July 27, 2017

UAT Digital Video Degree

Computer Science Student Ups His Personal Security With YubiKey

YubiKey

There are “hackers” at any college but especially at UAT, where some of the best Network Security, Technology Forensics, Network Engineering and Information Assurance students in the state receive their education.

That’s why Advancing Computer Science student Christopher Peterson decided to get secure with his logins. He uses a product called YubiKey, which looks like a small thumb drive that you plug into your computer and it generates a unique, 44-digit, single-use passcode that provides a second line of security for your logins, beyond a username and password.

“I started using it because I was going to college and their hackers are too good. I didn’t want them to steal my information,” Christopher said.

yubikey

Christopher explains a little more about two-factor authentication.

Hackers have access to “something you know,” which is your password. however, they don’t have access to “something you have” such as YubiKey or a phone app like Google’s two-factor authorization. Christopher decided the YubiKey was a good defense against any hackers who may be sniffing around campus. A third way to authenticate your account login is with “something you are” like your thumb print or a retina scan.

Google two-factor authentication

Google two-factor authentication

What exactly is YubiKey? It’s a multi-protocol USB security key that offers cryptographic protection and touch-to-sign access to your accounts.

Christopher mentioned that he thinks USB security keys are becoming more popular because lots of news channels have been featuring similar products in news stories to keep citizens aware and protected.

KalqueLord, Created in UAT Game Studios

KalqueLord

The summer semester is winding down, but many UAT Game Studios development teams are still hard at work trying to complete as much work on their games as possible before the Greenlight Celebration on August 13.

Each semester, student game developers pitch a game concept to UAT Game Studios Professors hoping to be greenlit into production for the semester. At the end of the term, each team lead presents their game build, hands out team awards and demos the game for the public.

During this summer session, six games were created and developed over 15 weeks.

The games made over summer semester are: Reign & Rebellion (3rd person, multiplayer, action game with a pair of industry veterans as the product owners), Operation: Red Rhino (1st person, multiplayer shooter that focuses on a node-based map selection system), Call Center Simulator (a VR shooter that has paired with alumni-founded Monster Vault Entertainment), Morpheus (a 3rd-person puzzle/ adventure game), World of Martz (a 3rd-person multiplayer fighting game built in Unreal), and KalqueLord.

KalqueLord is a game that was developed for an external client, which serves an impressive example for their resumes.

“KalqueLord is an engine that turns students, teachers and parents into heroes.”

KalqueLord Town Assets

According to team lead Donald Schepis, KalqueLord is an edu-tainment application designed to empower students to engage with learning content at their own pace and give teachers the tools to easily personalize instruction. By taking the feedback loop found in role-playing games and merging it with a math curriculum, KalqueLord gives students a visualization for the progress they make and put the drive to excel in their hands.

Students earn points to purchase items and equipment to power up their characters, allowing them to face greater challenges and push themselves beyond their limits. With a ground-level teacher integration, almost every element of KaluqueLord can be easily customized for a student by an instructor, from the amount and type of content assigned to students, the focus of their day-to-day practice, to even the rewards they earn for both individual and group progress. KalqueLord will provide students with the opportunity to exceed the normal pace of a classroom while allowing teachers to provide the individualized support every child needs.

To get valuable feedback, the developers have invited a group of children from the Sunshine Acres Children’s Home to UAT on Aug. 11, to playtest UAT Game Studios games. This is the fourth time this group of kids have acted as official playtesters. They enjoy the ability to try out new games and ask questions or provide feedback directly to the developers.

Check out more information on the client’s game KalqueLord on their website.

DV students hit El Rey Network with “Up Route”

In the Spring of 2015, UAT filmmakers Jordan Wippell and Brandon Scott lead a team of their fellow students to make “Up Route” for the Inter-College 48 Hour Film Challenge. The film won multiple awards, including Best Film, and then went on to be screening in over 16 film festivals worldwide and received BEST STUDENT SHORT at Bruce Campbell’s Horror Film Festival in Chicago.

But the little film just keeps chugging along, having caught the eye of the folks at Robert Rodriguez‘s El Rey Network. Rodriguez is one of the filmmakers studied in UAT’s DV program, as he is a great example of embracing new technologies (such as virtual sets) to tell compelling stories. In fact one of the first lessons in DVA101 is about how to use your “Rodriguez List” to build your script around items you already have in your possession – based on how Rodriguez himself did much the same when making his debut feature El Mariachi.

Watch below as Jordan and Brandon chat up the folks at El Rey and show off “Up Route” on “TPN Suspense Edition” – which will also air on El Rey on July 30th!

UAT to Host College Prep “G33K” Summer Camp for Young Adults with Autism

SARRC Geek Camp at UAT

Summer Tech Camp Offers Weeklong College Experience to Teens with Autism

University of Advancing Technology (UAT) is proud to partner with Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) and New Way Academy to host the G33K College Prep Summer Camp, the only program of its kind created specifically for young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to take place the week of July 23 – 29, at University of Advancing Technology’s Tempe campus.

Many individuals on the spectrum love computers and possess a skill set well-suited for a career in technology or engineering. Without this camp, there are dozens of young adults who may think that attending college is out of their reach. Because of UAT’s focus on culture and socialization, camp participants are more likely to feel at home.

“The UAT Tech Camp offers a perfectly inclusive and naturalistic learning environment. Every aspect of the campers’ day provides an opportunity to try a different skill needed for college life and for assimilation into the workforce in the future. UAT’s atmosphere is ideal for this program because their faculty and staff have the experience and training to responsibly and effectively nurture our students,” said Brad Herron-Valenzuela, Transition Academy Instructor at SARRC.

New Way Academy

During this weeklong camp, SARRC and New Way Academy camp participants will have the opportunity to complete the college admissions process, reside in Founder’s Hall dormitory, attend classes, collaborate in teams, use new technology, complete a group project, eat meals at the university café and take part in student life activities.

The G33K College Prep Summer Camp accepts 10 participants, ranging in age from 16 to 26. The participants fall into three categories: those who are looking to go on to college, those with some college experience and may plan to enroll in the future and those who have never attended college and may lack the confidence to participate in the college experience.

“We look forward to our fourth year of partnering with UAT and welcome our new community partner, New Way Learning Academy. With elements that touch on all aspects of the college experience, our participants are given an inclusive and impactful opportunity to try out college. The results of these experiences can guide and shape future post-secondary academic endeavors,” said Paige Raetz, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Transition Academy Director at SARRC.

Participants gain a deeper understanding of all the skills needed for a successful college experience: admissions, academics, extra-curricular activities, life skills and social gatherings with other college students.

SARRC Camp with Dave Bolman

SARRC Camp with Dave Bolman

“Without an opportunity to learn how to navigate the college experience, these young adults may find creative STEM jobs to be out of their reach. This is why I am so excited about UAT partnership with SARRC. We are great at mentoring and growing individuals in a tech space. Because of UAT’s approach, camp participants are more likely to feel at home in college settings and ready to take that next step in their lives, pursuing a degree and finding a career that fills a genuine economic need,” said UAT Provost Dr. David Bolman.

At the conclusion of the program, camp participants will celebrate their achievements with family members during a graduation and group project presentation ceremony. After the camp, participants will be offered an online class that they can take on an open entry and exit basis to practice their college skills. Participants who complete the course will then receive college credit.

UPDATE: UAT Student Competed in Unspoken VR Game Tournament

Oculus The Unspoken VR Tournament

Alumni Jesse Rogers, who studied Game Design at UAT, had the chance to compete in the final stage of Oculus’s The Unspoken VR Tournament for Oculus Rift Touch last month in New York City. Because Jesse made it to the Top 8, he won airfare and a hotel stay in New York City so he could participate in the finals.

See our previous blog on how Jesse earned a spot in the Top 8!

So how did the tournament go?

Jesse checked into the hotel and took a ride to the Microsoft Store on Fifth Avenue. At the studio, he met with Insomniac developers, broadcasters and the production team for the tournament. The tournament participants took professional photos and were given fancy game tournament t-shirts to look official.

The Unspoken VR Tournament in NYC

The Unspoken VR Tournament in NYC

On Saturday morning, the competitors had some time to practice and get the feel for the game before the competition began.

The tournament consisted of four matches and the best of three rounds wins. Jesse won one round, but was eliminated and did not place in the competition.

Jesse did learn a lot about competing in an eSports Tournament including setup, flow of the event, how to take a business trip alone, how to talk to people in the industry and he especially enjoyed exploring New York City and seeing a new city. Jesse said he met cool people, and he found it interesting the competitors had such different personalities.

Jesse said “Overall, participating in the VR Tournament was a fun experience, but wish I would have had more time to talk to the Insomniac team, because he’s interested in working for them one day.”