Program Coordinator and Lead Faculty, Multimedia Technology
Faculty, Game Design
Richland College

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Dan Dao serves as faculty for two programs at Richland College: Interactive Simulation and Game Technology and Cyber Security. He teaches Game Design I in the Digital Forensics program and Programming and Level Design in the Interactive Simulation and Game Technology program. Dan wrote his first “Hello World” program at the age of 12 using Basic programming, a procedural language. Changing from the procedural method of thinking, he made the shift to Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) with game programming languages in C++, Java, Unreal Scripts, Flash Action Scripts and Python.

A graduate of Plano East High School, Dan earned a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and audiology and a master’s degree in computer science, both from the University of Texas at Dallas. A software programmer for Nortel and Ericsson Telecom Corridor corporations in the mid 1990s, he transitioned into higher education in the late 1990s, serving as Richland College’s dean of information technology from 2004 to 2006.

As a graduate student, he wrote PC role-playing games and networked his neighborhood for multi-player games. His favorite games include Final Fantasy, Guitar Hero, Kingdom Hearts, Guild Wars, Unreal Tournament, Half-Life, Microsoft Flight Simulator and Call of Duty. His current research and development project is XNA Game Studio Express and DirectX. He is a proponent of open source technology.

Dan was instrumental in developing Richland’s Digital Forensics program. The program is a partnership between the college and the Cyber Security Education Consortium (CSEC) through a National Science Foundation Grant. Dan teaches the Data Collection course in the Digital Forensics program.

Dan also works in the e-commerce industry to develop secure codes that can withstand repeated attacks to test applications for security flaws. This technique includes updating information about threat modeling, designing a security process, handling international and file-system issues, adding privacy to applications and performing security code reviews.

Classes Taught:

  • Game Development Using C++
  • Advanced Game Programming
  • Game Simulation Programming 1
  • Game Simulation Programming 2
  • Programming Fundamentals 1
  • Programming Fundamentals 2

Languages Taught:

  • C++
  • Unreal Engine 4