I have a dream – German students plan their futures
Dozens of new courses of study emerge every semester in German universities. Many of them combine subjects like business, communications and cultural studies like sports, media or event management. In courses such as Transmedia and Interactive Media, creative students merge the different interfaces of art, film and technology. Among the booming subjects with solid future potential are International Communications and Photonics. We talked to three students about their projects, interests and visions of the future:
Creating virtual parasites: interactive media in Ludwigsburg
“If I want, I can make the ball fall upward. We can play God in our little world and dictate the laws of nature.” This is how Anna-Katharina Brinkschulte describes her latest project. The 27-year-old is a game producer working on an animated game called Globosome that people can download as an app to their iPhones or iBooks. Black, parasitic herbivore balls roll through a hilly virtual landscape with giant, long-stemmed plants and trees, getting fatter and fatter as they eat and move on. Users can study the behavior of these parasitic munching balls and test just how much exploitative voracity the virtual ecosystem can tolerate. The team of developers consists of students at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, who received the App Award from the Center for Art and Media for their idea and implementation of the game.
“We have a very diverse team here. Sascha Geddert, the game director, developed the story. Then we have a game designer who computes how much a ball is allowed to munch until the next action occurs. Then there is the sound designer, who is responsible for the accompanying acoustics.” Anna-Katharina's lively voice betrays a mixture of enthusiasm and professionalism when she speaks about the project. She doesn't need to mention that she is about to fulfill a dream of hers. You can feel it. “This is the perfect thing for me. As the producer it draws on my organizational skills because I am responsible for the whole team, the hardware, the software, the working contracts and the meetings. On the other hand, the technical element fascinates me as well – I first began with mechanical engineering after finishing secondary school.” When asked about how she envisions her future, she replied, “I had an interview today at Transmedia Games and will be starting next week.”
Professional light bundling: photonics in Munich
“When I was studying engineering physics I became interested in where light comes from. The special thing about light is that we can see it but can't touch it.” Ceyhun Kesin completed his physics degree in less than four years and is now in his third semester of Photonics. When we consider that he is only 23, the word overachiever comes to mind. For his thesis, Ceyhun decided to focus his attentions on laser technology applications. He developed a system for moving laser beams in such a precise manner that they could be better used during eye operations, for example. At the moment he is experimenting with fiber optics at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich. “You shoot a laser at a fiber optic cable and generate an optical grid. The fibers can then be used as an optical measurement system. You can measure temperatures and elongation with it.”
Sometimes Ceyhun Kesin sounds as though he is speaking at a conference. The latest technology, which he is researching in his university laboratory, is being applied in airplane surveillance, for instance. Since the institution works closely with numerous companies and has gotten positive feedback from industry, his professor Johannes Roths sees the student's future potential as very promising indeed. “We collaborate with mid-size companies that develop laser systems for scientific purposes and material processing. These companies are also working on high-end microscopes that will help further explore the structure of cells. We are expecting developments in our field that match the ones they experienced in electrical engineering 50 years ago.”
Peace researchers of the future: international relations in Berlin
“I just had a seminar on the subject of Staging War. It focused on the media reality that we live in. How does war photography work, or embedded journalism? Those journalists are part of the war machinery because they are forced to rely on the military.” Ivo Schnipkoweit is 27 and has completed his bachelor in Social and Islamic Studies. For four semesters now he has been studying International Relations in Berlin where three institutes have joined forces to provide the course: the Humboldt University, the Free University of Berlin and Potsdam University.
Ivo considers analytical skills an important requirement for the course. It enables him to see conflicts, understand their various stages and recognize the global correlations. He would eventually like to work in peace and conflict research but is currently working on an exchange program that he himself founded and organizes: Nica Netz, a choir exchange between Berlin and Nicaragua. “I learn a lot of organizational skills with the project, things like bookkeeping, public relations work, project management and how to attract sponsors.” They are skills one doesn't necessarily learn in a typical course of study, but which are just as important as factual knowledge and analytical thinking.
lives and works in Munich. Her journalism focuses on culture and society.
Translation: Kevin White
Copyright: Goethe-Institut e. V., Internet-Redaktion
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