CUNY School of Professional Studies takes Second Place in Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge

On March 24, 2011, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and its collaborative partners were awarded second place in the A-1 Assisted Training category of the Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge for their Hurricane Shelter Simulation. The Challenge is a global competition, conducted by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory Simulation and Training Technology Center to explore innovative and interactive solutions in virtual environments.

Virtual worlds are simulated 3-D environments that recreate the realities of physical environments, where users can use avatars to take part in simulated activities that mimic real world activities. The approximately four dozen competitors in this year’s field pushed the boundaries of technology in their use of artificial intelligence and realism in rendering authentic environments.

SPS’s four-hour Hurricane Shelter Simulation experience is modeled on a real school building in Brooklyn, and learners open, run, and close the shelter, working independently or in small teams of three to five players.  This 3-D virtual rehearsal and training simulation helps City employees practice their shelter management skills and apply problem-solving strategies in a realistic environment. “Our feedback suggests that the cooperative experience of playing and being scored as a small group is more effective than a single-player experience,” says Andrew Boyarsky, Project Director at the School of Professional Studies, CUNY Graduate School and University Center.

More information on the Federal Virtual World’s Challenge can be found at:


The CUNY School of Professional Studies (SPS) serves New York City’s dynamic marketplace by providing timely, innovative and high-quality programs of study designed to address new or unmet needs.  Drawing on CUNY’s nationally and internationally renowned faculty and practitioners, as well as industry and education partners, SPS offers a wide range of graduate and undergraduate programs, including CUNY’s first fully online degree programs.

Press Contact:
Laura Jack