IMA Spring 2020 Courses

Code! (IMNY-UT 1)

2pts – Dan Shiffman – Online – Non-Majors Only

This online 7 week course focuses on the fundamentals of computer programming (variables, conditionals, iteration, functions & objects) using JavaScript. In particular it leverages the p5.js creative computing environment which is oriented towards visual displays on desktops, laptops, tablets or smartphones. The course is designed for computer programming novices.

What can computation add to human communication? You will gain a deeper understanding of the possibilities of computation–– possibilities that will augment and enhance the perspectives, abilities and knowledge you bring from your field of study (e.g. art, design, humanities, sciences, engineering). At first it may feel foreign, as foreign as learning a new language or way of thinking. But soon, once you get some basic skills under your belt, you’ll be able to make projects that reflect your own interests and passions.

The course is NOT open to students studying in Accra, London or Madrid due to legal Visa restrictions.  It is also not open to NYU Shanghai students due to online course restrictions.

Code!  2 (IMNY-UT 2)

2pts – Dan Shiffman – Online – Non-Majors Only

This online 7 week course focuses on applying the fundamentals of computer programming in JavaScript to interactive media projects. In particular it leverages the p5.js creative computing environment which is oriented towards visual displays on desktops, laptops, tablets or smartphones. The course is designed for students with a foundation level understanding of programming in JavaScript with the p5.js library. The Code! course (or equivalent) is a prerequisite.

The course is NOT open to students studying in Accra, London or Madrid due to legal Visa restrictions.  It is also not open to NYU Shanghai students due to online course restrictions.

Capstone (IMNY-UT 400)

4pt – Allison Parrish – 14 weeks – Tue., 3-6 pm

Required for and Limited to Graduating Seniors

The Capstone course asks students to produce an interactive project (with documentation), a research paper, and a personal portfolio.

The interactive project will illustrate students’ unique interests as well as evidence of competency within the field of interactive media production. Students are encouraged to develop their project around a theme previously explored in their work. Projects will be presented and critiqued repeatedly throughout the capstone process to peers, faculty, and industry professionals. A final presentation of the interactive project will be delivered late in the semester.

The research paper (4000-5000 words) will focus on at least one aspect of the interactive project: e.g. culture, theory, philosophy, or history, the project context, and/or production methods. For example, students may write about their project’s reception by a set of specific users, or by users who are part of a larger culture, society, or market. It is important that students think beyond the project itself and situate it in a broader context accessible through research. The research paper will include an annotated bibliography of the books and other resources they used for their research.

Students will also be guided in the production of an online portfolio to showcase their work and accomplishments to the outside world. Graduates will be evaluated by their portfolio when applying for jobs, graduate school, artist residencies, grants, and the like. Portfolios will be tailored to the demands of each student’s future goals and target audience.

Big Ideas in the History and Future of Technology (IMNY-UT 203)

2pt – Nancy Hechinger (M/W, 10-11:30), 7 weeks, first half of semester

Prerequisites: None

Category: Studies (aka Seminar)

“Big Ideas in the History and Future of Technology” is designed to provide students with a critical perspective on current issues in technology in the context of the history, controversies, consequences, and ethical questions in emerging media. This first course in the series includes: in the first half –some seminal early works that imagine a future in which technology enhances/augments human intelligence and capabilities and how that might affect society; in the second half–2 classic works of fiction and some podcasts/ audio lectures that address questions relating to “What is Human.”

Creative Approaches to Emerging Media (IMNY-UT 205)

4pt – Mimi Onuoha – (Tue./Thur., 9 – 10:30 am)

Category: Studies (aka Seminar) OR Computation and Data

Prerequisites: Creative Computing (IMNY-UT 101) or equivalent programming experience

We live in a world where we have more data, computational power, and access to digital connectivity than ever before. But how do we make sense of the promise inherent in this reality while holding space for the challenges that it presents for different groups and communities? How do we situate the technologies that we have come to take for granted? And more importantly, how do we leverage an artist’s perspective to creating active responses that interrogate and hint at the potential for different futures?

This course examines emergent technological fields, spanning topics like data collection/representation, digital archives, artificial intelligence, social algorithms, and automation and asks how the technologies inherent to each can be leveraged for artistic response, creation, and critique.

While this course is primarily conceptual and art theory-based, the content covered will be technical in nature and students will be tasked with making three creative responses to the content in the tradition of the new media, digital, and conceptual art worlds.

Designing Interfaces for Live Performance (IMNY-UT 243)

4pt – David Rios – (M/W, 4:45-6:15)

Category: Physical Computing and Experimental Interfaces

Prerequisites: Creative Computing (IMNY-UT 101) OR A Quick Introduction to Physical Computing (IMNY-UT 103)

This course is designed to provide students with hands-on experience working with sensors and other electronics to design interfaces for a live multimedia performance. Students will explore the expressive properties of sensors to control a variety of outputs such as light, sound, projection, and/or other media. The forms and uses of physical computing, computational media, and its application are explored weekly in both a hands on laboratory context, as well as weekly discussions of readings and existing performances. Prerequisites: Creative Computing or similar coursework with microcontrollers and coding.

Immersive Experiences (IMNY-UT 282)

4pt – Sarah Rothberg – (Thur., 3-6 pm)

Category: Entertainment and Media

Prerequisites: Communications Lab (IMNY-UT 102) OR equivalent coursework

This course is designed to provide students with hands-on experience working with interactive and emerging applications for creating immersive experiences, with a focus on designing for virtual reality headsets. The class will also touch on related technologies, methods, and fields including experience design, virtual painting, augmented reality, interactive installation, and 360 video/audio. The course materials will also include readings and discussions on prior art/relevant critical texts.

Introduction to Assistive Technology (IMNY-UT 241)

2pt – Holly Cohen – (Tue., 6-9 pm)

Category: Physical Computing and Experimental Interfaces

Prerequisites: Creative Computing (IMNY-UT 101) OR A Quick Introduction to Physical Computing (IMNY-UT 103)

Assistive technology is a term that includes a wide variety of technologies for people with disabilities. This two-point survey course is designed to provide students with an overview of the field of assistive technology. Field trips, readings, and guest speakers will provide students with an understanding of current research and development as well as processes used in determining appropriate technologies. Weekly assignments and a final research project.This course meets once per week.

Introduction to Fabrication (IMNY-UT 242)

2pt – Ben Light – (Tues., 9 am – 12 noon), first 7 weeks first half of semester

Category: Physical Computing and Experimental Interfaces

Prerequisites: None

Time to get your hands dirty. Prototypes need to be created, motors have to be mounted, enclosures must be built. Understanding how things are fabricated makes you a better maker.

But hardware is hard. You can’t simply copy and paste an object or working device (not yet anyway), fabrication skills and techniques need to be developed and practiced in order to create quality work. You learn to make by doing.

In this class you will become familiar and comfortable with all the ITP shop has to offer. We will cover everything from basic hand tools to the beginnings of digital fabrication. You will learn to use the right tool for the job.

There will be weekly assignments created to develop your fabrication techniques. There will be in class lectures, demos, and building assignments. Emphasis will be put on good design practices, material choice, and craftsmanship.

Networked Media (IMNY-UT 223)

4pt – Shawn Van Every – (Tue./Thur., 12:30-2 pm)

Category: Programming and Data

Prerequisites: Creative Computing (IMNY-UT 101) or equivalent programming experience

The network has become a fundamental medium for interactivity. It makes possible our interaction with machines, data, and, most importantly, other people. Though the base interaction it supports is simple, a client sends a request to a server, which replies; an incredible variety of systems can be and have been built on top of it. An equally impressive body of media theory has also arisen around its use.

This hybrid theory and technology course will be 50% project driven technical work and 50% theory and discussion. The technical work will will utilize JavaScript as both a client and server side programming language to build creative systems on the web. Technical topics will include server and client web frameworks, such as Express, HTML, CSS, templating, and databases. The theory portion of the course will include reading and discussion of past and current media theory texts that relate to the networks of today; included in this will be works by Marshall Mcluhan, Wendy Chun, Lev Manovich, Philip Agre, Tiziana Terranova, and more.

In short, this course will be about developing full-stack web applications (such as anything from the beginnings of Google, YouTube, and Twitter to class registration systems and other purpose built system) as well as thinking, reading, and discussing the implications with a culture and media theory perspective.

The Code of Music (IMNY-UT 222)

4pt – Luisa Pereira – (M/W, 10-11:30 am)

Category: Programming and Data

Prerequisites: Creative Computing (IMNY-UT 101) OR equivalent coursework

This course explores music through the lenses of computation and interactivity.

The first part of the semester is a structured exploration of rhythm, melody, timbre, and harmony. We will look into each of these elements from the standpoint of music, code, and design: each class, we will listen to examples from different periods and styles, manipulate the element programmatically, and create an interactive study around it.

During the second half of the semester we will cover algorithmic composition techniques such as Markov Chains, Neural Networks and L-systems. As students work toward their final projects, the class takes on a more self-directed approach. Final projects might be digital applications, spatial installations, or physical devices.

In-class coding and exercises will be done in P5.js, but students will be free to use other languages and frameworks for their final projects. ICM or equivalent programming experience is required.

Topics in Computation and Data: Front end web (IMNY-UT 220)

4pt – Calli Higgins (Tue./Thur., 6:30-8 pm)

Category: Computation and Data

Prerequisites: Creative Computing (IMNY-UT 101) or equivalent programming experience

This course will provide a foundation for understanding modern web development with a focus on front end technologies and accessing public data. The forms and uses of these technologies are explored in a laboratory context of experimentation and discussion.

Students will create two well-designed single-page web applications, including one that leverages public APIs and digital services from a wide range of existing web products. The goal of the course is for students to learn how to think holistically about an application, both by designing a clear user experience and understanding the algorithmic steps required to build it.

User Experience (IMNY-UT 262)

4pt – Katherine Dillon – (Fri., 9 am-12 noon) – 14 weeks

Category: Art and Design

Prerequisites: None

This course aims to provide students with the critical thinking and practical skills for creating effective and compelling interfaces. We will dissect what a compelling user experience is and discuss and apply design methods for creating one. Throughout this 14-week course we will examine a wide range of examples of interfaces with a focus on understanding the attributes of a successful interface and applying proven research, mapping and testing techniques.

The class format will include lectures, case studies, student presentations, discussions of readings and in-class design exercises. The format is very hands-on with assignments that focus on problems that are typical of those a UX designer will encounter in the professional world.