UA Board of Trustees approve Tesseract Center, a new game design support effort

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 108 views 

The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees approved the creation of the Tesseract Center for Immersive Environments and Game Design at its Nov. 20 meeting.

Pending approval from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, the center will operate under the Office of Research and Economic Development and Fulbright College. It will provide a computer lab and infrastructure to support collaborative educational projects. The center will foster entrepreneurship and economic development through the creation of intellectual property, as well as skillsets in 3D asset creation, interaction design and coding, and virtual reality content creation.

“The center exemplifies how the university harnesses talent from across campus to produce innovative, cutting-edge learning environments for our students. The center’s work has the potential for numerous applications,” Todd Shields, dean of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, said in a statement.

The center’s computer lab in the J.B. Hunt Transport Services Center for Academic Excellence accommodates 15 students and 15 content developers. With its new status, the center will be poised to expand its efforts in collaboration with Fulbright College and other colleges and departments across campus, especially the Fay Jones School of Architecture, computer science in the College of Engineering, the Sam M. Walton College of Business, and the College of Education and Health Professions.

The Global Campus will provide $250,000 each year for the center’s first two years, while it is in the initial set-up phase. Global Campus will continue to support the center with $100,000 to $150,000 each year for at least five additional years. Other funding is expected from Fulbright College, grants and board memberships.

The center’s mission will be to promote integrated education in the humanities, arts and STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as fuel visualization technology and game-centered start-ups in the Northwest Arkansas region.