CGT students to benefit from Adobe partnership
Frank Garofalo shows off his CGT411 group project on a touch screen being developed by another undergraduate group.
A simple inquiry to Adobe by a group of Kellen Maicher's computer graphics technology undergraduates has led to a big reward for the department.
Purdue is now one of a select group of universities chosen to participate in the Adobe Education Developer Partnership, which will give students access to products, education, and training previously available only to industry pros.
"We are very honored to be among the first group of universities to be a part of this new partnership," Maicher says. "The benefits — both tangible and intangible — are invaluable and would not have been possible without the initiative of a great group of students."
Other universities in the partnership include Georgia Tech, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon.
Maicher says that Purdue caught Adobe's eye thanks to the work of members of the senior capstone course CGT 411 in the spring 2008 semester. The group — Frank Garofalo (pictured with the program he helped create), Alex Porter, Adam Christ, and Brian McCreight — led a development team to create an application with the then-new Adobe AIR technology. Adobe AIR allows developers to use the popular ActionScript platform to quickly build robust Rich Internet Applications capable of reaching a much broader audience.
The students were working on cgCentral, an application that uses Adobe AIR to consolidate course information and simulation data for the senior capstone course CGT 411. When the team wanted to obtain some promotional materials for the project, they contacted Adobe, who was so taken with the students' work that a company representative contacted Maicher about entering into the partnership.
"Adobe was impressed that they used AIR technology, but most impressed with the students' ability to use AIR, which had no documentation," he says. "They had to dig up all the information themselves."
The three-year partnership, which has the possibility of being extended, includes a number of educational benefits. These include:
- Two complimentary on-campus faculty training seminars annually on Adobe emerging technology products such as Adobe Flex and AIR.
- A special grant of a 50-seat license of Adobe Master Collection and two years of maintenance.
- Complimentary upgrades on granted software.
- Opportunity to beta test and offer feedback on new and emerging Adobe products.
- Networking opportunities with Adobe professionals and students at other universities in the partnership.
- Discounts with third-party resources, such as Peachpit publications, Lynda.com, and many others.
- Participation in the annual Adobe Design Achievement Awards, a competition for all full-time undergraduate and graduate students that showcases student work created with Adobe products and connects them with career contacts in the design, interactive media, and video and motion picture industry. The group attended the November ceremony in San Francisco.
- Student and faculty recognition through articles and spotlights on the Adobe Education Developer Connection.
The undergraduate team received their bachelor's degrees in May, but Garofalo and McCreight continue their work as CGT graduate students working with the Adobe partnership.