1. Learn how computational media is different from traditional media.
  2. Get a feeling for what computers can do.
  3. Get a feeling for how computers work.
  4. Learn how have computers sense the spatial, visual world in a more structured way.
  5. Learn how to learn the stuff you need to accomplish the projects that interest you in computational media.

Teaching Style: This class will be “flipped” meaning that you will have to watch the lecture and read tutorials before class and do hands-on work in class.

Attendance:  You are expected to come to every class.  If you miss two classes you will be on the threshold of failing the class.

Books and Online Materials: If you prefer books the Learning Processing book is excellent.  You can read it for free online via the NYU Library or read it on reserve. There is are updates to this book for Processing 2/3 that can be provided in class.  But most of the material is online readings , tutuorials and most importantly in video lectures here or here.

Costs: You will need a laptop.    All the software is free and open source.   Occasionally students buy Kinect cameras.  Students who get into physical interface will want to buy about  $50-$100 in electronic gizmos like this Arduino kit, available at the NYU Computer bookstore.  If you decide to build an elaborate installation it might cost you more for the materials.

Course Requirements: Chances are you will work hard on this class.  It is not that conceptually difficult but debugging takes an unpredictable amount of time.  If you treat it like a puzzle it is pretty enjoyable.  Also as a beginner you should try to get satisfaction with small steps while keeping in mind and writing down your big dreams.

Schedule of Assignments:
There is an assignment every week.  It is mostly even across the semester with a little tougher at the beginning.


  • On-time Participation 20%
  • Documentation and Blogging 20%
  • Assignments 35%
  • Final Project 25%


What can computation add to human communication? Creating computer applications, instead of just using them, will give you a deeper understanding of the essential possibilities of computation. Conversely excitement about your computational project ideas whether they be in the domain of art, design, humanities, sciences or engineering will best propel your acquisition of skills necessary to realize those ideas.  In this class student will learn computer programming primarily in the context of images and video.  The course focuses on fundamentals of computer programming (variables, conditionals, iteration, arrays, functions, objects) as well as more advanced techniques such as image processing, networking, data parsing and computer vision. The Java-based ‘Processing’ programming environment is the primary vehicle.   While the example applications will be primarily in a screen based, visual domain, motivated students are encouraged to incorporate more physical interface to their projects using tools such as the Arduino.  The course is designed for computer programming novices but the project centered pedagogy will allow more experienced programmers the opportunity to play further with their project ideas and make lots of friends by helping the other students.

STATEMENT OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work as though it were your own.  More specifically, plagiarism is to present as your own: A sequence of words quoted without quotation marks from another writer or a paraphrased passage from another writer’s work or facts, ideas or images composed by someone else.

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE: The core of the educational experience at the Tisch School of the Arts is the creation of original academic and artistic work by students for the critical review of faculty members.  It is therefore of the utmost importance that students at all times provide their instructors with an accurate sense of their current abilities and knowledge in order to receive appropriate constructive criticism and advice.  Any attempt to evade that essential, transparent transaction between instructor and student through plagiarism or cheating is educationally self-defeating and a grave violation of Tisch School of the Arts community standards.   For all the details on plagiarism, please refer to page 10 of the Tisch School of the Arts, Policies and Procedures Handbook 2014-2015, which can be found online at:

ACCESSIBILITY: Academic accommodations are available for students with documented disabilities.  Please contact the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities at 212-998-4980 for further information.

Use of Electronic Devices:
While your fellow classmates are talking you should have your laptop lid down and phone put away.  You should probably do that while the professor is talking too.  Please let me know if you want to record the class in any way.