CalArts Awarded National Science Foundation Grant to Teach Computer Science through the Arts | CalArts

May 31, 2012 at 7:14 am 2 comments

Boy, do I want to learn more about this! Chuck and Processing, and two semesters — it sounds like Media Computation on steroids!

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) a grant of $111,881 to develop a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum for undergraduate students across the Institute’s diverse arts disciplines. The two-semester curriculum is designed to teach essential computer science skills to beginners. Classes will begin in Fall 2012 and are open to students in CalArts’ six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater.

This innovative arts-centered approach to teaching computer science—developed by Ajay Kapur, Associate Dean of Research and Development in Digital Arts, and Permanent Visiting Lecturer Perry R. Cook, founder of the Princeton University Sound Lab—offers a model for teaching that can be replicated at other arts institutions and extended to students in similar non-traditional STEM contexts.

via CalArts Awarded National Science Foundation Grant to Teach Computer Science through the Arts | CalArts.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jesse Heines  |  May 31, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Sounds like Performamatics (www.performamatics.org)!

    Reply
    • 2. Mark Guzdial  |  May 31, 2012 at 7:57 am

      I’d like to understand more about both Performamatics and the CalArts initiative, Jesse, so please excuse me if I dig a little here to explore differences. As I understand Performamatics, your focus is on MIDI manipulation with Scratch — is that right? If the CalArts folks are using Chuck (http://chuck.cs.princeton.edu/), they’re more likely to be doing sample-level manipulation. Chuck can do MIDI, too, but since the PI’s work at the sound manipulation (vs music manipulation in MIDI), I’m guessing that the class will, too. Sample level manipulation involves dealing with larger data sets (44,100 samples per second) with fewer semantics (e.g., frequency is not stored in a single datum, but is a property of many data), so it involves different computational explorations.

      I’m making an assumption here that, if they’re doing samples in Chuck, that they’d be doing pixels in Processing, but we really don’t know what the CalArts initiative will be doing with visual media (if anything). Does Performamatics also involve visual media manipulation? In your demonstrations and talks, you usually emphasize the music, but I didn’t know if others in the group push in other directions.

      Performamatics also has Artbotics, creating art with robotics, which is quite unusual.

      Reply

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