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TSYS School of Computer Science Systems Applied Games IT M.S. Applied

TSYS School of Computer Science

Creating the GEMS Institute

Purpose

To obtain approval to create a GEMS Institute as an outreach and research center of Columbus State University.

Background

  • In the Defense Appropriation Bill for FY2010 the TSYS School of Computer Science at Columbus State University received $1.6-million in funding to develop a Cognitive Map-Based Modeling and Simulation for Tactical Decision Support.
  • The Army's Research Development Test and Evaluation Command is the administrative agency within the Department of Defense responsible for administering the funds appropriated.
  • The funding authority for this project has been released enabling the University to proceed with the project.
  • Shortly after the TSYS School of Computer Science first became involved in Project STEADI (March 2008) and the development of a Graduate-level Certificate in Modeling and Simulation, it recognized the opportunity and need to create an organization associated with Columbus State University with strong links to the School of Computer Science to compete for funding and federal grant money in the rapidly growing and lucrative technologies of games, modeling and simulation; ergo, the concept for a GEMS Institute was borne.

Proposal

  • The forthcoming availability of the long-awaited funding for the tactical decision support project offers an important and appropriate venue to announce the formation of Columbus State University's GEMS Institute.
  • No additional funding is required to establish the GEMS Institute; however, the intention is to use funding provided for future projects to encourage separate federal and/or Georgia State funding to build a facility to house the institute.
  • Staffing for the GEMS Institute will be provided from the current faculty of the TSYS School of Computer Science and personnel hired to support the ongoing tactical decision support project.
  • Forming the GEMS Institute now can be accomplished without any additional resources. More importantly, in sends a strong message to the entire defense community, especially Fort Benning, that Columbus State University is committed to further develop its competencies as a contributor to the area of serious games, modeling and simulation. Likewise, it sends a similar message to the state that the University is actively engaged in supporting the state's efforts to attract developing companies within the entertainment industry to Georgia and the Chattahoochee Valley Region.

Recommendations

  • Approve the formation of the Games, Entertainment, Modeling and Simulation (GEMS) Institute as outlined in the attached paper.
  • Approve the Press Release as attached.
  • Approve scheduling a press conference to announce the formation of the GEMS Institute to coincide with the Kickoff Meeting for the Tactical Decision Support Project. (The place and time TBD)
  • Approve the staff positions for the Institute as attached.

What is the GEMS Institute?

The GEMS Institute is a nonprofit, multi-disciplinary games, entertainment modeling and simulation collaborative research and education outreach managed through and collocated with the TSYS School of Computer Science at Columbus State University (CSU) in Columbus, Georgia. Its primary focus is applied research for the defense industry and commercial applications involving modeling, simulation, games and entertainment technologies. Strong collaborative relationships exist between the GEMS Institute and the Army's Maneuver Battle Lab and the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCOE) at Fort Benning, Georgia. A major area of interest for the GEMS Institute is providing applied research in these dynamic and rapidly growing technologies for the MCOE and the many Army research agencies who are tenants at Fort Benning.