LSU, State and City Partners Lure Gaming Giant Electronic Arts Inc. to Campus

A combination of lucrative tax incentives, talented workforce, strong educational foundation and teamwork among state, city and University partners convinced Electronic Arts Inc. in Fall 2008 to do business in Baton Rouge.

Electronic Arts Inc., or EA, is the world’s leading independent video game developer and publisher. EA’s games include the Madden NFL, Tiger Woods PGA Tour and NCAA Football series, among other titles.

EA decided to build its North American quality assurance and testing center in LSU’s South Campus complex. This center will create 20 full-time jobs and more than 200 part-time jobs, many of which will be occupied by LSU students, with an annual payroll of $5.7 million throughout the next two years.

At the test center, workers will play EA’s upcoming sports games to test them before they hit the market. Since quality control is a popular track to future jobs in the video game industry, EA and LSU officials hope this endeavor will provide a path to keep more trained, talented graduates in state.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced EA’s plans to build in Louisiana during an Aug. 20 press conference with several state, city and University dignitaries, including Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret, LSU Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Brooks Keel and East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden.

“This is a big step forward in establishing Louisiana as the place to do digital media and entertainment,” Gov. Jindal said.

Gov. Jindal noted a combination of several factors convinced EA to locate its testing center in Baton Rouge, notably the state’s tax incentive package for entertainment companies, strong partnerships among key agencies and future education and training opportunities through LSU, particularly the AVATAR initiative.

AVATAR: Arts, Visualization, Advanced Technologies and Research is a new multidisciplinary hiring initiative that CCT and LSU School of Music Professor Stephen David Beck is leading for the campus. AVATAR will bring in as many as twelve new faculty and will create new curricula in digital media to train LSU students for jobs in this industry.

Vice Chancellor Keel said the AVATAR initiative was instrumental in bringing EA’s testing center to Louisiana, and feels a combination of the educational and business efforts between the two will create future opportunities for faculty recruitment, staff recruitment and workforce development at LSU.

“The idea is to get students trained in a new and exciting field so they will stay in Louisiana,” Keel said.

Secretary Moret particularly credits Baton Rouge Area Digital Industries Consortium Executive Director Stacey Simmons for the EA facility. Through the consortium, Simmons promotes Louisiana as an ideal place for economic development in this growing industry to companies worldwide.  

“We’re not stopping here,” Moret said. “We’re going to be leveraging this victory to develop other ones.”   

EA will begin moving into the South Campus complex and posting jobs in September 2008. For information on job opportunities with the EA center in Baton Rouge, please visit www.jobs.ea.com.

For more information on the education and job opportunities available through the AVATAR initiative, please visit www.avatar.lsu.edu .

Pats on the Back:
•    Daniel S. Katz has been selected as TeraGrid GIG Director of Science.

CCT in the News:

CCT Staff to Showcase Digital Media Innovations at SIGGRAPH 2008

Source: LinuxHPC.org
The LSU Center for Computation & Technology, or CCT, will host a booth at SIGGRAPH: International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Technologies, the premier conference to showcase new developments in digital media.

Baton Rouge getting in the game with EA training center
Source: Baton Rouge Business Report -- Daily Report
The new Electronic Arts video game “global quality assurance center” at LSU won’t create that many jobs: 20 full-time, along with 200 part-time jobs for lucky college students who will test the games. But officials at today’s announcement repeatedly stressed it puts Baton Rouge and Louisiana on the digital media map, possibly opening the door to other projects in the future. “We are not stopping here,” Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret says. “We will be leveraging this victory to create many more in the coming years.”

BR to gain EA video game test center
Source: The Advocate
Electronic Arts Inc., one of the world’s leading video game companies with $4 billion in annual sales, will bring a global test center and 220 employees to LSU’s South Campus in Baton Rouge, Gov. Bobby Jindal and state economic development officials announced this morning.

LSU Teams With EA Sports for Video Game Excellence
EA Sports to set up quality assurance center in LSU’s South Campus
Source: LSU Public Affairs
Electronic Arts Inc., more commonly known to gaming buffs throughout the world as EA Sports, announced a partnership with LSU and the Louisiana Department of Economic Development that will result in a new global quality assurance center – the first of its kind in the United States – located on LSU’s South Campus.

Upcoming Lectures:

•    Dr. Jingjing Zheng, University of Minnesota, will deliver a special guest lecture on “Variational Transition State Theory: Parallel Direct Dynamics for Barrierless Association Reactions” on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 11 a.m. in Johnston 338.

•    The CCT Colloquium lecture series will resume this fall. Colloquium will take place at 11:30 each Friday in Johnston 338. Attendance is required for CCT faculty, staff and research students.  

Please Note:

•    Fall Semester 2008 classes begin this week.

•    The University will be closed on Monday, Sept. 1 in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

•    Please be aware of deadlines for SC08, which will take place Nov. 15-21 in Austin, Texas. The student volunteer applications deadline has been extended to Aug. 31.  Please contact Kathy Traxler at krtraxler@cct.lsu.edu for more information. Please contact Karen Jones at kjones@cct.lsu.edu by Sept. 26 to reserve your SC08 lodging.

•    The first HPC training of the fall semester will be Thursday, Sept. 4, from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in 307 Frey. This training will offer an introduction to accounts, allocations, basic Linux and basic Linux cluster environment setup. Please visit http://www.hpc.lsu.edu/training to register. This training will be hosted on the Access Grid, but you need to register through the database.

•    ALL CCT meetings for the fall semester will take place on Sept. 24, Oct. 22, Nov. 12 and Dec. 17. All meetings take place at 3 p.m. in Johnston 338. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend. Please be aware that these dates and times may change. If you have announcements or news for the ALL CCT meetings, please send to Events Manager Karen Jones at kjones@cct.lsu.edu.

•    Researchers: Please note that Sept. 1 is the next deadline for submitting large allocation requests to LONI. The award date for these requests will be Oct. 1. If you already have a LONI allocation, please check the end date of your allocation. You may need to reapply to continue your work. Please note that any application to continue will REQUIRE a report of your work so far, including any publications or presentations done that benefited from your use of LONI. To check the status of present allocations or apply for new ones, visit the LONI allocations Web site at http://allocations.loni.org.

•    The LSU Department of Physics and Astronomy is taking advantage of the teleconferencing capabilities now available on campus to offer two new courses for graduate students this fall, PHYS 7777-2 and PHYS 7893. These courses are funded through a $2.5 million National Science Foundation award to support an international graduate program on petascale computational methods for studying complex phenomena in correlated materials.  The classes will take place in the University’s newly refurbished teleconferencing-capable classroom in Coates Hall Room 202. For more information, please contact Juana Moreno at moreno@phys.lsu.edu or Dana Browne at browne@phys.lsu.edu.   

•    If you have any news for the CCT Weekly, please e-mail PR Manager Kristen Sunde directly at ksunde@cct.lsu.edu.

Upcoming Grant Deadlines:

Note: Please see the CCT deadline Web site, as many NSF deadlines are listed here:


NSF Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI)

August 30 2008 5:00 pm
A Portion Of $ 26,000,000.00 available

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