Spring 2014 courses

Always On, Always Connected (Shawn Van Every)

With their always on and always connected nature, mobile devices (phones and tablets) have become the center of our connected self. They offer us the ability to access the network anywhere at anytime, enabling us to share our experiences and share in the experiences of others. They are also starting to emerge as the hub of an emerging set of smart personal accessories such as watches, glasses and jewelry.

In this class, we'll examine the current state-of-the art in mobile technology and smart devices. We’ll focus on developing applications using the Android SDK and various accessory SDKs such as the Glass Development Kit for Google Glass (pending availability) and possibly the Pebble SDK.

Energy (Jeff Feddersen)

Energy has been called the "universal currency" (Vaclav Smil) but also "a very subtle concept… very, very difficult to get right" (Richard Feynman). Building on skills developed in physical computing, we will, through generating and measuring electricity, gain a more nuanced and quantitative understanding of energy in various forms. We will turn kinetic and solar energy into electrical energy, store that in batteries and capacitors, and use it to power small projects. Several sessions will include hands-on labs. We will develop skills useful in a variety of undertakings, from citizen science to art installations, and address a range of topics through the lens of energy. Students will build a final project using skills learned in the class.

LEDs and Non-traditional Display Surfaces (Michael Schneider)

Designing for LEDs and non-traditional display surfaces - A 2-point hands-on production based class that explores the challenges and opportunities of working with non-traditional displays. Students will learn about LED, LCD and other more architectural displays as well as look at a variety of software and content creation tools that are used to drive such displays. The class will be focused on creating a project to be presented at the LED Lab in Tribeca (website is in the process of being updated). There will be an initial quick structured project that students will use to test there content and better understand issues such as resolution, scale, speed of motion and color. Students will then develop an idea for their final project that they will develop and test out at the LED Lab 2-3 times before the final presentation/event.

The LED Lab contains a variety of different LED Products, LCD arrays, media servers, lighting implements and features the UVA designed D3 software that can build and control media displays as well as lighting in 3d.

Rest of You (Dan O'Sullivan)

We build computers around an illusory image of ourselves. In particular the illusion that our consciousness is the full extent of our experience limits how we might use computers to augment the fuller expression of our lives. This class looks at how we can use computational media to connect with the rest of your existence. The class begins by examining some of the illusions that we operate under and how revisiting those can be helpful. Then we will use sensors to give voice the less represented parts of your body. This class will also serve as a gentle rejoinder to Physical Computing and ICM. Exercises will use bio sensors, cameras, logging, mobile tech, data analysis and visualization.