Miami University’s distinguished Armstrong Interactive Media Studies (AIMS) program is unveiling its new Digital Innovation Center in San Francisco.
“This was 10 years in the making,” says Glenn Platt, C. Michael Armstrong Professor and AIMS co-director. “In 2001, we started holding our board meetings in San Francisco, because we knew that was the direction we needed, and wanted to take the AIMS program. Instead of continually bringing the Bay Area to Oxford, it was time to take Oxford to the Bay Area.”
Established through a $14.7 million commitment from Miami University alumnus and former CEO of AT&T, Michael Armstrong ’61, AIMS is an interdisciplinary program that develops new approaches in the creation and use of digital technologies that empower individuals and organizations to invent, innovate and collaborate in novel ways.
Billed as one of the “top six programs to watch,” along with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), by Electronic Gaming Monthly, the AIMS program spans academic divisions across campus.
Beginning in the spring, students will be able to enroll at the AIMS Digital Innovation Center in San Francisco. The majority of coursework will entail internships at technology companies in the Bay Area and processing the students’ practical experiences. Other coursework will consist of lectures by leading industry experts and rising stars of digital innovation.
“Part of the AIMS foundation is thinking and learning outside of the classroom, and that’s not done explicitly through emerging technologies,” explains Platt. “It’s done through emerging behaviors, emerging communities and emerging opportunities. And part of that experience is practical, hands-on learning.”
The southern San Francisco Bay Area is home to the world’s largest technology corporations and highest concentration of high-tech workers in the United States, earning the region the nickname Silicon Valley.
“We’re building a bridge and a presence from Oxford,” continues Platt. “We believe our students will not only get something from being out there, but they will bring something as well. Besides expertise in interactive media, our students have the perspective of the heartland, and that’s something of value to the companies we’re partnering with. We are looking forward to many good years in San Francisco.”
The program is now accepting applications for the spring (2012) semester.