U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT: Grad Engineering Programs Probe Intersection of Science, Art

Arthur Nishimoto, UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory - Lance Long, EVL

URL: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/2012/05/09/grad-engineering-programs-probe-intersection-of-science-art


The May 9, 2012 issue of U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT features an article by education reporter Menachem Wecker who looks at emerging trends in higher education. The article “Grad Engineering Programs Probe Intersection of Science, Art” covers a number of academic programs, including that of the UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL).

EVL was founded in 1973, though the article states that the interdisciplinary study of science and art is a “new movement in engineering schools.” The article points out what EVL has always known: that “art training can help engineers think more creatively” (and vice versa).

In addition to describing EVL, the article describes programs at MIT, Arizona State University, University of California-Davis, Stanford University, University of California - Santa Barbara, and Northwestern University.

When the reporter phoned UIC several weeks ago - during Finals Week - he only wanted to talk with students - not faculty or staff. He was put in contact with two EVL students. The article quotes UIC Computer Science graduate student and EVL research assistant Arthur Nishimoto, who describes his involvement in UIC’s video game class as well as the “paint program” on EVLrsquo;s large-scale, multi-touch, tiled display wall.

Here is an excerpt from the article that pertains to UIC: “Video game design is another field that brings engineers and artists together. Digital gaming is what Arthur Nishimoto studies at University of Illinois-Chicago, home to the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, which is an interdisciplinary graduate research lab focused on art and computer science, according to its website.

At the lab, Nishimoto, who is pursuing an M.S. in computer science, created a 20-foot “virtual canvas,” which consists of 18 liquid crystal display (LCD) screens. When users touch the screens with their dry brushes, colors, which they mix on iPad palettes, appear on the screens.

College students who aspire to go to engineering school should consider taking an art class, or courses in other departments, to avoid the stereotype of being a programmer who is always “in front of the computer coding away,” Nishimoto says. “Computer science can be a useful tool for multiple disciplines.”

Read the entire article

Information on the UIC Computer Science course “Video Game Design and Development”

Information on the “20-Foot Canvas” paint program, see:

Email: maxine@uic.edu

Date: May 9, 2012

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