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Wednesday, April 1, 2009
By Art Ramirez
Note from Dean Ramirez
This past quarter has been busy. As you read the Recent Awards section, you will notice a number of our faculty have been honored lately with prestigious awards. We are continually pleased to recognize the top caliber of our faculty. We have also received another very generous gift from our benefactors, Jack and Peggy Baskin, to establish an endowment to support graduate student Fellowships. As you know, fellowship support is critical in attracting and keeping talented graduate students. We very much appreciate the on-going support from the Baskins. As you are also aware, the University of California will be taking a substantial funding cut in 2011-12 fiscal year and each of the ten campuses will have mandatory cuts to their operating budgets. The impact on the Baskin School is not yet known, but the faculty remain committed to ensuring that the students receive first-class instruction. But, in spite of all the gloomy budgetary news, the Baskin School continues to raise monies through private donations, corporate and foundation donations, and gifts-in-kind. Right now is when the next cohort of students are being admitted. We are excited by the high number of prospective students for our undergraduate majors as well as a stellar group of PhD applicants. We look forward to welcoming many of these new students in the fall.
Spotlight on Center for Games and Playable Media
New center for games is future-focused
The mission of the new UC Santa Cruz Center for Games and Playable Media can be summed up in one phrase: "Enabling the games of the future." The center, formally established in 2010, tackles core technology and design challenges in its five laboratories, including the Expressive Intelligence Studio -- one of the largest technical game research groups in the world.
Members of the center believe that addressing these core challenges will help make game authorship more broadly accessible and dramatically expand the expressive power of games, as well as help sustain the game industry's economic growth.
Areas of research include artificial intelligence and interactive storytelling, natural language dialogue systems, cinematic communication, procedural content generation, computational photography, and level design.
The Center for Games and Playable Media is led by Director Michael Mateas, associate professor in Baskin School of Engineering, and Associate Director Jane Pinckard.
The center is committed to furthering the impact of first-class game research by building relationships between its labs and the game industry; building and releasing research-driven experimental games; facilitating UC Santa Cruz game students in joining and changing the industry; and engaging the public and the media.
"We're looking forward to starting conversations between academics and industry professionals on where the field of computer games might go," said Mateas.
The center will host its inaugural symposium, "Inventing the Future of Games," April 15 in Silicon Valley. The Sims' Will Wright, Linden Labs CEO Rod Humble (Second Life) and Mateas will give keynote speeches. For more information, visit http://games.soe.ucsc.edu.
Did you know....
UCSC announces Baskins' $1 million engineering gift at Scholarship Benefit Dinner
UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal announced a special $1 million gift from Jack and Peggy Downes Baskin for engineering graduate fellowships at the campus's eighth annual Scholarship Benefit Dinner. More
UC Santa Cruz game design graduate programs make Princeton Review/GamePro top 10
UC Santa Cruz's graduate programs in game design were named among the top 10 in the nation by the Princeton Review and GamePro Media. The campus's computer science Ph.D. and M.S., along with its M.F.A. in Digital Arts and New Media (DANM), earned the school a seventh place ranking on the survey. This is the first year the Princeton Review, an education services company, has surveyed graduate programs in game design. More
Dan Heller, CS '88, has been named Executive Director of the UCSC Center for Entrepreneurship.
April 15 - Inventing the Future of Games Symposium @ India Community Center, 525 Los Coches Street, Milpitas, Calif. More
April 30 - Day by the Bay, Make plans to celebrate UC Santa Cruz at the second annual Day by the Bay. Come to campus, relax with your family, reminisce with your friends, and enjoy the world famous UCSC setting in all its glory. Be a part of this new UCSC tradition. Noon to 3:00, UCSC East Field, FREE
May 6 - Grad Research Symposium, 1:00-3:00; University Center
June 2 - Undergrad Poster Symposium, 2:00-4:00; Engineering Courtyard
June 12 - Baskin School of Engineering Commencement Ceremony, 4:00; Engineering Courtyard
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