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UCR Named to Top 50 for Video Game Design


UCR Named to Top 50 for Video Game Design

The Princeton Review and GamePro Media rate Riverside one of the best in North America.

(March 1, 2010)

UCR student Muzaffer Akbay observes Associate Professor Victor Zordan at a computer monitor in Zordan's lab.Enlarge

UCR student Muzaffer Akbay observes Associate Professor Victor Zordan at a computer monitor in Zordan's lab.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – UC Riverside’s program in video game design ranks in the Top 50 of 500 North American universities, according to The Princeton Review and GamePro Media.

The Princeton Review developed its “Top 50 Undergraduate Game Design Programs” list – the first project of its kind – in partnership with GamePro, one of the most respected brands in the video game industry, reaching over 3 million gamers a month. The comprehensive survey numbered more than 50 questions and covered areas from academics and faculty credentials to graduates’ employment and career achievements. Criteria included the quality of the curriculum, faculty, facilities and infrastructure. The Princeton Review also looked at data on scholarships, financial aid and career opportunities.

UC Riverside is one of two UC campuses named to the Top 50 list and will be featured in an article that will appear in the April issue of GamePro magazine, which will be available on newsstands March 9, and on GamePro.com.

The ranking reflects the research and course offerings of Victor Zordan, associate professor of computer science and engineering at UC Riverside.

"Game development is an exciting area for our undergraduates, and I'm pleased that we have received this recognition," Zordan said. "I hope that we can offer even more opportunities to our students in the future."

Zordan directs the Riverside Graphics Lab in developing cutting-edge techniques in graphics and animation with a focus on physically based modeling and human motion. He has been an animation enthusiast and graphics programmer for more than 20 years and a researcher investigating animation techniques for more than a decade. His interests are in physical simulation, motion capture, and algorithms used to create believable (and unbelievable) motion and to explore novel uses for animation in electronic games, medical and training applications, and 3D virtual worlds.

“We are very pleased with the listing, which indicates our faculty’s determination to provide a quality education for our students,” said Reza Abbaschian, dean of UCR's Bourns College of Engineering.

Robert Franek, The Princeton Review senior vice president/publisher, said in a written statement, “We salute UC Riverside and the other outstanding institutions on our list for their exemplary work in game design education. It has long been our mission at The Princeton Review to help students research and get in to the education programs best for them. We are also committed to helping them carry that training to rewarding careers in fields they are passionate about. For the burgeoning numbers of students aspiring to careers in the rapidly growing field of game design and the companies that will need their creative talents, we hope our list will inspire many wonderful candidates to apply to these programs.”

Franek acknowledged the assistance The Princeton Review received on this project from the ten-member national advisory board it formed to help design the survey instrument and methodology. Board members included administrators and faculty from respected game design programs, and professionals from some of the top gaming companies.

The Princeton Review provides students and their parents with resources to research,apply to, prepare for, and learn how to to pay for higher education, according to the company’s Web site. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University, and it is not a magazine.

“There are now more colleges and universities than ever focusing on game development,” Marci Yamaguchi Hughes, president of GamePro Media, said in a written statement. “We thought this was an incredibly relevant subject for our readers, especially given the upcoming Game Developers Conference.” GamePro Media produces online, print, social media and in-store products that engage, connect, entertain and inform gamers, according to the company’s Web site.
Student Muzaffer Akbay works on a performance-based interface for characters that allows  human actors to use their own body to interact with virtual 3D environments in a physically based manner.<br />
Enlarge

Student Muzaffer Akbay works on a performance-based interface for characters that allows human actors to use their own body to interact with virtual 3D environments in a physically based manner.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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