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Monday, May 24, 2010

UNM Student Wins Prestigious International Award in Immersive Media

The work David Beining and our immersive media group have been doing has really begun to pay off.  UNM School of Engineering students are currently working hard in support of the NSF-funded Partnerships of Innovation project in immersive media -- and we've had great success in our collaboration with the students of Claudia Valdes' Electronic Arts class.  Here's the latest:

UNM Student Wins Prestigious International Award
in Immersive Media


ALBUQUERQUE – The University of New Mexico amplified its reputation as the leading university working in immersive media with a major award earned by student Barbara Ryckman. 


Ryckman won a top prize at the Fulldome Film Festival, an international program held at the Zeiss Planetarium in Jena, Germany – the birthplace of the planetarium.  Ryckman's immersive art film "Wander" won the coveted "Creativity Award" which included a stunning glass trophy created by the renowned optics company Zeiss and a cash prize of 500 Euros (about US$600).


Ryckman created her winning piece as an assignment in the "Immersive Media: Fulldome" course, under the instruction of Assistant Professor Claudia X. Valdes (Electronic Arts program / Department of Art & Art History). Valdes' course is supported by UNM's ARTS Lab and its "gDome," a small research and education digital dome studio in the transdisciplinary new media laboratory which supports research, education and economic development for the university and state-wide media industry.


All of the works developed in Valdes' course screened in the international competition at the festival.  Of the ten submissions, three were selected as finalists (including Ryckman's).  Student submissions to the fulldome festival also came from four German universities, including the prestigious Bauhaus University at Weimar, and Tongji University in Shanghai.   


MFA graduate student at UNM, Mitchell Marti, received an honorable mention award for his code-based film "Oculus."


This is the second consecutive year Valdes and ARTS Lab have collaborated to offer the course and for a UNM student to win a top prize at the festival in Germany.


In addition to winning the fulldome festival award, last week Ryckman earned her Bachelor of Art degree from UNM's Department of Communication & Journalism.

Photo Info: UNM student Barbara Ryckman (left) and Assistant Professor Claudia X. Valdes accept Ryckman's "Creativity Award" in the ARTS Lab gDome for Ryckman's "Wander" film (on screen).



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