The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences has announced the creation of the Dr. Randy Pausch Scholarship Fund, established to support students pursuing careers in game design, development and production. Through the scholarship fund, the AIAS says it will award four $2,500 scholarships to students attending accredited universities.
The scholarship fund is named in honor of Dr. Randy Pausch
, professor of computer science, human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University, who is currently battling metastatic pancreatic cancer.
The AIAS says it wants to recognize Dr. Pausch, a co-founder of CMU's Entertainment Technology Center for his teachings, sabbaticals at Walt Disney Imagineering and Electronic Arts, and consultation with Google on user interface design.
AIAS will begin accepting applications for the scholarship program following the 2008 D.I.C.E Summit. A scholarship committee comprised of AIAS board members Rich Hilleman, Electronic Arts; Don Daglow, Stormfront Studios and Mike Capps, Epic Games, along with the University of Southern California's Chris Swain and Carnegie Mellon's (former AIAS board member) Jesse Schell will select the recipients.
The AIAS collaborated with Bing Gordon, chief creative officer, Electronic Arts, to establish the fund. The AIAS will also donate $1 to the fund for every Academy member's vote for the 2008 Interactive Achievement Awards.
AIAS president Joseph Olin said, "It makes sense that the Academy's first scholarship fund honor Dr. Randy Pausch, who has been an inspiration to those who want to be involved in making great games. We hope these scholarships may help the next Will Wright or Mike Morhaime get their start. This new effort is a wonderful opportunity for the video game industry to support its future by providing a foundation in academics."