Welcome! I’m very excited to be teaching Physical Computing again this year. It’s material I love and use a lot. I’m curious about every aspect of how things are made – how materials can be shaped into useful and beautiful forms, how sensors can perceive the world, how code can be crafted to run on processors and affect the world.
Recently there’s been an explosion in tools available to beginners for embedding computation into just about any project imaginable. It can be a bit overwhelming – electronics! programming! so many boards to choose from! – but this course lays a foundation for you to build amazing things now and continue developing creative and technical skills over a lifetime.
Important note: We are not meeting in person the first week of class, September 8th! I have an unavoidable conflict.
The introductory class typically covers information about the syllabus and class structure. I’ve posted a video about that here.
The first class is also a chance for me to meet you, and for you to meet the other students in the class. To that end, I’ve scheduled three 1-hour open zoom hangouts:
- Friday September 3, 12 noon
- Thursday September 9, 3PM
- Monday September 13, 3PM
Drop in to any (or all!) of these sessions to say hi, introduce yourself, and meet other students in the class. The zoom meeting details were shared in an email. If you can’t make any of the sessions, email me and we’ll find a way to connect.
The regularly scheduled classes will resume on Wednesday, September 15th.
- Wednesdays: 12:20 PM – 2:50 PM NYC time (GMT-4, until Nov. 1, then GMT-5). Room 410.
My NYU office hours calendar. You’ll need to sign in with your NYU login to see it. I will schedule regular office hour appointment slots which you can book automatically once the semester starts.
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Outside of office hours, email me and we can discuss issues and find a time to connect if necessary. Even before covid I did the majority of my office hours via video or over email. That said, I don’t work full time at NYU, and try to keep “normal” business hours balanced with other work and life.
- The week-by-week syllabus. When in doubt, check here.
- Arduino Language Reference – code with this open
- The Nano 33 IOT page – useful for the pin functions in the Technical Spec. Getting started guide walks through board and driver installation.
- This image since the board didn’t label its pins (on top)!
A note on how to use this site
There’s a lot, lot! of information at itp.nyu.edu/physcomp. Then there’s the whole rest of the internet, starting with Arduino HQ, going on to great sites like learn.adafruit.com and learn.sparkfun.com, not to mention infinite how-tos on YouTube (even Vimeo), data sheets for every component ever made, etc… It can get overwhelming.
With the ITP site, we’ve tried to do two things:
- Provide a week-by-week syllabus for the semester that takes you through the physical computing material in a logical progression. Each week has clear tasks, assignments for the following week, and links to labs, write-ups, and videos that support or explain the current material. Follow along here and you’ll be fine.
- Provide an organized set of materials covering the core physical computing topics, to serve as a first resource for any questions you may have as you study the subject. These live under the Topics, Videos, Resources, and Labs tabs. These materials are also linked to from the syllabus, but here they’re organized by subject matter, whereas the week-by-week syllabus is chronological.
You’ll keep a blog online with documentation of your work for the class. This will include midterm and final documentation, responses to specific prompts in the syllabus, and periodic updates on lab work. While you’re not strictly required to post an update every single week, it is very helpful to post regularly so I can keep track of how you’re doing in the class. If I see an issue come up for multiple students we can make time to address it in the class.
Email me with direct links to your documentation for this class. Note: please set up tags, categories, or whatever so the link goes directly to the documentation specifically for this class, and not every class, or your personal blog, etc.
You’ll know I got your link when it shows up here!
Presentation slides from class 1 (intro), class 2(electricity), and class 3(programming).