Trine offering new extended reality degree

May 31, 2022

Trine University will launch a Bachelor of Science in extended reality (XR) degree program this fall, one of the first in the nation to prepare students to apply the technology across multiple disciplines.

The program will be offered in person to students on Trine’s Angola campus as well as fully online through TrineOnline.

Encompassing augmented, virtual and mixed reality, XR is defined as interaction between humans and computer-generated graphics, either in reality or in a virtual environment. Though often associated with gaming, XR technology use is also increasing in areas such as product design, training and medical diagnosis.

“XR is exploding, and this will only continue as developers discover new ways to apply the technology,” said Wendy Yagodinski, chair of Trine’s Department of Computer Science and Information Technology. “We’re excited to be able to equip our students with the academic preparation and practical experience to be on the leading edge of this evolving field.”

“Extended reality naturally lends itself to online instruction,” said Keirsten Eberts, assistant vice president and dean of academics for TrineOnline. “Through the BSXR degree on TrineOnline, anyone around the world can gain the skills in a collaborative environment to develop robust virtual experiences that can bring us all closer together.”

Trine’s XR curriculum will emphasize skills such as 3D modeling, testing, immersive interactive media creation, critical analysis, optimized software engineering, artificial intelligence, problem-solving and clearly conveying ideas across disciplines in a collaborative environment.

Students will develop XR applications using Unity, the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D content. They also will learn to analyze the advantages of AR and VR technologies and apply them to real-world problems.

The program is funded in part through a $1 million grant Trine University received in 2020 from Lilly Endowment Inc. Trine used the grant to purchase software and equipment to implement extended reality laboratories and educational experiences university-wide.

Photo: Trine University Basic Utility Vehicle team members — from left, Braeden Wallen-Frye of Kendallville, Indiana; Wesley Gates of Stilesville, Indiana; Derik Gunthorp of LaGrange, Indiana; Dr. John Liu, faculty advisor; Adam Ellert of Angola, Indiana; and Manuel Urcino of Frankfort, Illinois — used virtual reality technology to design their vehicle, which won first place in competition. Trine will launch a Bachelor of Science in extended reality program this fall, which will prepare students to apply virtual reality and augmented reality technology. (File photo by Dean Orewiler)

Last Updated: 05/31/2022

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