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University of Advancing Technology is an elite, private college that serves its student body by fostering knowledge creation and academic excellence in an environment that embraces the young technophiles of the world. With three centers of research and a suite of technology-centered undergraduate and graduate degrees, the University is a recognized leader in technology education.

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    The Last of Us Episode 3: Student Review

    The third episode...

    The Last of Us Episode 3: TV Show vs Game Comparison

    The third episode of HBO's The Last of Us premiered on Sunday, January 29, 2023, and it was so sad! I was bawling my eyes out by the end of it. So, lets talk about it—spoilers included!

    Trigger Warnings: Death, Suicide.

    Before getting into this week's episode, I'd like to share that, unfortunately, the voice actress in the game for Tess passed away after a two year battle with cancer. Not only did she voice so many iconic characters in the gaming Industry, she was a beautiful person full of love and kindness. This is very unfortunate news amongst us in the gaming community and for anyone who was close with her.

    The third episode was very different from the game, yet this story line for Bill and Frank is even more outstanding and heart wrenching. For anyone who has played the game, you know we only saw frank when he was already dead. We never met him or were able to understand the kind of person he was other than from what Bill said, which was never kind. They transformed Frank's sad ending into a very loving, happy and well-deserved ending for both characters. They created such a beautiful relationship between Bill and Frank.

    Instead of Frank being bit and him ending his own life, and Bill growing old and grumpy without him, we get the chance to see into their relationship. We get to see their love and how beautiful they were in a world full of hate. Bill protected Frank with everything he had, while Frank did the same until the very end. Seeing the parallels between the beginning and the end was outstanding. The first dinner they had together, Bill prepared a Rabbit with a glass of wine. This was also be their last meal together. On their last day, they got married. I cried so hard, and I am even tearing up typing this.

    Listening to he HBO Podcast, I learned about their interactive start idea where each episode would have a start menu for the game.There would be a window and you'd have to press start in order to watch the episode and then also end with a window. I'll admit, I was disappointed to learn they were thinking about doing this but didn't. I think it's a brilliant idea, and they could have tied in this idea with the end of this week's episode where we look through the open window from Bill and Frank's bedroom.

    We were reunited with Tess this week, but only through a flashback, of course. We see a flashback to when Frank invited Tess and Joel to their town for lunch. This answered the question of how Joel knew Bill from the game and the significance they had to one another. Seeing Tess again was nice, and the relationship she grew with Frank was fun and adorable. We also were able to see how the music codes originated. Unfortunately, this is when we piece together that the music they heard over the radio was signaling Bill and Frank's deaths a few weeks before Joel, Tess and Ellie set out on their mission. Bill's radio was designed to go off if it wasn't touched for a few weeks. The 80s music heard at the end of episode one was because of this.

    This episode was both amazing and terribly sad. I felt like my heart was ripped out and thrown on the ground after watch it. This was beautiful twist on the original story, and I do believe it was for the better. As always, I am recommending everyone to watch The Last of Us and play the game. I encourage you to form your own opinions, but so far, I think this is the best show adaptation of a video game. I truly think that everyone can enjoy this show. If you don't at least give it a show you'll miss out on stories like in this week's episode! 

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    The Last of Us Episode 2: Student Review



    The Last of Us recap: Another heartbreaking death | EW.com

    On Sunday, January 22nd, HBO released the second episode of The Last of Us, and it was absolutely amazing! Let's dive right into this week's episode breakdown. Warning—there are spoilers, so read at your own risk.

    This episode confirmed the theories about the cordyceps traveling through wheat and grain from a facility or factory. Everything I ever wanted from the video game was delivered in the beginning of this very episode; my questions about the beginning of the breakout were answered within the first 15 minutes. How has this affected other countries? Where did this come from? How did it travel so fast? Also, I'd like to add how perfect the actress who plays the doctor is for the role! As we saw, there was very quick resolution to bomb the city where the breakout started. We saw an infected cadaver and how even after the host is dead the cordyceps lives, looking to infect the next living thing.

    I've mentioned my concerns about the casting in previous posts, and although I wasn't sure about it before, I am now. The casting is perfect, in my opinion. What really solidified it were the snarky comments made by Ellie. It made me crack up when she said "sandwich weapons." It was like I was playing the game for the first time again. Joel's hostility and paranoia shows that he is human and can still be hurt without being impaled. The broken hand they added in was a nice touch. Tess had a very emotional demise and we witnessed the disgusting scene where the cordyceps tried to transfer hosts. Only one ran after her, and maybe that means Ellie won't be attacked, but Joel will? I see this as a potential dilemma down the line in the story.

    I loved the way that they changed the timeline to fit in the hotel before Tess dies, and the small little interactions we have with Ellie pretending to be a customer—just like it was in the game. This does lead me to believe that they will be replacing the hotel scene later down the line with something else. The scene in the museum gave us our first up-close look at the Clickers and it had me freaking out! The directors portrayed both of these scenes from the game so well.

    The way that Tess went out at the end of the episode was so brave and also very scary. Seeing the fear in her eyes when the infected started to approach her was so surreal and had me scared for her. Every time I play the game, I still cry to this day, but this episode completely changed the way she went out. Instead of having a sad feeling for her, I was more fearful than anything else. And, yes, I did bawl my eyes out. 

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you haven't watch the show yet, I really recommend it. Whether you're a fan of the game or now, this show and the cast are exceeding all expectations. A new episode premiere every Sunday on HBO.

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    Life is Good: UAT 2013 - 2022

    University of Advancing Technology (UAT) prides itself on its ability to adapt to modern technology. In order to do this, the University (UAT) has had some integral changes throughout the years. We wanted to create a blog series that highlights our major milestones and finish up our decade recap...

    University of Advancing Technology (UAT) prides itself on its ability to adapt to modern technology. In order to do this, the University (UAT) has had some integral changes throughout the years. We wanted to create a blog series that highlights our major milestones and finish up our decade recap covering the most recent years: 2013-2022. 

    271178_UAT Timeline_purple_opt2_2013-2018_100522

    UAT Game Studios Gets Incorporated

    2013 was a milestone year for University of Advancing Technology for many reasons. It was the university’s 30th anniversary, and the year UAT launched its first bachelor’s degree in Digital Maker and Fabrication. Students in this major practice taking design concepts and then modeling, designing, and building these objects using 3D design software. This was also the year UAT incorporated UAT Game Studios, which became the largest game production studio in Arizona. You can keep up with them on social media @UATGameStudios, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This incorporation of the Game Studios was imperative during this time, as two of the most popular pieces of innovative technology that year were the Sony Playstation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One. 

    Professor Lynn Understiller with over 30 years of industry experience helped to launch UAT Game Studios explains "UAT Game Studios was a necessary addition to the game degree to fully prepare students for industry jobs, evidenced by the thousands of alumni who hold industry jobs today and projects such as COD, Halo, Avatar, and more. With the assistance of qualified partners over the years, UAT Game Studios has led students through the job process beginning each semester with the Game Job Fair where students are recruited onto Greenlighted team projects and take on owning and managing their teams on their own while working with professional outside stakeholders. UAT Studios has become one of the University's greatest assets and has been adopted by all degrees of study."

    UAT Digital Video Goes Viral

    In 2015, UAT had its hand in the viral video trend in classic UAT fashion, with a Bohemian Rhapsody remix based on Star Wars. Watch the video on YouTube: it includes original, Star Wars-themed lyrics for all six and a half minutes of the song. The video surpassed 1 million views and today has nearly 5 million views. Two UAT alumni, Stephen Panagiotis, Jamall Richards, and Professor Paul DeNigris wrote the lyrics for the video. This was the same year Silento’s record-breaking single “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” was one of the most viral videos on YouTube if that gives you any sense of the competition UAT Digital Video was up against. 

    Synchronic Learning 2.0

    UAT developed version 2.0 of its Synchronic Learning Model in 2017, just five years after its inception. Now referred to as SyncFlex, the model allows students to shift between being an on-campus student or an online student. It is designed to be extraordinarily modern in not requiring students to label themselves as a wholly on-campus or online student.

    AI as We Know It

    The 35th anniversary of UAT was celebrated in 2018 which was also the year the Artificial Intelligence degree was launched. The Artificial Intelligence degree covers the fundamentals of general and applied AI, including core programming languages and platforms used in computer science. This was at the peak of a controversial yet popular AI technology called Face Recognition which is now commonly used to unlock cellphones by scanning one’s facial features. The same year, Hong Kong’s Hanson Robotics humanoid robot, Sophia, made the mainstream news. Sophia is powered by Google and is still one of the most extraordinary displays of artificial intelligence.  

    UAT Takes on the World

    UAT celebrated another accomplishment in 2018 when its all-freshman VEX Robotics team made nationals at the VEX Robotics World Championship (Worlds). This competition is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest robotics competition in the world. This was the first year UAT entered the collegiate-level competition (VEX U), which made their trip to nationals all the more impressive. In the end, the team placed 23rd out of 43 teams. The competition is extremely difficult and involves two teams facing off at a time. Each team controls its robot for a little under two minutes. The robot earns the team points depending on how well it stacks cones, toggles flags, and parks. You can read more about UAT's Robotics Team and their trip to Worlds here 

    Screenshot 2023-01-11 at 4.08.19 PM

    UAT's Flexible Learning Model Put to the Test

    While 2020 was an impactful year for the entire world, UAT was able to really lean on the Synchronic Learning model in the middle of a term and pivot swiftly to allow all students to safely continue classes in quarantine and not miss any class time.

    Professor Craig Belanger remembers, "When COVID hit we went on spring break there was no indication that eight days later we wouldn't be remaining on campus. There were some announcements made and we all just sort of flipped a switch and alerted our students that were going to be staying home, and it was very easy for us to do because we'd already been practicing on this for a long time."

    Security Operations Center

    The UAT Security Operations Center (SOC) was debuted in August of 2021, and after 10 years the UAT Cyber Warfare Range was retired. Having the SOC on campus allows the student to gain hands-on experience and training similar to what they would work on after graduation. 


    Looking Ahead at UAT

    In 2022, UAT continues to make effervescent strides in the world of advancing technology. For the past 38 years, U.S. News has been collecting data on universities to make it easier for people to choose their future schools. For 2022-2023, University of Advancing Technology was ranked #32 out of 102 Best Regional Colleges West universities. This is an accolade that represents UAT's stellar academic preparation and performance. UAT also ranked #7 out of 46 universities for Social Mobility. This means that UAT is dedicated to delivering education to a broad spectrum of economic classes. 

    U.S. News conducts its ratings by using academic data from surveys and reliable third parties. Nonacademic aspects of the universities are not charted. Non-scientific polls are also excluded from their calculations. They calculate the nation’s universities into ten categories, then measure based on seventeen different aspects of academic quality and take the weighted sum to devise the rankings. UAT is proud to receive these rankings and plans on rising through them in the future. They accurately represent the hard work, and dedication UAT staff and students apply to their daily academic lives. 

    UAT plans to remain ahead of the curve when it comes to advancing technologies, and we are so excited about continuing to achieve and reach milestones every year. President Jason Pistillo envisions, "Our goal in the next decade is to prove to the world UAT is one of the very best technology universities around. Student teams will regularly be recognized for their ability to compete and win in every available technology competition, build festival, hackathon and challenge. Our students will be contributing at the highest levels in entrepreneurship and industry. The recognized work students produce, be it a life saving VR med-technology program, or a new world-changing technology startup, contributes to the UAT ecosystem ensuring alumni are recognized as world class and making UAT’s education more accessible for the next generation."


    To read more about the history of UAT, check out more information here. To keep up and stay in the know with UAT Blogs, you can go to https://www.uattech.com/. 

    Ready to take the next step and become part of the UAT family? Request information or apply today and a friendly Academic Advisor will reach out to help you with your enrollment process. 

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    LEGO Building Party

    Let’s Build Together LEGO offers limitless possibilities for the creative soul. A favorite pastime, students often build together in the dorm common...

    Let’s Build Together

    LEGO offers limitless possibilities for the creative soul. A favorite pastime, students often build together in the dorm common areas—a perfect hangout spot on campus. From building treehouses to X-wings to a copious number of miniature creations, imagination runs wild at UAT.

    LEGO is known for well-loved collections such as Harry Potter, NINJAGO, Technic, Disney, DC, Architecture, Star Wars, Marvel and more. But their beginning started out humble with wooden toys, such as cars, airplanes and yoyos.


    A Brief History of LEGO

    1932 The LEGO Group is founded in Denmark by Ole Kirk Kristiansen. The company has passed from father to son for almost a century and is now owned by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, a grandchild of the founder.

    1936 — The LEGO name is created by abbreviating the two Danish words “leg” and godt,” meaning “play well.

    1949 The first plastic brick is created, marketed under the name Automatic Binding Bricks.

    1953 Automatic Binding Bricks is updated to “LEGO Mursten” (LEGO bricks).

    1958The modern-day brick is launched. The interlocking principle that creates endless building possibilities is patented.

    1968 – The first LEGOLAND park opens in Billund, Denmark.

    1978 – Minifigures and the first official LEGO themes, such as Space, Castle and Town, are introduced.


    1995 — LEGO Fun to Build, the first LEGO video game, launches in Japan.

    2008 — LEGO Ideas launches.

    2014 – THE LEGO MOVIE premiers.

    2018 — The first sugarcane-based plastics are introduced in botanical shapes, known as Plants from Plants.

    2022 – The LEGO Group celebrates its 90th anniversary.

    UAT students love creating beyond their wildest imaginations. Surrounded by all the technology one could dream of, LEGO offers students a creative output outside of projects. Building with LEGOs encourages problem-solving and critical thinking, making it a valuable tool for interdisciplinary learning.

    These versatile and colorful bricks offer endless possibilities for students to construct, design, and create.

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    Nerf Warz

    Run, Don’t Walk! You can run, but you can’t hide! At the...

    Run, Don’t Walk!

    UATNerf-470You can run, but you can’t hide! At the University of Advancing Technology (UAT), students engage in Nerf Warz. These battled get heated, the students do not mess around when it comes to Nerf Warz. Whether it's sharp shooters or close-range rapid fire, students play to win and take no mercy on those caught in the crossfire. Seriously, when the foam darts start flying, take cover! UATNerf-590

    But did you know that Nerf, a household name for decades, has a history dating back to the 1960s? Originally introduced as the "world's first official indoor ball," Nerf has been a family-favorite staple for projectile sport play. In the early ‘90s, Nerf guns utilizing foam darts were first introduced to the public. Since then, Nerf has since expanded to revolutionize the world of water blasters with the SUPER SOAKER.

    For the avid fans at UAT, it's Nerf or nothin! As students run wild, beware. Don't get caught in the crossfire!

    Nerf is so popular at UAT, there’s even a club dedicated to the game. Check out Nerf Warz and other student clubs.

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    Tim Roemer Presents The Five Cs of Cybersecurity to UAT Students & Community

    Technology is the life force of University of Advancing Technology (UAT). Fostering technology discussions and exploring the edge of innovation are what UAT does best. In spirit of advancing technology, UAT constantly invites guest speakers to...

    Technology is the life force of University of Advancing Technology (UAT). Fostering technology discussions and exploring the edge of innovation are what UAT does best. In spirit of advancing technology, UAT constantly invites guest speakers to visit campus to impart wisdom, facilitate discussion and provide networking opportunities and community connections with students.

    Tim Roemer, a 2022 UAT Honorary Doctorate recipient, visited campus to speak with students about the State of Arizona's Five Cs of Cybersecurity. The five Cs include culture, communication, collaboration, conviction and consistency. Before presenting to all of UAT and the community, he held a private luncheon for cyber security students, allowing them to dive deep into their cybersecurity questions.

    “I can tell you from real world experience that, unfortunately, there are still myths out there at senior levels of government and law enforcement about cybersecurity. People still throw the term cybersecurity out when they just mean general technology. But we’re going to take it because it gives us momentum.”

    Tim Roemer was appointed by former Governor Ducey in April of 2021 as the Director of the Arizona Department of Homeland Security. Director Roemer advised the Governor on a wide range of topics including cybersecurity, border security and counterterrorism.

    Director Roemer also manages cybersecurity for the State of Arizona as the State’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). As State CISO, Director Roemer leads the State’s cybersecurity team, sets cybersecurity strategy and defends the State against evolving cyber attacks that threaten citizens' data and Arizona’s critical infrastructure. Through consistent vigilance of culture, communication, collaboration, conviction and consistency, Director Roemer will help Arizona improve cybersecurity resiliency.

    “My team has regularly scheduled calls with technology leaders in the State to update them on what to be on the lookout for and what we are blocking at a state level. For the longest time, one of the biggest things criminals were utilizing in phishing emails were COVID heat maps, so it was like 'click here for a heat map of COVID cases in your community' and that's how they were getting a lot of government employees to click on the phishing emails.”

    Director Roemer’s career is quite impressive. He has served the State of Arizona in a variety of leadership roles prior to his current appointment. This includes four years in a dual role as the Governor’s Public Safety Advisor and Deputy Director of the Arizona Department of Homeland Security, one year as the Governor’s Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs and two years as the State’s CISO. Director Roemer has served on numerous Boards and Commissions including the Arizona-Mexico Commission’s Security Committee and the Human Trafficking Council since the beginning of former Governor Ducey’s Administration in 2015.

    "Recently, the human trafficking counsel has been asking my team for some help because my team is naturally very good online They're better than most criminal investigators, they can find things out a lot faster. They can write rules for things and consolidate information a lot faster."

    Director Roemer served in the Central Intelligence Agency for 10 years before working for the State of Arizona. The final two years of his CIA career were spent assigned to the White House Situation Room, where he provided critical national security updates to the President, Vice President and National Security Council. In this role, he was responsible for briefing senior U.S. policymakers on a broad range of national security-related issues.

    Director Roemer supported the CIA mission at its headquarters in McLean, Virginia in addition to his time in the West Wing. Over his decade-long career in the U.S. Intelligence Community, he also completed assignments at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office.

    It was a great event that helped showcase to students the vast ways their careers in cybersecurity could go. At UAT, it's important to for us to introduce students to the real world possibilities of their future. This event granted them the ability to pick the brain of a very successful cybersecurity professional.

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    Bob Ross Painting Night

    Happy Little Trees At University of Advancing Technology (UAT) we like to have fun. While we take our studies very seriously, we also know how important it is to let loose every now and again. We encourage creatively throughout our curriculum, we also encourage it at our events. We...

    Happy Little Trees

    At University of Advancing Technology (UAT) we like to have fun. While we take our studies very seriously, we also know how important it is to let loose every now and again. We encourage creatively throughout our curriculum, we also encourage it at our events. We regularly hold events for students to meet new friends, try new things and simply have some fun. One of the more popular events held is the Bob Ross Painting Night.

    During our Bob Ross Painting Nights, students gather to paint, enjoy each other's company and encouraged to dress up like Bob Ross himself! Who doesn't love costumes? 

     We do plenty of innovating and learning is more than just technology and studies,

    regularly holds fun events for students, including the popular Bob Ross Painting Night. During this event, students gathered to paint, laugh and dress up as Bob Ross.  

    Born as Robert Norman Ross (October 29, 1942 – July 4, 1995), Bob Ross has been a household name since the ‘80s. His paintings were popularized by The Joy of Painting, an instructional art TV program that aired from 1983 to 1994, of which he was the creator and host. Influenced by his time in Alaska, the American painter is best known for his nature landscapes.

    During each half-hour episode, Ross would teach the wet-on-wet oil painting technique and instruct viewers to paint along as he crafted scenic mountains, trees, log cabins, lakes and the like.

    Over his lifetime, it is estimated that Ross created upwards of 30,000 paintings. Known for his gentle demeanor, he offered viewers encouraging sayings, such as "let's add some happy little trees” and “we don't make mistakes, we just have happy accidents.

    More recently, he gained viral popularity on social media, in part due to his image being used in video games, TV and film. However, the real catalyst was in 2015 when Twitch streamed a multi-day marathon of The Joy of Painting to celebrate what would have been Ross's 73rd birthday. Attracting 5.6 million viewers, this marathon led to weekly broadcasts of The Joy of Painting every Monday.

    Then, in 2016, Netflix introduced another generation to Ross with Beauty Is Everywhere, which includes episodes from seasons 20, 21 and 22 of the original The Joy of Painting. This cemented his presence in pop culture.

    Art is all around UAT! Students love unleashing their creativity at themed painting nights and paying homage to Ross by dressing up in his well-known getup.

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    Build a Blanket with RAs

    Students Get Crafty and Cozy As Arizona's weather shifts towards the fall, the days are getting shorter, and temperatures are dropping. Students are pulling out their warm and cozy clothes. The cool and comfortable fall weather...

    Students Get Crafty and Cozy

    As Arizona's weather shifts towards the fall, the days are getting shorter, and temperatures are dropping. Students are pulling out their warm and cozy clothes. The cool and comfortable fall weather inspired UAT students and Resident Assistants (RAs) to come together for a blanket making party!

    The blankets were made using the "no-sew" fleece method, which doesn't require any sewing skills, making it a fun and easy activity for participants of all skill levels. 

    How to Make a Knotted Fleece Blanket


    • Two kinds of fleece fabric (as big or small as you like)
    • Scissors


    1. Line up the two pieces of fleece fabric with one on top of the other.
    2. Trim any excess fabric and the selvage edge.
    3. Measure and cut out a square at each corner. The square should be the same length you plan to cut the fringe, about four to six inches.
    4. Cut one-inch-wide strips around the blanket.
    5. Tie the two layers of fleece together with a double knot.
    6. Once knots are tied all the way around the blanket, you are finished!
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    Alumni Highlight: Christelle Cyprien

    Meet Virtual Reality Alumna '22 Christelle Cyprien Christelle Cyprien recently earned her bachelor’s degree—and #techrespect—in Virtual...

    Meet Virtual Reality Alumna '22 Christelle Cyprien

    Christelle Cyprien recently earned her bachelor’s degree—and #techrespect—in Virtual Reality from University of Advancing Technology (UAT). Going from student to employee, Christelle now works as a Program Support Specialist (PSS) at the university, not only helping students but also assisting the faculty.

    I think it is very important for those in charge to witness the passion behind whatever it is that you are interested in. This passion can be shown in your work, speech, etc. Life will not always be easy and sometimes we’re not able to give 100%, but strive for excellence in your work, trust me, someone will notice!”

    Currently, Christelle is working on some exciting projects. Working closely with a lead programmer, Christelle has been designing interfaces for Scripture Bank, a biblical application that enables users to transfer verses to one another.

    My number one piece of advice is to prioritize time management, as most of the assignments are project-based. And, create as much as you can! You never know where a project can take you!”

    When initially looking for a school with a virtual reality degree, Christelle’s interest was sparked by the University’s passion and dedication toward innovation and technology. Christelle loves the fact that UAT takes the time to showcase student projects that were accomplished with the skills gained at UAT. Christelle is an innovator at heart and enjoys shows and podcasts about the stories behind the inventions that help the world thrive.

    When it comes to the thought process behind developing projects, UAT taught and inspired Christelle to be better than average. The University motivated her to think outside the box to innovate; this extra push helped her put in the effort needed to polish projects.

    Christelle is inspired by her mother, Beatrice Charles. “As a child, I never saw her waking up earlier than everyone as a big deal. Now that I am an adult and value productivity and time management, I am an advocate for starting the day early. My mother’s dedication to help us all out of the house early is a constant reminder that I can do it, too, at this age. As a young child (from elementary to middle school), I was always the top of my class, my mom valued and encouraged it. I never felt as if my value rested solely on my good grades, and now that I look back, the extra push of encouragement meant ‘you can do this, I want to help you do it with excellence.’”

    During her free time, Christelle enjoys listening to history podcasts, attending Bible study, editing pictures, planning, reading books, watching movies, napping, listening to music and arts and crafts—just to name a few things! While she stays busy, she is never too busy to keep moving forward in her learning. Her drive is inspiring to many UAT students, as well as the faculty and staff!

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    UAT Alumni works on Avatar: The Way of Water

    University of Advancing Technology (UAT) alumni Erik Link graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Game Design. He has since moved to Los Angeles and made his mark in the gaming and movie industry. Erik currently works as a...

    University of Advancing Technology (UAT) alumni Erik Link graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor's degree in Game Design. He has since moved to Los Angeles and made his mark in the gaming and movie industry. Erik currently works as a motion capture technician at Activision Blizzard and most recently worked on Avatar: Way of Water. We were able to catch up with him to get the inside scoop on what he worked on and how his education at the University (UAT) helped him get to where he is today.

    Erik profile

    What do you find most valuable about your education?

    The ability to learn skills and have access to the software and equipment that is needed within my industry.

    How well did UAT prepare you for your career?

    UAT helped a lot due to having access to the mocap (motion capture) room. I was able to learn and create many projects via motion capture.

    What projects are you most proud of?

    Avatar: Way of Water, Call of Duty : Black OPS 3, Call of Duty : Modern Warfare 2, Godzilla vs Kong, Operation Monarch for Warzone and Diablo 4.

    How did you get the job working on Avatar The Way of Water?

    After working in LA for about three years I had prior co-workers that got hired on in 2017, they referred me and I got hired for the project in 2018.


    What in the movie did you work on?

    I worked on the majority of the facial capture animation for any of the Navi characters faces and edited motion capture animation for various characters.

    What is the most exciting part about working on this project? What was the most challenging?

    Obviously working with James Cameron, the cast and production for this film was the most exciting part. As for challenging, I would say just working with new emerging technology. I'll be honest there is no mocap studio that does under water motion capture which made it very challenging to get the data working.

    IMG_7463Erik with Stephen Lang who plays Colonel Quaritch in Avatar: The Way of Water

    How did your education get you started on your path to working on Avatar The Way of Water?

    Besides UAT providing the fundamentals of game design and art, UAT also provided a class in motion capture. That class not only taught me the fundamentals of mocap but once I finished it I was able to gain an internship with the THQ PHX mocap team which gave me real world experience in the mocap industry. After the internship was over, I kept doing my schoolwork until I saw the first Avatar film which propelled advanced technology within the mocap industry to where it inspired me to pursue a career in that field. Since then, I kept my focus on mocap and learning anything related which led me to work on indie projects, then game publishing and finally I got the chance to work on the sequel of the same movie that inspired me in first place.

    What is next in your career move?

    At the moment besides perfecting mocap tech for the studio, I have been involved with more virtual production work where I am aiming to keep up with new VFX trends with motion capture, animation and real time sets.

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    The Last of Us Episode 1: Student Review


    The Last of Us: will the HBO series continue the story of the games?  Creative responds | LevelUp

    This past Sunday, January 15th, The Last of Us premiered on HBO—and it was perfect! Before continuing on, I want to give a heads up that this review does have spoilers. If you aren't a fan of spoilers, save this until after you watch it... and go watch it NOW! 

    My previous post was written based on the small amount of details that has been released about the show before it premiered. This post will discuss the first episode and which parts were identical to the game, which parts differed and my thoughts about all of it. 

    My initial concern was about the casting and how Joel and Ellie were going to be portrayed. Diving right in, Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey are the embodiment of my two favorite characters. They did such an amazing job, living up to expectations, yet still making the characters unique and not exact replicas from the game. It's been mentioned that the directors asked them to not play the game before their roles so they could make each character their own, and I have to say they did an amazing job for having never played the game.

    There are a few conspiracies floating around on TIkTok about how the infection started with wheat. The game has hinted towards it, alluding to it being because of bad crops, and the show—so far—has solidified that for us. The entire beginning of the first episode dives into the every day life of Sarah and how scary the entire thing is for someone has no idea what's going on. Also, a round of applause for the CGI! The plane crash was terrifying and gave me goosebumps. Somehow the show made Sarah's death even more sad. Nico Parker played Sarah beautifully, and I would like to see her in more things. 

    The entire truck drive was shot scene for scene when they were trying to flee the city, identical to the game. Watching this come to life as a show, after ten years of seeing it remastered and changed in the game, still had me tearing up. This game is very nostalgic to me because for a while this was the only game I owed when I was thirteen. The Last of Us is the game that got me into gaming, leading me to really delve into the world of video games. 

    I am so happy to see how the show is opening up the opportunity for others to be able to explore and experience the world of The Last of Us. The audience for this franchise is really growing. In my opinion, this story deserves all of the love it's getting, and I am proud to see what it's grown into. I cant wait for the next episode! 

    Every Sunday on HBO, a new episode will premiere. If you haven't already, go watch the first episode! I promise, you won't regret it. I may or may not have but definitely have rewatched it a few times already, and each time I watch it I pick up more connections to the game (Curtis vs Viper 2, anyone?) and am curating my own theories about which direction the show will go. 

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    Everything You Need to Know About SIP

    At University of Advancing Technology (UAT), Student Innovation Projects (SIP) are a big deal! They are also really cool, so don't be scared. Whether you've ...

    At University of Advancing Technology (UAT), Student Innovation Projects (SIP) are a big deal! They are also really cool, so don't be scared. Whether you've toured the campus or you're a current student, you've definitely heard SIP mentioned. So, what is it? You'll find answers to frequently asked SIP questions below. If you have more questions, our Student Ambassadors and Student Advisors are always here to help.


    When do I start SIP?

    Officially during your sophomore year, but students begin thinking about ideas for their SIP from the moment they begin at UAT. As soon as students are engaged in projects and competitions they should begin thinking about ideas for their SIP project. That way when, during their sophomore to early junior year, students have a short list of emerging technology topics that they want to further investigate as a part of developing their innovation.

    How long do I have to complete my SIP project?

    Students must successfully complete their working innovation and present it to the UAT community before graduation. Ideally students complete their SIP as they wrap up their junior year (around 90 credits earned) so there is time to use the resources UAT offers to further refine their innovation into something market viable.

    What happens after I've presented my SIP?

    Students who've successfully completed all requirements of SIP are invited to demonstrate their MVP (minimum viable product) at our end-of-the-semester SIP Showcase. We invite students, faculty, staff, family, and the local community to join us in celebrating their achievement on campus and virtually. Students with market-ready SIP inventions are encouraged to pursue and continue to develop their inventions in their final semesters. You can even be invited to present to a private panel of investors, business owners, and tech professionals for support, resources, and capital!

    Who helps me with my SIP?

    Each student has within their respective major a group of SMEs (Subject Matter Experts). The SMEs, along with the lead SIP instructor, help guide each SIP project towards completion through scheduled presentations, meetups, email, video conferencing, and messaging apps. Additionally, students have access to events and industry professionals who can provide ideas and feedback on their innovations and Program Support Specialists who provide tutorial and one-on-one support as needed. 


    Can I use a project I'm already working on in high school as my SIP?

    As a starting point, students can use a project that originated while studying in high school. If approved by a UAT SME, students can take their high school (or work experience) idea and build it out to something that is market ready, innovative and potentially very interesting and useful. Pre-existing projects cannot be under NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) nor owned by any other organization.

    Are there any limitations?

    SIPs must be safe, legal and not violate the ethical standards expected of all members of the UAT community.

    Part of selecting your SIP topic is determining its viable scope against realistic resources of time and materials. All students are required to conduct extensive research on "prior art", which is any existing products or services in the marketplace, to avoid infringement. SIPs are working alphas that demonstrate MVP aspects – the technology is not expected to be polished and ready to be sold or deployed at the time of project completion.

    Also, UAT won’t fund a laser cannon particle accelerator to complete your SIP. Students generally use what is available in labs and what they individually bring to the project in order to ready their innovation.

    Who owns the rights to my invention?

    UAT provides substantial technology resources to its students for educational and creative uses. While students own the intellectual rights to their inventions, they grant the University a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use, copy, display, describe, mark-on, modify, retain or make other use of the student’s work. For full details of UAT’s intellectual property policies, please refer to the University Catalog.


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    The Last of Us, From Video Game to Show


    HBO Max releases poster for The Last of Us TV series

    One of the most iconic games is getting its very own show on HBO Max—releasing Jan 15th, 2023—and I am super excited for it! Here's what I know about the show, and my thoughts on the trailer and what's been released to the fans so far.

    The Last of Us has been my favorite game since its release almost 10 years ago. The story is top tier, and the character development is stunning, only getting better in the second game. As far as the show goes, we know that the show will be featuring the DLC "Left Behind" where we get to meet Riley (Ellie's Best Friend) and the moments that lead up to Ellies realization of them being Immune. Riley will be played by Storm Reid, and Ellie will be played by Bella Ramsey. The trailers, so far, have shown that these actors seem to play their roles perfectly together. The chemistry between them explodes out of the screen throughout the trailers. And, yes, we will be getting a photo booth scene!

    We're seeing in the released scenes the beginning portion of the game where we meet Joel (Pedro Pascal) and where we play as Sarah (Nico Parker), Joel's daughter. We can assume this means we will see the most heart wrenching part of the game—Sarah's death. Still, to this day, any time I play the game, I cry during this part. I think it will always hurt in the saddest and darkest way. This really sets the darkness tone of the game. I am hoping they do this scene justice and it's shown on the show the same as it's portrayed in the game. I am hoping it takes us on the same emotional rollercoaster and resentment towards the world for taking such a precious life.

    Something I'm very excited about is that Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker will be making cameos in the show as different characters! If you don't know who they are, Ashley Johnson is the voice actor for Ellie, and Troy Baker is the voice actor for Joel. Apparently, Ashley Johnson will be playing Ellie's mother. If this is true, it means we will get extra context in the show that wasn't in the game. We do not experience Ellie's mother in the game, so this will be an interesting aspect of the show. This might also mean we'll learn about Ellie's mother dies and have a few more answers to our questions around Ellie's family and how she got to where she was in boarding school.

    It has been confirmed that there will be things added to the show that were supposed to be in the game but didn't make it. Who doesn't love a thickened plot?! At this point, I'm not certain what will be added, but I'm excited for it and, personally, hope it has something to do with Marlene, the Fireflies or Bill. 

    Before watching the show, I want to share my true thoughts about the show before it airs. I understand it can't be a second-by-second play through of the game, and I understand that means things will either be added or removed from the game—to be determined if that enhances the show or ruins it. Overall, I don't have much faith in the show. I feel this way because usually adaptations for video games end up being a let down. I don't want them to ruin my favorite franchise. I am excited to see all the characters and have the ability to watch them over and over again. However, I haven't seen much emotion in the trailers from anyone except Joel. One of the first trailers released showed a scene from one of the best scenes in the game and it had zero emotion. I'm left wondering if this is what the entire show will be like or if there is a reason behind their heartlessness. I guess we'll find out soon!

    I want raw, unfiltered emotions from the show because I'm looking for the the same sense of comfortability I get from the game. It's scary walking in on something like this, so I'm going to try not to judge it too harshly until I watch the show. I know at this time my opinions are limited, but I am excited to share my thoughts after it's released. There are a few rumors I've heard about the show that I hope are not true... specifically that they are taking away spores... which is the entire premise of the story. I am looking forward to seeing Bella, Ramsey and Pedro Pascal be totally chaotic on the screen together. Don't forget, the show will premiere January 15, 2023 on HBO Max!

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    From a Multi-Decoder to a Seizure Detector, Students Innovate for the Future

    Creative and Problem-Solving Student Innovations Our Fall 2022 ...

    Creative and Problem-Solving Student Innovations

    Our Fall 2022 Student Innovation Project (SIP) Showcase was a success! On Tuesday, December 13, 2022, University of Advancing Technology (UAT) students gathered in the UAT Theater—and virtually—to impress faculty, staff, peers and the community with their innovations that help to provide entertainment, solve problems or fill a gap in the marketplace.

    Art Direction Professor, Dapzury Valenzuela, not only hosted the event but also prepared the students for the big day. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to lead and guide aspiring technologists alongside all of our esteemed UAT faculty. These projects exemplify UAT's mission to innovate and help build our next-generation workforce."

    "Both our UAT on-ground and online students presented projects that included an innovative job search app, a game mechanic that uses a second POV, a runner game concept that swaps characters, a co-op game where two players play as the same character, an app partnered with M5Stick, Arduino, and IFTTT to detect seizures and alert emergency contacts, a mobile app controlled tripod, a web comic that educates the elderly on scams, a multi-decoder, a self-cleaning keyboard tray, a vehicle security camera for your cup holder, a wearable device that tracks your sleep, and a game to help inmates build their social skills to earn basic items, just to name a few," shares Professor Valenzuela.

    "Our Fall 2022 Student Innovation Project Showcase demonstrated the creative and problem-solving skills of our UAT students!" adds Professor Valenzuela.


    I-Apply by Matthew Reynolds

    Project Description: An innovative application that makes applying for jobs more efficient and more personal.

    Degree Major: Business Technology

    SIP URL: https://matreyno.wixsite.com/matreyno 

    I-Apply Matthew Reynolds

    UATouch by Morgan Kitay & Jaryd Edson

    Project Description: An app that showcases everything incoming and current students need to know about UAT, from navigating different routes, to searching for faculty information.

    Degree Major: Game Art & Animation

    SIP URL: https://www.imaginablecreationsmk.com/case-studies

    Morgan Kitay UATouch

    Reform Rewards by Marissa Walsh

    Project Description: Reform Rewards will help inmates improve their social skills while achieving basic need items.

    Degree Major: Game Art & Animation

    SIP URL: https://mariwalshvoices.wixsite.com/website/services

    Reform Rewards

    D.E.R.P. Dynamic Environmental Response Project by Kyle Smith

    Project Description: D.E.R.P. offers users the experience of an ever-evolving environment.

    Degree Major: Game Art & Animation (Online)

    SIP URL: N/A

    Kyle Smith DERP

    Weapon Procedural Generation by Logan Kirkes

    Project Description: Allows weapons to transform in real time in video games.

    Degree Major: Game Art & Animation (Online)

    SIP URL: N/A

    Weapon Procedural Generation Logan

    Hunted by Carter Wolf

    Project Description: A game mechanic that utilizes a second-person point of view from an AI monster’s perspective to control and keep the player hidden.

    Degree Major: Game Art & Animation and Game Design

    SIP URL: https://carterwolf.wixsite.com/portfolio/barlog

    Carter Wolf Hunted

    Out of Body Experience by Justin Figuero

    Project Description: A runner game concept that involves endlessly running through generated levels while completing quick time events to swap characters.

    Degree Major: Game Programming

    SIP URL: https://justinoner2017.wixsite.com/website

    Out of Body Justin Figuero

    Attribute & Ability Manager by Killian Lane

    Project Description: An innovative tool to help designers balance with more than just numbers.

    Degree Major: Game Programming

    SIP URL: N/A

    Attribute and Ability Killian

    Masuma by Natasha Hernandez

    Project Description: Masuma is a game where two people play one character.

    Degree Major: Game Design (Online)

    SIP URL: N/A

    Natasha Hernandez Masuma

    VR Magnetism Movement Method by Don Smith

    Project Description: N/A

    Degree Major: Virtual Reality (Online)

    SIP URL: N/A

    Don Smith VR Magnetism Movement Method

    Touch-Less by Mya Morgan

    Project Description: Touch-Less is an innovative application that has partnered with M5Stick, Arduino and IFTTT to detect seizures and alert the chosen emergency contacts.

    Degree Major: Robotics & Embedded Systems

    SIP URL: https://sites.google.com/nau.edu/erg186-006/home

    Mya Morgan Magnetic VR Movement System

    SEK Tron (Cyber Watch) by Jeffery Koss

    Project Description: A source evaluation kit that uses smart technology to introduce plug-and-play through cartridges.

    Degree Major: Robotics & Embedded Systems (Online)

    SIP URL: N/A

    SEK-Tron Jeffrey Koss

    P.E.C.S. Parasite Expandable Capabilities System by William Hardman

    Project Description: A three-part system that adapts in a video rate defender with a new capability without permanently modifying or breaking any of its systems.

    Degree Major: Digital Maker & Fabrication (Online)

    SIP URL: N/A


    Omni-Lift by Lucas Rattigan & Erich Van de Bogart

    Project Description: A tripod that is controlled through a mobile application. Perfect for those who work in small crews or independently in the field for easier tripod usage.

    Degree Major: Lucas—Digital Video & Erich—Advancing Computer Science

    SIP URL: rattiganportfolio.com and https://erichvdb.weebly.com/

    Omni Lyft Lucas Erich

    Hack Me Not by Brandon Amundson

    Project Description: A simple web comic that educates the elderly what to watch for in classic “tech support” scams and teaches them basic features of a computer such as the run as box, command prompt and event logger.

    Degree Major: Network Security

    SIP URL: https://bmamundson.weebly.com/sip.html


    CR4CK3RJ4CK by Jonathan Luna

    Project Description: A multi-decoder built entirely from Python Coding capable of running through a command line.

    Degree Major: Network Security

    SIP URL: https://john4luna2.wixsite.com

    CR4CK3RJ4CK Jonathan Luna

    STICKY: Self-Cleaning Keyboard Tray by Emily Parra

    Project Description: A self-cleaning keyboard tray prototype that relies on CO2 pressurized air to clean between mechanical keyboard keys.

    Degree Major: Network Security

    SIP URL: https://imemilyp.weebly.com/sip.html


    {% video_player "embed_player" overrideable=False, type='hsvideo2', hide_playlist=True, viral_sharing=False, embed_button=False, autoplay=False, hidden_controls=False, loop=False, muted=False, full_width=False, width='1280', height='720', player_id='97389312004', style='' %}


    SnapBack Vehicle Protection Device by Elias Saldana

    Project Description: A mounted camera placed inside of your vehicle cup holder to capture an image of someone seeing inside your car using a sensor.

    Degree Major: Network Security (Online)

    SIP URL: N/A

    SnapBack Elias

    Auto-Deploy by Adalberto Ruiz

    Project Description: Deploys projects on-the-fly in order to improve efficiency metrics for an organization or business.

    Degree Major: Network Security

    SIP URL: https://bestadalberto.weebly.com/

    Auto-Deploy Adalberto Ruiz

    Quavo Admin Panel by Kevin Duong

    Project Description: An admin web panel for health checks on company servers and notification centers.

    Degree Major: Network Engineering

    SIP URL: https://kdduongaz.wixsite.com/kevinduongboard/sip

    Qauvo Admin Panel Kevin

    AI Nurse by Jade Harrison

    Project Description: A chatbot to guide people step-by-step on medical emergencies or injuries.

    Degree Major: Artificial Intelligence

    SIP URL: https://ejh7000.wixsite.com/jadeportfolio/sip-project


    Blindly by Jesus Uribe

    Project Description: Blindly is an easy-to-use wearable device that tracks your sleep and automatically opens your blinds when you awaken.

    Degree Major: Human Computer Interaction

    SIP URL: https://jesus37921.wixsite.com/sleeptrackingblinds

    Blindly Jesus Uribe

    Voice Check by Jonah Chelsy

    Project Description: Voice Check introduces the future of chatbot interaction with cutting-edge voice recognition. Voice Check is innovative in its text-independent speech classification that enables a chatbot to recognize a user.

    Degree Major: Artificial Intelligence & Advancing Computer Science

    SIP URL: https://jchelsy.weebly.com/sip.html


    Drum Roll, Please!

    After the showcase, the UAT community voteed on six winners for various awards. This semester's winners are:

    🏆 Best SIP Pitch: Masuma by Natasha Hernandez

    🏆 Most Market Viable Quavo: Admin Panel by Kevin Duong

    🏆 Ingenuity Prize: Hunted by Carter Wolf

    🏆 World Changer: Auto Deploy by Adalberto Ruiz

    🏆 Best in Show: Blindly by Jesse Uribe

    🏆 Viewers Choice: Hunted by Carter Wolf

    Congratulations to the winners and to all students who can now claim their own exciting innovations in the wonderful world of technology!




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    You Snow the Drill, UAT's Techmas Gift Guide is Here!

    Sleigh the Holidays with UAT's 12 Days of Techmas 'Tis that time of year again where our wishlists are growing long but the time until Christmas is running out. University of Advancing Technology (UAT)...

    Sleigh the Holidays with UAT's 12 Days of Techmas

    'Tis that time of year again where our wishlists are growing long but the time until Christmas is running out. University of Advancing Technology (UAT) is here to save the day with another Techmas Gift Guide! We know choosing gifts can be stressful. What items are actually worth the hype? What does anybody even want these days?! Take a deep breath and let us do the shopping. If any of these items end up under the tree, the techie in your life is going to be ecstatic!


    #1 — pixy

    Robot photographer, anyone? Meet Pixy—a cute yellow drone that'll follow you and your friends around capturing all your adventures! Pixy pairs with Bluetooth via the Snapchat app allowing you to edit your pictures and videos on-the-go. With a simple push of a button, Pixy hoovers to life. Lifting off from your palm, Pixy will capture content and always return to your hand when finished. Like we said, it's like having a robot photographer with you resulting in super sweet aerial and 360 shots.


    #2 — FujiFilm Instax Mini Link 2

    The FujiFilm Instax Mini Link 2 gives you the ability to turn any photo into a trendy polaroid! By connecting to your smartphone, this printer brings creativity to your fingertips—add bubbles, spray paint and even glitter to your pictures through the INSTAX MINI LINK App. A cool aspect of the Mini Link 2 is that you're able to select special moments from videos, too, and print them.

    Instax Mini Link 2

     #3 — Bose Frames

    A discreet and portable sound system that doubles as stylish shades? Sign us up for some Bose frames! The frames are polarized, the craftsmanship is premium and the sound is lifelike. "It’s a jaw-dropping experience that leaves you free to engage with the world around you, all while discreetly listening to music," (www.bose.com).

    bose frames

    #4 — Bondic Welding Kit

    Do you know someone who is always breaking things? This Bondic Pro UV Resin Kit might just be the perfect gift for them. It's both affordable and easily portable. "Bondic is a liquid plastic welder that bonds two items together with the help of a UV light," (amazon.com). This kit is for the fixes that normal glue cannot handle. Stuff your stockings with something cool and useful this year!

    Bondic Welding Kit

    #5 —Karben Wallet

    Nowadays, securing our personal information is a full time job. Take the stress out of someone's everyday life with the Karben wallet. This wallet is not only sleeker than a traditional leather wallet, it is also safer. The Karben wallet is a RFID-blocking aluminum and carbon fiber wallet, making it the smarter choice to carry around. If you're wondering what RFID-blocking is, we got you! RFID-blocking material blocks your cards' electromagnetic signal AKA it's important!

    Karben Wallet Blog

    #6 — Peppy Pet Ball

    We all love our pets (probably too much... if that's even possible), and we care about their health and happiness, right? Right! The Peppy Pet Ball is the perfect gift for your furry friends and any animal lover in your circle. Everyone hates leaving their pet home alone feeling abandoned. This gift is the perfect solution to keep any pet feeling happy and engaged all day while you're away. The Peppy Pet Ball is not only an automated play ball to keep them active while you aren't home, it is also a smart gadget. It "taps into your dog's natural hunting instincts, and keeps them healthy, active and never bored," (peppypetball.com).

    Peppy Pet Ball

    #7 —Oura Ring Gen3

    Be healthy and elegant at the same time with the Oura Ring. Track your sleep, readiness and activity without noticing you're even doing it with this sleek and comfortable ring. It helps you understand why you are feeling how you are feeling and is more accurate than ever. "The Oura Ring is designed for accuracy above all because it measures from the palm side of your finger, where the pulse is strong to read from—much stronger than the wrist," (ouraring.com). You really do learn something new every day! Pick from a variety of colors and gift someone the gift that will help them kick off the new year as their healthiest self.

    Oura Ring Gen3

    #8 — SafeCam 360


    As we mentioned earlier, security is more important than ever these days, and we have your covered! The SafeCam 360 is both a light bulb and a security camera with a 360° panoramic view and night vision technology. It also has something we all love—fast and easy setup. SafeCam 360 is controllable from your smartphone and records video automatically when motion is detected. With its two-way audio and real time chat, you'll be able to communicate with those at your home as well as the ability to scare off any unexpected person, even if you are not at home. Give someone peace of mind this holiday season with the SafeCam 360 so they can keep an eye on their loved ones and home from anywhere.


    #9 — Flying Orb

    Sometimes tech is just meant to be cool and fun, and if you're looking for a gift that is just that the Flying Orb will make you think you're magic! It's a hand controlled hovering mini drone that does tricks. Who wouldn't enjoy playing with this? It features a gyroscope and smart AI chip, promising intelligent flight, not only creating a fun activity for kids, but also helps improve their operating skills and hands-on ability. Light up the room this Christmas with a flying orb!

    flying orb

    #10 — Hurley Mini Swell Electric Bike

    We have a feeling that we're going to see these bikes pop up all over the place. Hurley's Mini Swell Electric Bike is a twist on a classic. With its pedal and electric combination, you'll still get your exercise but also be able to sustain a 20mph speed when you're getting from A to B. This bike has six speeds, 4" fat tires and disc brakes and will makes heads turn with its powerful and fun ride. 

    Hurley Mini e-Bike

    #11 — Apple AirTag

    We're all guilty of misplacing our belongings from time to time... or every day. 🙃 An Apple AirTag is truly the gift that will keep on giving. Slap one on the stuff you lose the most or the stuff you're most scared to lose, such as keys or a bag, and you'll be able to track them the moment you notice they aren't in the place you thought you left them. A pro tip for any holiday travel you may be doing, put an AirTag in your luggage in case the airlines lose it, you'll at least know where it is. 

    Apple AirTag

    #12 — OG PlayStation

    You can't beat the classics! Give someone the gift of nostalgia this year with a PlayStation Classic. Back in the day, believe it or not, people enjoyed PlayStation without the internet crashing their games and gained 20 preloaded games that you probably never wanted to play. Ah, the good ol' days! Have some old time fun with PlayStation Classic this year. Your wallet will thank you for not buying a PS5.


    Playstation Classic

    #13 — Petoi Robots

    Who doesn't love a baker's dozen, especially during the holidays? We're adding an extra day of Techmas because even UAT Provost Dr. Dave Bolman has this on his Christmas list this year so we had to add it to our list! The Petoi Robot is a palm-sized pet that makes learning fun with their open source, programmable robot dog, Bittle, and cat, Nybble. 🥹 How cute! These DIY robots bring STEM education to life with the ability to program them to explore the world around them with a combination of robotics and AI application.

    Petoi Robots




    A Gift That Doesn't Fit Under the Tree

    While all the gifts mentioned above are super cool, there is something else you might consider... furthering your education. Invest in yourself this holiday season with a top-tier technology degree from UAT. Don't elf yourself over and kickoff the new year by starting your technology journey with UAT. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at University of Advancing Technology!


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    The Importance of Robotics in 2023 and Beyond

    It’s no secret that humans would not be where we are today without robotics. Whether it’s something as simple as an automatic vacuum cleaner or as complex as an autonomous self-driving car, robotics are everywhere. It’s vital that humans stay up to date on new innovative technology that could propel us into the future. UAT thrives on keeping up with innovative technology. Here’s...

    It’s no secret that humans would not be where we are today without robotics. Whether it’s something as simple as an automatic vacuum cleaner or as complex as an autonomous self-driving car, robotics are everywhere. It’s vital that humans stay up to date on new innovative technology that could propel us into the future. UAT thrives on keeping up with innovative technology. Here’s why robotics are more important and prevalent now than ever.

    Robotics in the Post-Pandemic World

    At the beginning of 2020, the COVID-19 virus quickly surged into a pandemic. This unprecedented disaster inspired many scientists and technology experts to deploy robotics in order to help. Robots are easily disinfected (and sometimes are the disinfectors), they don’t need a mask, and they are incapable of catching the coronavirus. All of these qualities make them efficient options in helping to treat this highly contagious and deadly disease. Perhaps the most popular droids employed during that time would be the ones in Kigali, Rwanda, by UB-Tech Robotics in China. They developed automatic disinfecting towers as well as friendly-looking drones capable of scanning a person’s temperature and politely reminding them to don a mask. The droids were designed to resemble Star Wars characters to inspire patient comfort.

    Advancements in Artificial Intelligence

    Not only were robotics revolutionary in the fight against COVID-19, but they also continue to aid humans in their everyday lives. It is relatively impossible to use the internet without partaking in some kind of artificially intelligent software. That software would not exist without robotics. Artificial intelligence is the basis behind most online activity because of a complex matrix we call the algorithm. The algorithm is different for everyone based on their internet activity. Have you ever been talking about a restaurant and then received an advertisement for it immediately afterward? That might not be the coincidence you think it is. Many believe predictive algorithms have evolved to constant listening by your devices. This is a controversial practice, but it is helpful when constructing an algorithm catered explicitly to you.

    Predictive Maintenance

    Another way robotics have aided humans in everyday life is with predictive maintenance. Many electronic devices are programmed to identify what kind of maintenance they need. Cars will light up certain symbols depending on what maintenance is required, and most laundry machines will do the same thing by flashing different codes. Predictive maintenance is helpful because it automatically identifies what is wrong with a machine. That way, little time is wasted trying to figure out what the machine needs when it comes time to fix it.

    Robots in the Workplace

    There are also robots that assist with daily life, such as food service bots and mail delivery drones. These both have been especially valuable during the Covid-19 pandemic when human contact was severely limited. They remain helpful as the nation collectively struggles with hiring enough individuals for its businesses, as they can help fill in the gaps many human workers have left. However, most robots still require some sort of human supervision, making it unlikely that robots will one day take over human jobs entirely.

    Robotics Now and Forever

    While you can rest assured we are far from any kind of robot apocalypse, robotics continues to develop every day. 2023 is expected to be an innovative year for the world of technology. RoboGlobal predicts the main trends to be diagnostic technology (specifically for early cancer diagnosis), mobility robots like public transportation and mail services, and evolving VR and AR technology that could mend the gap between the real world and the digital.

    New technology has undiscovered capabilities that University of Advancing Technology is devoted to uncovering. UAT has a dedicated responsibility when it comes to keeping up with innovative technology. That is why we have created our Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Robotics degree programs. The goal for these degree programs and all of the degree programs at UAT is to advance them each year to complement the advancing technology surrounding them. This is an exciting way not only to stay ahead of technological trends but to create innovation that could impact the world in increasingly positive ways.

    UAT wants its students to be the change we see in the world of technology as it becomes more prevalent than ever with each passing year. Our students and graduates are equipped with updated tools and technology that allow them to take strides toward a better future. For example, former UAT student, military veteran, and alumni David Strait worked on a neural prosthetic for his Student Innovation Project. His goal was to improve prosthetic function and accessibility for wounded vets with an open-source 3D printed hand, combined with the Emotiv EEG headset. Simply put, the hand was designed to be controlled by a person's thoughts, just as any natural appendage would be. This is just one instance in which a UAT student took revolutionary strides in the world of technology. You can read the full story about Strait’s robotic invention here.

    Want to Learn More About Robotics? 

    UAT posts weekly updates on our blog, so you can stay updated on all the technological trends and ways our students and alumni are actively changing the world. We hope you will continue to join us on our quest to advance technology in new and innovative ways!

    Not enough? Request info about University of Advancing Technology's relevant creation and simulation degree offerings. If you're seeking an undergraduate degree, request information for the Robotics and Embedded Systems degree or if you have your bachelor's, go for a Master of Science degree, with a Robotics and Kinematics module. If you already know our University (UAT) is right for you, apply now and you'll find out if you're accepted within two weeks. 

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    UAT Geek Life: Clubs and More

    University of Advancing Technology (UAT) has much to offer in terms of on-campus clubs, events and campus life — or, as we affectionately refer to it, Geek Life. There are a variety of clubs already available at the University (UAT) that prior students have started but students are also...

    University of Advancing Technology (UAT) has much to offer in terms of on-campus clubs, events and campus life — or, as we affectionately refer to it, Geek Life. There are a variety of clubs already available at the University (UAT) that prior students have started but students are also encouraged to start their own if one is not running for their desired interest. Current active clubs range in topics from robotics, anime, GSA, coding, gaming, gardening and more. 

    Geek RHO

    Geek RHO is UAT’s new student council. It welcomes all students by adding each one to a Student Activities Council Team's digital channel so students can stay up to date on Geek RHO events and cool happenings around campus. Additionally, Geek RHO highlights student success and collects input to provide a voice and speak on behalf of students, along with providing support to other campus clubs and helpful information for any student questions.


    Geek RHO can be considered UAT's student club epicenter. It is a great way to get on campus and connect with other groups and clubs. Start with Geek RHO, and narrow your way down to whatever niche suits you! You can email geekrho@uat.edu with any questions for Geek RHO student leaders.

    Wyverns eSports

    The Wyverns eSports Club was formed in 2021. It is a community of competitive UAT gamers and anyone interested in Esports in general. Any student at UAT can join through their discord channel and others can follow their Twitter or Twitch accounts. 

    Current Wyverns eSports Club President and Network Security major, Tyler Prettyman, said the club's goal is to create community “from the grave to the moon.” It appears Prettyman’s goal continues to be met from a few of these quotes from Wyverns team members:


    “The energy we all share for video games is amazing. You’re not just playing the game, you’re competing with the game. Instead of just playing to beat the game, you also need to worry about your team and everyone you’re with. It’s more than just the game; when you’re playing competitively, you have to put more thought into it.” - Donald Christensen, Robotics and Embedded Systems major

    “We as a team and as a community want to get other people in the school involved in playing games… There’s not a general club for people to come together and play games. We want people to come to this eSports team, you don’t have to be competitive, you can come here casually, meet people from the campus, play a game with each other, have fun playing.” - Nickolaus Grant, Network Security major

    “The best part of Wyverns is the teammates in general. They’re pretty good at the games and are looking to learn more about it, and we’re good at working together.” - Jessup Rolfs, Game Design major

    Club meetings are on campus in Room 252, on Tuesdays (2 PM- 3 PM) and Fridays (1 PM- 3 PM).

    UAT Broadcasting Club

    The UAT Broadcasting Club is considered one of the most open clubs on campus. This is because it caters to a broad section of students, unlike most campus clubs that focus on narrow interests. The club's goal is to meet weekly to discuss what is new on campus or in the world. They are also currently recruiting specific club positions, such as data analysis, content creators, stream managers, chat administrators, scriptwriters, audience members and social media promoters.

    Brandon Michelson, a previously dedicated club member and UAT Robotics and Embedded Systems degree alum, said, “One of my favorite parts about the UAT Broadcasting Club is the interesting topics we discuss. Everyone is really excited to talk about basically anything. I think the new technology we talk about in the club is really exciting!”

    Gardening Club

    Gardening Club at UAT joins students together to beautify the campus and sharpen their gardening skills. Gardening Club President, Alexis Sloan says "Gardening Club welcomes everyone even if you don't have a green thumb, as long as you don't mind getting your hands dirty here and there."

    The Gardening Club meets Saturdays at 2:30pm in the quad.

    UAT gardening club

    GSA Club

    Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Club brings inclusivity and diversity to the UAT campus. On campus and online students come together to create a welcoming environment for everyone to express themselves in their own unique way. Any students are encouraged to join the club or take part in GSA Club hosted events.

    UAT Robotics Club

    This club is for students at UAT with an interest in Robotics. It is catered to all majors and skill levels and has a competitive team that builds and tests out robotics nationally.

    Here is a video of the Robotics Club testing a UAT robot named Murphy: https://fb.watch/h4OU6Mcwqs/.


    Art Club

    In UAT's Art Club students let their creative juices flow. Students from all majors come together to create beautiful pieces of art using a multitude of artistic mediums. Club President Katherine "Kat" Ervin said, "Art club is a great place for artists and non-artists to get together and create! We meet every week for students to have a fun and peaceful environment to talk with fellow art peers and make awesome works of art."

    Art club meets Saturdays at 8pm in room 245.

    VR/AR Club

    UAT's Virtual Reality and augmented reality club is for any students interested in VR/AR technology. The club is comprised of UAT students, professors and alumni who want to innovate in XR technology. The club's main goal is to become a recognizable brand in XR innovation.

    Students can apply to join the club's Discord channel and meetings are streamed on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. You can also check out the UAT VR/AR Club website for more information.

    UAT Space

    UAT Space is a Club, Special Topics course and occasionally integrated throughout coursework for relative majors like Advancing Computer Science, Data Science or Robotics and Embedded Systems. Whether building your own UAT Space page using HTML, CSS and Javascript in an Introduction to Programming class, or taking a Special Topics class taught by Professor Jill Coddington (who is an actual Rocket Scientist), or even joining in for actual space launch missions, there are multiple ways students can get involved with UAT Space.

    Several students over the years have also built space innovation projects for their Student Innovation Projects (SIP), which are a requirement for graduation. Check out some space-related SIPs students have developed at UAT:

    Star Wars Club

    Star Wars Club unites fans of the series at UAT. Club president Tyler Widener explained, "In UAT Star Wars Club, we stream new Star Wars content as it comes out like Andor and the Mandalorian, as well as re-watch some fan favorites. Starting now and this coming year will be our first armor contest, where members can create their own set of armor inspired from Star Wars!"

    Meetings for Star Wars Club are in the UAT Theater on Fridays at 6pm.






    Japanese Club

    Japanese Club brings the love of Japanese culture to UAT. Students gather to learn and appreciate Japanese culture and customs. Laura Morning, Club President described the Japanese club as "a bunch of students who are learning and bonding over a language and culture. Some of the things that we do are learning days when I teach Japanese (language) and culture days where we learn about the culture."

    You can join Japanese Club meetings on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:30pm in room 204.


     Nerf Warz Club

    Nerf Warz club brings fun and activity to the UAT campus. Every other Friday this club gathers for games and fun.

    Club President Isis Boone describes her experience as "I have made so many friends during the club and got to know so many people. It is a time to enjoy playing so many different mini games and make new friends. There will never be a night that is the same during Nerf Warz, some of the activities are holiday themed and sometimes we have raffles." 











    Get Involved in UAT Student Clubs From Anywhere

    These are just a few of the remarkable student-led clubs at University of Advancing Technology. UAT is dedicated to student development and community building, so we pride ourselves on our broad selection of Geek Life groups on campus and available to off-campus and online students. For more information about Geek Life, check out UAT's official Student Clubs page and the UAT Student Blog

    Ready for the next step? Request more information or Apply today! 

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    Student Game Review: Metro Exodus

    Metro Exodus is a beautiful game that takes place in a post-apocalyptic Russia. It shows the events of aliens taking over the world, and you have the three games to go through the story following your main character: Artyom. In...

    Metro Exodus - E3 2017 Announce Gameplay Trailer [UK] - YouTube

    Metro Exodus is a beautiful game that takes place in a post-apocalyptic Russia. It shows the events of aliens taking over the world, and you have the three games to go through the story following your main character: Artyom. In all three games, the choices you make determine the end of that game—certain endings being cannon, with others having the possibility from the butterfly effect. 

    If you don't know what the butterfly effect is, it's basically when a butterfly flaps their wings, it can create a tsunami. This means even when you do the smallest of things, it can effect everything following that initial action. The lessons learned from this can be to always think about your actions and what you are going to do next because it can always lead to something good or something bad at the end. 

    Metro Exodus uses this perfectly to show that the choices you make in your experience can greatly effect the outcome of the game. On top of this, the story continues to grow greater and get better with each game. I have not been able to finish the third game yet due to a glitch that meant I needed to restart the entire chapter (there are chapters in the 3rd game) and it discouraged me from playing for a while. I am redownloading it as I write this so I can replay the game and hopefully the glitch won't happen again. The glitch that I am referring to is the one in the second map, there is a scene with a cave and bats, and right after this your companion will fall off their patch and you can't continue the game without their help. This is something that I hope is fixed at some point, but since the game has been out for so long and it hasn't changed, I doubt it'll be fixed any time soon.  

    Another great thing about these games are the environments and their details.They've come a long with since the older games, where they weren't the best, but now they are amazing. Playing with headphones is the ideal way to experience the game due to the amount of creepy crawly sounds happening. Specifically, in the third game,  you experience surround sound of spiders crawling all over your head. Weirdly, this is both the best and worst feeling to experience from a game. It is the perfect amount of immersion to make you feel like you are there. It's anxiety inducing and feels like they are crawling on you, the first time I had this happen, I had to shut off my game and come back to it later because I wasn't expecting such a reaction. 

    The character development in this game is something to definitely take note of, as well. You grow such a fond attachment to your companions in such a short amount of time, and you grow to love even the smallest characters since sometimes they will pop back up again at later times. 

    Don't even get me started on the art style for this game! It's an interesting style with the aliens and the creepy crawly spiders, and the character models are still a little cartoony while also pulling in realism—which I had no idea that was even possible. Along with the characters, the environment is stunning. Every place you go, whether it's the tunnels or in the open world, you're looking at a beautifully made environment. The rubble from the buildings is unique, and the areas where you have huge fights even have incredible details.

    The first two games don't allow you to explore all of the environment very much. It is kind of a path you had to follow. The first game is strictly on a single patch, while the second game opens the option up a bit more for you to go through and find your own way with multiple paths to take to the same location. The third game is open world with the specific chapter you are on, which is really cool! They even expanded on the crafting mechanics as well, and there are cool side quests that you can complete that allow for you to explore the map more in different areas. 

    All in all, this trilogy is one of my favorites, and I hope to see improvements on the bug for the third game so I can complete a play-through. The artwork and environment are beautiful, the mechanics are fun and you'll become so fond of the characters it's unreal. 

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    What is Kali Linux?

    Kali Linux, formerly Backtrack Linux, is a Debian-based and open-source operating system distribution with the intention of making penetration test and auditing tools available to the average user. Kali Linux can be installed or otherwise booted up with hundreds of tools preinstalled to make tasks such as forensics and reverse engineering much more accessible to...

    Kali Linux, formerly Backtrack Linux, is a Debian-based and open-source operating system distribution with the intention of making penetration test and auditing tools available to the average user. Kali Linux can be installed or otherwise booted up with hundreds of tools preinstalled to make tasks such as forensics and reverse engineering much more accessible to less technical users.

    Kali is completely free, has an open-source Git tree available, is Filesystem Hierarchy Standard compliant, and supports a wide range of hardware. You can install Kali locally onto hardware or run it from a USB drive as a live distribution and it will typically be highly compatible with numerous additional devices.

     kali linux

    Kali can be used to conduct penetration testing, security auditing, digital forensics, or reverse engineering. The applications installed come from a minimal set of repositories and the goal is to keep upstream software sources to a minimum. The intention being that users can deploy Kali quickly and easily into an environment and get to work with minimal fuss or the need for additional training.

    Remember that Kali was not designed to be a daily driver and installing any unapproved applications is not support. While Kali can potentially make your life easier, it is certainly not designed to be an everyday OS. You will not be able to install games or other out of band software without many issues or problems. Kali fills a very specific niche but if you have need of a system to accomplish your goals, it may do those things very well.

    Earn a Degree in Cyber Security at UAT

    UAT offers a Master’s of Science in Cyber Security, as well as bachelor’s degrees in Network EngineeringNetwork Security, and Technology Forensics. Our Cyber Security Degree for Ethical Hackers and Network Security Curriculum has been certified through the NSA/DHS National Information Assurance Training Program in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense.

    Designated as a Center of Academic Excellence by the National Centers of Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE), UAT’s Network Security Bachelor’s of Science degree prepares students to take on the ever-evolving world of information security.

    If you believe a career in cyber security may be right for you, request information about our degree programs. At the University of Advancing Technology, we’re passionate about helping students enter STEM fields and acquire the skills they need to land a rewarding career in cyber security and beyond.

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    New Faces on Campus

    Meet James “Glenn” Truett James...


    Meet James “Glenn” Truett

    James “Glenn Truett, a transfer student, is double majoring in Digital Maker and Fabrication and Robotics and Embedded Systems at University of Advancing Technology (UAT)He chose these degree programs because they can formalize his education on subjects he has been interested in and teaching himself for the past five years.

    Glenn loves UAT’s project-driven approach to teaching, learning and assignments, which is why he chose the University“Instead of spending all my time studying for a test, I get to put that time and energy into actually learning and then doing what has been taught.

    Glenn finds inspiration in ordinary people doing extraordinary things and is inspired by many people at UAT. “[Most people] inspire me to do better because I see where I want to be in life, and they serve as a reminder to an alternative way to live the life I have chosen.  

    So far, Glenn has enjoyed his time at UAT and has gained a lot, Not only have I gained new knowledge and skill sets, but I also have gained a larger social network. I have created many new friendships and relationships with people who could be a part of my future business ventures.

    Having attended college in the past, Glenn offers valuable advice to students, “One of the worst pieces of advice I was given the first time around is ‘make sure you have something to fall back on. I don't want to fall back on anything, except my faith. If I am going to fall, I want to fall forward. If I have something to fall back on, then I am not committed to the plan in motion. If you don't have a backup plan, then you are more motivated to succeed. You may fall, but you learn from it and keep moving forward. You don't quit. If you fall six times, get up seven and keep moving forward.

    mGarciaMeet Miriam “Pike” Garcia

    Hailing from Los Lunas, New Mexico, Miriam “Pike” Garcia transferred to UAT to pursue a bachelor’s in Game Art and Animation. She chose Game Art and Animation because it involves both design and creativity, two areas she is passionate about. Her ultimate goal is to become a concept artist for a major video game company. Prior to UAT, she earned an Associate of Applied Science in Game Development & Simulation from the University of New Mexico-Valencia.

    Born in this millennium, Pike doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t surrounded by technology. Some of her favorite memories are playing video games with her family on PlayStation 2. Need for Speed Underground 2 and Ratchet and Clank are especially nostalgic for her.

    Pike finds some of her biggest inspiration from video game creators: Gears of War crew like Cliff Bleszinski (lead developer/director), Chris Perna (art director) and Lee Perry (gameplay and level designer), Ian Milham from Dead Space and the entirety of the Bethesda studios.

    Drawing since she could hold a crayon, Pike grew up creating with physical mediums. In high school, Pike had the opportunity to start exploring digital art and added that to her repertoire. Pike is a well-rounded artist who likes to explore different mediums. She 3D models, writes fiction and creates traditional studio art and digital 2D art. She has also developed her own video games from concept to finished product in both 2D and 3D.

    Pike has created multiple portfolio pieces since attending UAT. This semester, her classes allowed a lot of creative freedom and pushed her to take her art to the next level. Learning storyboarding has shown her how to be a writer, artist, director and producer.

    “I’m here not to think outside the box but deconstruct it, tear it apart and reassemble it into something new.”

    cStrauchMeet Collin Strauch

    Collin Strauch was born and raised in New York and came to UAT to dual major in Game Design and Game Programming.

    Collin’s favorite hobby, since he was a child, is playing video games. In high school, he took computer programming classes and fell in love with programming. This sparked his interest in learning how to create video games, which is why he decided to pursue the game degrees at UAT.

    Collin chose UAT because he liked how focused the curriculum is on major-specific studies.

    I get to focus more on what I came to UAT for, learning about game design and programming. Because of how focused UAT is on its majors, I have been able to learn a lot about game design ever since I enrolled here. And by a lot, I mean A LOT. I feel like I could go out into the industry and start working now.

    While attending UAT, Collin has found community. Because of the inclusive, tight-knit community and small campus, UAT feels like the kind of school where everybody knows everybody, and because of this he's been able to develop many friendships from day one.

    Collin’s role models and biggest inspiration are his parents. His mom taught him morals, discipline and how to deal with hard situations, while his dad imparted common sense, a sense of humor, how to handle responsibilities such as finances and how to formally talk to strangers. I deeply respect both of them, and I'm thankful for all their hard work helping me grow up and become a good person.

    Some of Collin’s other hobbies include watching American football, anime and finding unusual activities to do, like playing with yo-yos or coin tricks.

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