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Benedetta Piantella Fall 13 Thu

Syllabus Main? Labs & tutorials Books and Readings Parts & Supplies ClassPages


What: Intro to Physical Computing Section -005 ITPG-GT.2301.5
When: Thursdays 3.05pm - 6pm (Thursday Class Dates)
Where: NYU Tisch Building, 4th floor, Room 447
Who: Benedetta Piantella


Best way to reach me is via email at: bp432@nyu.edu or benedetta.piantella@nyu.edu
Office Hours by appointment on Tuesdays and Wednesdays: Sign up on my Calendar


Participation & Attendance: 40%
Production Assignments: 40%
Journal: 20%


See http://itp.nyu.edu/physcomp/Intro/Supplies

Useful Links

http://www.arduino.cc - Arduino website. Check out the Getting Started and the Reference pages
http://tigoe.net/pcomp/ - Tom Igoe's Physical Computing site
http://www.tigoe.net/pcomp/code/ - Tom's Code, Circuits & Construction blog
http://itp.nyu.edu/physcomp/sensors/ - ITP Sensor Workshop wiki from another class at ITP
http://itp.nyu.edu/mechanisms/ - Dustyn Roberts' class on mechanisms, very useful for when we do motors
http://www.flying-pig.co.uk/ - Website about movement and good explanation on how to recreate mechanisms
http://www.ladyada.net/learn/soldering/thm.html - Here's a few good tutorials on how to solder, including video (MM)

Cool Reference Books

Physical Computing: Sensing and Controlling the Physical World with Computers
Getting Started with Arduino
Make: Electronics
Getting Started in Electronics
Making Things Talk
Making Things Move
Practical Electronics For Inventors
There are no electrons; Electronics for earthlings
Fashioning Technology: A DIY Intro to Smart Crafting

Class Blogs

Please press "Edit" at the bottom of this page, login and then enter the url to your blog below (if you are new to wiki formatting just follow the pattern of the examples below and substitute with your url and your name). Alternatively you can email me the link to your blog.

  1. John Choi
  2. Alina Balean
  3. Karam Byun
  4. Michelle Lin
  5. Alejandro Puentes
  6. Vicci Ho
  7. David Tracy
  8. Kate Godwin
  9. Ziv Schneider
  10. Arielle Hein
  11. Rucha Patwardhan
  12. Alon Chitayat
  13. Brian Clifton
  14. Julia Irwin
  15. Rosalie Yu

Class Notes

Class 1 - Sept 5

Examples of Tangible Interface:
Marble Answering Machine
Makey Makey
Sticky light

Interesting Interaction:

Class 2 - Sept 12

Related to the readings:
Similar take on technology of the future by Corning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cf7IL_eZ38&feature=youtu.be

Future Tech in TV Show "Weeds": http://venturebeat.com/2012/09/17/weeds-finale-tech/#s:weeds-2
(Scroll the image slideshow at the bottom and see different views of a similar technology to this week readings.)

Sixth Sense Technology: http://www.ted.com/talks/pranav_mistry_the_thrilling_potential_of_sixthsense_technology.html

Interesting read on Interaction: http://books.google.com/books?id=DCIy2zxrCqcC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
Chapter 1 and 2 of Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction, by Paul Dourish

Related to the principles discussed in the class readings:
Resistulator: http://www.zambetti.com/projects/resistulator
Online graphical resistor calculator: http://www.dannyg.com/examples/res2/resistor.htm

Related to the concepts discussed in class:





Related to the concepts in the Labs (EXTRA):

Transistors: Mosfet vs. BJT:

  1. BJT is a Bipolar Junction Transistor, while MOSFET is a Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistor.
  2. A BJT has an emitter, collector and base, while a MOSFET has a gate, source and drain.
  3. BJTs are preferred for low current applications, while MOSFETs are for high power functions.
  4. In digital and analog circuits, MOSFETs are considered to be more commonly used than BJTs these days.
  5. The operation of MOSFET depends on the voltage at the oxide-insulated gate electrode, while the operation of BJT is dependent on the current at the base.

Class 3 - Sept 19

Mouse & Keyboard:

Video by Bret Victor on "Thinking the Unthinkable": http://vimeo.com/67076984#at=0
Video by Don Norman on TED on "3 ways good design makes you happy": http://www.ted.com/talks/don_norman_on_design_and_emotion.html

Class 4 - Sept 26

Other awesome examples of digitally generated music:
Tristan Perich: http://www.1bitsymphony.com/, http://www.tristanperich.com/#Album/1_Bit_Music, http://www.loudobjects.com/

Class 8 - Oct 31

For the Xbee lab, here is a link of FTDI drivers for Windows, Mac and Linux:


For our Thursday class the PAN ID will be 0005

Class 9 - Nov 7


  1. John and Roy - Coca Cola Interactive
  2. Alina and Ziv - Digital Hourglass
  3. Karam and Vicci - Sound Blocks
  4. Michelle and Rosalie - Interactive Dancer
  5. Alejandro - Magnetic Puppet
  6. David - Voxel
  7. Rucha and Julia - Interactive Garment
  8. Arielle - ITP Fridge Tracker
  9. Alon - Interactive Subway Narrative
  10. Brian - Magnetic Landscape
  11. Kate - Pattern Making
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