Students at Seneca College and high-tech company Mozilla have worked together for a decade to make its popular online browser Firefox more interactive, while giving students job-ready skills in Canada’s world-leading video game sector.
Mozilla is more globally competitive thanks to its close partnership with Professor David Humphrey and his students at Seneca College, renowned for their expertise in solving complex computer problems.
The web developer’s open source platform has made it possible for hundreds of Seneca students to contribute their own ideas and code to help make Firefox more interactive in the online media and gaming space. Among them: developing console-like features that make it possible for online gamers to navigate 3-D environments; inventing a way for web media to dynamically generate sound effects; producing animated graphics within Firefox; making it possible to include subtitles and captions in web videos; and developing a free open source web app, called Popcorn, which allows anyone to enhance, remix and share video or audio files on the web.
A dozen Seneca graduates now work for Mozilla and are mentoring the next generation of Seneca students. The success of the partnership has helped Mozilla grow its Canadian staff significantly: Since they began working together in 2005, Mozilla’s Toronto office has grown from two employees to more than 80.
This research partnership is expected to continue well into the future. New projects are focusing on Mozilla’s Webmaker initiative, a set of web-based tools, curriculum, and an online social platform aimed at helping teachers and students connect, teach and learn the web.
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