East Hartford, Conn.-based VRSim has developed and manufactured virtual reality products in Connecticut for more than 20 years, most recently making computer simulation programs that help to “virtually” train people for jobs in the trades and health care. Now, the University of Saint Joseph is partnering with VRSim to train its USJ computer science, mathematics and science students in simulation and modeling development concepts and tools—a market that is growing in demand across a variety of industries.
“Serious Gaming and Real-World Simulation,” the first in a three-part educational series on the need for simulation and the nature of simulation software, was held at USJ on Nov. 15 led by VRSim’s CEO Matthew Wallace and Software Development Manager Alejo Fudge.
USJ students in the computer science, mathematics, science and nursing programs, as well as several faculty members, attended the educational session to learn more about VRSim and its work in simulation and modeling development.
“Successful programs in computer science require strong industry partnerships to facilitate student exposure to real-world applications of advanced technologies. VRSim is a leader in virtual reality training simulations for the skilled trades,” said Tom Calabrese, Ph.D., associate professor of Mathematics and Computer Science and program director of Computer Science. “USJ’s Mathematics and Computer Science faculty are excited to work with VRSim CEO and President Matthew Wallace and his team to provide our students with cooperative learning opportunities focused on simulation and modeling. VRsim and USJ have forged a plan to bring complementary pieces of our respective organizations together with a shared passion for this incredible technology.”
“As a longstanding leader in virtual reality training systems, VRSim is pleased to be part of the cooperative education program at USJ,” said Wallace. “We look forward to deepening our relationship with both the program and the university in the coming years. It’s not just about collaboration on paper; we are pleased to be actively involved with the university on a practical level. This effort to bring more student focus to serious gaming, modeling, and virtual reality-based simulation is exciting and beneficial to our business.
“I am also delighted to serve on the USJ computer science board, where I hope to contribute my insights and expertise to help shape the future of education and research. We genuinely appreciate the university’s unwavering support in advancing our shared mission of pushing the boundaries of pedagogy and innovation.”
USJ President Rhona Free had the chance to witness VRSim’s technology recently when she attended an open house at the company’s East Hartford headquarters. VRSim offered a demonstration of its technology, including its immersive painter training to prepare workers for the for the building and aerospace trades. President Free donned goggles and gear to see firsthand how this technology can be used in healthcare training through VRSim’s VRNA Skills Lab for certified nursing assistants (CNAs.) VRSim also debuted its newest product, VRNA EMS, which provides immersive training for emergency medical professionals and First Responders.
“This technology is fascinating,” said President Free. “We are inspired by the latest cutting-edge technology developed by VSRim and are excited about incorporating this immersive hands-on experience into our computer science curriculum for the benefit of our students and faculty. We hope the training sessions with the VRSim teams will encourage our students to consider capstone projects and internships with VRSim to further their knowledge and exposure to this technology.”
USJ will be incorporating this learning in course selections and is making several curriculum changes to include instruction in this technology.
In addition to sharing his knowledge with USJ students in the educational series, Matthew Wallace will also join USJ’s computer science board to represent his industry in future curricular planning.
“Real-time virtual simulation programming is one of the hottest areas in the industry,” said Dr. Calabrese. “Considering how the need to build real time simulations is projected to grow, our interest in these areas is considerable. I am very excited about this partnership.”