05 August. 2020
RISE “Gaming and Artificial Intelligence” Summer Scholars Program 2020
The Summer Scholars Program falls within the scope of RISE’s efforts to inspire talented young students in Cyprus to follow careers in Interactive media, Smart systems and Emerging technologies by exposing them to cutting-edge methods in these areas. At this year’s Summer Scholars Program, 23 young students from across the island enjoyed a full week of networking, coding and game development activities under the theme “Gaming and Artificial Intelligence” and were introduced to the latest methods and techniques in fields as exciting and diverse as artificial intelligence, visual sociology, computational cognition and ethics in AI.
The second RISE Summer scholars’ program was held from Monday July 20 to Friday July 24, at the PwC Cyprus Julia House in Nicosia and accommodated both remote and in person participation.
It was my pleasure to be part of this unique Summer Scholars Program on Computer Games and Artificial Intelligence for a second year. As always, this was a fantastic experience for myself, and I hope the rest of the participants feel the same. I would like to see the Summer Scholars program become a long-standing tradition that will keep attracting young resourceful and curious minds; we count on them to build a better, brighter future. We hope that the experience they had at RISE this year will prove valuable in their journey in life.
Dr Panayiotis Charalambous, V-EUPNEA MRG Leader and Summer Scholars program instructor.
Coding together, we become more powerful
The RISE 2020 Summer Scholars immersed themselves in workshops, team building exercises, and had a chance to learn common elements of game development such as 2D and 3D graphics, animation, audio and collision handling while also learning how artificial intelligence techniques can be applied in a game environment. Summer scholars mastered skills such as effective collaboration, communication and problem-solving techniques, and had the opportunity to be exposed to diverse topics and ideas from game-narrative design to coding, from ethical AI to entrepreneurship and network with their peers as well as experts and RISE researchers.
A RISE Summer Scholar commented, “I really liked the structure of the program, starting with intriguing introductions and presentations, then moving on to hands-on practice, and finally ending with the very interesting AI component. The instructors were visibly passionate about the topics, which was very motivating for me. My favorite part would have to be the Unity tutorials, because they were hands-on and interactive, and thus I learnt a lot about it in an intensive yet effective way.”
Notable topics covered at this year’s summer scholars program ranged from practical work and getting to create a space shooter game through UNITY to AI functions, AI ethics and entrepreneurship.
Apart from RISE researchers, scholars had a lecture on narrative game design from Alexandros Androus-Mitsis, Junior Narrative Designer at Wargaming.