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Virtual Reality, UAT, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain Technology, ChatGPT

11 Min Read

Taking a Leap: Emerging Technology at UAT

Since the last leap year the ever-evolving landscape of technology has witnessed remarkable advancements that have reshaped the way we perceive and engage with the world. As we step into the next phase of progress, it's worth reflecting on the transformative journey of the last four years and acknowledging the standout technologies that have made significant leaps and how University of Advancing Technology (UAT) has evolved with the industry.


Blockchain technology, defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology as a distributed digital ledger of cryptographically-signed transactions that are grouped into blocks. Each block is cryptographically linked to the previous (making it tamper evident) after validation and undergoing a consensus decision. As new blocks are added, older blocks become more difficult to modify (creating tamper resistance). New blocks are replicated across copies of the ledger within the network, and any conflicts are resolved automatically using established rules. Blockchain, as we know it today, has concepts that can be traced back as far as 1979 to computer scientist Ralph Merkle, who patented his idea known as the Merkle tree that provides data structure for verifying individual records. More recently, cryptocurrency was introduced in 2009 and the blockchain concept was validated, launching this type of technology to the front of innovation.

In the last for years, interest in using blockchain technology in industries other than cryptocurrency has surged prompting UAT to incorporate a Blockchain module to our Graduate Degree options. Professor Rawad Habib states about the module “UAT has a very unique Blockchain path for its Master students. Module related to Blockchain technology covers foundational concepts such as distributed ledgers, cryptography, consensus mechanisms, and the practical implementation of Blockchain solutions. Also, we have a powerful Blockchain coding class.The relevance of Blockchain has grown significantly due to its transformative potential across various industries. Originally introduced as the underlying technology for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, blockchain has evolved into a decentralized and secure ledger system with applications extending beyond finance.The Blockchain graduate module would likely go deep into the theoretical foundations, practical implementations, and the broader impact of Blockchain technology.”



ChatGPT is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) large language model that’s current version was launched in November 2022 by OpenAI. This new technology has created a buzz around AI and its capabilities. ChatGPT’s ability to learn from the user and create has caused some mixed feeling about the technology and how it can and will be used.At UAT, we embrace new technologies like ChatGPT but also use it’s controversies to ensure our students are using it, and other technologies ethically.

Professor Craig Bellanger explained Instructors generally take a positive-minded, open approach to the uses of Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT in classes. Professor Dapzury Valenzuela, for example, encourages students to use them to help generate ideas for Student Innovation Project as well as identify market gaps and research queries. In my own classes, LLMs are used for providing story ideas and writing prompts that students can have fun with.

Our overall approach is cautious, though. If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that nothing about AI is static, and we can expect both forward leaps and setbacks as the tech evolves around us. We’re very clear to students that using LLMs comes with an ethical responsibility on their part; acknowledgement of use followed by attribution is expected of everyone. Another important message regarding their use is that students are always expected to do their own work—it’s never okay for a student to allow an AI to do their thinking for them or turn in work generated by an LLM.”

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3D Printing

3D printing has been around since the 1980’s beginning in Japan when Hideo Kodama was looking to develop a rapid prototyping system, but it wasn’t until the 2010’s that it became a main stream technology, becoming a billion dollar industry.

UAT’s Digital Maker and Fabrication (DMF) degree ensures students have access to the latest and greatest printers and printing technology. Professor Ryan Murray described the newest technology in the DMF Lab “The new technology in the maker lab has helped to keep our students using the latest in 3D printing. The newest addition is the Bambu Labs X1- Carbon. This printer has so many neat features, the first being the automatic material system. This holds four colors of filament and can change colors in the middle of the print for multi color parts. This printer uses a lidar camera and AI to make sure everything is running smoothly. If something goes wrong, it will automatically pause the print saving material. It is also fast, allowing our students to test more designs.” 



Haptic technology, defined by Merriam-Webster as the use of electronically or mechanically generated movement that a user experiences through the send of touch as part of an interface (as on a gaming console or smartphone), has been around since the 1970's. Initially implemented as a part of the gaming experience, haptics has grown through the years and more recently we've seen phone companies incorporate it into their products. UAT Professor Jake Perrine describes how UAT uses and will impact the haptic technology industry.

“The field of haptics continues to grow and is now being implemented into all different kinds of products. This is adding a whole extra dimension of feedback to the user experience across products. We can see this especially in the Virtual Reality (VR) space, where haptic gloves and vests are being developed to be used as accessories with whichever VR headset you may have. These haptic accessories open up a whole new level of immersion and functionality that we can utilize. At UAT we will use, analyze, and innovate many of the different haptic devices we see in the market today. All students at UAT are updated with the trends in the haptic space and will be completely ready for what comes next!”




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