Johns Hopkins Adds VR & AR To University Curriculum

The Immersive Storytelling & Emerging Technologies concentration to include VR, AR and AI in its Film & Media Masters of Arts Program this January.

John Hopkins University is no stranger to experimenting with new programs and technologies. For years the school has prided itself in its ability to progress with the times, especially in its Film & Media Master of Arts program which currently features the United States most diverse graduate group across gender, race and ethnicity. In fact, the infamous media program is actually composed of nearly 70% women and 80% people of color.

It’s this incredibly diverse group of talented students that will serve as the starting point for the university’s latest concentration, Immersive Storytelling & Emerging Technologies. Designed and organized by veteran VR/AR filmmaker Gabo Arora, ISET will focus entirely on creative cinematic storytelling in the digital medium including virtual reality, augmented reality and even artificial intelligence. Students will gain access to a wide variety of expensive tools normally out of reach to the average consumer in intimate classroom environments directed by instructors dedicated strictly to VR and AR technology. The new ISET concentration will also feature a tuition priced at a third of what’s currently being offered in similar programs at universities such as NYU and SoCal. 

“I began my journey in virtual reality filmmaking at the United Nations, with the goal of using this new and rich storytelling medium to create empathy for some of the world’s most pressing challenges. VR and AR can tell and teach with a depth that is unattainable in most other creative media,” said Arora. “The concentration, when combined with Johns Hopkins’ strong academic programs, will drive social impact across disciplines ranging from medicine to law and international relations.”

“With this new concentration and set of initiatives, we will create a space to explore some of the most pressing issues related to emerging technologies and immersive experiences as they relate to storytelling, artistic expression and social impact,” said Roberto Busó-García, Director, Film and Media Master of Arts and the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Film & Media at Johns Hopkins. “We aim to continue bridging the access gap between talented and visionary individuals from all walks of life and the industry at large.”

This new adoption of VR and AR technology won’t be limited to just the media arts program however. Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Lieber Institute for Brain Development will work in direct unison with the film and media program to utilize virtual reality as a tool for treating and diagnosing autism and schizophrenia, with other future projects on the way.

Looking for more information on this new concentration? Then you’ll definitely want to make your way to the JHU October 7th for a free, hands-on Immersive Media Conference spotlighting what students and other Baltimore residents can expect out of the program in the coming months.

Visitors can get a taste of the future programs and projects that will make up ISET, go hands-on with the technology they’ll soon be using and attend dozens of informative conferences headlined by such big industry names as Yelena Rachitsky, the creative producer and head of education at Facebook’s Oculus Story Studio, Barry Pousman, the CEO of VR production company Variable Labs and the United Nations’ New Media Specialist, and immersive filmmaker Jessica Brillhart just to name a few.

Register here to join in on the action this weekend.

About the Scout

Former Writer (Kyle Melnick)

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