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Metaverse, blockchain technology, driverless cars, digital twins, cybersecurity, and more. These are just some of the buzzwords that have been discussed and written about more and more in the last few years as society speeds toward an even more digitally-connected and advanced future. The adoption of technology and usage of virtual spaces was accelerated over the last two years due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as people adapted to remote work, play, socializing, shopping, and even healthcare.

As a specialized university for the digital economy, DigiPen (Singapore) has always been at the forefront of equipping students with timely, relevant skills to thrive in the digital age. Here are five such examples.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to a branch of computer science that focuses on enabling computers and machines to learn from experience, thus mimicking the problem-solving abilities of the human mind. Today, many organizations increasingly look to AI and machine learning to come up with data-driven decisions and solutions. There are multiple branches and subfields of AI, and DigiPen (Singapore) offers two dedicated modules, including one for Artificial Intelligence for Games and another for Machine Learning.

In the former, students learn the fundamentals of data structures and algorithms related to artificial intelligence in real-time interactive applications such as games. Topics include AI architecture, pathfinding, and reinforcement learning, among others. Students also get to apply what they have learned by implementing AI in the software engineering projects that they work on every trimester. These projects have to be written from scratch using C/C++, and students are not allowed to use middleware such as commercial or pre-existing engines when doing so.

As for the machine learning module, students learn the basic concepts of machine learning and how it can be implemented across various industry use cases. Students are introduced to a wide range of concepts and practical algorithms that are commonly used to pre-process data and extract useful patterns from large amounts of data.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR) refers to a real-time, interactive computer simulation that users can be fully immersed in. On the other hand, augmented reality (AR) refers to modifying the real-world environment and making it more interactive through the use of computer-generated digital content. With the world now looking ahead to the upcoming “metaverse,” or a future in which billions of people will be socially connected through online virtual worlds, the need for talent who can build and develop these types of simulated environments and experiences will continue to rise.

As part of the curriculum for DigiPen (Singapore)’s computer science majors, students learn the techniques and skills needed to design, develop, and implement these immersive virtual experiences. They gain a deep understanding of the technologies that enable VR and AR, as well as the development tools and frameworks necessary to build them. Students also get to apply their knowledge as they work in teams to create their own VR or AR applications.

Cloud computing

As more companies switch to cloud solutions, demand for cloud architects and engineers will rise. Many popular mobile applications such as Gmail, Netflix, and Facebook are implemented as cloud applications that can be accessed from a user’s device. In order to maintain these networks, many positions in cloud computing have opened up in recent years.

At DigiPen (Singapore), all computer science majors are given a practical and hands-on introduction to implementing such cloud computing services. They learn about cloud architecture, the various cloud service models available, cloud trends and best practices, and more — culminating in the ability to deploy the vast data processing and storage capabilities of the cloud to mobile devices.

A male DigiPen Singapore student sits and looks at a laptop

UI/UX design

Good user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design are crucial for businesses to cultivate customer loyalty, especially if they are operating in competitive fields such as app development, e-commerce, or financial services. After all, if something is tedious or complicated to use, a customer can easily switch over to a competitor.

In order to create effective and engaging experiences for users, design students from DigiPen (Singapore) undertake modules to learn about the entire UX/UI lifecycle, which includes human psychology, design principles, graphic design, prototyping techniques, user interface documentation, and evaluation methods. Additionally, students also take modules in user research and testing, learn about different research methods (including how to select test candidates and conduct focus groups), and acquire metrics-based analytical skills.

Data visualization

Living in the digital age inevitably means that a staggering amount of user data is being generated and captured every single minute. This is where learning data visualization skills comes in handy. Data or information visualization is the process of curating, analyzing, and presenting all these data points in a way that is meaningful and easy to understand.

At DigiPen (Singapore), design students gain a solid foundation in information visualization. They learn the methods for collecting and building data sets, as well as how to assess the quality of those data sets and select the optimal method for data visualization. By the end of the module, students are able to create insightful user research reports.

For more information about DigiPen (Singapore)’s curriculum, view our course catalog online.