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Technology Is Big at Texas State Universities

Not only is it one of the biggest states, but Texas universities are illustrating a large commitment to top-notch technology. While numerous student opportunities abound at the various Texas colleges and universities, there seems to be a trend toward all things digital, DVD, and dynamic! Take a look at how students are taking the tech route in class and for fun ...

Film Pioneers
The University of Texas at Arlington Department of Art and Art History's film program not only grooms young filmmakers who've been nominated for Student Academy Awards, but has also acquired an international reputation with student work being screened at film festivals in Cannes, Berlin, and the United States.

What makes the program stand out among universities in Texas and throughout the country, including graduate-level programs? For starters, students are allowed to jump in and take hands-on production classes as freshman, and progress through three (intro, intermediate, and advanced) classes so they can ultimately take on individual projects. Every two years, a fully-funded "Feature Film" emerges from the program, and is screened in Hollywood at the Director's Guild of America.

Some students at Texas state universities try to bring social issues to light through film. One such group is the students taking the "East Austin Stories" course at The University of Texas at Austin. It's an undergraduate documentary class in the school's radio-television-film department that creates short films about East Austin, an economically disadvantaged area. Not only did students take on real-world filmmaking, the class also gave the East Austin community a chance to share its many stories. DVDs of the film will be donated to the Austin History Center, as well as the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center.

A Hacker-Safe World, One College at a Time
Beyond fields like filmmaking and animation, another technology career that has emerged in the last few years is information security. While identity theft and computer crimes have been widely publicized problems, the University of Dallas in Irving is helping lead the way in educating students in the field of information assurance. That's why its among 64 academic institutions nationwide that has been deemed by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a "National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education" for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008.

There are four other Texas state universities that have the designation as well: Texas A&M, University of North Texas, University of Texas (Dallas), and University of Texas (San Antonio).

The goal of the program, says the NSA, is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education in information assurance (IA), and producing a growing number of professionals with expertise in the subject.

Techie Memories
Of course, technology encompasses more than coursework and code cracking at Texas universities. At Texas Christian University, the yearbook staff has taken memory-making to a whole new digital level, with its MTV-inspired creation. Last year's "Horned Frog Yearbook" was one of the nation's first yearbook DVDs done music video style, and came with the 480-page yearbook. The "Horned Frogs in Motion" is comprised of all video, music, and student sound-bytes, designed to be viewed not just on computer, but on any home DVD player.

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