Women dominating IMD program

IMD poster image

By Douglas Esser
For the second straight year, women lead in the number of the students admitted to the popular Interactive Media Design (IMD) major at University of Washington Bothell. Out of 32 admits for next fall, 20 are female and 12 are male.

Interactive Media Design adviser Keiko Miyamoto said the first two cohorts in the two-year program that started in 2013 were dominated by male students, but the third cohort that started last fall was female-dominated, “This is exciting that female students are moving into the technical, artistic major.”

It’s very competitive and definitely in demand, Miyamoto added. The major had 87 applications for the 32 spaces.

The popularity was evident in the crowd of supporters and interested students who attended IMD capstone presentations June 2 as 28 seniors in six teams presented their projects. Four are computer games; one is a mobile phone app; and one is an art installation with lights sounds and potted plants.

Photo: Plan-It: Disaster capstone team members, l-r, Amber Fusaro, Joni Roe, Anna Nguyen and Jeremiah Fansler.

All have something special, says Tyler Fox, the IMD studio manager, but they all “focus on understanding how users want to engage.”

The IMD major is supported by the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Majors graduate with a design portfolio that qualifies them for employment in digital interactive art, education, engineering and social media.

Many of the seniors already have jobs lined up, and some of their capstones projects will make an impact in the community.

Plan-It: Disaster is a game that teaches users how to prepare for a big earthquake. Other games are Grim Curiosities, a narrative game for girls; Embody, which brings attention to issues surrounding male body image; and Epoch, an adventure that empathizes with the stress of high school teens.

The TeenTix team is making a mobile app for the existing service that discounts arts tickets to teens in the Seattle area.

Nature’s Voice is an art installation with motion detection lights that invites people to touch plants and hear sounds generated electronically.

The 2016 grads are the second cohort of the two-year IMD major. (Photos by Hannah Dinero)