2008 Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education Recipients

Professors Robert Lindeman and Joshua Rosenstock

Professor Robert Lindeman

WPI is pleased to present the 2008 Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education to Professor Robert Lindeman of the Computer Science Department and Professor Joshua Rosenstock of the Humanities & Arts Department, for their collaborative and individual contributions to developing WPI’s Interactive Media & Game Development (IMGD) program.

Creating a curriculum that combines a deep treatment of the artistic and technical aspects of game development with significant cross-disciplinary group experiences is a major challenge. Professors Lindeman and Rosenstock have reconstructed their respective Technical Game Development and Artistic Game Development courses to run in parallel, with synchronized and complementary content. The artistic and technical students work side-by-side on a large project that mimics the working conditions in game studios, demanding individual expertise but also literacy and collaboration in all aspects of production. This approach to the teaching and learning of game development has little precedent at any university, and its pedagogical power is clear from the more sophisticated final projects. A student writes: “I have never taken a class that has improved that many skills and given me that much knowledge in such a short time.”

Professor Joshua Rosenstock

In his Essentials of Art course, Professor Rosenstock utilizes “conceptual art experiments,” a pedagogical device of his own invention inspired by current art practice. To stimulate students’ creativity and expression, he assigns experiments that range from installation art to performance art. He guides students to apply theoretical ideas to their artworks, to explain their ideas orally and in writing, and to provide and respond to peer critique. Reflecting on the experiments, a student writes: “[The] idea of leaving my comfort zone and going out on a limb with my art has stayed with me since, and has improved both my art and my way of looking at an artistic challenge.”

Throughout his work in developing the technical track of the IMGD program, Professor Lindeman has sought to create a balance between industry and academia, neither treating game development as a vocation nor as a purely academic exercise. A highlight is his initiative to co-teach the introductory core course with a practitioner from the game industry. The integration of the academic and industrial points of view, combined with project-based learning, has developed first year students’ conceptual understanding and their knowledge of the game development process.

WPI is proud to recognize Professor Lindeman’s and Rosenstock’s innovative and intentional approach to cross-disciplinary course design and the combination of theory and practice in their teaching by presenting them with the 2008 Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education.