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Director of Instructional Technologies Todd Hughes and CSLS Scholar-in-Residence Lynn Ramey will attend an NEH Summer Institute on Humanities Heritage 3D Visualization: Theory and Practice at Arkansas State University (Jonesboro) and the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville).

This summer institute brings together twenty scholars working in the humanities who have research or teaching projects that would benefit from real-time visualization in a game engine, published as standalone applications, web players, or on mobile devices. In a three-week institute, participants will be provided with a conceptual roadmap to the difficult but intellectually productive issues that surround the academic use of game engines, including the balance of immersion with accuracy and strategies for storytelling and graphical user interfaces (GUIs) in "serious" games while grounding institute participants in the intellectual issues that arise at the intersection of gaming and academic visualization. Participants will also receive hands-on training in the digital toolbox for creating game engine content, a basic workflow that they would be able to use in their own projects and bring back to their home institutions learning how to use a broad range of tools including Unity 3D, online multi-user virtual environments, Google SketchUp, Maya, as well as a broad range of open-source programs.

Hughes and Ramey will work on different aspects the Discoveries of the Americas project, a digital collaboration between a variety of scholars from Vanderbilt University, the University of North Carolina, the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University.

The selection process for acceptance was rigorous. According to the NEH website, only 33% of applicants are accepted into NEH Summer Institutes. Hughes stated that he is "very excited to learn about 3D visualizations, in order to bring this knowledge to the Center, as part of our digital initiative in world languages and cultures. Look for a very interesting FTT and new working group this fall!"