ART430 | Physical Computing | SPRING 2012 | PRE-REQ: ART210, ART310 and ART311

Section C | M - W | 10:00AM - 11:50AM | CAS 126

secheverry at | CAS Annex 112 | 813 - 813 257 3769 | Office hours by appointment only


Lea Rickert SR EMAT
Rob Pollock SR EMAT

Course Description

ART / COM 430 is a studio/performance-oriented course that offers an approach to learning how humans communicate through computers that starts by considering how we express ourselves physically. This course explores the nature of transduction, the usage of microcontrollers and their communication with other computers, and advances in human-computer interfaces and digital art. It requires a hands-on approach to writing code, soldering and building circuits and controls to determine how best to make these components relate to personal expression.

Readings / assignments / requirements
Arduino cookbook, Michael Margolis
Making things talk, Tom Igoe

Download and install the Arduino environment on your computers so you can work and test your projects at home. I strongly suggest purchasing a toolbox so you can carry your electronic equipment and junk.

You will be required to purchase your own Arduino board and basic electronic tools for this class - The list will be discussed and provided in class.

Pictures and videos of your assignments will be posted on your web sites, and they will gradually build your online portfolio.

Make sure you check and empty your ut webmail account regularly. We will use Blackboard permanently to post the grades and communicate.

Short readings will be distributed throughout the semester. Most of the information will be provided by the professor or will be found freely online. Critiques will frequently be initiated from various topics covered in the readings. In order to participate effectively you will need to have read the required texts and be able to articulate your responses to them within the context of class discussion and critique.

Use your own portable hard-drives or iPods, and JumpDrives such as Sandisk or others in case you have any, to store your work. Do not rely on the CAS LAb student server, it is not secure and you might lose your data. the most secure storage is your own remote web server.


There will be several projects throughout the course, including papers, assignments, quizes and others. Each one of them will be a part of the final 70% of the grade. If necessary I will do some pop quizes, depending on the students' participation and motivation, and depending on how certain classes work, I might add an extra work not listed in the syllabus. The final project will count for 30% of the final grade. The grades posted on BlackBoard may not reflect the final grade on SpartanWeb

Possible last-minute changes

Although unlikely, it is possible that last-minute changes might be made to the dates for all assignments or class meetings, excepting only the final exam. In this unlikely event, I'll make all possible efforts to inform students with sufficient lead-time.

I reserve the right to modify this syllabus for any reason at any time.