Course Descriptions

48-777 A Starter Kit for Participatory Culture Incubators

Offered in Fall 2014. In this studio course we explored physical design solutions to "pods" of physical space to serve as starter kits that encourage the proliferation of Participatory Culture in tangible ways. Work was done in teams, individually, and in a collaborative interdisciplinary setting.

One of these Participatory Culture pods was to be located in Oakland on Craig and Forbes near the Museum. These pods would be designed to accommodate:

  • Play – how to create environments to experiment within problem solving environments
  • Improvisation – how to provide contexts within which alternative realities can be simulated
  • AR / VR apps – how to create facilities to support real-world simulations
  • Cognitive playground – how to expand cognitive capabilities through innovative tools
  • Conference of ideas – how to use various sizes of human groups to support environments, networking, and idea dissemination
  • Usability support – how to support all of this with administration and staff
  • Building support – how to support all of this with mechanical and infrastructure systems

The objective of this studio was to make apparent through the making of architecture: ephemeral products of social media, virtual entities, participants' minds, affiliations, expressions, collaborations, participation gaps, transparency, and participatory ethics of a society that is integral with the cloud.

The deliverable in this course was a book that contained the foundations of the course, consultant essays, student work, and a synopsis of the discoveries and proposals developed throughout the semester - all finalized in 8.5 x 11 or 11 x 17 format. For more information, go to BlackBoard and check out the courses 48-400, 48-500, or 48-777. Weekly activities included lectures, board crits, and pin-ups. Mid-term and final reviews were held as public "design reviews."

Fall 2014 instructor: Omer Akin


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship Intelligent Environments
Offered by: Architecture
60-426 Advanced ETB: 2D Animation

This course introduces students to digital 2D animation techniques and processes through hands-on lab projects. Emphasis is on creative content, experimentation, critical thinking and collaboration. Through a series of tutorial, screenings, and discussions, this class will explore contemporary trends in animation and character design, and expose students to tools such as Adobe After Effects and Flash.

Spring 2014 instructor: Paolo Pedercini


Program: Animation & Special Effects
Offered by: Art
60-415 Advanced ETB: Animation

This studio will introduce students to a variety of 3-D computer and 2-D drawn animation techniques. The class will look at and discuss examples of historic and contemporary animation. The students will explore animation through a variety of short experiments and develop individual projects that use animation as a means of self expression.

Fall 2016 instructor: James Duesing


Program: Animation & Special Effects
Offered by: Art
60-410 Advanced ETB: Moving Image Magic: Visual Effects and Motion Graphics

Fly like Harry Potter, fall into Alice'’s looking glass, create new worlds, or take a head-trip into the inner reaches of your subconscious. It'’s all possible in Moving Image Magic! This course serves as an introduction to the creation of extraordinary cinematic visions using a variety of analog and digital tools and techniques. These include: digital compositing, miniatures, motion tracking, rotoscoping, matte painting, puppets, and motion graphics. Primary software tools are After Effects and Photoshop with forays into, Motion, Resolve, Logic, and Smoke. Prerequisites: 60-110 Electronic Media Studio: Introduction to the Moving Image or instructor permission.

Spring 2016 instructor: Suzie Silver


Program: Animation & Special Effects
Offered by: Art
16-456/48-558 Advanced Topics in Reality Computing: The Adaptive Home

The Adaptive House is the focus of an advanced design studio based around the collaborative development of reality computing applications within a residential prototype. Reality computing encompasses a constellation of technologies focused around capturing reality (laser scanning, photogrammetry), working with spatial data (CAD, physical modeling, simulation), and using data to interact with and influence the physical world (augmented/virtual reality, projector systems, 3d printing, robotics). This studio will use reality computing to understand existing homes, define modes of augmentation, and influence the design of houses yet to be built through full scale prototyping. The objective of the course will be the production of a house that moves beyond the notion of being “smart,” but is actively adapted towards its inhabitants’ needs and capabilities. Topics of special focus within the course are residential design (John Folan), augmented reality and robotics (Pyry Matikainen), and indoor flying robots (Manuela Veloso and Nina Barbuto). This course is presented with the support and cooperation of Autodesk, Inc. (Please note that there may be lab/materials fees associated with this course.)

Fall 2016 instructors: Pyry Matikainen, John Folan

Fall 2015 course website: www.rc16456.com


Program: Intelligent Environments Media Design Physical Computing
Offered by: Architecture, Robotics Institute
60-414 Animation, Art, and Technology

Animation Art and Technology is an interdisciplinary course cross-listed between Art and Computer Science. Faculty and teaching assistants from computer science and art teach the class as a team. It is a project-based course in which four to five interdisciplinary teams of students produce animations. Most of the animations have a substantive technical component and the students are challenged to consider innovation with content to be equal with the technical. The class includes basic tutorials for work in Maya leading toward more advanced applications and extensions of the software such as motion capture and algorithms for animating cloth, hair, particles, and grouping behaviors.  The first class will meet in CFA room 303.

Spring 2014 instructors: James Duesing and Jessica Hodgins

Spring 2014 course website: Animation, Art, and Technology


Program: Animation & Special Effects
Offered by: Art, Robotics Institute
16-374/60-428 Art of Robotic Special Effects

Spring 2017. Inspired by the early “trick” films of George Melies, this project-oriented course brings together robotics and film production technique to infuse cinema with the wonder of live magic. Students will learn the basics of film production using animatronics, camera motion control, and compositing. The projects apply these techniques to create innovative physical effects for short films, all the way from concept to post-production. The course emphasizes real-time practical effects to explore the immediacy and interactivity of improvisation and rehearsal. The robotics topics include animatronic rapid prototyping and programming human-robot collaborative performance. The course includes a brief overview of the history of special effects and robotics to set the work in context..

Spring 2017 instructors: Suzie Silver and Garth Zeglin


Program: Animation & Special Effects
Offered by: Art, Robotics Institute
57-458 Business of Music

This class will teach you the fundamentals of how to survive in the music industry. A diverse set of speakers, hands-on projects tailored to your interests and needs and group activities will introduce you to the challenges you'll face during your career. How to manage your money, what you need to know about copyright, who do you need on your side? We'll cover all of these and more!

Fall 2016 instructor: Lance Laduke


Program: Sound Design
Offered by: Music
60-333 Character Rigging for Production

In computer animation, rigging is the art of building a digital skeleton and control system to drive the animation of a character or object. This particular course will focus on the process needed to create fully articulated characters that are strong enough for film and/or video game production. We will start with rigging fundamentals to learn proper joint orientation for skeleton creation, focus on skinning techniques for attaching the skeleton to the character afterwards, and then work on building a system of controls to move the character in compelling ways. Certain topics will include kinematics, set driven keys, direct connections, space switching, corrective blendshapes, custom attributes, and deformation. Students interested in the artistic and technical sides of computer animation are encouraged to enroll. Previous experience with Autodesk Maya/3D animation is preferred.

Fall 2016 instructor: Spencer Diaz


Program: Animation & Special Effects Game Design
Offered by: Art
15-463 Computational Photography

Computational Photography is an emerging new field created by the  convergence of computer graphics, computer vision and  photography. Its role is to overcome the limitations of the  traditional camera by using computational techniques to produce a  richer, more vivid, perhaps more perceptually meaningful  representation of our visual world.    The aim of this advanced undergraduate course is to study ways in  which samples from the real world (images and video) can be used to  generate compelling computer graphics imagery. We will learn how to  acquire, represent, and render scenes from digitized photographs.  Several popular image-based algorithms will be presented, with an  emphasis on using these techniques to build practical systems. This  hands-on emphasis will be reflected in the programming assignments, in  which students will have the opportunity to acquire their own images  of indoor and outdoor scenes and develop the image analysis and  synthesis tools needed to render and view the scenes on the computer.

Fall 2016 instructor: Kris Kitani

Fall 2014 course website: Computational Photography


Program: Animation & Special Effects
Offered by: Computer Science
15-466 Computer Game Programming

The goal of the course is two-fold. The first goal is to teach students some of the higher-level techniques that are necessary to implement interesting computer games. In particular, a large emphasis will be on game AI. The class will also cover such topics as game networking, scheduling of tasks in computationally intensive games, and game design. The class will also briefly cover few selected topics such as collision detection and physically-based animation that are good to know even if one is developing games using a game engine. The second goal of the class is to get students familiar with programming games on various platforms using state-of-the-art game engines. To this end, the course will have a heavy programming focus. It will have a number of projects requiring students to apply the learned material to develop games using Unity 3D game engine. The students will develop games that run on a standalone PC, games that run on an Android platform and games that work in a multi-user mode.  In addition to learning the material and learning how to use game engines, the projects will provide students with portfolios of games they have developed. Such a portfolio is important in getting a job in game industry.    Prerequisite is 15-462 or contact the instructor for permission.

Fall 2016 instructor: Maxim Likhachev

Fall 2014 course website: Computer Game Programming


Program: Game Design
Offered by: Computer Science
15-323 Computer Music Systems and Information Processing

This course presents concepts and techniques for representing and manipulating discrete music information, both in real time and off line. Representations of music as explicitly timed event sequences will be introduced, and students will learn how to build efficient run-time systems for event scheduling, tempo control, and interactive processing. The MIDI protocol is used to capture real-time performance information and to generate sound. The course will also cover non-real-time processing of music data, including Markov models, style recognition, computer accompaniment, query-by-humming, and algorithmic composition. This course is independent of, and complementary to 15-322, Introduction to Computer Music, which focuses on sound synthesis and signal processing.

Spring 2016 instructor: Roger Dannenberg


Program: Sound Design
Offered by: Computer Science
54-267 Conceptual Sound Design

Students explore the unique qualities of audio as a design element and the development of a design process through script analysis. Emphasis on the creative application and utilization of the studio in sound shaping and soundscape design. PREREQUISITE: 54-166 Introduction To Sound Design for Theater, 54-231 Design For The Stage. Drama majors have priority, however this course is also open to Music Technology majors and minors, or with permission of instructor.

Fall 2016 instructor: Joseph Pino


Program: Sound Design
Offered by: Drama
05-418 Design of Educational Games

The potential of digital games to improve education is enormous. However, it is a significant challenge to create a game that is both fun and educational. In this course, students will learn to meet this challenge by combining processes and principles from game design and instructional design. Students will also learn to evaluate their games for fun, learning, and the integration of the two. They will be guided by the EDGE framework for the analysis and design educational games. The course will involve a significant hands-on portion, in which students learn a design process to create educational games ? digital or non-digital. They will also read about existing educational games and discuss game design, instructional design, learning and transfer, and the educational effectiveness of digital games. They will analyze an educational game and present their analysis to the class.

Spring 2015 instructor: Amy Ogan


Program: Game Design Learning Media
Offered by: Human Computer Interaction
49-313 Designing for the Internet of Things

Thermostats, locks, power sockets, and lights are all being imbued with "smarts" making them increasingly aware and responsive to their environment and users. This course will chart the emergence of the now "connected world" to explore the possibilities for future products and connected spaces. This introductory, hands-on course invites students to creating connected products without any knowledge of programming, electronics or systems. Students will be introduced to interactive connected technologies through a series of hands on exercises, collaborative projects, in depth discussions, and instructor led tutorials. Topics explored will include awareness, real time sensing and communication, embedded intelligence, and designing experiences for the internet of things. By the end of this course, students will be familiar with the core skills, the considerations involved and design process required to build a connected system. Students will also apply this learning in collaborative groups to realize a prototype-connected product. This course is intended for MII-PS students; all other students by permission of the instructor.

Spring 2017 instructor: Eric Brockmeyer


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship Intelligent Environments
Offered by: Integrated Innovation Institute
18-551 Digital Communication and Signal Processing Systems Design

This course provides the student with a rich, in-depth design and application hardware project experience in the areas of digital communications and/or signal processing systems using DSP hardware. Teams of students work on a semester-long project of their choice. Topics include: speech and music processing, digital communications, multimedia processing, data compression, data storage, wireless communications, CD, image and/or signal processing, etc. One month of introductory laboratories familiarize the students with DSP hardware and support software. Lectures address z-transforms, IIR and FIR filter design using MATLAB and DSP hardware, LPC and adaptive filters, channel coding, time and frequency multiplexing, short time Fourier and wavelet transforms, and spread spectrum techniques. 4 hrs. lec., 3 hrs. lab.

Spring 2015 instructors: Marios Savvides and Thomas Sullivan


Program: Media Design Physical Computing
Offered by: Electrical and Computer Engineering
18-090 Digital Media Interactions: Signal Processing for the Arts

This course presents an overview on manipulating and synthesizing sound, video, and control signals. Signals are the raw materials used in many forms of electronic art and design - electronic music, interactive art, video art, kinetic sculpture, and more. In these fields, signals are used to represent information about sound, images, sensors, and movement. By transforming and manipulating these types of signals, we are able to create powerful new tools for digital art, multimedia applications, music, responsive environments, video and sound installation, smart products, and beyond. In this course we will study Signal Processing from a practical point-of-view, developing tools that can be easily integrated into art-making using the graphical programming environment Max (a.k.a. Max/MSP/Jitter). We will present a survey of Signal Processing techniques used in the sonic and visual arts, and will discuss the mathematical theories underlying these techniques. Students will be encouraged to combine, modify, and extend working examples of software to create original digital artworks.

Fall 2016 instructor: Jesse Stiles


Program: Intelligent Environments Sound Design
Offered by: Electrical and Computer Engineering
60-427 Digital Storytelling and Resistance

Digital Storytelling & Resistance is a class in which students will explore the ways in which artists today use contemporary technology to create complex alternative stories to dominant media narratives as well as the ways in which video, film, performance and media artists have historically used documentary and appropriation as a way to resist, respond, and deconstruct one-dimensional news media and pop cultural stories. In this course students will create video essays, remix and appropriation-based works, hyperlinked interactive stories, modded games, and interactive moving-image based narrative works through new multimedia publishing platforms.


Program: Media Design
Offered by: Art
62-478 digiTOOL

This IDeATe-affiliated course serves as an introduction to the fundamental concepts, processes, and procedures to utilize digital and traditional equipment within the IDeATe@Hunt Library facilities. After completion, participating students should leave with a thorough understanding of laser cutting/engraving, 3D printing, CNC routing, and traditional woodworking equipment/processes; and how to operate in a safe, responsible, and efficient manner. This comprehension and experience proves useful for all creative disciplines, and participants are certified for future fabrication equipment access.

Fall 2016 instructor: Zach Ali


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship Media Design Physical Computing
Offered by: Art
05-823 E-learning Design Principles

This course is about e-learning design principles, the evidence and theory behind them, and how to apply these principles to develop effective educational technologies. It is organized around the book "e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning" by Clark & Mayer with further readings drawn from cognitive science, educational psychology, and human-computer interaction. You will learn design principles 1) for combining words, audio, and graphics in multimedia instruction, 2) for combining examples, explanations, practice and feedback in online support for learning by doing, and 3) for balancing learner versus system control and supporting student metacognition. You will read about the experiments that support these design principles, see examples of how to design such experiments, and practice applying the principles in educational technology development.

Fall 2016 instructor: Kenneth Koedinger

Fall 2015 course website: E-Learning Design Principles


Program: Learning Media
Offered by: Human Computer Interaction
62-315 Ecologics: Computational Techniques for Shaping the Built Environment

Ecology posits that all entities within a given system have thermodynamic relationships to each other and are bound together in complex exchanges of energy and information: an ecosystem. This seminar seeks to translate this dynamic exchange into a computational framework directly influencing design processes. Students will be introduced to computational design thinking, using contemporary parametric modeling as a method for incorporation of environmental data into systemic dynamic behavior and feedback loops. The objective is to speculate about performative architectural, or urban systems, the morphology of which, are informed through design protocols that incorporate environmental data and simulation. We will engage design processes in which the metrics of the systems performance underpin creative exploration of organization and form. This exploration results in the design and prototype of a specific morphological component system. Students will be introduced to digital parametric tools and immersed in contemporary digital fabrication processes, such as: 3d-printing, cnc-milling, mold casting, etc.


Program: Intelligent Environments
Offered by: Architecture
57-347 Electronic and Computer Music

This course builds on the concepts learned in Introduction to Music Technology (57-101) and gives added knowledge in the areas of composition using digital and analog devices as well as various computer programs. Building computer models of both analog and digital synthesizers as well as drum machines, loop players and various other sound processing effects will be covered in detail. Students will be required to produce several projects throughout the course demonstrating their understanding of various concepts in electronic music. More emphasis is placed on the overall quality of the end musical product than in 57-101 in order to prepare students for music production in a professional setting.

Fall 2016 instructor: Ben Opie


Program: Sound Design
Offered by: Music
60-110 Electronic Media Studio I

Electronic Media Studio: Introduction to the Moving Image is an introduction to the computer as a dynamic tool for time-based media production.  In this course students develop skills in digital video and audio production through the exploration of narrative, experimental, performance, documentary and animation themes and forms. Historical and contemporary works are presented and discussed to provide a context for studio projects.

Fall 2014 instructor: Scott Andrew


Program: Media Design
Offered by: Art
60-210 Electronic Media Studio II

Electronic Media Studio: Introduction to Interactivity is an introduction to software programming and physical computing within the context of the arts. In this course students develop the skills and confidence to produce interactive artworks using audiovisual, networked and tangible media.  This fall, Section A (taught by Golan Levin) has a partial emphasis on generative form and interactive visualization. Section B (taught by Rich Pell) has an emphasis on interactive sound and light. Section C (taught by Paolo Pedercini) has an emphasis on interactive game design.

Fall 2016 instructors: Paolo Pedercini

Fall 2014 course website: Electronic Media Studio (Interactivity)


Program: Media Design
Offered by: Art
60-212 Electronic Media Studio: Interactivity and Computation for Creative Practice

This is an intermediate level course in "creative coding," interactive new-media art, and computational design. Ideal as a second course for students who have already had one semester of elementary programming (in any language), this course is for you if you’d like to use code to make art, design, architecture, and/or games -- AND you’re already familiar with the basics of programming, such as for() loops, if() statements, and arrays.

This course satisfies the EMS-2 (60-210: Interactivity) requirement for BFA and BXA-Art majors. As with EMS-2, students in this course will develop an understanding of the contexts, tools, and idioms of software programming in the arts. Unlike EMS-2, this course additionally satisfies the computing portal requirement for CFA students pursuing IDeATe minors and concentrations. (Students with no prior programming experience should register instead for 15-104, 15-110, or 15-112.)

This is a "studio art course in computer science," in which the objective is art and design, but the medium is student-written software. The course develops skills and understanding of text-based, imperative programming techniques in a variety of popular open-source arts-engineering toolkits, including p5.js (JavaScript), Processing (Java), and openFrameworks (C++), with the aim of applying such skills to interactive art and design, information visualization, generative media, and other creative cultural practices.

Rigorous programming exercises will develop the basic vocabulary of constructs that govern static, dynamic, and interactive form. Topics include the computational manipulation of: point, line and shape; texture, value and color; time, change and motion; reactivity, connectivity and feedback; interactive graphics, sound, and simulation; and the incorporation of various modes of input (sensors, cameras) and multimedia output.


Program: Animation & Special Effects Game Design Innovation and Entrepreneurship Learning Media Media Design Sound Design
Offered by: Art
39-606 Engineering Design Projects

In this project course, students work in multidisciplinary teams to design products or processes. The course is open to juniors, seniors and graduate students from all parts of the campus community. Each project is sponsored by an industry, government or non-profit partner, and is of real commercial interest to that partner. Students work directly with their partner throughout the semester to establish goals and requirements, evaluate their design as it progresses, and produce a final report, presentation, and, if appropriate, a prototype. Design reviews, held twice during the semester, give students a chance to present their preliminary designs and receive feedback and advice. In completing their designs, teams must consider not only the functionality of their designs, but also the look, feel, appearance, and societal impact. Skills built in this course will include: developing the product statement, establishing goals and constraints for the product, project management, and generating and evaluating design alternatives. As some projects may span multiple semesters with new groups of students, careful documentation of project work is emphasized. Students may take this course for either one or two semesters.

Spring 2015 instructor: Jeffery Hansen


Offered by: College of Engineering
70-421 Entrepreneurship for Computer Scientists

This course is primarily for non-business school students; it includes most of Introduction to Entrepreneurship (70-415), assumes no background courses in business and involves additional sessions for core business concepts. Students with majors in science, technology, engineering or computer science are exposed to fundamental concepts and issues in innovation, business and entrepreneurship. Students can expect to gain a basic understanding of functional areas such as finance, funding, marketing, sales and management. Student Status: Sophomore year or higher.

Fall 2016 instructor: William Kaigler


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Offered by: Tepper School of Business
70-414 Entrepreneurship for Engineers

This introductory course in entrepreneurship primarily targets non-business students and assumes no background in business. Students majoring in science, computer science, engineering, the humanities or the arts are exposed to fundamental concepts and issues around innovation and entrepreneurship. The course provides a foundation for starting a new venture and innovating new technologies and products within existing organizations. Topics covered will include: identifying a business opportunity, building a team, finance, equity investment, managing risk, market understanding, and competitive advantage. Emphasis will be on team projects, including developing an investor pitch for an original idea.

Fall 2016 instructor: Robert Daley, David Mawhinney


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Offered by: Tepper School of Business
70-420 Entrepreneurship for Scientists

Entrepreneurship for Scientists is an introductory course in entrepreneurship. The course primarily targets non-business students and assumes no background in business. Students majoring in science, computer science, engineering, the humanities or the arts are exposed to fundamental concepts and issues around innovation and entrepreneurship. The course provides a foundation for starting a new venture and innovating new technologies and products within existing organizations. Topics covered will include: identifying a business opportunity, building a team, finance, equity investment, managing risk, market understanding, and competitive advantage. Emphasis will be on team projects, including developing an investor pitch for an original idea.

Fall 2016 instructors: Robert Daley, David Mawhinney


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Offered by: Tepper School of Business
70-425 Entrepreneurship for the Creative Industries

This is an introductory course designed primarily for undergraduates in the College of Fine Arts who want to create new businesses, products, services, or thriving careers as independent artists. Students can expect to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, learn how creative firms and industries are structured, and build practical skills for finding, evaluating and putting entrepreneurial opportunities into action. We will analyze real world examples, for-profit and not-for-profit, from film, art, architecture, fashion, music, media, theater, retail, and design. The class will explore the core functional areas critical to building entrepreneurial entities, including teams, ideation, marketing and sales, financial analysis, and funding. Interdisciplinary teams will generate ideas and explore their potential as viable businesses or sustainable not-for-profits. Lectures, guest speakers, case studies, and exercises will also be integrated.

Spring 2016 instructor: Tim Cunningham


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Offered by: Tepper School of Business
57-425 Expanded Music Performance

In his 1970 manifesto Expanded Cinema, Gene Youngblood presented the idea that emerging video technology would lead to an new form of cinematic expression in which art and life are united. In this course we will explore this idea in the realm of music through the creation of new technologies that will expand the possibilities of live performance. The technologies we develop will be used in a series of public concerts by CMUs Exploded Ensemble, a group of high-caliber musicians dedicated to electro-acoustic performance of avant-garde concert music. The course will work closely with the Exploded Ensemble to develop expansive technologies that will transform the music the group performs. These transformations may take place in many different modalities. In the realm of sound we will investigate several areas: the development of new software for sound processing and synthesis, the creation of new instruments, and experimental methods of sound amplification and distribution. In the visual realm, we will develop software for live video performance, will investigate experimental techniques for video projection including mapping and the use of depth cameras, and will develop tools for computer controlled lighting systems. In the physical realm we will develop wearable technologies for performers, sensor-based responsive systems, and will explore experimental approaches to costume and decor.

Spring 2017 instructors: Jesse Stiles, Lance Laduke


Program: Sound Design
Offered by: Music
54-498/60-446 Expanded Theater

As the boundaries between theater, art, entertainment and everyday life continue to expand through engagement with new technologies, it is critical that emerging artists and technologists be provided with the tools, language, and vision to thrive in the new millennium. Expanded Theater will reanimate classical modes of performance with media, networks, robotics, locative applications, and mobile systems.

Considering theater as an ancient technology of mass participation and social cohesion, this fusion studio explores how emerging technologies can expand upon the basic theatrical relationships in new and culturally relevant ways. Collaboration and integration of design, media and storytelling is critical to this approach. Experimentation with new forms can reanimate the basic values of theater; the essential nature of a live event, the possibility of visionary spectacle, and the creation of meaning in dialogue with an audience.

Expanded Theater is an opportunity to explore avenues outside of traditional theatrical production modes and beyond each student's individual discipline. The curriculum combines resources from Carnegie Mellon's Schools of Art and Drama, Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology (IDeATe), the Emerging Media Masters (EM2), Computer Science, the Robotics Institute, and their collaborators across the university in a new configuration. Expanded Theater will explore domains ranging from site specific and networked-based performance and interventionist practices, to pervasive social media technologies and their influence on interpersonal communication. The goal is to investigate contemporary languages that allow authors, actors and technologists to collaborate in ways that push beyond our present understanding of theatrical production and reception.

Fall 2016 instructors: Ali Momeni and Larry Shea


Program: Intelligent Environments Media Design
Offered by: Art, Drama
51-380 Experiential Media

Offered in Spring 2015, Experiential Media Design focused on the theory, methodology and history behind the design, development and interpretation of experiential media systems. The class incorporated a multidisciplinary approach to the study of complex media systems as technological, political, economic, socio-cultural and personal experiences. Topics covered included media and communications theory, cultural studies, qualitative and quantitative methodology, design principles, human-computer-interaction, information visualization and representation, user studies and evaluation. Students created and critiqued a variety of integrated media systems demonstrating technical competence, aesthetic knowledge, analytic rigor and theoretical relevance. This class was open to Junior & Senior Design Majors, and others by permission of the instructor.

Spring 2015 instructor: Aisling Kelliher


Program: Media Design
Offered by: Design
15-365/60-422 Experimental Animation

This class will explore animation from the student’s perspective with a sense of investigation toward both form and content. Topics in the class will include non-linear narrative, visual music, puppet and non-traditional materials, manipulation of motion and performance capture data, immersive environments.

Spring 2015 instructors: James Duesing and Jessica Hodgins

Spring 2015 course website: Experimental Animation


Program: Animation & Special Effects
Offered by: Art, Computer Science
16-461/60-461 Experimental Capture

This is an interdisciplinary course in experimental media practices that arise from using devices to "capture" the world. We will survey state-of-the-art techniques and emerging ideas, in the industry and in academia, to capture, model, and render objects, people, places and events. The course evaluation will be project-based, in which students will capture a wide variety of things, and develop projects around the data they collect. We will cover capture techniques including motion capture, video-based capture, panoramic and hyperspectral imaging, depth sensors, 3D scanners, hand and eye-gaze trackers; classic and contemporary representations of face and body pose and motion; and recent progress in animation, synthesis, classification, and rehabilitation on new forms of displays.

Spring 2017 instructor: Golan Levin


Program: Animation & Special Effects
Offered by: Art, Robotics Institute
60-419 Experimental Game Design

Experimental Game Design - Critical Games  A practical and theoretical game design course focused on innovative forms of gameplay. In this installment of Experimental Game Design the emphasis is placed on critical games: self-reflexive, subversive, inquiring, genre-bending artifacts that aim to interrogate gaming culture and the nature of play. Activities include analog and digital design exercises, frontal lectures, readings and in-depth analysis of works from the digital arts and the independent gaming world.

Fall 2016 instructor: Paolo Pedercini


Program: Game Design
Offered by: Art
57-344 Experimental Sound Synthesis

In this course we will explore a variety of experimental approaches to music, sound design, and sonic artwork.  Topics will include: composing and mixing in multichannel sound formats, building analog smart-synthesizers, electroacoustic music performance, 3D sound recording, reactive sound environments, sonic sculpture, and beyond.  In this course students from a variety of disciplines will work together to design, prototype, and execute a series of ambitious projects.

This course is part of the new Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology (IDeATe) program at Carnegie Mellon University and makes use of the new IDEATE@Hunt Media Lab, an adaptable multimedia “black box” located in the lower level of Hunt Library.

Students are expected to be proficient in one or more of the following areas:

  • Real-time graphical programming environments (Max or PD),
  • Physical computing platforms (Arduino, Raspberry Pi)
  • Experimental music composition/performance
  • Instrument design
  • Interactive art

Spring 2015 instructor: Jesse Stiles


Program: Sound Design
Offered by: Music
70-395 Funding Entrepreneurial Ventures

So you want to do a startup and you know that you need funding. There are multiple ways to fund a new venture: bootstrapping, economic development, angels, venture capitalists. The question is what are these funders looking for in an early stage investment? What is important to them? How do they decide which companies to invest in and which not? This class looks at funding from the funder's point of view and provides the student with a framework of the investment process: investment criteria, sourcing, selection, due diligence, deal structure, valuation, post investment involvement. Real companies seeking funding are used for the final project in which students will be expected, as investment teams, to make investment decisions and convince their fellow investors (the class) to join them (or not). This is a highly interactive and project class. There will be multiple guest speakers. Prerequisites: Students are highly encouraged to take any of the introductory entrepreneurship classes offered in various schools and departments. While no financial background is required, this class will not cover the basics of entrepreneurship from the entrepreneur's perspective, but will be looking from the investor point of view.

Fall 2016 instructor: Stephen Bollinger


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Offered by: Tepper School of Business
53-409 Game Design

As part of the IDeATe game design concentration, the goal of this course is to prepare you for a career involving the design of computer games and other interactive experiences. Students in this course will read and write about game design, and design many games of their own. Do not mistake this for a course in computer game development. This course is focused on the rules and methods of game design, which remain fairly constant regardless of the technology used to develop a game. While technology will play a significant role in our studies, technological details will not be our focus. You will study and design games of all sorts: card games, dice games, athletic games, story games, and yes, even video games. How to design games, how to design them well, and how to see your designs to completion will be what you study here. Students not meeting the prerequisite may gain access to the course by answering questions to the course instructor. Question 1: What is your name, and what degree program are you in? Question 2: What is your current GPA? Question 3: What are three of your favorite games? What is it you like about them? Question 4: Have you ever designed any games? If so, tell me about them, and what you learned while making them. If not, why not? Question 5: What is it that you hope to accomplish as a game designer?


Program: Game Design
Offered by: Entertainment Technology
53-471 Game Design, Prototyping, and Production

This is a lecture and project based course focused on the design and development of video games.  The course instruction will cover principals of game design and mechanics, rapid prototyping and iterative design processes, and project management.  It will examine business aspects of the industry that impact designs, including demographics, economic models, budgets, and marketing.

Students will work in collaborative, cross-disciplinary teams, forming their own "game studios" to tackle design challenges and create games of their own.   Teams will engage in hands-on development, and will have roles for artists, programmers, designers, producers and more.  Students from all disciplines are encouraged to join.

Spring 2015 instructor: Tom Corbett


Program: Game Design
Offered by: Entertainment Technology
16-465 Game Engine Programming

This course is designed to help students understand, modify, and develop game engines. Game engines consist of reusable runtime and asset pipeline code. They provide game-relevant abstractions of low-level system services and libraries, making it easier to write bug-free games that work across multiple platforms. Game engines also handle artistic content, providing or integrating with authoring tools to ease the process of creating high-fidelity games. In this course, we will discuss the problems game engines attempt to solve, examine how current state-of-the-art engines address these problems, and create our own engines based on what we learn. We will cover both the content authoring and runtime aspects of engines. Coursework will consist of frequent, tightly-scoped programming and system design assignments; expeditions through game engine source code; and two group projects -- one in an engine created from scratch, and one that requires modification of an existing engine. Prerequisites: Students will be expected to be fluent in at least one programming language. We will be working with C++, Javascript, and a smattering of Python. We will be using git for version control and code sharing. The assignments in the course will be designed to be completed on an OSX or Linux workstation (e.g. the IDeATe "virtual cluster"). Working with Windows will be possible, but might require extra effort. We will be building a 3D model pipeline around Blender, but no prior knowledge of the tool will be assumed.

Spring 2015 instructor: Jim McCann


Offered by:
70-100 Global Business

This course examines the fundamental issues in the development of new markets for products and services globally. It provides a foundation for understanding the functional areas of business and how they contribute to management of a firm. Students use this foundation knowledge to analyze cases and complete projects in order to gain an understanding of some of the key issues affecting a wide range of the most important global industries. First-year students also can gain a better understanding the vast array of career possibilities available to those who study business. PLEASE NOTE: this course replaces 70-101 (Introduction to Business Management) and will count toward the business minor. Sections A and B are reserved for first-year business majors only. Sections C and D are for non-business majors.

Fall 2016 instructors: Milton Cofield, David Lamont


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Offered by: Tepper School of Business
53-312 Guest Experience and Theme Park Design

Students will research the history of the Themed Entertainment Industry and study key phases including conceptualization, design, building, management and delivery involved in creating the total themed entertainment experience. The class will focus on the importance of creating the total guest experience. Discussions on story and storytelling will address the different aspects of both franchise and original stories. The class will also examine the role of architecture and technology and how they are crafted to enhance the overall guest experience. The importance of communication and collaboration across all disciplines and the high professional standards required in every phase in the entertainment industry will be explored. The process of managing creativity, risking taking, fostering a culture of team support and trust, developing presentation skills and providing valuable peer-review will all be part of the curriculum. Students will individually complete a variety of short assignments, research and presentations. Students will also work in teams made up of various disciplines and backgrounds. Assignments will include evaluation of experiences in existing theme parks; proposing a concept for a ride or experience deriving inspiration from a list of options provided by faculty; and developing a design project such as an expansion to an existing theme park, a new restaurant, hotel or other architecture added to an existing complex, a new event or attraction which would include a water, sound and light spectacle or a large scale Disney parade event. Students and faculty will jointly choose design assignments based on the needs, interest and composition of the class. The constantly evolving nature of the industry will provide opportunities for topics of discussion which will be identified by both faculty and students.

Spring 2016 instructor: Shirley Saldamarco


Program: Media Design
Offered by: Entertainment Technology
57-345 Hacking the Music World

In this course we will perform a series of real-world experiments that examine new models for music creation, promotion, and distribution. We will produce original music videos, explore social media marketing & optimization, examine new platforms for monetization, and official release digital albums and apps.

The proliferation of digital music distribution has revolutionized how music is experienced in the 21st century. Technologies for music listening, music sharing, and music discovery are in a state of rapid and limitless evolution. There is no longer a single model for a rewarding life in the world of music - we must learn to adapt to the constantly evolving landscape of the 21st century. We must hack the music world!

While examining new approaches to distribution and publication, we will also explore the question of how electronic media is redefining our understanding of music-making itself. Does a new album necessarily need to be a fixed set of sound recordings? What if it was a mobile app that reacts to the listener's environment? What if our new album used mutating algorithms to generate new musical experiences every time the listener hits play?

Throughout the semester, we will form teams combining musicians, software programmers, artists, and entrepreneurs. Our teams will work together to produce new music, to design new music distribution methodologies, and to perform social media experiments that enhance the visibility of our work.

Students participating in the course should have proficiency in one or more of the following areas:

  • Social Media Optimization
  • Music Recording or Video Production
  • Leveraging Web Application API's
  • Mobile Application Design & Implementation

Fall 2015 instructor: Jesse Stiles


Offered by: Music
60-130 Hey Robot, Let's Make Something

This seven-week mini has three goals:

  • Expose students to the canonic and experimental repertoire and techniques of digital fabrication
  • Familiarize students with the digital fabrication facilities available at Carnegie Mellon
  • Develop proficiency in digital-physical workflow involving a versatile CAD environment (i.e. Rhino3d) and three CNC fabrication machines (laser cutter, CNC router, 3D printer).  

The course begins with an intensive boot-camp in Rhino3d, followed by fabrication assignments for each machine.  The assignments will encompass standard building/fastening techniques suited to each machine (i.e. perforation folding, joinery, waffling, etc), as well as conceptual associations and interpretations of digital fabrication in contemporary art.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Gain familiarity with the history and repertoire of miniature interactive sculpture
  • Gain exposure to interactive sculptural work with electromechanical elements (e.g. motors), lights, microcontrollers (e.g. Arduino) and a software control (e.g. Max)
  • Conceptualize, design, prototype, fabricate and critique works created within this medium

Fall 2014 instructor: Ali Momeni


Program: Physical Computing
Offered by: Art
85-392 Human Expertise
The process of becoming an expert involves many changes, some quantitative and some qualitative. This course will provide an up-to-date account of the theory and data concerning the development of expertise. Questions addressed include the following. What does it take to become an expert? Are experts born or made? Is the process of acquiring expertise common across different domains from music to sports to science? Research studied in the course will employ a variety of methodologies, from case studies to protocol analysis to computational modeling.
 
Spring 2015 instructor: James Staszewski

Program: Learning Media
Offered by: Psychology
16-455/48-530 Human-Machine Virtuosity

Human dexterous skill embodies a wealth of physical understanding which complements computer-based design and machine fabrication. This project-oriented course explores the duality between hand and machine through the practical development of innovative design and fabrication systems. These systems fluidly combine the expressivity and intuition of physical tools with the scalability and precision of the digital realm. Students will develop novel hybrid design and production workflows combining analog and digital processes to support the design and fabrication of their chosen projects. Specific skills covered include 3D scanning, 3D modeling (CAD), 3D printing (additive manufacturing), computer based sensing, and human-robot interaction design. Areas of interest include architecture, art, and product design.

Spring 2015 instructors: Garth Zeglin and Joshua Bard

Spring 2015 course website: Human-Machine Virtuosity


Program: Intelligent Environments Physical Computing
Offered by: Architecture, Robotics Institute
16-867 Human-Robot Interaction
This course focuses on the emerging field of human-robot interaction, bringing together research and application of methodology from robotics, human factors, human-computer interaction, interaction design, cognitive psychology, education and other fields to enable robots to have more natural and more rewarding interactions with humans throughout their spheres of functioning. This course is a combination of state-of-art reading and discussions, focused team exercises and problem-solving sessions in human-robot interaction, and a special team project resulting in the implementation of a human-robot interaction system for specific applications.

Fall 2015 instructor: Illah Nourbakhsh


Program: Intelligent Environments
Offered by: Robotics Institute
60-439 Hybrid Instrument Building

This course introduces students to the theories, practices, aesthetics and communities surrounding the design, building and performance with hybrid interactive instruments.  We espouse an expansive definition of the word instrument that includes "a device for the production of sound/music", as well as "a means whereby something is achieved, performed, or furthered" (from merriam-webster.com.  We study the process of translating gesture into another sensory medium (e.g. sound or light).  Our approach to instrument design will depart from the double meaning embedded in the notion of composing instruments: first, consideration of instrument building as an act of composition; second, instruments that compose of their own right.  While emphasis is placed on musical instruments, course work will also encompass instruments that produce light, image, movement, etc.   This course unfolds in two phases: literature review and individualized projects.  The first half of the course will introduce students to a wide range of existing examples from contemporary music and composition, installation art and human-computer-interaction.  Students will study theoretical and computational frameworks for working with gesture in instrument design.  Topics of interest include: gesture data acquisition, data analysis, and mapping gesture data to hybrid-software-hardware computational systems that generate sound/image/movement.  We will investigate the software and hardware technologies underlying the design and fabrication of hybrid instruments with electronics, sensors, signal processing, digital fabrication.  The second half of the course will allow teams of students to choose an area of specialization, design and fabricate a functioning instrument.  The course culminates in an event where all students demonstrate their final instruments in a performance setting.

Fall 2014 instructor: Ali Momeni


Program: Physical Computing Sound Design
Offered by: Art
62-207 IDeATe: Variational Geometry I

This course will introduce concepts and strategies for the modeling and development of complex computational geometry for 3D printing purposes and introduce algorithmic thinking using the Rhinoceros McNeel platform and Grasshopper plugin. This course is intended for students with no or little 3-D modeling skills to advance their
abilities in modeling, digital prototyping, spatial design and visual communication.


Program: Media Design
Offered by: Architecture
51-236 Information Design

This undergraduate IDeATe design course focuses on teaching a basic visual design process from start to finish. You will work individually and in teams to gain proficiency in applying specific design methods to information design challenges at each stage of the design process.In IDeATe Information Design you will: perform exercises and activities to practice what you learn, attend to lectures to gain new information/perspectives, engage in projects to learn through making, conduct readings to balance theory and practice, participate in critiques to verbalize your views and consider alternate perspectives, join in discussions to develop shared understanding, give presentations to communicate your thinking, complete tutorials and learn software for additional insight. These activities will lead to you being able to: describe the importance of context and audience to design decisions to set the stage for creating work that addresses the people that it serves, frame a problem to be solved to identify challenges that require design improvements, synthesize information collected in project framing to establish a logical direction for your design approach, ideate a range of concepts to consider various ways of addressing the task at hand, iterate select concepts through low to high fidelity prototyping to determine which concepts hold the most merit, visualize your ideas to communicate concepts clearly and aid learning and understanding of information, evaluate concepts in progress to identify areas that could use improvement, present and argue design solutions to strengthen the description and validation of your work.

Spring 2015 instructor: Michael Mages


Program: Media Design
Offered by: Design
12-750 Infrastructure Management

This course takes a broad view of infrastructure systems to include physical infrastructure and information networks. The course will consider the need to protect these critical infrastructures from both degradation as well as malicious attacks. Infrastructure management generally depends on public-private partnerships to ensure long-term viability. We will look at relevant academic literature on the topics of infrastructure needs and requirements. We will explore the use of automated sensing and computer network systems to facilitate management.

Spring 2015 instructors: Donald Coffelt and Chris Hendrickson


Program: Intelligent Environments
Offered by: Civil and Environmental Engineering
49-300 Integrated Product Conceptualization

The Integrated Product Conceptualization course focuses on introducing students to some of the thinking, basic skills and methods used by industrial design, engineering, and business to generate new consumer product proposals within integrated teams. Teams will progress through three phases 1) identifying opportunities for new products or services, 2) understanding those opportunities through stakeholder research, value opportunity analysis, and competitive landscape assessment, then selecting one of which to focus, 3) conceptualizing the opportunity with the goal of meeting the value proposition. This course will combine lecture and studio activities including the generation of 2D visual representation skills and 3D low-fidelity physical modeling in support of course work. An important part of this course is a design project that is carried out by interdisciplinary teams. In order to effectively contribute to their team, each student should have experience or coursework in at least one of the following: design, the arts, engineering/technology, or business. This course is reserved for junior and senior level students. Freshmen and sophomores will be admitted as space allows and with instructor permission.

Fall 2016 instructor: Chris McComb


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Offered by: Integrated Innovation Institute
60-412 Interactive Art and Computational Design

This is an advanced studio course in arts-engineering and new media practice, with a special emphasis for Spring 2016 on mapping and information visualization using geographic data. Topics surveyed in the course will be tailored to student interests, and may include: experimental interface design, locative and mobile media, data-driven activism, image processing and computer vision-based interactions, and other topics. Through a small number of exploratory assignments and a public capstone project, students will bolster interdisciplinary problem-solving abilities and explore computation as a medium for curiosity-driven experimentation. Enrolling students are expected to have demonstrable programming skills, without exception, beyond the level of an introductory class such as 15-112. Although the course will provide technical overviews of major visualization toolkits (including D3, Processing, and openFrameworks), assignments may be executed in the student's preferred programming environment. Graduate students should register for section 51-882 or 62-726 (12 units), which meets with the undergraduate sections 60-412 and 51-482 (10 units).

Spring 2016 instructor: Golan Levin


Program: Media Design Physical Computing
Offered by: Art
15-394 Intermediate Rapid Prototyping

This course covers additional topics in rapid prototyping beyond the content of 15-294 Rapid Prototyping Technologies. Example topics include mechanism design, procedural shape generation using Grasshopper, 3D scanning and mesh manipulation, and advanced SolidWorks concepts. The only prerequisite is basic familiarity with SolidWorks, which can be obtained via 15-294 Rapid Prototyping Technologies, from other CMU courses, or from online tutorials.

Spring 2017 instructor: Dave Touretzky


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship Media Design Physical Computing
Offered by: Computer Science
60-125 Introduction to 3D Animation

This mini on introductory animation is designed to explore the wonderful world of computer animation from initial concept to final production. In a mixture of class discussions, training workshops, and guest lectures from industry experts, students will become acquainted with the necessary skills needed to create their own characters and animations. Both artistic and technical elements within animation production will be covered, and workshops will help to delve into more specific elements within a topic. Some specific topics include modeling, rigging, character/object animation, texturing, and rendering. By completion of the course, students will understand how to use Maya - the software used by many industry professionals - and be capable of taking on more advanced courses related to animation, vfx, and video games in the future.

Spring 2015 instructor: Spencer Diaz

Spring 2015 course website: cmuanimation.weebly.com


Program: Animation & Special Effects
Offered by: Art
15-322 Introduction to Computer Music

Computers are used to synthesize sound, process signals, and compose music. Personal computers have replaced studios full of sound recording and processing equipment, completing a revolution that began with recording and electronics. In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of digital audio, basic sound synthesis algorithms, and techniques for digital audio effects and processing. Students will apply their knowledge in programming assignments using a very high-level programming language for sound synthesis and composition. In a final project, students will demonstrate their mastery of tools and techniques through music composition or by the implementation of a significant sound-processing technique.

Fall 2016 instructor: Jesse Stiles


Program: Sound Design
Offered by: Computer Science
15-104 Introduction to Computing for Creative Practice

An introduction to fundamental computing principles and programming techniques for creative cultural practices, with special consideration to applications in music, design and the visual arts. Intended for students with little to no prior programming experience, the course develops skills and understanding of text-based programming in a procedural style, including idioms of sequencing, selection, iteration, and recursion. Topics include data organization (arrays, files, trees), interfaces and abstraction (modular software design, using sensor data and software libraries), basic algorithms (searching and sorting), and computational principles (randomness, concurrency, complexity). Intended for students following an IDeATe concentration or minor who have not taken 15-112.

Fall 2016 instructor: Roger Dannenberg 

Fall 2016 course website: 15-104


Program: Animation & Special Effects Game Design Innovation and Entrepreneurship Learning Media Media Design Sound Design
Offered by: Computer Science
70-415 Introduction to Entrepreneurship

This course is designed primarily to provide an overview of entrepreneurship, develop an entrepreneurial frame of mind and learn the rudiments of how to differentiate an idea from an opportunity. Students come up with a business idea and explore its potential for becoming a viable business. They learn to do market research and experience first-hand the rewards and difficulties in dealing with people in the real world. They will meet entrepreneurs and business professionals as part of the course and learn how to make effective presentations - both written and oral. Other important aspects of the course include self-assessment to determine one's strengths and weaknesses, understanding the “magic” of leadership and gaining an entrepreneurial perspective on life.

Fall 2016 instructor: H. Jones


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Offered by: Tepper School of Business
62-150 Introduction to Media Synthesis and Analysis

New creative industries are empowering new modes of collaborative consumption, creation and reuse of media. This often relies on successful collaborations between cross-trained artists, designers and technologists as well as critical reflection on distribution, participation, interaction and audience. This course is designed to prepare engineers and scientists to work in these contexts. By the end of the course, students will be able to think critically across several media theory paradigms; formulate the intent of their creative work; articulate relationships to art/design practice and theory; and respond insightfully to creative outcomes. The goal is not just to make creative media rich outcomes but also to think critically about their production.

The class will introduce core concepts through foundational texts, in-class exercises, collaborative projects, and group critique. Students will ground concepts such as critical design, computational performance, embodiment, emergence, composition, participatory interfaces, and media editing through hands-on, applied exploration. Weekly lab sessions will also support the development of new skills and practical development of digitally mediated content.

Fall 2016 instructor: Daragh Byrne


Program: Animation & Special Effects Game Design Learning Media Media Design Sound Design
Offered by: Art
60-126 Introduction to Performance Capture and Rendering

This mini is designed for those interested in the growing world of performance capture and visual effects. Utilizing the advanced motion capture facilities at Carnegie Mellon and the Kinect, students will learn how to capture motion from performance and apply it to CG characters and objects. While this technique is found in many video games and vfx movies, it has the ability to create endless possibilities within the realm of computer graphics and experimental animation/art. Students will also become more familiar with the process of rendering to create the necessary polish for their animations/visualizations. CG Lighting, camera work, and material shading are just a few of the many topics covered in this course.

Spring 2015 instructor: Spencer Diaz

Spring 2015 course website: cmuanimation.weebly.com


Program: Animation & Special Effects
Offered by: Art
16-223 Introduction to Physical Computing

Physical computing refers to the design and construction of physical systems that use a mix of software and hardware to sense and respond to the surrounding world. Such systems blend digital and physical processes into toys and gadgets, kinetic sculpture, functional sensing and assessment tools, mobile instruments, interactive wearables, and more. This is a project-based course that deals with all aspects of conceiving, designing and developing projects with physical computing: the application, the artifact, the computer-aided design environment, and the physical prototyping facilities. The course is organized around a series of practical hands-on exercises which introduce the fundamentals of circuits, embedded programming, sensor signal processing, simple mechanisms, actuation, and time-based behavior. The key objective is gaining an intuitive understanding of how information and energy move between the physical, electronic, and computational domains to create a desired behavior. The exercises provide building blocks for collaborative projects which utilize the essential skills and challenge students to not only consider how to make things, but also for whom we design, and why the making is worthwhile.

This course is an IDeATe Portal Course for entry into either of the IDeATe Intelligent Environments or Physical Computing programs. CFA/DC/TSB students can enroll under 16-223; CIT/MCS/SCS students can enroll in the 60-223 version of the course. Please note that there will be a materials fee associated with this course.

Upon completion of this course the students will be able to:

  • work in a mixed physical-digital environment and laboratory
  • make effective use of standard hardware and software tools for physical computing
  • approach complex physical computing problems with a systematic overview that integrates iterative research and design steps
  • generate systems specifications from a perceived need
  • partition functionality between hardware and software
  • produce interface specifications for a system composed of numerous subsystems
  • use computer-aided development tools for design, fabrication and testing and debugging evaluate the system in the context of an end user application or experience.

Fall 2016 instructor: Garth Zeglin

Fall 2016 course website


Program: Intelligent Environments Physical Computing
Offered by: Robotics Institute
54-166 Introduction to Sound Design for Theatre

Students explore the basic principles and theories of sound design from technical, psychological and aesthetic standpoints. Course work includes instruction in the controllable properties of sound, practical planning of sound plots, cue creation, and the design process. Drama majors have priority, however this course is also open to Music Technology majors and minors, or with permission of instructor.


Program: Sound Design
Offered by: Drama
51-486 Learner Experience Design

This course focuses on designing experiences that engage people in educational activities that enhance their learning through meaningful, memorable, and enjoyable interactions with information. Throughout the course, students investigate the intersection of design thinking, UI/UX design, cognitive studies, social sciences, instructional design, and educational pedagogy as a way of developing knowledge and skills in designing experiences for learners. Students study topics that are often difficult to grasp and collaboratively build a taxonomy of content types based on common and differentiating characteristics to identify design opportunities. Through readings, projects, and class exercises, students explore how people perceive and process information, what motivates them to learn, and what constitutes an experience. The course introduces students to traditional and emergent learning tools and methods as a means of defining affordances and limitations of various learning approaches and mediums. It also provides students the opportunity to apply what they learn through the design, testing, and assessment of learning experiences that they create.

Spring 2017 instructor: Stacie Rohrbach


Program: Learning Media
Offered by: Design
05-291 Learning Media Design

Learning is a complex human phenomenon with cognitive, social and personal dimensions that need to be accounted for in the design of technology enhanced learning experiences. In this studio course students will apply learning science concepts to critique existing forms of learning media, establish a set of design precedents to guide project work and produce a series of design concepts that support learning interactions in a real-world context. Collaborating in small interdisciplinary teams, students will partner with a local informal learning organization (e.g. museum, after school program provider, maker space) to conduct learning design research studies, synthesize findings, establish learning goals and iteratively prototype and assess design concepts. As final deliverables, students will present their design research findings, design concepts, and prototypes to stakeholders, and draft a media-rich proposal for their learning media concept to pitch to a local funder.

Fall 2016 instructor: Marti Louw


Program: Learning Media
Offered by: Entertainment Technology, Human Computer Interaction, Robotics Institute
05-292 Learning Media Methods

Learning Media Methods brings together students from across the disciplines to consider the design of mediated learning experiences though a project-based inquiry course. Students will be introduced to a range of design research methods and associated frameworks that explore the cognitive, social and affective dimensions of learning in everyday contexts through readings, invited lectures, in-class activities and assignments. Students will conduct a series of short design research studies to define learning goals and develop supporting design concepts that improve learning outcomes for diverse participants in an informal learning setting (e.g. museum, after-school program, park or mobile application). In concept development, we will look at how to position technology and question its role in the setting to engage and foster positive learning interactions. The course will culminate in a media-rich presentation of design concepts to a stakeholder audience, and include an evaluation plan describing how learning outcomes for the project would be assessed.

Spring 2015 instructor: Marti Louw


Program: Learning Media
Offered by: Human Computer Interaction
80-292 Learning Science Principles

The ability to learn - that is, to change and adapt to one's environment - is one of the hallmarks of intelligence, whether in humans, animals, or machines. In this course, we will examine the nature, components, and significance of learning in many different manifestations, with a particular focus on the fundamental concepts that underlie the ways in which we understand "learning" in different disciplines. This course will principally focus on different conceptualizations of learning, rather than its technical aspects, whether mathematical, experimental, or computational.

This course will be almost entirely project-based: you will work in groups (with students from different backgrounds) to identify opportunities for learning using and within media, and then develop designs that appropriately address those opportunities. In the course of developing these media designs, you will have to learn, and come to understand, concepts and principles of learning from different disciplines. The emphasis throughout will be on careful onceptualization, description, and design of the learning through and about media.

Spring 2015 instructor: David Danks


Program: Learning Media
Offered by: Philosophy
18-578 Mechatronic Design

Mechatronics is the synergistic integration of mechanism, electronics, and computer control to achieve a functional system. Because of the emphasis upon integration, this course will center around system integration in which small teams of students will configure, design, and implement a succession of mechatronic subsystems, leading to a main project. Lectures will complement the laboratory experience with comparative surveys, operational principles, and integrated design issues associated with the spectrum of mechanism, electronics, and control components. Class lectures will cover topics intended to complement the laboratory work, including mechanisms, actuators, motor drives, sensors and electronic interfaces, microcontroller hardware and programming and basic controls. During the first week of class, each student will be asked to complete a questionnaire about their technical background. The class will then be divided into multi-disciplinary teams of three students. During the first half of the class, lab assignments will be made every 1-2 weeks to construct useful subsystems based on material learned in lecture. The lab assignments are geared to build to the main project. This course is cross-listed as 16-778 and 24-778. Students in other departments may take the course upon availability of slots with permission of instructor. Non ECE students may take the course upon availability of slots with permission of the instructor.

Spring 2015 instructor: John Dolan


Program: Physical Computing
Offered by: Electrical and Computer Engineering
76-374 Mediated Narrative

Spring 2017: In this project-based course students will create a computer-based interactive documentary about contemporary Cuban society, which will be filmed in Cuba during the Spring break week of 2017. The class will explore different styles and techniques of storytelling with the flexibility of form offered by the computer through the practice of digression, multiple points of view, disruptions of time and of storyline, etc. Students will work within interdisciplinary teams in the creative areas of English and creative writing, video production, interactive media, data visualization and programming. Students will be encouraged to think about digital interactive media not just in terms of technology but also considering broader issues such as verbal and visual language, design, information architecture, communication and community.


Program: Media Design
Offered by: English
18-099 Mobile App Design and Development

IDeATe is partnering with YinzCam to develop and offer a studio course on mobile app design and development. The course will leverage the extensive expertise of YinzCam on mobile-app development in the sports and entertainment space, both for real-time and asynchronous enrichment of the fan experience and the stadium experience. However, the lessons learned will apply to mobile-app development broadly. Issues covered will include cross-platform development, mobile video, streaming media, real-time content delivery, along with best practices in server-side cloud management for large-scale mobile-app deployment. Please note that this course is for students to take as one of their IDeATe concentration/minor options and will NOT fulfill a CIT/ECE requirement. Open to juniors and seniors. DC and MCS students should take the course after completing another IDeATe collaborative course.

Fall 2016 instructor: Priya Narasimhan


Offered by: Electrical and Computer Engineering
67-340 Mobile Web Design and Development

This course introduces students to mobile web design and development. Students will learn the concepts and techniques of mobile web design and develop a working application using HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript. The course utilizes a hands-on approach to guide students through learning and understanding the design and development process.

Spring 2017 instructor: Sara Moussawi


Program: Media Design
Offered by:
70-416 New Venture Creation

This course exposes students to the nuances of financing new ventures, getting them started legally and marketing their products or services. Students pull together all the ideas and information from different functional aspects of their projects into coherent and persuasive mini-business plans that serve as roadmaps for building their businesses; and useful instruments to find sufficient financing for the new ventures, so that they can convince the outside world that these opportunities are viable, with substantial potential for success.

Spring 2016 instructor: David Mawhinney


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Offered by: Tepper School of Business
60-352 NOISE: Toward a Critical Theory of Sound and Hearing

This seminar will explore audio art in its widest sense: sound sculpture and installations, radio art, the soundtrack, just about anything audible but not conceived as music. Special focus on the production (and reception) of sound by artists, amplifying those creative efforts that, in having explored acoustics, soundscapes, and listening, might also serve to inspire students to incorporate sound in their own work. Contemporary critical theory, by and large, is still glaringly silent on aurality and auditory phenomena; it seriously fails to consider sound as an object of study, instead focusing quite exclusively on visual culture (film, TV, video, computer screens, which are, of course, technologies of vision and sound). This seminar will address this roaring silence by examining some suggestive but disparate theoretical work related to sound and by engaging with a range of artistic practices that explore the production and reception of sound itself.

Fall 2015 instructor: Melissa Ragona


Program: Sound Design
Offered by: Art
05-432 Personalized Online Learning

Online learning has become widespread (e.g., MOOCs, online and blended courses, and Khan Academy) and many claim it will revolutionize higher education and K-12. How can we make sure online learning is maximally effective? Learners differ along many dimensions and they change over time. Therefore, advanced learning technologies must adapt to learners to provide individualized learning experiences. This course covers a number of proven personalization techniques used in advanced learning technologies. One of the techniques is the use of cognitive modeling to personalize practice of complex cognitive skills in intelligent tutoring systems. This approach, developed at CMU, may well be the most significant application of cognitive science in education and is commercially successful. We will also survey newer techniques, such as personalizing based on student meta-cognition, affect, and motivation. Finally, we will look at personalization approaches that are widely believed to be effective but have not proven to be so. The course involves readings and discussion of different ways of personalizing instruction, with an emphasis on cognitive modeling approaches. Students will learn to use the Cognitive Tutor Authoring Tools (CTAT, http://ctat.pact.cs.cmu.edu) to implement tutor prototypes that rely on computer-executable models of human problem solving to personalize instruction. The course is meant for graduate or advanced undergraduate students in Human-Computer Interaction, Psychology, Computer Science, Design, or related fields, who are interested in educational applications. Students should either have some programming skills or experience in the cognitive psychology of human problem solving, or experience with instructional design.

Fall 2014 instructor: Vincent Aleven


Program: Learning Media
Offered by: Human Computer Interaction
16-371/54-371 Personalized Responsive Environments

Launching Fall 2015. Environmental factors have a significant impact on mood and productivity. Creating responsive environments necessitates the design of surroundings that are able to metamorphose in order to optimize user strengths and available resources and evolve in stride with user needs. 

This course will investigate the development of spaces that adapt to user preferences, moods, and task specific demands. Both the design and engineering of such personalized environments will be explored. Central course concepts will include, understanding the user, integrating various modalities (e.g., light, heat, sound) to support the changing needs of task and user, and the creation of adaptive environments that learn user preferences over time.

Fall 2015 instructors: Reid Simmons and Anne Mundell


Program: Intelligent Environments
Offered by: Drama, Robotics Institute
48-390 Physical Computing Studio

This collaborative studio course will allow interdisciplinary teams to develop wearables with a focus on assistive technology. The ubiquitous nature of mobile devices coupled with low-cost and easily integrated sensors and actuators make this a good time to approach real problems for a range of users from the physically disabled to athletes. Teams will learn skills in hardware, software, fabrication, and design communication in order to effectively develop and share their ideas.

Spring 2015 instructor: Eric Brockmeyer


Program: Physical Computing
Offered by: Architecture
73-100 Principles of Economics

Literally, an introduction to economic principles, the goal of this course is to give students an understanding as to what constitutes good "economic thinking". This thought process is grounded in the construction and use of economics models. Drawing on issues in both microeconomics and macroeconomics, fundamental principles are shown to transcend particular examples and allow the field to be seen as a coherent, unified whole. (Lecture, 2 hours; Recitation, 1 hour).


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Offered by: Tepper School of Business
51-312 Products in Systems: ID IV

Integrative Product Design Studio is a studio course conducted in the School of Design. This course is a highly collaborative team-based project course that requires the use of participatory research methods, creative thinking processes, and various visualization methods to develop and design new physical product systems.
The course requires the application of basic behavioral research methods, ability to conduct first-person research, and analysis and conversion of this information into visual 2D and 3D visualizations. Public presentation and critique of visual and verbal iterations are a significant part of the studio structure and learning process.

Proficiency in visualization of your abstract ideas through analog and digital methods is required to effectively work on a design team: freehand sketching, physical 3D prototyping, 2D graphic software, 3D modeling software, and/or processing/programming visualization.

Spring 2016 instructor: Wayne Chung


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Offered by: Design
53-230 Programming for Game Designers

Game design sits at the crossroads of many different disciplines--programming, art, writing, design, engineering, psychology, and more. This course takes a practical approach to programming and how it can be used to make one a better game designer. Through individual & collaborative projects, students will learn programming tools, techniques for working with data, methods of working with teams, and prototyping strategies. This course is geared toward non-programmers looking to add programming to their game design toolset.

Spring 2015 instructor: Dave Culyba

Spring 2015 course website: 53-230 Programming for Game Designers


Program: Game Design
Offered by: Entertainment Technology
39-245 Rapid Prototype Design

This course provides an introduction to rapid design through virtual and physical prototyping. The class covers the engineering design process, problem solving methods, interdisciplinary team work, current industrial practice, and manufacturing process capabilities. The course emphasizes hands on learning. Sophomores have priority while registering for this course. Juniors and seniors will be put on the waitlist, then released once sophomores have registered.


Program: Physical Computing
Offered by: College of Engineering
18-540 Rapid Prototyping of Computer Systems

This is a project-oriented course which will deal with all four aspects of project development; the application, the artifact, the computer-aided design environment, and the physical prototyping facilities. The class, in conjunction with the instructors, will develop specifications for a mobile computer to assist in inspection and maintenance. The application will be partitioned between human computer interaction, electronics, industrial design, mechanical, and software components. The class will be divided into groups to specify, design, and implement the various subsystems. The goal is to produce a working hardware/software prototype of the system and to evaluate the user acceptability of the system. We will also monitor our progress in the design process by capturing our design escapes (errors) with the Orthogonal Defect Classification (ODC). Upon completion of this course the student will be able to: generate systems specifications from a perceived need; partition functionality between hardware and software; produce interface specifications for a system composed of numerous subsystems; use computer-aided design tools; fabricate, integrate, and debug a hardware/software system; and evaluate the system in the context of an end user application. Senior standing is required.

Spring 2015 instructors: Daniel Siewiorek and Asim Smailagic


Program: Intelligent Environments Physical Computing
Offered by: Electrical and Computer Engineering
15-294 Rapid Prototyping Technologies

This mini-course introduces students to rapid prototyping technologies with a focus on laser cutting and 3D printing. The course has three components: 1) A survey of rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing technologies, the maker and open source movements, and societal impacts of these technologies; 2) An introduction to the computer science behind these technologies: CAD tools, file formats, slicing algorithms; 3) Hands-on experience with SolidWorks, laser cutting, and 3D printing, culminating in student projects (e.g. artistic creations, functional objects, replicas of famous calculating machines, etc.). Please note that there will be a usage/materials fee for this course.

Fall 2016 instructor: David Touretzky

Spring 2016 course website: 15-294 Rapid Prototyping Technologies


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship Media Design Physical Computing
Offered by: Computer Science
48-734 Reactive Spaces and Media Architecture

How can embedded computation change the way we experience our surroundings? What is the value of creating dynamic spaces? This class will focus on the design and prototyping of reactive spaces. Over the course of several small projects and one large final project, students will learn where, when and how to embed computationally-driven experiences into the built environment. Students will be required to design, render and build experiences and interactions for specific locations and with specific intentions. By the end of the course students should expect to know how to use sensor and API data to manipulate an environment through light, sound and motion output. Previous experience with programming, electronics or fabrication is encouraged, but not required. However, students are expected to learn these skills on their own with minimal in-class instruction.

Spring 2016 instructor: Jake Marsico


Program: Intelligent Environments Physical Computing
Offered by: Architecture
16-457/48-559 Reality Computing II

Launching Spring 2016. Course description coming soon.

Spring 2016 instructor: Pyry Matikainen


Program: Intelligent Environments Media Design Physical Computing
Offered by: Architecture, Robotics Institute
53-451 Research Issues in Game Development

This course covers evolving trends in technology and how they can apply to game design. Recent advancements in virtual reality, augmented reality, cloud computing, 4K video streaming, and alternative input devices are changing the way that we create, deliver, and experience games. Students will form collaborative teams to explore these platforms and address design challenges by creating games for them and testing their designs.

Fall 2016 instructor: Tom Corbett


Program: Game Design
Offered by: Entertainment Technology
05-748 Research Methods for the Learning Sciences

The goals of this course are to learn data collection, design, and analysis methodologies that are particularly useful for scientific research in education. The course will be organized in modules addressing particular topics including overview of methods, cognitive task analysis, qualitative methods, protocol and discourse analysis, and data mining and log analysis. A key goal is to help students think about and learn how to apply these methods to their own research programs. To enroll you must have taken 85-738, "Educational Goals, Instruction, and Assessment" or get the permission of the instruction.

Spring 2017 instructor: Kenneth Koedinger


Program: Learning Media
Offered by: Human Computer Interaction
48-528 Responsive Mobile Environments

Embedded, connected and mobile computing combine to create powerful platforms for sensing human behavior and personalizing experiences in situated spaces. Creating intelligent, meaningful, and opportune feedback to provide serendipitous support for the people and activities within these spaces still remains an important problem. Students will seek creative solutions to this challenge in this hands-on introduction to real-time interactive environments. The course will introduce foundational theories, methods and techniques that range across the aesthetic, the human-centered and the technical. Students will apply this knowledge by working in teams to collaborative prototype an responsive environment which adapts in real-time to activities within it. In these teams, students will work across disciplines to integrate technical and aesthetic frameworks for sensing, analysis and feedback of human activity in intelligent and augmented spaces.

Spring 2017 instructor: Daragh Byrne


Program: Intelligent Environments Physical Computing
Offered by: Architecture
16-375/54-375 Robotics for Creative Practice

This project-oriented course brings art and engineering together into making machines which are surprisingly animate. Students will iterate their concepts through several prototypes focused on using embodied behavior as a creative medium for storytelling, performance, and human interaction. This year we will work with human-scale machines constructed using CNC-cut plywood and pneumatic actuation, culminating in a group performance. Students will learn skills for developing and programming performance behaviors, designing expressive kinetic systems, and rapidly prototyping simple robots. Technical topics include systems thinking, dynamic physical and computational behavior, autonomy, and embedded programming. Discussion topics include both contemporary kinetic sculpture and robotics research. Interested students without the specific prerequisites should contact the instructor.

Fall 2016 instructor: Garth Zeglin

Fall 2016 course website: Robotics for Creative Practice


Program: Intelligent Environments Media Design Physical Computing
Offered by: Drama, Robotics Institute
53-371 Role Playing Games Writing Workshop

Role playing games, mainly traditional pencil-and-paper, but recently to an extent, video RPGs as well, have matured over the last 40 years into a viable medium for modern storytelling. There is now a generation of novelists, screenwriters, playwrights and TV writers who first felt capable of telling a good story while they were an RPG games master. The course instructor is one of those writers, having won three Game of the Year awards for his RPG writing. Primarily for writers looking to work in games, this class also serves anyone interested in creating interactive stories. Additionally, more traditional linear writers who want to try their hand at "new media" will find a home in this class. The class will first examine and dissect existing RPGs (mainly using pencil and paper examples) seeking guidance for both design of RPGs as well as storytelling "best practices." Once the groundwork has been laid, the class will take an original draft story for an existing RPG world -- one from a game that was actually built -- and, having been given only the treatment document, form writing teams and 'flesh out' the story, transforming a hazy idea into form and substance, beats, missions, dialogue, Acts. Each student will be part of a three-person writing team which will first pitch a story idea for their own expanded version of the original story. Once their idea is approved, the team then design out a complete structure for that idea, followed by beat sheets, supporting characters, mission arcs, scene breakdowns, dialogue for some interactive scenes and also scripts for a single cut scene. By the end of the semester the students are delivering the backbone of their own story.

Fall 2016 instructor: Chris Klug


Program: Game Design
Offered by: Entertainment Technology
57-337 Sound Recording

This course centers around the recording studio in the School of Music: how the studio works, and how to record various types of music, including classical music, using the recording studio and Kresge Recital Hall, which has audio and video links to the recording studio. The method of instruction is to learn by doing, and the goal, from the very first session, is to achieve professional-sounding results. Equipment includes a complete 24-track Pro-Tools system, professionally designed control room that can accommodate up to 24 people, outboard preamps and other gear, and an interesting array of microphones. All recording is direct to hard disc.

Fall 2016 instructor: Riccardo Schulz


Program: Sound Design
Offered by: Music
24-672 Special Topics in DIY Design and Fabrication

The traditional principles of mass production are being challenged by concepts of highly customized and personalized goods. A growing number of do-it-yourself (DIY) inventors, designers, makers, and entrepreneurs is accelerating this trend. This class offers students hands-on experiences of DIY product design and fabrication processes. Over the course of a semester, students work individually or in small groups to design a customized and personalized product of their own and build it using various DIY fabrication methods, including 3D laser scanning, 3D printing, laser cutting, vacuum forming, etc. Students develop multiple prototypes throughout the semester, iterating and refining their design.

Fall 2015 instructor: Kenji Shimada


Program: Innovation and Entrepreneurship Media Design Physical Computing
Offered by: College of Engineering
76-285 Team Communication

This mini will introduce you to research and theory on how to create effective teams. In it, you will learn: - leadership strategies for managing projects and getting everyone to contribute to their best capacity - interpersonal skills for negotiating team conflict - communication strategies for working with individuals from very different professional and cultural backgrounds. - techniques for fostering trust and inspiring team innovation and creativity - how to use technology to manage teams that are geographically separated Professor Joanna Wolfe has been studying student and professional technical teams for fifteen years and is the author of multiple books and award-winning articles on team communication. This course will be hands-on with assigned readings and video cases that are discussed in class with plenty of opportunities to role-play different communication strategies and techniques.


Program: Animation & Special Effects Game Design Innovation and Entrepreneurship Intelligent Environments Learning Media Media Design Physical Computing Sound Design
Offered by: English
60-220 Technical Character Animation

With an emphasis on character animation, this course will explore the whole production pipeline of 3D Animation from initial concept to rendered result through the use of Maya. Through a series of technical assignments, in class demonstrations, and guest lectures from industry professionals, students will come to learn the basic principles of animation and work up to more advanced techniques. Some specific animation areas that will be covered include locomotion, pantomime/acting, dialogue, set driven keys, and blend shapes. Students will also learn more technical/advanced approaches to other production areas such as modeling, texturing, rigging, rendering/lighting, and layout. Please note that there may be usage/lab fees associated with this course.

Fall 2015 instructor: Spencer Diaz


Program: Animation & Special Effects
Offered by: Art
54-509 Theatrical Sound System Design

Intensive course exploring the theory, art and technology of large scale sound system design for entertainment, specifically live theater productions. Prerequisites: Intro to Sound Design for Theatre and Production Audio, OR permission of instructor.

Fall 2016 instructors: Christopher Evans and Joseph Pino


Program: Sound Design
Offered by: Music
53-642 Themed Entertainment Design Studio

Themed Entertainment Design (TED) Studio A, is a combination lecture and studio course which focuses on executing a client event from concept to delivery. Students will be assigned to teams which will meet during set course studio hours. Additional meeting times will be required outside of studio hours. The class will provide students with knowledge and experience in conceiving, planning, designing, analyzing, and executing themed events. The class will also explore the analytics of the experience. Lectures and discussions will focus on the importance of theming, guest experience, thru put and safety. Existing events and installations will be used as case studies. There will be two projects completed by the entire class over the semester. (1) The class, as a team, will work with an existing client and provide a pre-show experience for guests attending a public event. As part of this project, the class will work with the client to see how the event is put together, advertised, executed, and then fully analyze the flow and thru put of the event and overall guest reaction to the experience; (2) The class, as a team, will work with the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) as their client to organize, execute, and analyze use of the ETC spaces during the Building Virtual Worlds Festival.

Fall 2016 instructor: Shirley Saldamarco


Program: Media Design
Offered by: Entertainment Technology
53-399 Understanding Game Engines

Students will learn the fundamental components and features of game engines (such as objects, inputs, movement, interactions, physics, UI, artwork and animation, sound, and more) and the terminology and theory behind them. Students will attend lectures and participate in example exercises to illustrate these concepts, and put these concepts to practice in their assignment work. This course does not have pre-requisites, but a basic understanding of common code concepts (variables, loops, conditional statements) is recommended.

Fall 2016 instructor: Tom Corbett


Program: Game Design
Offered by: Entertainment Technology
60-441 Urban Intervention

This course introduces students to theories, practices, and communities for critical investigation of urban spaces and play within them.  

The course unfolds along two parallel trajectories: research (literature review, lectures, readings, demonstrations) and design (three iterated individualized projects and a fourth larger scale final project).  The first half of the course will introduce students to a wide range of theories and techniques within urban intervention that draw from fluxus, the situationist international, activism and hacktivism, as well as public policy, philosophy, psychology and economics.  Students will study theoretical and practical frameworks for artistic intervention into public urban spaces, while concurrently researching actual sites and communities within Pittsburgh for experimentation.  Students are required to conceptualized projects on larger (urban) scales, and find ways to implement their projects safely and legally by pursuing the necessary administrative, social, technical, financial steps required to create meaningful interventions in public spaces.  

This class will specifically explore three media for urban intervention:  
Sound
Outdoor video projection
Robotics, Autonomy and Mobility in the way of remote control vehicles (e.g. cars, quad-copters, etc.).

For each theme, students are required to produce one project that is iterated twice or more.

The undergraduate (60441) and graduate (60741) sections of the course meet concurrently and follow the same syllabus and assignments.  In addition to the coursework documented in the syllabus, Graduate level students are expected to write a research paper suitable for submission to a notable relevant academic conference. This process includes a rough draft, revisions and a completed and formatted paper ready for submission.

Spring 2015 instructor: Ali Momeni


Program: Intelligent Environments Media Design
Offered by: Art