2 Weeks / Credit & Noncredit Options

Animation & Game Design Program

Orientation and move-in is on Saturday, July 15. Last day of classes is Friday, July 28.

Students will be registered for CPS 185, Introduction to Animation and Game Development. Summer college students will study alongside undergraduates in this condensed course format.

This summer program for high school students offers a highly visual, non-mathematical introduction to computing and computer programming. Our vehicle is the Alice development environment, which allows students without prior experience to rapidly create 3D virtual worlds like those seen in video games. Choose environments, populate them with features, creatures, and sounds, and animate these elements in simulated three-dimensional space to tell stories, play games, give interactive instructions, etc. Become the master of domains of your own creation!

Work in a small team creating virtual worlds for assignments and a final project, learning the principles of computer programming in the process. See the results of your efforts immediately. We aim to improve your skills in exact thinking, analysis/design, and problem-solving, while providing an enjoyable path to more formal study of computing and programming.

Credit and noncredit options:
Students interested in the program must indicate on their application whether they wish to be enrolled in the 3-credit or noncredit option. Students in the 3-credit option are required to submit a final project after formal instruction ends. Please note that students cannot switch between credit to noncredit options (or vice versa) once the program begins.

Required course supplies/materials:
NOTE: Students will be required to bring their laptop to class every day. Specific details re: the laptop are available here. Additionally, students should budget for the purchase of required course textbooks.

Topics covered include:

• Elementary Universal Computing Concepts
• Alice/3D Animation Basics
• Variables/Types/Expressions/Functions
• Conditional Execution
• Iteration (Looping) Constructs
• Methods
• Events and User Interfaces
• Structured Data
• Recursion
• Programming (particularly, Object-Oriented Programming) concepts in general
• Graphics/Animation in general (optionally, time permitting)

*Students must be 15 years of age by the orientation and move-in date.

Program Costs:

*Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees in March.

Students have the option to choose whether they take the course for credit.


  • Residential: $2,855
  • Commuter: $1,993


  • Residential: $4,275
  • Commuter: $3,413

Faculty Bio

Robert J. Irwin

Robert Irwin is a recently retired SU Faculty member from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University. He has served as Assistant Professor of Computer Science at SUNY Oswego, was visiting faculty at Hamilton College, and has also taught at Le Moyne College and Pace University. Prior to returning to academic life, Robert was a research engineer at TextWise, LLC., natural language processing specialists in Syracuse and the Director of Software Engineering for Applied Intelligence Systems, Inc., an expert systems development firm. He was also a member of the research staff at Riverside Research Institute and a project manager at Merrill Lynch in New York City. His chief research interests lie in theoretical computer science, and he has published in the areas of dynamical systems, high-order theory of computation, and artificial intelligence.