CTC_Qualified Electives Course Listing
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The Web & Democracy
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To request credit for courses not listed, including prior to 2017-18, contact the CTC Coordinator
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Course numberSubject/Dept.TermCreditsCourse titleFaculty NoteCourse description
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ARCH-2351ArchitectureFall3Adv Topics: Arch Computation TBAMajor elective
This 3 credit advanced seminar offers students the opportunity to focus on computational topics pertaining to architecture. Computational techniques and computational ideas are explored through making, writing, reading, and discussion. Some of the work in this course will take place in the space of the digital model, but coding, physical computation, and human computation may also enter into play. Students in this course will, under the mentorship of faculty, develop a level of expertise and knowledge that goes beyond what is usually associated with the requisite skills for contemporary architectural practice. Conversely, it is expected that computation may provoke a challenge to even the most base conceptions of design and architecture. Each iteration of this course will identify and advance a single theme, concept or problem. Some issues that may arise during this course include authorship, modeling vs simulation, computer controlled fabrication, intelligence, and creativity. Prerequisite: completion of Architectural Projection or permission of instructor with a demonstrated experience with 2-D and 3-D software.
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ARCH-2351ArchitectureSpring 3Adv Topics: Arch Computation TBAMajor elective
This 3 credit advanced seminar offers students the opportunity to focus on computational topics pertaining to architecture. Computational techniques and computational ideas are explored through making, writing, reading, and discussion. Some of the work in this course will take place in the space of the digital model, but coding, physical computation, and human computation may also enter into play. Students in this course will, under the mentorship of faculty, develop a level of expertise and knowledge that goes beyond what is usually associated with the requisite skills for contemporary architectural practice. Conversely, it is expected that computation may provoke a challenge to even the most base conceptions of design and architecture. Each iteration of this course will identify and advance a single theme, concept or problem. Some issues that may arise during this course include authorship, modeling vs simulation, computer controlled fabrication, intelligence, and creativity. Prerequisite: completion of Architectural Projection or permission of instructor with a demonstrated experience with 2-D and 3-D software.
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CTC-1000
Computation Technology and Culture
Fall3Introduction to ComputationTBACTC requirement
Introduction to Computation focuses on computational techniques, methods, and ideas in the context of art and design. Studio projects first center on the design of algorithms then shift to involve computer programming and scripting. Critical attention is given to code as a body of crafted text with significant aesthetic, philosophical, and social dimensions, as well as the tension, conflict, and potential possible when computation generates, informs, or interacts with drawings, materials, forms, and spaces. Historical and contemporary works of computational art and design will be presented and assigned for analysis. This course is open to students of all majors and is designed for those with little or no experience in programming. In order to conduct work in this course, students will need a laptop computer. This course fulfills one of two core studio requirements for CTC Concentration.
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CTC-1000
Computation Technology and Culture
Spring 3Introduction to ComputationTBACTC requirement
Introduction to Computation focuses on computational techniques, methods, and ideas in the context of art and design. Studio projects first center on the design of algorithms then shift to involve computer programming and scripting. Critical attention is given to code as a body of crafted text with significant aesthetic, philosophical, and social dimensions, as well as the tension, conflict, and potential possible when computation generates, informs, or interacts with drawings, materials, forms, and spaces. Historical and contemporary works of computational art and design will be presented and assigned for analysis. This course is open to students of all majors and is designed for those with little or no experience in programming. In order to conduct work in this course, students will need a laptop computer. This course fulfills one of two core studio requirements for CTC Concentration.
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CTC-1000
Computation Technology and Culture
Wintersession3Introduction to ComputationMark CetiliaCTC requirement
Introduction to Computation focuses on computational techniques, methods, and ideas in the context of art and design. Studio projects first center on the design of algorithms then shift to involve computer programming and scripting. Critical attention is given to code as a body of crafted text with significant aesthetic, philosophical, and social dimensions, as well as the tension, conflict, and potential possible when computation generates, informs, or interacts with drawings, materials, forms, and spaces. Historical and contemporary works of computational art and design will be presented and assigned for analysis. This course is open to students of all majors and is designed for those with little or no experience in programming. In order to conduct work in this course, students will need a laptop computer. This course fulfills one of two core studio requirements for CTC Concentration.
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CTC-2000
Computation Technology and Culture
Spring 3Ambient Interfaces: Activated ObjectsAlejandro BorsaniCTC elective
This course is a practical and conceptual exploration into electronic sensors, processors and actuators in the context of interactive art and design. Students will turn everyday objects into "ambient interfaces" or "responsive systems" that respond to the conditions of the human body, data networks, and the environment. Contemporary works of art and design - from kinetic sculpture and sound art to installation, architecture and product design - will be examined through readings and presentations. Open source hardware (Arduino) and software (Processing) will be taught along with the fundamentals of electronic circuitry. Emphasis is given to the development of creative projects (individual or collaborative), followed by an iterative implementation process (planning, prototyping, testing, analyzing, and refining). The course is structured around a series of tutorials and exercises, culminating in a final project. Students also present work-in-progress and prototypes during class reviews to receive qualitative feedback from the class and the instructor. Participants will engage with physical computing conceptually and technically in their studio work and are encouraged to leverage their individual backgrounds to excel in the respective context. Prior experience with electronics and programming is recommended but not required.
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CTC-2001
Computation Technology and Culture
Fall3
Programming Sound: Performance Systems
Mark Cetilia CTC elective
Programming Sound: Performance Systems focuses on programming and designing computer-based systems for sound art and music performance. Centered on the dataflow programming language, Pure Data (Pd), the course will be of substantial benefit to students who desire a rigorous and fast-moving foundation in algorithmic approaches to sound design. The course simultaneously facilitates explorations in sound synthesis, audio signal processing, electronics, mobile platforms, gesture-based human computer interaction, and instrument building with microcontrollers and sensors. Coursework involves weekly homework in the form of online lectures and exercises with class sessions reserved for demonstrations, workshops, and project assistance. The course emphasizes modularity and reuse of code. Students will present their work in a public concert during the last week of the semester. Additional notes: In order to conduct work in this course, students will need a laptop computer running a recent OS: Mac, Windows, or Linux. Previous programming experience is recommended, but not required.
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CTC-2005
Computation Technology and Culture
Spring 3Seeing MachinesClement VallaCTC elective
‘Seeing Machines’ are imaging technologies that produce and distribute pictures. (1) Google maps, surveillance networks, museum digital archives, QR codes, and facial recognition systems are some examples. Their quantity and reach is vast: more images are being created by these systems today than the combined sum of all images before the year 2000. In 2017, picture production largely happens within automated networks, distributed by computers in a massive flow of data, (and most won’t ever be seen by the human eye). This class will explore how artists intervene and subvert Seeing Machines’ tools—scripts, programs, automation and other technologies — to systematize, classify and distribute images. Through a set of projects, student-led presentations, readings and discussions, we will understand how Seeing Machines operate and control, and create methods to make artwork in response. Topics will include: images that have never been seen by humans, making images for machines, programming and automation, security & privacy, databases & their lack of objectivity, are pixels real?, the Enlightenment as precursor, the quantification of space & time, lenses without photographers (1) Trevor Paglen, Seeing Machines, 2014 [https://www.fotomuseum.ch/en/explore/still-searching/articles/26978]
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CTC-3000
Computation Technology and Culture
Fall 3CTC: Research Studio Clement VallaCTC requirement
CTC: Research Studio is a required, advanced course for all CTC Concentrators taken after a student has earned 12 CTC credits. In this course, students develop and complete a large-scale project that draws from the students’ prior studies in the CTC Concentration. Students write source code, author software, and program hardware for making their own works of art and design. Complementing this work, students engage in critical discourse surrounding computation, technology, and culture through dialogue and writing. Coding as a technology with implications for making and authorship is explored through a pedagogy of code sharing and collaborative learning. Differences in programming cultures across languages and disciplines is one of the motive forces in this course. Throughout the semester, seminar discussions are organized around canonical computational texts and the course’s parallel lecture series.
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CTC-3000
Computation Technology and Culture
Spring 3CTC: Research Studio Chris NovelloCTC requirement
CTC: Research Studio is a required, advanced course for all CTC Concentrators taken after a student has earned 12 CTC credits. In this course, students develop and complete a large-scale project that draws from the students’ prior studies in the CTC Concentration. Students write source code, author software, and program hardware for making their own works of art and design. Complementing this work, students engage in critical discourse surrounding computation, technology, and culture through dialogue and writing. Coding as a technology with implications for making and authorship is explored through a pedagogy of code sharing and collaborative learning. Differences in programming cultures across languages and disciplines is one of the motive forces in this course. Throughout the semester, seminar discussions are organized around canonical computational texts and the course’s parallel lecture series.
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DM-3104Digital + MediaFall3Research Studio: Sonic PracticesMark Cetilia, Caroline ParkGraduate level
Sonic Practices is a graduate-level research group focused on acoustic, electronic, and/or computer-based means of sound production and reception. Participants explore audio culture and technology while developing experimental approaches to composition, performance, recording, and/or listening. Areas of investigation include, but are not limited to: audio programming languages, embedded/mobile computing for sound and music, spatial audio, sound synthesis, audio electronics, sonification and auditory display, electroacoustic music composition and improvisation, field recording and soundscape studies, sound installation and performance, and sonic interaction design. Each semester, course content changes in response to a new unifying theme upon which students base individual and team-based research projects. Meetings consist of discussions, workshops, critiques, and collaborations that support students' individual inquiries, the exchange of ideas, and the exploration of research methodologies.
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DM-3104Digital + MediaSpring 3Research Studio: Sonic PracticesMark Cetilia, Caroline ParkGraduate level
Sonic Practices is a graduate-level research group focused on acoustic, electronic, and/or computer-based means of sound production and reception. Participants explore audio culture and technology while developing experimental approaches to composition, performance, recording, and/or listening. Areas of investigation include, but are not limited to: audio programming languages, embedded/mobile computing for sound and music, spatial audio, sound synthesis, audio electronics, sonification and auditory display, electroacoustic music composition and improvisation, field recording and soundscape studies, sound installation and performance, and sonic interaction design. Each semester, course content changes in response to a new unifying theme upon which students base individual and team-based research projects. Meetings consist of discussions, workshops, critiques, and collaborations that support students' individual inquiries, the exchange of ideas, and the exploration of research methodologies.
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DM-7026Digital + MediaSpring 3Physical Computing Paul BadgerGraduate level
Physical Computing is an introduction to low-level electronic technologies such as sensors, microcontrollers, display technologies and motors. We will review the basics of electricity and microcontrollers (one-chip computers). A wide range of sensors, and output technologies will be presented, and demonstrated so that students have a sense of currently available low-cost technologies that are available for artwork and their course work. The hardware on which the course will be based is low-cost wireless microcontroller modules and a basic array of sensors and interface tech. The modules can be used to record data from the body wirelessly, or to harvest user information from a gallery installation. The modules can also be used to drive output systems, such as displays, sound, or motors. Students will also be expected to pursue technology that interests them including specialized sensors and output devices. If there is class interest and time we can construct our own printed circuit boards, to show students how to "close the loop" between the roles of consumers and constructors of hardware based electronic systems. Readings and discussions will interrogate some of the latest tech industry jargon such as the "Internet of Things" and the place that robots and automation might have in the future, as well as writings by artists working with technology.
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DM-7152Digital + MediaFall3
Research Studio: Technological Landscapes
Alyson OgasianGraduate level
Participants in the Technological Landscapes research group are passionate but critical observers of today's living environment in relation to ubiquitous, integrated, and emerging technologies. It is important that we draw inspiration not necessarily just from art, design, but from real-world events influenced or caused by technological advancement and/or failure. This research group will foster a dynamic, and highly collaborative environment through discussions, readings and excursions. Participants are expected to drive and determine the focus and interests of the group through conversations and consensus. In turn this will feed each participant's artistic sensibility and will form the conceptual foundations necessary for building a strong critical art work. Participants will explore research methodologies and various forms of research as material, social, and symbolic creative practice. The projects, individual or collaborative, should be thought of on a scale of landscape physical or virtual. One is encouraged to exploit the imaginative, speculate possible near futures and position them where the poetic crosses between science fiction and the built reality. Each year the group works together to locate and secure an exhibition space and or develop a site-specific work within the site/topic of study for that year. Each year the site/topic of focus changes, please contact faculty for current information.
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DM-7152Digital + MediaSpring 3
Research Studio: Technological Landscapes
Shona Ktichen, Alyson OgasianGraduate level
Participants in the Technological Landscapes research group are passionate but critical observers of today's living environment in relation to ubiquitous, integrated, and emerging technologies. It is important that we draw inspiration not necessarily just from art, design, but from real-world events influenced or caused by technological advancement and/or failure. This research group will foster a dynamic, and highly collaborative environment through discussions, readings and excursions. Participants are expected to drive and determine the focus and interests of the group through conversations and consensus. In turn this will feed each participant's artistic sensibility and will form the conceptual foundations necessary for building a strong critical art work. Participants will explore research methodologies and various forms of research as material, social, and symbolic creative practice. The projects, individual or collaborative, should be thought of on a scale of landscape physical or virtual. One is encouraged to exploit the imaginative, speculate possible near futures and position them where the poetic crosses between science fiction and the built reality. Each year the group works together to locate and secure an exhibition space and or develop a site-specific work within the site/topic of study for that year. Each year the site/topic of focus changes, please contact faculty for current information.
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FAV-1539FAV / IDISCFall3Procedural ProgrammingThomas SgourosElective
This course is designed for students with little or no programming experience. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the role computation can play in visualizing, and also to bolster students' confidence in their ability to write small programs to accomplish useful goals. The class will use Python; a general-purpose object-oriented interpreted language one can use for countless standalone projects or scripting applications. Python's design philosophy emphasizes code readability, and its syntax allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code. Also offered as IDISC-1539. Register into the course for which credit is desired.
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GRAPH-3176Graphic DesignFall1WKSHP: ProgrammingChris NovelloMajor elective
This workshop will use the processing programming language to introduce students to programming concepts. Students will not only learn the fundamentals of the processing language but will research contemporary working methods around programming and explore the ways in which algorithms affect the design process. The aim of this workshop is for students to develop procedural literacy and to open their design work to indeterminacy, interactivity, generative processes, participatory working methods, and new opportunities afforded by technology in general.
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GRAPH-3173-01Graphic DesignFall3The Web & DemocracyJohn CasertaMajor Elective
Is the Internet making the world a better place or is it simply remaking the world - peacefully transferring capital from 20th century corporations to 21st century ones? If the digital space is becoming primary, then who is tending to the systems of self-government, defined so articulately in the age of Enlightenment? This Web research elective asks students to design tools that further the public's interest online. Can the Web - designed as an open and free medium - reinvigorate our investment in public space and the public good? Students will work together to engage politicians, non-profits, and fellow citizens in the pursuit of these questions. Assignments will range from Web tools that serve democracy to civic fundraising to information dissemination. Class deliverables will be a combination of prototypes, presentations and coded mini-sites. Students will develop the parameters for the final project and work in teams. Outside collaborators and readings will enrich the conversation and the work. No previous web experience required, but Web Programming workshop strongly encouraged.
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GRAPH-3192Graphic DesignSpring 3Computer UtopiasChris NovelloMajor elective
The goal of this studio is to reimagine the personal computer. Three decades ago, the Macintosh dropped a sci-fi bomb on pop culture. It advertised a utopic vision of human-computer creativity to mass audiences. By remixing military-industrial-academic fragments, a product company sold the dream of new humanism. This decade, the planet is bursting with smartphones; billions of people will carry globally-networked pocket computers, each outfitted with sensors that datify the material world. We now have quantities, rates, and kinds of data unlike anything humankind has ever seen. Individual biological minds can't reason at network scale, so we're teaching fields of computers to do it instead. If the data center is today's mainframe, is there a Macintosh hiding in the next decade? If your phone's camera is the next mouse, what will it click on? As machine learning reinvents humanism, what are 21st century creative tools? What do network literacy and 21st century citizenship look like? Is the programmer/user dichotomy destroyable? How much of this is just a design problem? We'll explore these topics with studio work and seminar-style discussion. Studio work will include creation of mockups, videos, webmedia, interaction design, and beyond. Prototypes and design fictions are welcome. Programming experience is not explicitly required. Sincere eagerness to rigorously engage and reorient computer culture is a must.
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GRAPH-3271-01Graphic DesignWintersession3Web DesignBobby Joe J. Smith, IIIElective
This introductory course will allow students to understand the web as a medium, covering the technical basics of HTML, CSS, and Javascript, as well as recent practices in web design and development. We'll learn the tools and techniques involved in creating a website from scratch, while exploring the application of graphic design principles to web-based technology. Class time will consist of discussions of relevant readings, technical lectures, design critiques, and hands-on coding workshops. No prior coding experience required.
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GRAPH-3271-02Graphic DesignWintersession3Web DesignMarie OtsukaElective
This introductory course will allow students to understand the web as a medium, covering the technical basics of HTML, CSS, and Javascript, as well as recent practices in web design and development. We'll learn the tools and techniques involved in creating a website from scratch, while exploring the application of graphic design principles to web-based technology. Class time will consist of discussions of relevant readings, technical lectures, design critiques, and hands-on coding workshops. No prior coding experience required.
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HPSS-S432History Philosophy Social SciencesSpring 3New Sonic IdentitiesCaroline ParkHPSS elective
New Sonic Identities investigates the work and identities of today's diverse artists working in experimental electronic dance music, ambient and noise cultures, and sound art. Readings from critical race and sexuality studies provide necessary framing for class discussions and creative projects. Course participants will be introduced to experimental approaches to various audio technologies. All majors, backgrounds, and levels of technical experience (including none) are encouraged and welcome.
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IDISC-4705Interdisciplinary Studies Spring 3Digital Sense Evelyn Eastmond, Yueh Li
Non-major studio elective
How can timeless human activities such as drawing and painting, relegated to the realm of the analogue, meaningfully engage increasingly powerful tools such as 3D capturing devices, 3D modeling platforms, and contemporary output methods such as 3D printing? How can we learn to intuit in the realm of the virtual and what are the boundaries of this experience? This course allows new ways of "seeing" and "feeling" and uses a computational framework in the design process. Rather than take a conventional approach based on the technical aspects of a specific software program, students are exposed to a rich diversity of potential work flows. The goal of this course is enhancing personal craft and technique through these digital tools while exploring new potential approaches to advanced technology.
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ILLUS-3340IllustrationFall3Virtual Reality Design ScienceFritz DruryMajor elective
This course will be taught in collaboration with the Brown University Department of Computer Science and will focus on developing illustration prototypes for use in an interactive reality environment. Students will work with Brown and RISD faculty to work through specific problems in scientific illustration based on data provided by various departments in the sciences at Brown. Working from sketches in traditional materials including 3D materials, through 2D digital images, to digital 3D models built in the ISB lab, and finally to actual projection in Brown's VR facility ("The Cave"), the class will create interactive, animated three-dimensional illustrations of scientific data and explore issues pertaining to the creative interaction between artist and scientist. This course is open to all RISD and Brown students. Knowledge of one or more basic computer imaging programs (Photoshop, Painter, Illustrator) is required.
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LAEL-1001Liberal Arts ElectiveWintersession3Generative SoundCaroline ParkLAEL elective
Generative Sound examines historical contexts of algorithmic and generative systems in creative sound practices. Students are exposed to a wide array of generative works by diverse artists in experimental electronic music, sound art, and sound design. Readings from media theory and written responses will allow students to develop an intersectional awareness of the complex histories, relationships and conversations that exist within systems practices, including the origins of organized sound and the first "computers." Using the visual programming language Max/MSP, students will create unique real-time systems exploring randomness and data flow in sound contexts through brief coding assignments. The course culminates in a final paper and creative project. Permission of instructor required. Interested students must come to the first class.
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LAS-E241Literary Arts and StudiesSpring 3Digital PoeticsMairead ByrneLAS elective
This course focuses first on what has been achieved this century in poetry which engages with new technology at the level of making, i.e., poetry that is "born digital." We will assemble an inventory of markers of the new poetics. How do new capacities for color, animation, sound, video, interactivity, change poetry's identity as literary art? What is the place of the English language, or any language, in digital poetry? Does the born digital indicate the future of poetry at large, already intersecting with digital media at critical levels of production, publication, and distribution? How have power dynamics between author/editor/publisher/reader changed? What is the political/economy of poetry today? Texts will include the Electronic Literature Collection, Volumes 1-3, 2006-2016 (free), Mediawork Pamphlets (MIT Press), and a range of essays by contemporary practitioners and theorists (available on ubuweb, arras.net, eliterature.org, epc.buffalo.edu, etc). Student work will include weekly written observations, one close reading of a single piece of work (or several related works by one or more authors); a research project on one key element of digital poetics; and one digital poem. We will have a class blog in magazine format, and all students must also have an online forum for the posting of work-in-progress.
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LAS-E366Literary Arts and StudiesFall3Rhetorics of New MediaMichael SiegelLAS elective
Digital technologies have not only shaped contemporary culture; they have also shaped how we talk about culture, as well as how we talk about bodies and communities. Is there progressive potential in the trend toward computerization? Or contrarily, in what ways might technophilia and technocracy obstruct collective betterment? We'll take up these and related questions, and study the rhetorics of legitimation that secure diverse ways of thinking about the increasingly digital present. We will read electronic literature, print sci-fi, film, games, and art, along with cultural and political theory spanning the past half century. Taking a long historical view, we'll address topics ranging from globalization to the aesthetics of code, the newness of new media, technics-out-of-control, gamification of war, technologies of race and gender, digital narratology, and the ideology of computationalism.
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SCULP-4764SculptureFall3The Artist's MachinePaul BadgerMajor elective
Students learn the basics of electricity and electronics while focusing on how to use microcontrollers (one chip computers) in conjunction with sensors, lights, motors, switchers, audio signals, and basic mechanics in works of art. Projects include timekeepers, simple robots, and interactive environments. Readings and slide/video lectures encompass artist-built machines and sculpture from 1900 to the present. Students can expect to spend time outside of class reading and programming, as well as designing and constructing. No previouis experience with electronics is required. Students should have taken a basic computer art course and, ideally, a sculpture course. Computer programming and machine shop skills are definitely a plus.
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SCULP-7013SculptureSpring 3RoboticsPaul BadgerGraduate level
This is a hands-on introduction to robotics for artists class. Topics covered include: machine shop practices, electronic construction and theory, and computer programming. Students will build robots and utilize robotic technology. Students are free to choose their own microcontroller platforms. Peripheral technology will employ servomotors and sensors. Readings will explore the interface between art and technology.
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2017-18
2016-17