibrant, multifaceted academic environment with a synchronic learning model where students are challenged to explore new and traditional concepts, and to independently and collaboratively practice what they learn in real-world situations to achieve their full potential UAT academic programs result in Associate, Bachelor or Master degrees. Start your journey at www.uat.edu.
Friday, January 31 through Sunday, February 2 The Global Game Jam (GGJ)—the world's largest game jam event—happened around the world, with a physical location taking over the campus of the University of Advancing Technology (UAT).
For 48 hours, game designers worked together to explore their creativity, share experiences and express themselves through the concepting and design of video games. From beginners to experienced programmers, gamers from all kinds of backgrounds participated and contributed to the global game development challenge... occasionally pausing to rest.
Adam Moore, professor at UAT, was asked by the organizer for all USA Game Jam sites to be the region organizer for California. "In addition to organizing our [UAT] site, I communicated with 20+ other jam locations to make sure they had the resources they need for the jam," said Moore.
The jam formally began after the announcement of the year’s theme, Repair, kept secret until the last second on Friday, January 31 at 9pm, so all jammers across the world could begin together.
The Global Game Jam® has been going on for over 10 years now! The first was held in 2009, with 1,600 people jamming in 23 countries. This year the event grew to 940 Jam sites, an increase of 80 locations over last year, where 860 sites were spread across 113 countries, and over 47,000 jammers collectively made more than 9,000 games.
We asked Moore to tell us about the UAT site and his experience as the organizer. Here's what he had to say...
How many people attended at the Tempe location; how many across the globe?
We had 90 jammers here. This is smaller than last year’s, but we had 3 sites in Arizona this year, plus a site in Nevada. A group of jammers road-tripped to our site from Vegas in previous years because we were the closest site. Globally, we had 940 locations—the biggest global game jam ever! We don’t have an official count on the number of jammers yet, but given the trends from past years, I wouldn’t be surprised if we had over 50,000 jammers this year.
How many games were created in the 48 hours at this location?
We have 29 game pages created on our site, but not all of them were completed or presented at the end of the jam. We had 14 teams present their games in the theater at the end of the jam.
What were some of the ideas?
A lot of the teams took the theme literally and implemented mechanics in their game where the player has to repair something to progress through the game. This is an obvious way to incorporate the theme into a game, and you’ll find that a lot of the games around the world did this.
One of the more interesting implementations of the theme was a game that breaks and requires the player to fix the broken parts of the game to be able to progress through the levels.
There were also some more abstract interpretations of the theme. A few teams went the route of making games about repairing relationships. One of the games was about repairing damage caused by deforestation and had a serious message about climate change.
Are there any continuing on for development?
Most of the teams probably won’t be continuing their games past the end of the jam, but a couple of the teams are likely to continue them.
What were some of your favorite moments during the jam?
I loved this year’s keynote speeches. They echoed a lot of the advice that I give students about how to be successful at game jams.
I completely filled the back seat of my car with pizzas on Saturday night when I brought pizza in for all of the jammers.
The presentations of the games at the end of the jam is one of my favorite parts of the jam every year. The games keep getting better every jam.
What advice would you give those who want to continue to prepare for a career in game development?
1. If you want to launch a career in game development, then you should start making games today.
2. You don’t need to have a job at a game studio or be an expert at game development to get started. If you get your hands on a free game engine and some tutorials, you can put together a small playable game in a short amount of time.
3. Don’t try to build an epic masterpiece for your first game. Start with something small enough that you can make it over a weekend. Make a one-screen 2D arcade game with only one level. Build something simple that you can finish quickly.
4. Try to get several different games made with a short deadline. If you make a small game every weekend for the next year, you will have made 52 games! Even if you only jam once a month, that’s still 12 games you’ll have under your belt. If you like any of the games you create from short jams like these, then polish them up and release them. Having released games is one of the most important requirements for getting a job in the game industry.
Adam Moore, UAT Professor
Check out the games uploaded to UAT's page at https://globalgamejam.org/2020/jam-sites/university-advancing-technolog . And if you're interested in pursing an education in gaming, learn more about UAT's Gaming Programs—Game Design, Game Art and Animation and Game Programming.
The Game Design degree at the University of Advancing Technology is offered as a Bachelor of Arts. UAT has the distinction of consistently being named as one of the top game design programs in the world since its debut in 1995. Game Design students focus on the design principles, skills and techniques required to create mechanics, game documentation and functioning prototypes for innovative game projects.
Students in the Game Art and Animation program will gain an insight into what is involved at all levels of game development to create 2D and 3D art and animation assets for multiple video game platforms such as PC, consoles, mobile, online and VR. Students will master the artistic principles used in video game art asset creation such as color theory, lighting, shading, anatomy, perspective, scene staging, modeling low polygon and high polygon, 3D modeling texturing, rigging and key frame and motion capture animations.
UAT’s Game Programming degree (a.k.a. Game Coder degree) prepares students to take the controls in their careers. With this prestigious video game programming degree, students develop a broad coder skill set, and are comfortable with manyplatforms and languages. Courses in Game Programming will emphasize the essential issues and the skills required to develop games for multiple video game platforms such as PC, consoles, mobile, online and VR. These skills have broader applications in related industries such as entertainment, business, research and training.
Ready to take the next step? Press play.
At UAT, we are proud of the work students consistently do while on campus, but it's really exciting to see them continue on with great success after graduation. Every year our students leave to become respected innovators, and an excellent example is Tylene "Ty" Robinson, International & Sales Operations Manager at Symetrix in Seattle. Read on to find out where she's been and how she's achieved her current success.
What did you study at UAT and when did you graduate?
I graduated SUMMA CUM LAUDE in 2011 with my BA in Digital Media.
What has been your career path since graduation?
I started my career off really “scraping it out” in the freelance industry. I worked as an intern with a local artist in Scottsdale for a year learning all kinds of trades and as a result started getting into digital marketing. I really felt like I needed to move to California because there would be more opportunities there for someone with my mixed bag of digital tricks and skills. I moved to SoCal and became the marketing coordinator at a car dealership, which only lasted about 4 months. While working at the car dealership I went to the Chamber of Commerce on their behalf for various networking meetings and I realized I could make more money and have more fun working with the small businesses who participated in the Chamber. I quit the car dealership and began writing blogs, creating social media marketing plans and creating or updating business listings for small businesses. One business, namely, the Tin Fish Oceanside – ended up hiring me to do their entire marketing and press campaign for their grand opening in Oceanside. Not only did I help get the word out via digital marketing campaigns and creating their business listings, etc. they also ended up hiring me to train their new staff on customer service.
Completely exhausted from my stint in SoCal, I decided to continue up the coast to join my family who had recently moved to Seattle. Shortly after arriving, I was offered a contract position with a digital marketing company then called Cobalt – offering full web solutions from websites to digital advertising and social media packages for Car Dealerships (hey! Pretty crazy right?!). I spent 6 years at Cobalt (now called CDK Global) and worked extremely hard. I started off as a web designer and worked my way up to Project Manager. I absolutely loved being a project manager and having a technical background really played to my strengths! I took it to the next level of project management and spent the last year of my time at CDK nerd-ing out on Process Improvement and attained my Yellow Belt Certification. I drove many process improvement projects that yielded soft dollar savings as well as improved customer and employee experiences.
A year ago – December-ish 2018, my parents bought a manufacturing business in the Seattle area who manufacture professional audio equipment. Shortly after buying the business, their Sales Administrator left and they offered me the position. With my background in Process Improvement and Operations (project management), I immediately recognized gaps in the Sales Organization and began to restructure the team in partnership with my father, the CEO. I became the Sales Operations manager and Manager of International Sales.
How did you become an effective leader?
I had to fight my way up the ladder so therefore, no matter where I was or what I was doing, I worked harder and smarter than anyone around me. I also truly believe that if you want to get ahead and be a leader – you have to be a lifelong learner. Learning doesn’t stop at graduation. I am constantly researching and learning new things based on the job or project that’s in front me. They say leaders are readers and it couldn’t be more true. Keep showing up, keep working hard – keep learning and applying and you’re guaranteed to get ahead! Being a leader is not easy and it is not for everyone. I have had to overcome many personal and professional hurdles along the way – but it’s always been a drive within me so I just keep going every day.
How did your education at UAT help you?
I’ll never forget in my senior project class, the professor would say every day KPI, KPI, KPI. Now, I use that term on a regular basis and I am shocked at how many professionals don’t know what a KPI is or how to leverage data effectively to get results.
My education at UAT was great! I learned many different skills but I really appreciated the focus on business excellence. Thinking about success metrics, forcing us to give presentations constantly. This gave me an edge.
What is your ultimate goal for your career?
My ultimate goal is to make a difference and to have a positive influence. I realized about 2 years ago that I had stop thinking inside the box when it comes to my career. I no longer think “Hey, I want to be a full stack developer, or hey I want to be a doctor or lawyer”… that’s so limiting!!!!! Understand what drives you, understand what motivates you – and the jobs (your career) will fall into place. I can’t tell you how many roles I’ve been in or seen others go to that I (or they) created to fill a need or gap for a customer or business based on my/their unique experiences, talents and vision. So the ultimate goal in my career is to drive the success of those around me – customers and employees and to foster profitable businesses whatever the role finds me in.
What advice do you have for students to be successful in school?
Just do it, put the time in, put the work in. It’s a drop in the bucket and you will learn a lot from it. Just keep showing up. Even if you show up and fail or you show up totally unprepared with no idea what you’re doing. Just keep showing up, do the work and it will pay off. It doesn’t matter where you go to school or what you study, you need to go and get it done. It may seem like a long time but it’s nothing in the long run and you’ll be grateful you did it for yourself and you will always have it. Hey, I even quit my job and lived on student loans so I could make school my job. Because of that I was determined to get straight A’s and I did. Now I have bragging rights for the rest of my life.
What advice would you give other students to encourage them to pursue their goals after college?
There are going to be times, especially after you just graduate, where everything seems hopeless. You think you’re stuck in retail for the rest of your life. A couple years may even go by... but never give up on yourself or your dreams for yourself. Just keep going. There’s nothing more important. You have no idea where the future will take you and how crazy and beautiful it will be if you just stay persistent to make your dreams come true and you focus on what drives you instead of that “inside the box” idea. This is so true of my career. When I graduated I thought I was going to be a graphic designer. I quickly realized how small that is and never imagined the amazing experiences and challenges I would enjoy. There were many times where all felt hopeless and I wanted to give up. I didn’t – and it paid off. Stay persistent, always.
What do you see for the future of tech?
I see the user experience dominating all aspects of tech in every way and big data driving it.
Since Tylene's graduation from UAT, our Digital Media degree has since been re-designed as an Advertising Art degree program (in addition to a Digital Marketing degree). This degree allows students to blend their art skills with marketing to create compelling ads that motivate consumers. UAT teaches students how to use the most advanced production tools and how to apply design and advertising to new technology. Students will also learn about the history and evolution of advertising as it relates to art and creating within agency production environments. The program is available both on campus and online.
Find out if UAT is right for you. Visit https://www.uat.edu/about-uat.
Learn. Experience. Innovate.
Each year, a variety of professional development organizations release data on emerging and in-demand fields to help the market predict changes and bridge gaps in the talent workforce. This data is informative for career-changers, but especially important for younger students planning for their future and choosing a college degree. For those interested in becoming a tech expert in some function of Artificial Intelligence, Software Development, Data Science, Robotics or Cyber Security, there appears to be a promising future ahead.According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report, artificial intelligence, robotics and data science roles are holding the highest percentage of growth in today’s job market. These three fields are at the top of the list ranked out of 15 careers, and expected to stay at the top throughout the next five years as well. LinkedIn’s report goes in-depth to discuss how artificial intelligence (AI) and data science have expanded into almost every industry while Robotics, an emerging sector of the $1.2 trillion artificial intelligence industry, made its first appearance in LinkedIn’s annual report.
*Potential career outcomes for relative degrees offered at UAT.
A U.S. News & World Report analysis also ranked Software Developer as #1 in 100 Best Jobs, #1 in Best STEM Jobs and #1 in Best Technology Jobs categories. The report ranks these jobs by looking at the “projected number and percentage of openings from 2018 through 2028, as determined by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics” including factors associated with stress levels and work-life balance.
Location can also play a large role in where better opportunities exist for certain jobs. According to a recent analysis from MarketWatch via 2019 CareerBuilder reports, the highest-paid and fastest-growing tech job in a whopping 23 states was broadly ranked as Software Developer, which can be the base function of a variety of titles and positions. According to that specific analysis, the states where software-focused graduates have a likelihood of finding a high-paying job include: Alabama, Colorado, D.C., Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
In addition, LinkedIn noted that the top cities hiring for Software Engineer positions were the San Fransisco Bay Area, D.C., Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Seattle where average salaries currently ranging from to $115,000 to $154,000, according to Indeed.
Due to housing costs, political environments and the quality of family life in these cities, however, LinkedIn data shows that professionals are on the move to “secondary cities” that have emerging job markets such as Austin, Raleigh, Portland or Phoenix. These emerging cities are also not far off in the amount of available job opportunities. Secondary cities are also generally considered to offer a better quality of life with a lower cost of living, allowing individuals and families to justify a slightly lower pay over taking a job in the most competitive, saturated cities in the country.
In Tempe, Arizona, where University of Advancing Technology’s state-of-the-art campus is located, Software Engineers make an average salary of $103,034 and up to $187,000 or more. There are also currently 1,329 positions open in Tempe exclusively, according to Indeed. This doesn’t include the over 3,000 jobs open in neighboring cities such as Scottsdale and the greater Phoenix area.
As an easily accessible location that people most often would set their sites on to retire for the beautiful climate with opportunities for hiking, golfing and adventures-galore, now many tech professionals from all over the country are gravitating toward the Phoenix area for the lower cost of living, rising job opportunities and family-friendly culture. According to Tim Gallen’s report in the Phoenix Business Journal, “The city of Phoenix itself is the fastest-growing city in the U.S., according to Census data released recently. From 2017 to 2018, Phoenix proper welcomed more than 25,000 new residents."
Overall in our state, “Tech jobs in Arizona have seen a 5.1 percent wage growth, with an average annual salary of over $80,000" and it currently has a “40 percent higher tech job growth rate than U.S. overall”, says Arizona Governor, Doug Ducey, in a Press Release and analysis of the Arizona Technology Council Report. “According to the Cyberstates 2019 report, Arizona ranked in the top five for total new net tech business establishments added between 2017 and 2018. In total, Arizona supports 241,671 tech jobs and more than 9,800 tech establishments."
It’s an intelligent concept to utilize industry and state-of-the-market reports to make a data-driven decision for a major and higher education institution. In order to be able to forge a career in any of these highly-ranked positions, it’s ideal to find a college or university that offers relevant majors and not just minors or broad degrees that barely touch on the topic. Most importantly, it’s best to find a college or university that stays ahead, adapts and pivots with the latest in advancing technology and the changing market’s needs. You want to graduate as a superior professional in your area of study in order to achieve the best possible outcome for a job when you're fresh out of college.
As the first computer university in the country, UAT’s higher education methodology and SyncFlex™ learning model places our 100% STEM University decades ahead of many state colleges. Out of the 18 undergraduate and 5 graduate mature degree programs offered at UAT, many could potentially result in outcomes directly relative to at least 11 of the 15 jobs in LinkedIn’s report including our:
With UAT students graduating significantly earlier in the average timespan of 2.67 years, their opportunity for earnings is estimated at an average of $70,266 of positive cashflow after 2.13 years post graduation, as reflected in the findings above.
Meanwhile, their peers are still attending at a State school with a 4.8 year average time spent earning a degree and potentially building up even more student debt. At the largest university in Tempe, Arizona, for example, it commonly takes over 6 years to graduate with a degree. Plus, if you graduate ahead of your peers, you could potentially be managing them once they hit the job market.
Also consider that when earning a technology degree and the rising demand for tech-industry talent, the likelihood is better for making higher pay than if you had any other general degree. Gathered from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, "the median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $86,320 in May 2018, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $38,640."
With AI advancement on a rapid rise, UAT recommends all incoming college and graduate students to consider taking some level of artificial intelligence curriculum in their studies, no matter their major. "Artificial Intelligence will require the entire workforce to learn new skills, whether it's to keep up to date with an existing role, or pursuing a new career as a result of automation", LInkedIn's report stated. Technology, specifically AI, is the future of the workforce a and UAT is recognized for filling the in-demand tech-talent needs with innovative leaders in all industries.
UAT offers students the opportunity to take classes outside of their major as well as access all campus technology while enrolled. UAT students have the flexibility to learn online, on-campus, in smaller classes (14:1 student to professor ratio) with unlimited access to better technology, and with a mentored education in order to become superior graduates. Get #TechRespect with a degree from UAT.
This past fall, AZBigMedia hosted a panel of Arizona Cyber Security experts at the AZ Tech Talk, moderated by UAT’s very own Data Privacy expert, Dr. Dave Bolman, University of Advancing Technology’s Provost and Chief Academic Officer. The panel was brought together to provide critical information to Arizona individuals, businesses, and schools on the rising concern of data privacy, how to safeguard systems to prevent a cyber security breach from occurring, where to find cyber security resources and how to get help after a cyber-attack of at any level has occurred.
Panelists at the AZ TechTalk with Dr. Dave Bolman included: Ori Eisen, the founder and CEO of Trusona; Heather Monthie, PhD, Associate Dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at GCU; Sean Moshir, the CEO and co-founder of CellTrust; Greg Schu, a Partner at BDO; and Steve Zylstra, the President and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council.
In honor of Data Privacy Day, UAT is relaying five key points from the highly-respected moderator and panelists’ discussion, delivering a helpful guide for readers to apply in their own cyber security practices.
“If you want to understand cyber security, you have to understand what it’s all about — you have the entire world right there at your doorstep at any moment. The world has transformed into digital belongings that can more can be easily taken away. Just like you protect your physical belongings, you need to protect your digital assets”, said AZ Tech Talk panelist, Sean Moshir.
The most critical topic discussed throughout the TechTalk panel relates to individuals and businesses alike, but many are confused about where to start. One panelist suggested a simple Google search to find a massive amount of helpful tips and information on the topic of Data Privacy Education.
Sean Moshir stressed, “Continue to adapt, learn how to take advantage of technology to protect yourself and others. Protection comes from education. The number one most important thing in cyber security that I have seen in my life is education for the employees. How you educate your employees, how you have policies, how you write policies, how you enforce those policies and making sure your company is compliant.”
"Data Privacy and Cyber Breach prevention education doesn’t have to be complex or expensive," Greg Schu explains, “Educate employees with very simple processes. If you’re an organization, there are very straightforward processes you can put in place. If you don’t have a plan in place, call your professional friends at reputable firms; they may have done this before and have things that work for them. There are so many things you can do where you don’t have to spend any money. If you have a family or friend into tech, get them to at least help you with your backups. If something goes wrong, at least you have a way to recover without paying ransomware,” said Schu.
Additionally, aside from the (often free) Firewall, AntiVirus, Anti-Spam and other basic protections you can have on your devices to protect your data (including having a backup strategy in place) the following tips are the most important practices to educate your family and employees in order to maintain a strong, proactive data privacy force at home and work.
If you’re still using weak or the same passwords from several years ago for several accounts, you’ve likely already been hacked whether you know it yet or not. Use complex, original passwords for every account that have nothing to do with anyone’s names or addresses, birthdates, etc. Make really tricky passwords, especially the ones housing your confidential information such as financial, social security number, or other personal data that could be stolen and used for identify theft.
Also, change them frequently, even every time you log in if you want to be overcautious about it. Don't write them down on a sticky note or even lock them in spreadsheet on your computer, as these can be very easy ways for someone to access your data. To make coming up with new, original and complex passwords and remembering them easier, use a password generator and a secure password storage application.
Although you’ve likely heard these tips before, in the high-level AZ Tech Talk panelist conversation, the current state of passwords were ignored. Only the passwords of the future were discussed because of how easily hackers are getting through our standard cyber security practices. The future of passwords is still undeclared but there is hope of a new, safer way forward to protect our data. However, you should still keep up with password best practices in order to utilize what’s available at this time.
During the TechTalk, Ori Eisen addressed the complex topic of the future of passwords with, “As a person that works everyday to replace passwords, how many people that have great technology we’re taking with us everywhere, let’s use that. It’s time to get rid of passwords. Biometrics are awesome as long as you don’t replay them. At the end of the day it’s converted to 0’s and 1’s. computer listening to 0’s and 1’s of my fingerprint or facial scan — anything that goes from analog to digital can be stolen and used maliciously.”
Until a safer option of biometrics has been developed or the next option for passwords have been implemented, add extra layers of security to your accounts. Enable some form of Multi-Factor Authentication whenever possible on all accounts. This at least provides an extra level so even if someone does have your password, if they’re trying to login from a device that isn’t yours, you’ll get an alert and be able to stop the action in a timely manner. There are ways hackers can get around this but for most situations, it’s an additional way to keep them out.
Some Identify Theft Protection providers will monitor the dark web for breaches of your information, but all will report malicious activity associated with your data. It makes the process go a lot faster and smoother if you have this in place when a breach does occur. Think of it as your digital accidental insurance policy, similar to car insurance if you get in a fender-bender, when someone takes over your personal identity with malicious intent.
The Arizona Tech Council’s President & CEO, Steve Zylstra, stated that “Business-focused insurance companies used to have cybersecurity in their general liability policies, but they took it out so if you’re not sure if you have it, you don’t.”
It’s critical to have insurance and protection in place in order to not only lose data and trust from customers but your business altogether. According to IBM, The average financial cost of a data breach is $3.92 million, and Joe Galvin, a Chief Research Officer for Vistage, reported that 60 Percent of Small Businesses Fold Within 6 Months of a Cyber Attack.
Zylstra also explained that when shopping for data privacy insurance, “You want to make sure your insurance covers everyone involved in the business. Some insurance policies won’t cover the management team.”
AZ TechTalk Panelist Tom Eisen shared the phrase, “Curiosity killed the cat” while on the topic of not clicking on everything interesting that comes your way online. “In terms of protecting your data, don’t be curious and click on the latest celebrity article. Unfortunately, that leads you to ways hackers can put malware on your computer.”
In a more personalized sense, also don’t fall for the Facebook messenger notification appearing to be from your friend asking, “is this you in this video?” attached with a video link. “Instead of being curious, be cautious first", Eisen said.
Phishing is the most common way people lose their data privacy. Retruster’s 2019 Phishing and Email Fraud Statistics report states that Phishing accounts for 90% of all data breaches. Just in the last year, 76% of businesses reported being a victim of a phishing attack, 30% got opened by the targeted recipients and 15% of people successfully phished will be targeted at least one more time within the year.
To avoid being caught in a phishing trap, it is recommended to check the sender’s email address to ensure its correct. Hover over any link to check to see if it’s a valid and a secure link, an HTTPS link that matches and makes sense for who it should be from. For example, if your bank sends you an email and the email address or link within the email is off by a letter, a number, or has a random dot where it shouldn’t, never click on anything. Today, there are many ways people can spoof email addresses to look like the real deal as well, so always be cautious. Never log in to any account from an email.
Also ensure that the email from your boss asking you "Are you are in the office? I need you to do me a favor", is really from your boss. When in doubt, go directly to that person, pick up the phone or send a text to verify to make sure – and alert them if you believe you received a phishing email. Your boss will be appreciative when you didn’t follow a spoof request to wire all of the company’s funds to a random oversees account or spend a massive amount of money on gift cards.
How you handle a breach of your data is just as important as the steps you take to prevent it. Whether the company you have an account with was hacked, your personal email, or your business and customer data was compromised, how you recover can look different. Depending on your situation determines your next steps forward.
Firstly, change your passwords to any/all accounts associated with the breach. Check your bank statements, credit cards, credit reports for any malicious activity and report any issues to the designated customer services where the breach occurred.
The Tech Talk panel recommended that if this isn’t your area of expertise, call (and vet) a personal or professional IT Support specialist, just like you would your landscaping provider. If it’s your business, your internal IT department should be equipped to handle it, otherwise call on a reputable IT Support or Cybersecurity company to help you handle the procedures required for your industry and organization’s compliance regulations. Hopefully, you also backed up your data in case of a ransomware situation.
If you’re a school, reach out to your local community of IT experts if you need help. Contact the local Technology Council to find information on resources. In Tempe and the surrounding Phoenix area, University of Advancing Technology offers itself as a resource of support to local businesses. As the first and leading Cyber Higher Education resource in Arizona and the Southwest, Dr. Dave Bolman offered, “I invite any of Arizona’s public, charter, or private K-12 school that needs cyber security assistance and resources to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org”.
US businesses are required to report a breach to law enforcement soon after it occurs as well as notify customers. For customers, it’s important to explain what information or data of theirs was potentially breached in addition to how they can attempt to re-secure their accounts. In addition to reconciling with your customers, the AZ Tech Talk panel recommends to inform other businesses in order to prevent it from happening to them.
If your business is in Arizona, Tech Council’s Steve Zylstra recommends to “Join the Arizona Cyber Response Alliance, where if you’re hacked, you share info with other organizations to help others prevent against the breach. This supports and gets the community collaboration going as well as gives you access to lots of resources in the community."
Greg Schu also commented, “When hackers find vulnerabilities, they share that with other hackers. If we’re not sharing gateways with others, we’re putting ourselves at risk.”
Hackers are getting more resourceful, creative, and relentless. It’s not expensive to hack anymore and the more data they have on you, the more they know you and the easier it is to get you to fall for their phishing schemes. A hacker “could be anyone. You can literally google “how do I hack”. There’s money to be made to teach people how to hack. In today’s world, hackers are business oriented and becoming more formalized. People punch a clock.“, Greg Schu alarmingly shared.
That isn’t the reason to go off grid, however. Ori Eisen inspiringly stated, “If you give up the convenience we have from the internet, we are already at loss. I don’t think that should be on the table. If it was, we wouldn’t know how to drive home from anywhere. On the serious side, what are things you can do everyday and where do you start? It can be so overwhelming.” The answer is to be mindful.
Eisen goes on to give questions to start asking yourself including: “What’s the most common denominator for keeping everyone around you safe? How are you protecting yourself today? How can you get rid of things that expose your data? How can you make it easier for your customers to be secured? Is there is a limit to what people want and can do? If you just start there, you can start to remove several obstacles that could pose a risk to your data privacy.”
Data Privacy is a rising concern among organizations and individuals alike and taken very seriously by University of Advancing Technology (UAT). UAT was one of the first universities in the nation to offer a Network Security education and the Cyber Warfare range was even partially funded by the Department of Defense. UAT has been designated for over 13 years as a Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) by the National Security Agency (NSA) for its Cyber Education. Our 100% STEM University currently offers three Bachelor’s degree programs and a Master of Science in Cyber Security, and is recognized for creating true cyber security leaders of integrity. UAT has also prepared more graduates with a NSA and CAE-credentialed education than any other program in Arizona and the Southwest.
Learn more about our Advanced Cyber Security Bachelor and Master of Science degree offerings.
To call for Dr. Dave Bolman or any tech expert at University of Advancing Technology for future moderator bookings, speaking engagements, or panelist opportunities, please reach out with your request to email@example.com.
If you think this article could help someone you know better protect their data privacy, please share with your friends, family, co-workers and connections!
by Valerie Cimarossa, Vice President, Marketing & Technology
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020, as expected, presented us with a flurry of new Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices, robots, and household items driven, sometimes literally, by artificial intelligence.
Smart cities was a major theme of the show, with products and concepts demonstrating connectivity in every aspect of life, both inside and outside of the home, for every member of the family. I recall halfway through the day telling a coworker that I couldn’t think of a single thing I used in my daily routine that I hadn’t already seen on the floor, connected to something else.
The concept of smart cities isn’t brand new, but this the companies and tech supporting what has been dubbed, smart city “infrastructure and resilience” made a dominating appearance. Public safety and national security could not be overlooked, ranging from a more intelligent traffic grid, to a pedestrian-driven street light system. Perhaps most impressive was, a robot – AIMBOT – that physically monitors your entire network, rolling back and forth scanning the screens in your SOC with its RFID, infrared thermal and motion detection enabled eyes and sensors, looking for changes and potential threats to your infrastructure. Major Wall-E vibes with this one.
Samsung and Amazon were king when it came “cool tech” – mats for your pantry that sense your stock and re-order when you’re low, rolling OLED TVs, 8K and a plethora of bots but the ruler of the show was MisappliedSciences, with Delta, because they introduced a whole new reality.
Parallel Reality is essentially a customized reality tailored to you. In Delta’s use case, debuting in the Detroit airport this summer, passengers’ boarding passes pair with specialized screens in the airport and when approached, the monitor only displays your information to you. The same thing occurs for the Delta passenger standing next you. You’re looking at the same screen, but you’re seeing your info and they’re seeing theirs. Tailored, custom, parallel. The MissappliedSciences proprietary technology, the mirror-like Parallel Reality Pixel, “simultaneously displays millions of rays of color and brightness” where traditional pixels display one.
But what does that really mean? An old 8-bit video game had so few pixels you could see how each one joined to create the image you were looking at. A good HDTV displays enough pixels of light and color that your eyes cannot decipher the space between them. A Parallel Reality pixel displays so many pixels that you can’t see them all – and the PR device (in Delta’s case, a boarding pass) determines which ones are visible to you. Think about standing in your bedroom with a friend and there’s a mirror in the corner. You’re off to the left and your friend is directly in front of it. You might see the dresser and a corner of your bed, but your friend will see themselves. One mirror (screen), two people, each with their own unique view.
Of course, MisappliedSciences won’t detail how the pixel itself works, but this technology that seems by imagination only, is not only real, but it’s here now and it’s telling of this exciting time in tech.
The next generation of technology innovation begins the day students set foot on campus at the University of Advancing Technology. It's a technophile’s dream environment where innovation and passion for advancing technology are synthesized with the best of faculty and technology resources.
At UAT, a Student Innovation Project (SIP) is a culmination of an undergraduate student’s hard work on a specific assignment relative to their degree and technological field of study. A SIP is similar to a Capstone or Master’s thesis but with an agile, new-age approach to developing a student’s career-readiness.
Jacob Glass and Ceara McSherry have gone a long way since graduation... literally, a long way in their travels across the globe. From zip-lining through the rain forest to chasing shipwrecks off the coast of New Zealand, these two have documented an exciting voyage since leaving campus, capturing their adventures and beautiful surroundings. As they come to the end of their journey, we sent them some questions about life after UAT. Read on.
Taking photos at Tongariro National Park just near the base of mount Ruapehu, AKA mount Doom from Lord of the Rings.
What did you study at UAT?
Ceara and I both studied Digital Video while attending UAT.
How did you start your travels?
We started our travels by applying for a working holiday visa in New Zealand back in December of 2018. It’s an extremely simple process that can be done on the New Zealand government's website. We were approved two days after applying. Once approved, our visa was valid for one year after we entered the country. By New Years, our flights were booked and we notified our landlord that we were not going to renew our lease. At the end of January, we put in our resignations at our jobs and sold most of what we had. We left on March 17 and never looked back.
Jake & Ceara often stayed in their van as they road tripped across New Zealand.
What is your ultimate goal from your traveling?
Our ultimate goal from traveling was to meet new people, have new experiences, and gain a global perspective. Professionally, we had planned on taking photos and videos of our explorations to help build our reels and portfolio while abroad.
What has been your favorite place to visit and why?
Ceara - Fiji was my favorite spot to visit because we got to interact with locals and learn about Fijian culture. Plus, we made a lot of friends from all over the world who were equally adventurous as us. Everyone had the same goal in their travels, so it enriched the experience. And the natural beauty of the country was unbelievable. Fiji was a truly amazing adventure.
Jake - It’s hard to pick one spot because each place was so different from the next and each had its pros and cons. One of the most standout places would have been towards the end of our time in NZ. We were staying at a working hostel outside of Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand, while we worked at a tree nursery. It was amazing because not only was Napier an interesting and unique city, but we lived and worked with the same people which made it feel less like work and more like camp. We planted and trimmed trees for 50 hours a week then got to go swimming, hiking, or partying on the weekend with people our age from around the world. It was a combination of the work, the people, and the place that made it special to me.
Jake relaxing on the beach after a long day of adventures.
How did your education at UAT help you?
Most of what we were doing we learned along the way. However, both Ceara and I worked as RAs in the dorms which helped get us jobs working at a cafe and hostel on the west coast of South Island.
What are your future plans?
Currently our plans for the future consist of us getting jobs and returning to the work we love to do, which is filming and working on sets.
Telling ghost stories and chasing shipwrecks in New Zealand.
How are you helping to save the world?
How are we helping to save the world? Well, currently we’re not. That’s a big question with lots of possible answers. We learned a lot about sustainability and conservation while in New Zealand and are excited to implement some of things we learned here in the future. Until then we are just doing our best to stay informed politically and plan to vote in both the primaries and general elections.
What advice would you give other students to encourage them to pursue their dreams?
Honestly, the best advice I can give anyone about pursuing their dreams is to have a plan. Do the research required to know what tools you will need to get from where you are to where you want to be. After that it just takes patience and persistence.
Ceara exploring caves a few miles west of Greymouth (on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island) and finding some glow worms.
At UAT, we're proud of Jake and Ceara and looking forward to seeing what's next for them. Watch videos created by the duo on their YouTube channel, Storyists Abroad, and follow their personal Instagram blog @storyists_abroad.
Want to learn to how to document the world? Our Digital Video Bachelor of Arts is a film production degree that prepares you to take on the challenge of storytelling with contemporary relevance. You'll be immersed in leading-edge technologies and environments that are essential to today’s film, television, video production, news gathering, animation, visual effects, gaming, web and interface design industries. The focus of this film production degree is creating digital video production professionals who will have mastery over the dynamic and ever-evolving realm of 21st century film technology and artistry. Learn more at https://www.uat.edu/digital-video-degree.
A considerable amount of work goes into developing a game. Artists paint beautiful worlds, writers craft elaborate stories, and programmers construct complex game mechanics, but none of these by themselves make a game ‘good’. All of those things will contribute to a game’s overall quality, but above all else, you’ll need to create a good gameplay loop.
Creating an engaging gameplay loop is the most important part of developing your game, so it’s important to understand exactly what that means. The primary gameplay loop of your game will be what happens in the game every second as you play. For example, in Pac-man, on a second-to-second basis you will be avoiding ghosts and eating pills. In a game like Doom, your core loop is to run around and shoot demons. This loop is the most important to get right. Game developers spend a lot of time focusing on just this second to second experience because it’s what will comprise most of the player’s experience in the game.
So once you’ve got a solid core game loop, it’s time to focus on the secondary and tertiary loops. These are gameplay loops from a wider perspective. The secondary loop is generally what’s happening minute to minute, things like completing levels in Pac-man, or clearing and advancing stages in Doom. Even further out, the tertiary loop is about the overall gameplay over longer stretches of time; think hour to hour. This is things like getting a high score, beating all the stages of a game, unlocking items, or progressing on a larger scale. It’s important to have these outer loops as well to ensure that the core loop stays interesting for longer than just a few minutes. You enjoy playing for the primary loop, but you continue playing for the secondary and tertiary loops.
To get a more solid understanding of what makes a good gameplay loop, you can usually analyze your favorite games and pinpoint their primary, secondary, and tertiary loops. My favorite game is Tetris, so the primary loop of Tetris is to move and rotate the falling blocks and try to clear lines to avoid the blocks getting to the top and getting a game over. This primary loop is very fun in its own regard, but what really makes it interesting is the secondary loop where the more lines you clear, the faster the blocks fall. This makes you want to try to survive as long as you can. What really brings it all together is the tertiary loop: achieving high scores. Tetris has been around since 1984 and still continues to engage players because you can always keep playing to trying to push your score higher. This is what makes the very simple primary loop of moving blocks and clearing lines far more engaging and brings significantly more depth to the overall game.
So that’s game loops in a nutshell! Definitely take this information and use it to your advantage during your own game development; a strong core loop will make your game so much better. This stuff is some of the primary principles of game development and is a lot of what we practice and perfect while developing games at UAT. To learn more check out our Game Design degree!
UAT students created a virtual escape room for their Student Innovation Project, and Phoenix is buzzing about it!
Max Gorden, reporter for Arizona's Family News (3TV and CBS 5), visitied campus on Thursday, January 9, to learn more about AR Escape Room and the students behind this new style of game.
Hi! Happy New Years to all those who are reading! This blog was supposed to have been released last year, but I needed more time to flesh things out a bit. Too long, Didn't Read: I’m a bit late! I digress; today we will be learning about creating a new project and the engines tools. The tools section will be split between two blogs, so keep an eye out for part 2.
When you open up Hammer for the first time, you should be met by a screen that is similar to what I have.
Your Hammer editor should look like this when it has been initialized for the first time on your system or when you are opening it again. In either situation, Press File > New to create a new file or press File > Open… to find a file that can be used with the engine ( any file with a .vmf extension can be opened up with hammer).
Once you do either of these things, you should be met with a layout similar to what I have.
If you don’t, then delete the white console window that you have in your editor, then click Window > New Window enough times to where you have 3 windows with lines in them and one completely black window. Once you do, click window > Tile to set the layout up to what I have. Then, set each window to a specific viewpoint. You can do this by moving your mouse to the top left of any viewport and pressing the highlighted letters in that area. You have an option between viewing the map from the top (2D Top), from the front ( 2D Front), or the side (2D Side). Select the view you want by clicking on it.
The select tool allows you to select one or many objects within any of the views for the purpose of either moving or deleting parts of your map.
The Zoom tool allows you to either zoom in or zoom out at a certain space within one of the viewports.
The Camera tool allows you to place down cameras and modify already existing cameras within the map. ( We will, unfortunately, not be covering the usage of this camera, since I have never used it during the development of my maps)
The entity tool allows you to place down objects, characters, or any premade assets that you have selected within the map.
The Block tool allows for you to create brushes within your editor
The Face tool you to edit the texture of a specific face of a brush that you have created.
The Texture tool allows you to place a selected texture onto the entirety of a selected brush. Do not confuse its functionality with the functionality of the Face tool, because, unlike the Face Tool where you can select which side gets a texture, a single texture will get applied to all faces of the brush with this tool.
The Decal tool allows you to overlay a decal texture onto the texturing of a selected face of a brush.
The Overlay tool allows you to place decals/overlays onto selected faces of a brush or onto displacements(we won’t talk about displacements in this article).
The clipping tool allows you to edit the geometry of a brush by allowing you to cut away different segments of it, or to split a single brush up into multiple different brushes for whatever purpose.
The Vertex tool allows for you to edit the geometry of an entire brush, by allowing you to change the edges and vertices of a brush. This brush is great for creating special kinds of shapes that can not be achieved by using just the brush or clipping tools alone.
On the top of the editor, you should have a hotbar that looks like what you see towards your right.
Whatever brush you selected will subtract, or carve, its shape into all objects that it overlaps.
Whatever brushes you select will connect all brushes together, making them act like a single entity.
Whatever brushes you select will disconnect all connected brushes, making each brush act like its own entity.
Toggle Group Ignore: Allows you to edit individual brushes that are a part of the group
Hides what has been selected, but also creates a VisGroup* that it places it under.
Hides what is not selected, but also created a Visgroup* that it places them under.
Hides what has been selected without placing it in a Visgroup*
QuickHide Unselected Objects
Hides what is not selected without placing it in a Visgroup*
Unhide QuickHide Objects
Hides every visible object besides what is current selected
Show All VisGroups
All Visgroups* will be made visible
Cuts a selected object out of the scene and saves it to your clipboard
Saves what was selected to your clipboard
Pastes what you currently have on the clipboard onto your scene
Toggle Cordon State
Toggles the visibility of a cordon* area
Edit Cordon Bounds
Allows you to create and edit a cordon*
Creates a sphere around where you are in the 2D viewports/grids, limiting how much you can see to what is within the radius of the sphere.
Toggle Select By Handles
toggles on/off the ability to select objects only by the x coordinates in the 2D viewports/grids.
When toggled on, you can drag hold down the left mouse key on the 2D viewports/grids and drag out a square that will automatically select what is within that square. When toggled off, you will need to press ENTER after dragging out the square to select what you want.
Toggles texture lock on and off. Allows you to move a brush without messing with the texture alignment.
Texture Scale Lock
Toggles texture scale lock on and off. Allows for you to change the size of the texture with the size of the brush.
Align to World/Face
Toggles texture between world alignment and face alignment. Toggling it to World alignment will align textures based on the grid coordinates. Toggling it to Face alignment will align textures based on the face of the brush.
Turns off the display sides of a brush that have displacement* surfaces.
Disables or Enables displacements*.
: Highlights what is too steep for the player to walk on.
Displacement Edge Collapse
Toggle off the display of a brush that contains displacement* surfaces and/or vertices that have been collapsed using the Sew command.
Compiled map and runs it within the game it is supposed to run in.
Shows the radius of objects in the scene
Toggle models in 2D
Toggles the object wireframe in the 2D viewports/grids on or off.
Toggle model fade preview
Allows you to test the models Start Fade Distance and End Fade Distance.
Show collisions models wireframe
Collision models will show up in 2D viewports/grids
Show detail models/sprites on materials
:Disable or Enable func_details* and sprites on materials.
Show no draw faces
Disable or Enable Nodraw* brushes.
Icon images and Map Operations picture provided by the Valve Developer Community Wiki.
*Visgroup: Abbreviation of the term visibility groups. Objects can be assigned to specific visgroups, and those visgroups can then have their visibility toggled.
*Cordon: A barrier in the map that limits how much of the map is to be compiled
*Displacements: Brush surfaces that have been sculpted into specific shapes. For example, hills, valeyes, trenches, slopes.
*Func_detail: An Internal brush entity
*Nodraw: a texture that causes a brush’s face to not render in game.