Full Syllabus01 Jan 2019
Responsive Mobile Environments Syllabus
Basic Course information
This course is part of the Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology program at Carnegie Mellon University and makes use of the new IDeATe@Hunt Collaborative Making Facility in the lower level of Hunt Library.
Please note that there will be lab usage and materials fees associated with this course, and that students will be required to follow the IDeATe@Hunt policies.
Embedded, connected and mobile computing combine to create powerful platforms for sensing human behavior and personalizing experiences in situated spaces. Creating intelligent, meaningful, and opportune feedback to provide serendipitous support for the people and activities within these spaces still remains an important problem. Students will seek creative solutions to this challenge in this hands-on introduction to real-time interactive environments. The course will introduce foundational theories, methods and techniques that range across the aesthetic, the human-centered and the technical. Students will apply this knowledge by working in teams to collaborative prototype a responsive environment which adapts in real-time to activities within it. In these teams, students will work across disciplines to integrate technical and aesthetic frameworks for sensing, analysis and feedback of human activity in intelligent and augmented spaces.
Upon completion of this course a student should:
A. Domain Knowledge
Be able to describe of the history and domain of responsive mobile environments
Be able to critically reflect on the role of responsive mobile environments in everyday settings
Be able to articulate the future possibilities and potential directions for the field
B. Practical Skills
Have applied experience of the key concepts underlying responsive mobile environments
Be able to independently construct prototypes for responsive mobile environments
Be able to generate systems specifications from a perceived need
Be able to design and make interactive objects that integrate real-time sensing, modeling and feedback
Realize one large-scale collaborative prototype
Be able to work in a mixed physical-digital environment and laboratory
Be able to work in mixed domain teams to realize technical prototypes
Be able to integrate considerations across art, design and technology to prepare responsive mobile environments
This course requires students to have taken the IDeATe Physical Computing Portal Course, however, students with appropriate prior skills and/or experience can be admitted with instructor permission.
Classes will involve lectures, labs, hands-on tutorials, discussions, critique sessions and workshops. Students will participate in and lead class discussion/presentations.
The course will meet each Tuesday and Thursday, 14.30PM-16.20PM in the IDeATe Physical Computing Studio HL A10 (Hunt Basement).
This 15-week course will introduce students to responsive mobile environments. Iteratively, introducing students to the idea of responsive mobile environments, the first half of the semester will tour these three facets of intelligent spaces through readings, applied explorations and guest lectures. The second half of the semester will be organized as a large scale applied and collaborative project.
Each year will have a specific theme or focus to ground both the exploration and application phase. The theme for 2017 will be the exploration of human memory and how it can be supported, augmented, enhanced and altered through computing.
Exploration (8 weeks)
- Week 1 - Introduction
- Week 2-4: Investigation I
- Week 5-7: Investigation II
- Week 8-10: Investigation III
- Week 11: Fusion and Reflection
- Weeks 12-15: Application (Final Project)
Introductions: Lays the foundations for the course. Mini-assignments will be used to: interview course participants, identify constraints, open questions, challenges, and assumptions and find opportunities for investigation.
Investigations: A series of small collaborative exercises that build towards a bigger vision. The format is 2-week rapid explorations of a theme, idea or theory, following four stages: Ideation-Research-Build-Reflect
Fusion/Reflection: Develops a single shared brief for a scale prototype. A week of reflection where the class as a whole will review design explorations and synthesize a common vision for a large collaborative prototype.
During this time:
- Students will be introduced to concepts through weekly invited guest lectures;
- Students will respond to ideas around responsive mobile enviroments and the studio theme with a series of rapidly assembled prototypes as conceptual explorations and thought-exercises;
- Students will research and documented a questions, ideas and topics of personal interest in responsive mobile environments and related to the theme.
Each investigation will offer:
- Concepts: an introduction to concepts and considerations surrounding the responsive objects and spaces through readings, lectures, and in-class discussion
- Skills: labs will develop students skills in preparing responsive mobile environments and cover hardware, software, electronics and other lab skills.
- Applied Critique: Concepts and Skills will be applied in short and focused creative projects which will then be critically examined through group critique.
Students will complete a regular creative exercise to develop conceptual understanding, refine and acquire skills and receive feedback on their ideas. Students will also be expected to complete a report on a topic of interest to them and relating to responsive mobile environments to demonstrate their review and understanding of the space.
Application (4-5 weeks)
The second half of the semester, teams will work together to identify a prospective idea for a responsive mobile environment of the future, prepare a working prototype and deliver supporting process and outcome documentation.
All students will work on the same problem and subdivide into groups based on skill, interest and needs. Collectively the students will realize a series of integrated components that satisfy needs across the layers of human, space and world in a dynamic, connected solution.
For the outcome students will prepare:
- working demonstration of their idea (a prototype)
- a functional specification (engineering) including circuit diagrams, etc.
- a design from low-fidelity sketches to high-fidelity prototype
For this phase, students will work in collaborative teams and will be tasked with weekly deliverables towards a working prototype. In-class times will be used to facilitate instructor feedback, critique sessions and group meetings. Critiques with external guests will also be scheduled as a mid-point and final review of outcomes.
To facilitate marking all students are expected to prepare project pages on the IDeATe Gallery which document the assigned projects and where regular assignments are posted (see http://rme2019.slack.com) All work must be submitted or presented by the deadline. Late work will not be accepted.
This course will assign a mixture of independent and group based projects. For independent projects, all work submitted must represent a distinct product by that individual and may not be produced in partnership with any peer within the class. Group projects allow for collaboration but expect that all members contribute to the final work equally. Work submitted for assessment in one class may not be submitted in full or in part for assessment in a second class.
Please visit the section on grading for a full description.
Final grades for the course will be broken down as follows:
- 10% - Attendance & Participation
- 10% - Introductory Projects (2 x 5%)
- 45% - Investigation Projects (3 x 15%); allocated as:
- 20% Think Piece
- 10% Case Study
- 20% Warmup Project
- 50% End of Module Creative Assignment
- 10% - Synthesis Paper & Presentation
- 25% - Application/Final Project (1 x 25%)
A breakdown of grading standards may be found on the course site under: ‘Grading, Feedback and Policies’
Creative Project Grading (including Final Project)
- 30% - Creativity of Approach and Topic - Merit, creativity, and context for the outcome/proposal
- 30% - Technical Implementation - Quality of code and execution of the outcome
- 20% - Documentation - Well illustrated with appropriate use of code, video, diagrams, repeatability, etc.
- 20% - Presentation and Demonstration - high quality presentation and well narrated demonstration of the solution
Grading Standards / Rubric
A: Superlative or exemplary work, initiative beyond the description of the problem. Significant understanding of the problem. Conceptual clarity. An attitude of self-motivated exploration, open-mindedness, and a willingness to benefit from criticism.
B: Very good, some exemplary work, a thorough understanding of the problem. Project displays conceptual foundation, well crafted. Competence and mastery of skills. Open, inquisitive attitude.
C: Satisfactory or adequate work that meets the minimum requirements of the problem and course. Shows understanding of the problem, with some deficiencies. Reasonable mastery of skill and concepts. This grade is seen to represent the average solution.
D: Passing, work that is complete, but does not show an understanding of the problem or expectations, and demonstrates deficient skills.
R: Failing work that does not meet the requirements of the studio, shows a serious deficiency in skills or is incomplete.
The grading scale for the course is as follows:
A - 90 - 100%
B - 80 - 90%
C - 70 - 80%
D - 60 - 70%
R - < 60%
Students are expected to maintain good documentation of their work process throughout the course. It is recommended that all students should maintain a journal (notebook, blog, etc) and regularly photograph (or video) their creative work as it is being prepared. Students will be asked to share this documentation with the instructor as part of regular assignments and graded outcomes.
Hardware and Software
We will cover a diverse array of software and hardware relevant to the Internet of Things. While preferred hardware and software will be introduced during the labs and tutorials, students are free to use any software or hardware they wish to complete assignments. Students may use Eagle, Fritzing, Rhino, Grasshopper, Solidworks, Arduino, Python (for rPi), Processing, Pure Data, openframeworks + ofxiOS, iOS SDK, etc.
There are no required texts for this class. Regular readings will be assigned on the topic. Digital and photocopied reading/viewing material will be provided by the instructor and available on the course webpage.
Facilities and Lab Use
The course will use the IDeATe Physical Computing Studio in Hunt Library. Students are required to comply with the policies and procedures for the IDeaTe facilities (see: https://resources.ideate.cmu.edu) and specifically for the Physical Computing Lab and Lending
The lab is a shared space used by your colleagues and by other classes. The maintenance of the lab is the responsibility of the students i.e. students should clean up the lab as they use it and leave it in good working condition for others.
IDeATe and the Physical Computing Lab provides some short term lending of tools, parts and consumable components for use in student projects. These are available for reasonable use only and abuse of this resource or lab itself may result in loss of access.
For some of the assignments, students maybe be required to use specific equipment, hardware or software. All required equipment (hardware, components, etc.) will be made available for these assignments (see below). Additional and advanced hardware and components may be accessed in the Physical Computing Studio and in the IDeATe equipment lending pool which is open 7 days a week in the basement of Hunt Library. Required hardware (laptops, cameras, peripherals) may be checked out on request. If particular equipment is needed but is not available in the Studio or the Equipment Lending Library, let the instructor know.
There are no fees associated with this course. Students will be expected to cover their project costs individually. Please review the resource fee and use information in detail
Students are responsible for their own work. Work lost to due computer error, portable media error, or personal error is the responsibility of the student and will not be an excuse for late or missing work. At the end of the semester all students may be required to submit all work incl. source code, process documentation, etc. Do not discard original files of any assignment and the use of github or other source management solutions is recommended.
Students are expected to attend all classes. During class times, students are expected to give their full attention to the class materials, discussions and seminars. Students found to be consulting non-class related material, using their mobile phone or engaged in social networking will be immediately deemed absent.
If you need to miss a class for any reason, inform the instructor before the class if possible, and/or after the missed class. More than one unexcused absence will adversely affect your effort grade (see section on grading). In no case can a student expect to receive a passing grade without regular attendance and participation in class.
Students must notify faculty in advance of planned absence for religious holiday or school-related event (i.e. varsity sports trip). If you have an unplanned absence for medical or personal reasons, let the faculty know of your situation as soon as possible. In case of an extended absence for medical or personal reasons, contact the Senior Academic Advisor by mail, e-mail or phone, who will notify the appropriate faculty. Faculty reserve the right to request a formal document verifying a medical excuse.
Academic Integrity is expected at all time. Carnegie Mellon has a established as well-defined policy on this subject which can be found at: http://www.cmu.edu/policies/documents/Academic%20Integrity.htm
It is the responsibility of the student to verse themselves with these policies. All necessary and appropriate sanctions will be issued to all parties involved with plagiarizing any and all course work. Plagiarism and any other form of academic dishonesty that is in violation with these policies will not be tolerated.