UW-Green Bay to present first Online Open Course, on app and game development

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will launch its first-ever Local Open Online Course (LOOC) March 5, presenting “Beginning App & 2D Game Development” through May 28.

Offered as an offshoot of recently popularized Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), a LOOC provides a similar style of flexible, no-cost online instruction but on a more limited basis. While MOOCs may have thousands of students, this particular LOOC can accept 250 individuals.

“Beginning App & 2D Game Development” is open to any student, including those in high school, with at least high school-level algebra proficiency. The course focuses on entry-level app and game development, and is taught from a beginner’s perspective. It assumes no prior programming knowledge, although those with prior knowledge are welcome.

Taught by UW-Green Bay faculty members Ben Geisler and Peter Breznay, this LOOC is all about learning to program and develop video games and applications for mobile devices. By the end of the course, students will have created a completed game and a starter Android app. Students also will be introduced to a variety of platforms including XNA Game Studio, Eclipse (Java) and the ADK.

In addition to learning and enrichment, students who take “Beginning App & 2D Game Development” have the chance to earn college credit through successful completion of the course. Individuals who earn a passing grade will be waived past UW-Green Bay’s Computer Science 201, a three-credit course that is the first course in the University’s Computer Science curriculum.

Course instructors Geisler and Breznay are industry veterans with a breadth and depth of academic and technical knowledge and expertise. Geisler has worked at four AAA game development houses and has worked on more than six best-selling games, in addition to having past involvement with publisher relations. His past credits include Soldier of Fortune 2, X-Men Legends, Jedi Knight 2, Quake 4, The Incredible Hulk: UD, Prey 2, Prototype, and others. Geisler has also created business applications for Android and iOS devices, and has published book articles on Artificial Intelligence and papers in trade journals. He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin.

Breznay has been an associate professor of computer science at UW-Green Bay since 1999. He earned his M.A. in Latin language and literature and M.S. in mathematics at the ELTE University in Budapest, Hungary. He also earned a B.S. in computer science and Ph.D. in computer science and mathematics at the University of Denver. Other teaching positions have included those at the University of Denver, Ohio State University, the University of Economics in Budapest, and the National Management Training Institute in Budapest. Breznay has published numerous articles including “Theory of Mind in Artificial Neural Networks: Toward A Science of Consciousness,” “Tightly Connected Hierarchical Interconnection Networks for Parallel Processors” and many others.

For more information or to register for “Beginning App & 2D Game Development, visit www.uwgb.edu/compsci/looc/.

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