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UHV gaming program draws first national ranking

May 17, 2014 at 12:17 a.m.

Alireza Tavakkoli, director of the UHV digital gaming and simulation program

A national animation and game design careers website recently selected the University of Houston-Victoria as having one of the top digital gaming programs in the region and United States.

Animation Career Review recently published its 2014 ranking of the top 75 game design and development schools. UHV ranked No. 6 in the Southwest region and No. 45 overall.

In 2007, UHV began a bachelor's degree in computer science with a digital gaming and simulation concentration. The program is designed for students who want to advance their knowledge of modern game design and work with a variety of professionals - from artists, writers to programmers - to bring the vision for an interactive game or media product to life.

UHV will begin offering a Master of Science in computer science this fall. The two-year program is designed to prepare students for competitive jobs or further study in a doctoral program.

Alireza Tavakkoli, UHV digital gaming and simulation program director, was delighted to see the program receive recognition. He thanked Jeffrey Di Leo and Li Chao, computer science and mathematics professor and chair of the School of Arts and Sciences Science, Technology and Mathematics Division, for their leadership and support of gaming education.

"Drs. Di Leo and Chao, as well as the hard work of my colleagues, are to credit for enabling us to have robust course offerings, partnerships and a top-notch visualization and animation facility, all of which play major roles in this ranking," Tavakkoli said.

Animation Career Review considered hundreds of schools that offered programs geared toward animation or game design.

A Computation and Advanced Visualization Engineering, or CAVE, lab opened in December on the second floor of UHV University West for use by students, faculty and local industry leaders. The lab has 24 high-speed motion capture cameras capable of shooting up to 2,000 frames a second. The cameras can be used for real-time motion capture - where real-world movements of a person wearing a special suit are captured.

"I have little doubt that with our new Master of Science in computer science and our CAVE lab, we will rocket up the rankings in the future," Tavakkoli said.

To see the complete top 75 rankings, go to animationcareerreview.com.

For more information about the gaming programs at UHV, contact Tavakkoli at tavakkolia@uhv.edu or 361-570-4204.

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