Spotlight – Jason Carvalho

Jason CarvalhoA resident of Warwick, RI, Jason Carvalho is a graduate student working towards his M.S. in computer science. As a URI graduate, he is now giving back to the department by being a teaching assistant in multiple computer science classes. His current projects include game development and he wants to eventually work on real-time artificial intelligence projects.

Jason went into computer science knowing he wanted to make games from a young age. Although he did not have many opportunities to take computer science classes before college, the idea of creating a video game drove him to learn how to code early on. This drive has led him to his main project – an action role-playing game. “The game has evolved quite a bit since it was born, but it’s what drives the concepts I want to learn about.”

He has taken multiple art classes and has learned 3D design to make the game better. He has also worked on other games, taking away valuable knowledge of the engines involved with game development.

He plans on taking CSC 481, an artificial intelligence class, and CSC 436, which deals with database design. “I like the different options I have within the department and that I can discuss these easily with professors. They’re very friendly.” He also appreciates the various training he received as an undergrad. “Without the skills and standards I picked up in the undergrad program, I’d be lost as a graduate student.”
Jason went straight to the Master’s program to get more concepts under his belt before heading out into the industry and to expand his skillset so he would be qualified to work with projects he’s most interested in. He thinks choosing this path has given him a great advantage, “I can present my thesis work as part of my portfolio when applying for jobs, and as such will hopefully be able to find and land better jobs than I would without the Masters or the thesis work.”

He is also very active within the department, teaching graphics at the summer computer science camp for the past five years. Kids ages 12 to 17 can attend the 2-week computer graphics class. “Computer graphics isn’t a very intuitive topic but it’s great when kids come back and I can see how they’ve progressed.” Jason is also a co-founder of the new CS interest group, which was formed to provide a better community for computer science students within the department and to become a means for them to work on different projects .

After graduation, Jason is thinking of either going independent as a game developer, or working on other video game projects.