Best Shorts Competition Awards Honors to ATEC

Eric Farrar, Todd Fechter and members of their 2012-13 Animation Production Studio class have received honors for outstanding achievement from the Best Shorts Competition for their animated short film “Fright-Lite”. The film won an Award of Excellence in Animation.

In winning Best Shorts laurels, ATEC joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of this internationally respected award. Thomas Baker, Ph.D., who chairs the Best Shorts Competition, had this to say about the latest winners, “The Best Shorts Competition helps set the standard for craft and creativity. The goal of the Best Shorts Competition is to help winners achieve the recognition they deserve.” A full list of recent winners can be found on the Best Shorts website.

The Best Shorts Competition is a venue that honors exceptional achievement by directors, producers and members of the creative team for high quality films, television, animation and new media productions. It is international in scope and has granted awards to moving media professionals in Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Martinique, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.

Research, Art, Writing Conference Invites Submissions

Each spring the Arts & Humanities Graduate Student Association sponsors a  graduate student conference. RAW (“Research, Arts, and Writing”) provides graduate students the opportunity to share their work with colleagues and professors in a formal conference setting.

Graduate students from any school or institution are encouraged to submit their work.

RAW will be held on the UT Dallas campus on March 21-22, 2014. The deadline to submit a proposal is December 6  December 13.

Examples of possible project or presentation submissions include:

Academic Submissions

  • excerpt of an MA paper or thesis
  • excerpt of a seminar paper
  • excerpt from a dissertation

Creative Submissions

  • animation, video, or film projects
  • excerpt from a novel, play or short story
  • MFA final project
  • selection of poetry
  • dance or other performance piece
  • art work (paintings, ceramics, drawings, etc.

Send submission questions to For additional information, view the RAW Conference Guidelines.

EMAC Professor Discusses Sports Fans’ Use of Social Media

AJ McCarron and Cade Foster react after Foster missed a field goal in the third quarter against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Auburn, Alabama. (credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

If anybody knows what it is like to be in the shoes of Alabama kicker and Southlake Carroll graduate Cade Foster, it is Dusty Mangum. The former University of Texas kicker from 2001-2005, whose fondest memory is his game-winning kick in the 2005 Rose Bowl, also had a game he would rather forget.

In 2002 against Oklahoma State, Mangum uncharacteristically missed three field goals. “It’s one of those things where you can’t really put your finger on and say that’s what I’m doing wrong,” said Mangum. After the game, Mangum avoided reading the newspapers and fan reaction posted online.

Dr. Janet Johnson

A decade later, with the evolution of social media, the attacks on Foster have been even harsher, with some sending death threats directly to the college athlete’s Twitter account. “I think it just like us being in our living room ranting and raving — only now we have someone who’s listening,” said Dr. Janet Johnson, a social media expert at the University of Texas – Dallas.

Dr. Johnson said that Twitter has given sports fans, for the first time, a way to directly communicate with players. And, since it can be anonymous, the messages are often personal. “Everyone is under attack now,” she said. “It is people reacting instead of thinking about what they are saying.”

“If I was playing at this moment,” Mangum said, “I would not read the papers. I would not have Twitter and probably not Facebook either, just because of all the negativity that can seep in.”

Several of Foster’s teammates as well as fans have also taken to Twitter to show their support for the kicker.

 Read the full story at CBS DFW.

EMAC to Celebrate Fall 2013 Capstones


Join us as we celebrate the Fall 2013 graduate and undergraduate students present their final capstone projects on December 7, 2013.

The capstone celebration will be held in the Jonsson Performance Hall room JO 2.604 starting promptly at 6 pm on Saturday, December 7.

We will hold an intermission with refreshments after the first group of students. The students will present to 3 judges made up of professors and professionals in the industry. The judges will pick the top graduate and undergraduate capstone projects at the end of the event.

Below is a list of capstone students and links to their projects:


New ATEC Course Explores How to “See”

Amen Brothers?

The “Visual Sample and Remix” course aims to answer two questions:
“What can we see?” and “Where does it come from?”
In ATEC, we need to answer these questions to understand and do visual innovation.

The course will “look” into questions such as:

  • Does Anakin’s mother replace Michelangelo’s Christ?
  • Are Sean Connery and Obi-Wan Kenobi usurping Saint Christopher?
  • Does Southpark steal from gross Renaissance typesetters?
  • Are ancient superheroes marveled by Marvel?
  • Is Grandmaster Flash the new Andrea Palladio?
  • Do TV tropes, movie quotes, and classic iconography differ?
  • Can gossip, sampling in music, and visual memes spread like the flu?
  • Is everything an assemblage and can animals be plants?
  • What is horizontal gene transfer, and does it apply to comics?
  • Are religious painting and the Cambrian explosion related?
  • Is Art History superseded by Facebook engineers?
  • Are billions of images different?
  • Amen Brother?

The key learning objective of this course is learning how to “see”.

Typical assignments in this course include finding a number of images that are related to a sample image in terms of significant similarity, reuse, or remix. Students will learn to document their search strategy, find and reference the original, describe relations, and visualize citation patterns and mechanisms. There will be short readings regarding the continuity and variation in the meaning of images, and extensive discussion of visual material in class. We will also “create” visualizations of our “insights”.

Google Image Search + selected readings, provided by the instructor.


Maximilian Schich

ATEC 4370.001 “Visual Sample & Remix”
Instructor: Schich, Maximilian
Wed 4:00 PM – 6:45 PM
Room: ATC 2.811





ATEC Project is Finalist at International Serious Games Competition

A new game born out of a collaboration involving UT Dallas’ Arts and Technology (ATEC) program, The University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Nursing and Baylor Scott & White Health is a finalist in an international serious games competition.

The game-based simulation called GLIMPSE (Game to Learn Important Communications Methods for Patient Safety Enhancement) is being used in research on communication practices among physicians and nurses.

“GLIMPSE features a robust educational curriculum,” said Dr. Marjorie Zielke, director of ATEC’s Virtual Humans and Synthetic Societies Lab and ATEC’s principal investigator on the project. “We designed the game for busy health care professionals. The curriculum content is broken down into short episodes using audio, video and 3-D virtual game play to allow perspective sharing and situational learning.”

The project, which made its debut in October, is funded by a $969,604 grant from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Dr. Mary E. Mancini, professor, associate dean and chair for undergraduate nursing programs at UT Arlington’s College of Nursing, is the project’s principal investigator at UT Arlington. A UT Dallas team led by Zielke constructed the game in collaboration with Mancini. Also on the project were Baylor Scott & White Health’s Dr. Yan Xiao, director of patient safety research, and Susan Houston, director of nursing research.

GLIMPSE is a finalist in the Business Category of the 2013 Serious Games Showcase & Challenge − one of 18 finalists out of 50 games submitted. Winners will be announced at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) this month. I/ITSEC is the world’s largest modeling and simulation conference.

Mancini, past president of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, said the project’s use of game technology is unique. She hopes its benefits will be far-reaching.

“Research has shown that communication is a contributing factor in the majority of cases resulting in near-misses and actual patient harm,” Mancini said. “By improving the ability of health care professionals to communicate with each other, GLIMPSE will enhance patient safety and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes.”

The project is also one of six finalists being evaluated for the Adaptive Force Award – this year’s Special Emphasis Award. According to the conference website, Adaptive Force games encourage the player to repeatedly try new or different strategies to solve problems while considering feedback with the purpose of improving overall success.

The selection of GLIMPSE as a finalist in the serious games competition marks the ninth time that Zielke’s projects have been nominated for national and international awards. Should GLIMPSE win, it will be the eighth major award in the last few years for Zielke’s lab.

“The ongoing lab recognition is a real tribute to our students, researchers, faculty and staff, and the overall support we get from our administration for our research,” said Zielke.

Zielke also serves as the vice president for education for the Society for Modeling & Simulation International and the deputy chair of the National Modeling and Simulation Coalition.

“The fact that we continue to win and be finalists in extremely competitive events shows the depth of strength across all of our research teams,” she said.

ATEC Course Explores Creating Autonomous Technology

Driverless prototype developed by Audi
Driverless prototype developed by Audi

ATEC 6375 “Topics in Emerging and Cognitive Design: Creating Autonomous Technology” with Dr. Marjorie Zielke.

Coined by Langdon Winner, autonomous technology (A.T.) refers to technologies that operate on their own.

In this NEW course, students will learn about:

  • Humanoid robots and other hardware and software designed to work hand and hand with humans but operate also on their own
  • Research literature in areas such as human-robotic interactions (HRI)
  • Design implications
  • Areas for students to research and develop projects
  • A.T.’s philosophical background
  • A.T.’s psychological underpinnings

The course will incorporate current and historical readings, papers, and projects designed to help students to understand and apply what they learn. The class will meet from 4:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Thursdays in Room 3.605 in ATC. If a student decides to take the class, he or she needs to enter course number 25591 when registering online.