Carnegie Mellon University


Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology

Physical Computing

Students in the Physical Computing minor explore the technical, experiential, and semantic issues of embedding computing in artifacts. They address the key components of physical computing: from the fabrication of the interface and the development of the circuitry to the integration of component elements within different contexts. The embedding contexts range from mobile to the built environment and new creative practice instruments.

Physical Computing Minor - Minimum of 45 Units

One Computing Course - Minimum of 9 Units

  • 15-104 Introduction to Computing for Creative Practice
  • 15-110 Principles of Computing
  • 15-112 Fundamentals of Programming and Computer Science
  • 60-210 Electronic Media Studio: Introduction to Interactivity
  • 60-212 Electronic Media Studio: Interactivity and Computational Practice

One IDeATe Portal Course - Minimum of 9 Units

  • Recommended Portal Course for this area: 16-223 IDeATe Portal: Creative Kinetic Systems
  • Recommended Portal Course for this area: 60-223 IDeATe Introduction to Physical Computing
  • 18-090 Twisted Signals: Multimedia Processing for the Arts
  • 53-322 IDeATe: Little Games/Big Stories: Indie Roleplaying Game Studio
  • 60-125 IDeATe: Introduction to 3D Animation Pipeline
  • 62-150 IDeATe Portal: Introduction to Media Synthesis and Analysis
    • Section A: Introduction to Media Synthesis and Analysis
    • Section B: Mediascapes
    • Section C: Digital Storytelling and Archives
  • 99-361 IDeATe Portal
    • Section A: Inflatables
    • Section B: Intelligent Environments
    • Section D: Learning About Learning

IDeATe Physical Computing Courses - Minimum of 27 Units

  • 05-333 Gadgets, Sensors, and Activity Recognition in HCI
  • 05-540/18-540 Rapid Prototyping of Computer Systems
  • 15-294 Rapid Prototyping Technologies
  • 15-394 Intermediate Rapid Prototyping
  • 16-375/54-375 Robotics for Creative Practice
  • 16-376 IDeATe: Kinetic Fabrics
  • 16-455/48-530 IDeATe: Human-Machine Virtuosity
  • 16-480/53-399 IDeATe: Creative Robotics
  • 18-578 Mechatronic Design
  • 24-672 Special Topics in DIY Design and Fabrication
  • 39-245 Rapid Prototype Design
  • 48-339 IDeATe: Making Things Interactive
  • 48-528 Responsive Mobile Environments
  • 48-734 Possibilistic Design
  • 49-313 Designing for the Internet of Things
  • 62-315 IDeATe: Shaping the Built Environment: Experiments in Geometry and Matter
  • 62-361 Activating the Body: Physical Computing and Technology in Performance
  • 62-362 IDeATe: Electronic Logics && Creative Practice
  • 62-478 digiTOOL
  • Additional courses as available. Please check IDeATe Courses for the options for the current and upcoming semester.
Double-counting:  Students may double-count up to two of their IDeATe minor courses for other requirements.

Physical Computing Faculty

The Physical Computing faculty represent Carnegie Mellon's expertise in Architecture, Art, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, and Robotics. They carefully oversee the collaboration of students while delivering the IDeATe Physical Computing courses.