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Neumont College of Computer Science was founded in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2003, to fill the growing national demand for industry-ready technology professionals by offering bachelor’s degree in three years that immerses students in a rigorous, project-based curriculum. This blog serves as a platform to publish and share, news, reviews, and stories from Utah's best kept tech secret. 

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Blog

Neumont College of Computer Sciences's official blogs shares the stories of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff to illustrate the Neumont experience. 

 

Filtering by Category: Faculty

Inside the software and game development bachelor's degree with program chair Ray Maple

Neumont College of Computer Science

Software & Game Development Program Chair Ray Maple sat down with Admissions Manager Jason Thompson for a 30-minute livestream on YouTube to chat about the game development industry, learning game development at Neumont College of Computer Science, and what it takes to succeed in that competitive field. 

You can watch the full video on our YouTube channel.

Ray has over 20 years of experience developing games. He has worked at small game studios, "Indies before we called them 'indies,'" Ray jokes. And he has worked at large companies like Disney working to develop games like Disney Infinity 1, 2, and 3.

After developing games for so long, Ray made the switch to teaching. He brings experience from making game engines to programming game play. "I feel like I've seen it all," says Ray. "I've done everything..I can show these students how to build a game from the ground up."

Watching students grow and learn from the beginning is the most rewarding part of his current job. He says watching students be creative and do more as they learn more is what keeps him going. 

The game development program at Neumont covers C, C++, C#, and game engines in addition to artificial intelligence, shading, characters, physics, and more. 

If you would like to earn a bachelor's degree in software and game development at Neumont, complete your Application for Admission now. 

Neumont College of Computer Science VP Academic Operations Tim Clark Named Utah Association for Career and Technical Education Business Leader of the Year

Neumont College of Computer Science

Neumont College of Computer Science congratulates Tim Clark on being named the Utah Association for Career and Technical Education Business Leader of the Year. Clark currently serves as Neumont’s Vice President of Academic Operations and was presented the award in conjunction with the Utah ACTE Mid-Winter Conference, held at Jordan High School in Sandy on Friday, February 2, 2018.

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Utah ACTE is the largest professional association serving educators in the career and technical education profession in the state of Utah.

Denise Abbott, Utah ACTE awards chair, said Clark was “chosen for his dedication and commitment to teachers and students of career and technical education. We are impressed with his efforts to increase and enhance career and technical education by providing such excellent leadership and service to the community.”

Clark has spent 14 years as a professional in the IT world. He has held a range of positions in the IT chain of command from technical support to software architect up to CIO for an eight-campus university located in Southeast Asia.

Clark is also a Neumont alumnus, graduating as valedictorian from the institution’s first cohort in 2006. He has been a Neumont instructor as well as program chair for the Bachelor's Degree of Science in Web Design & Development.

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“Tim represents all the best parts of Neumont,” President Aaron Reed, Ed.D., explained. “He has a passion for computer science education, a love of teaching and a desire to share that knowledge and passion with others. We are honored to have him as an integral part of our leadership at Neumont, and congratulate him for being honored as Utah ACTE’s Business Leader of the Year.”

For more than three years, Clark has spent time outside of his Neumont responsibilities teaching at Utah ACTE’s summer and winter conferences, and this year recruited additional members of Neumont’s leadership and staff to help train career and technical educators; including Neumont President Aaron Reed, Ed.D.; Ben Fletcher, vice president of information systems and program chair of the Bachelor of Science in Information Systems; Tom Beatty, program chair of the Bachelor of Science in Web Design & Development; and Josh Krebs, computer science instructor. Neumont’s participation accounts for 25% of the Utah ACTE tech training sessions at the winter conference. 

Meet Computer Science Chair Kellie Thompson

Neumont University

From “algorithm enchantress” Ada Lovace to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, there are many stories of women in the tech industry whose talent, skill and brilliance have done incredible things for technology.

However it's well-established that there are not enough women working in technology today. Especially when you consider that in 1984, 37 percent of computer science graduates were women compared to only 18 percent today. 

We sat down with Kellie Thompson, the new chair of Neumont University's Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree to talk about women in tech, her 15 years of experience in the industry, the value of failing, and her love of animals.

(This interview has been edited for clarity and content.) 

NU: Thanks for taking the time to meet. Let’s talk a little bit about your path to Neumont, and computer science in general. 

KT: Yes, I love technology. Originally I wanted to work in tech as a veterinarian. I followed my Mom and moved to Northern California. As I worked in the veterinarian field as a technician, I decided that I really loved animals but I didn’t want to be a vet. My mom was a computer programmer, she did RPG and she told me, "Don’t go into programming." 

So I did, (laughs) and I’m glad I did. I love the problem solving, the constant learning and got my degree in Computer Science from Cal State Hayward. I failed one of my first tests in school and wondered if I should continue. But it was okay, as I’ve gotten older I better understand that failure is learning. 

There are a lot of opportunities for women in tech and a lot of us are trying to figure out the puzzle as to why they are not [more women taking advantage of the opportunities]. For example, I’m not a morning person, but the world seems to be more geared to morning people. And the same thing is happening in the workforce – it is so geared towards men. So I had to look at the puzzle, and I’m still trying to figure it out, but how could I make it work for not just me but other women.  

NU: Are there certain things that need to be done to make women feel more comfortable?

KT: You look at the numbers, and 90-plus percent of tech is men, that includes the leadership. But there are so many of the traits and characteristics we could all benefit from having more influence of women in this workforce and these leadership positions. One thing we could all do better is to reinforce positive behavior and look at the contribution of the individual instead of a person’s gender. I say I learned about the kind of boss I wanted to be a lot by working for people and learning what not to do. 

NU: Not to go negative in the interview, but are you willing to share a few examples? 

KT: I’ve seen lot in this industry, from the Dotcom bubble to experiencing sexism first-hand in the workforce. When I started in what I thought was my first ‘tech’ job, I had moved to the east coast, and it turned out to be more of a job as a secretary. That wasn’t for me. They had some very old ideas about the roles women should play in leadership and technology. I was told I was not qualified for positions and the main reason was that I am a woman. 

NU: That seems crazy to think about people saying and believing. How did you handle the hostility? 

KT: Looking back, I didn’t think about it or how it was playing out. Where I worked, for most of my life, I was one of, if not the only woman – but like I said, I didn’t think about it as much as I just worked hard, learned, created, and kept my eye on the prize. 

NU: So along the lines of being one of the only women in tech at your job, I’ve been reading a lot about the pipeline to these jobs – that there just aren’t as many women to choose from by the time it gets to the workforce. The non-profit Girls Who Code reported that about 74 percent of young girls express interest in STEM fields and computer science, but by the time they are deciding what to study, there’s already been a drastic drop off in that pool. Is there something we should be doing different, earlier in their development? 

KT: It makes me think about the larger issue of gender, and then something so simple as their toys. I mean, I love Barbie, sure, Barbie’s great—but how much problem solving is Barbie doing? You give a boy a truck, blocks – what does he do? He builds and creates and problem solves. He probably makes mistakes and figures it out. Our girls need to see it’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, the problem-solving piece of Neumont’s curriculum is one of the things that influenced my decision to come here to teach. 

NU: Can you elaborate a little bit more about that?

KT: I like Neumont’s curriculum: the problem solving, the opportunities to create, and the hands-on approach. I like that instructors have flexibility within the curriculum to use their experience and passion to help these bright minds – many who are smarter than me – make valuable contributions to society.  

NU: Wow. That's a great point! Thanks so much for you time today. It's been great meeting you.