The Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies is an transdisciplinary program at Miami University that examines how digital media is disrupting traditional disciplines. Through teaching, research, and experiential opportunities, AIMS is an example of liberal education in a 21st century world.
The program began in 1996 and is one of the oldest new media programs in the country. Begun with $1 million seed money from Procter & Gamble, the program has grown in size from one course in 1996 to nearly 30 in 2010.
AIMS offers a major, two minors (one in interactive media and the other in game studies), and a thematic sequence, all of which serve nearly 300 students. AIMS faculty are in every division of Miami University and our students share a similar breadth.
AIMS research includes, but certainly isn’t limited to the e-commerce, computational art, digital humanities, visualization, rapid prototyping, game design, physical computing, web development, game development, game studies, design thinking, usability, internet and social media marketing, virtual and augmented reality, mobile computing, and mechatronics, just to name a few active areas of interest.
AIMS weaves hands-on experiential, team-based, learning into as many courses as possible. All AIMS Minors and Majors participate in Armstrong Interactive, a client-based consulting class, that delivers real interactive solutions to paying corporate clients. Past clients include: P&G, Bank of America, Convergys, Cablevision, HP, Cintas, Gensler, Weber-Shandwick, Cardinal Health, J Peterman, The Tibetan Government in Exile, and various startups.
AIMS’ Game Design, Development, and Studies Center was recently (2010) ranked by Princeton Review to be in the top 10% of game programs across the United States.
AIMS differs from traditional departments and programs in that the faculty are both part of AIMS as well as part of the different divisions of Miami University. AIMS is integrated in all of the divisions, as a horizontal program, because we recognize that “the flat university” is a model that is at the heart of the future for higher education. The networked world expects, what IDEO calls “the T-Person”, with both breadth of knowledge and experience married with some area of specialty. AIMS students work with students of all disciplines, are taught by faculty from all perspectives, and will have experience working with industry and non-profits on actual projects.
AIMS creates a learning environment where designers, developers, business students, writers, and new media communicators learn to work collaboratively, with respect, to build solutions to important problems.
AIMS is funded through a generous gift of nearly $15 million from C. Michael Armstrong and Anne Armstrong and $1.75 million gift from John Smale.
The Armstrong gift was honored with a special event in March 2008. (Follow this link to see the stunning picture book commemorating the event)
If you are a prospective student and would like to schedule some time to see our facilities and talk with our faculty, please contact us.
AIMS Mission Statement
The Armstrong Interactive Media Studies Institute (AIMS) develops new approaches in the creation and application of digital technologies that empower individuals and organizations to invent, innovate, and collaborate in novel ways. The AIMS Institute seeks to overcome existing barriers to creativity and interaction that are imposed by geography; the mediums of delivery, exploration, and creation; and institutional structures. Faculty are involved in cutting edge research and application, engaging Miami students in significant global academic and market projects, on-line and in real-time. The AIMS Institute is transdisciplinary, fusing teaching, research, and service into expansive, yet individualized learning.