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SUNY Sullivan’s new CIS: Simulation and Game Development program adds new dimension to curriculum

 

Loch Sheldrake (August 24, 2011) – “We live in a three-dimensional world, so why shouldn’t our visual computer world also be 3D?” Dr. Cynthia Marcello, Assistant Professor, Business & Information Technology at SUNY Sullivan asked when talking about the new CIS: Simulation and Game Development degree program at the college.

The program, which recently received approval from the New York State Education Department, is already up, running and available to students beginning the 2011-2012 academic year.

“Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Robert Schultz, Vice President for Academic Affairs and the people in the Business & Information Technology department,” Dr. Marcello said, “we anticipated approval, but we didn’t want to miss an opportunity to offer the program this year, so we managed to get everything in place to hit the academic road running. And we’re glad we did because the response has been very favorable.”

Only one other SUNY community college (SUNY Finger Lakes) offers such a program. Now that the program is being offered at SUNY Sullivan, not only do area students have an opportunity to enroll in a program of the future, it is just one other way that the college stands out as an innovative institution of higher learning.

Students in Simulation and Game Development are introduced to game design theory, gaming and simulation algorithms and coding techniques used in the game development industry.

A degree in game development from the SUNY Sullivan will result in the graduate possessing a solid foundation in computer programming blended with creativity and critical thinking skills. Graduates will have completed a rigorous sequence of classes in computer information systems, object-orientated programming, graphic design, system analysis. 3D modeling and game engine programming. This combination of both technical and creative skills will set students apart from a typical CS/IT or art graduate.

The degree also has a broad applicability. Although the unifying aspect of the program is the creation of games, all the skills are directly applicable to a wide range of industry areas: digital entertainment, computer science, and interactive training and simulation. Interactive simulation applications include scientific exploration, health sciences, general education, law enforcement, defense and criminal justice, cable/entertainment, and security industries. Many industries and agencies are becoming more dependent on interactive computer training and simulation.

“We expect this trend to continue into the next few decades and hence the ability to apply this degree to many jobs and graduate programs will continue to grow,” Dr. Marcello added.

The new program got off to a great start as a result of a grant from Simio, a leader in animation and simulation software. The grant allowed the college to install Simio programs ion 60 college computers.

To learn more about the program, visit www.sunysullivan.edu.