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TSYS School of Computer Science

TSYS School of Computer Science

The new GEMS Institute is an idea whose time has come. It represents an economic and academic driver for the entire community, an engine that benefits the University, the defense community, Fort Benning, and residents throughout the Valley Region.

GEMS Kickoff

Columbus State University Announces the Formation of a GEMS Institute

At the conclusion of today's kickoff meeting for the Defense Department's $1.6-million Tactical Decision Support Model project, Columbus State University's President Tim Mescon announced the formation of a Games, Entertainment, Modeling and Simulation Institute to be known as the GEMS Institute.

In his remarks to members of the project team, Dr. Mescon said, “the formation of the GEMS Institute is the culmination of a concept first envisioned during the summer of 2008 while working on the initial phase of developing a graduate level certificate curriculum in modeling and simulation supported by University System of Georgia ICAPP (Intellectual Capital Partnership Program) funding. It was apparent then that computer software programmers with modeling and simulation skills were going to be needed to support defense industry and Fort Benning workforce needs following BRAC. This is what drove the ICAPP funding. However, it was the designation of Fort Benning as the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCOE) that caused the University to focus on the many opportunities this new structure has created for us.”

The MCOE not only meant more defense contractors and more people and families coming into the Valley Region it also meant that Fort Benning was about to assume a greatly increased role in all things related to the maneuver force. Not only would Fort Benning remain responsible for Infantry training, doctrine, equipment, and weapons it also was about to assume responsibility for the same areas relative to the Armor force. With that in mind and the Army's stated growth of modeling and simulation in the training and operation of the ground force of the future Columbus State University viewed the MCOE as an opportunity to join with the defense establishment and Fort Benning as it had never done before.

Dr. Wayne Summers, the Chair of the TSYS School of Computer Science and the newly appointed Executive Director of the GEMS Institute observed, “By establishing the GEMS Institute, Columbus State University has taken its first steps in providing a structure to guide our research efforts in support of both the defense and entertainment industries. In 2008, Governor Perdue along with the Georgia legislature established a corporate tax environment that encouraged companies within the entertainment industry, especially games, to locate in Georgia. Likewise, the University wants to encourage and support the programmatic needs of these companies and furthermore we want them to locate in the Valley Region. This is one of the reasons we are collaborating with Flournoy Construction in the development of Benning Technology Park, former University property located adjacent to Sand Hill and only minutes away from the main gate into Fort Benning.”

The new GEMS Institute is an idea whose time has come. It represents an economic and academic driver for the entire community, an engine that benefits the University, the defense community, Fort Benning, and residents throughout the Valley Region.

GEMS Kickoff