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Academics

Courses Offered

Undergraduate Courses

MAT 80 series - Mediated Worlds

4 units

Integrative overview of media arts and technologies, emphasizing the interconnections between technologies and humanities (means and ends), engineering and mathematics (concrete and abstract), and arts and science (synthesis and analysis). The THEMAS model proposes a continuum across disciplines previously separated by narrow specializations. It builds upon the successes of STEM/STEAM, with greater emphasis on the humanities, creativity, and synthesis.

  • MAT 80AS. Mediated Worlds/THEMAS Arts+Sciences Emphasis
  • MAT 80EM. Mediated Worlds/THEMAS Engineering+Mathematics Emphasis
  • MAT 80TH. Mediated Worlds/THEMAS Technologies+Humanities Emphasis
  • MAT 80VR. Mediated Worlds: Enacting the Metaverse - Generative Worldmaking and Virtual Reality
  • MAT 80XU. Mediated Worlds:THEMAS Special Topics:(E)Utopian Design Tools

Gradiate Courses

MAT 200A - Art and Technology

4 units

Overview of the digital media arts field with an emphasis on technological developments and their integration in art research and production. Students are introduced to contemporary and historical directions and methodologies through seminar lectures, research presentation, and a final project.

MAT 200B - Music and Technology

4 units

Overview of music and technology, including historical aspects. Readings and exercises with a range of music software applications. Basics of Internet audio and evolving media, music production, business, technical, and aesthetic aspects.

MAT 200C - Digital Media Technology and Engineering

4 units

This course surveys pattern formation mechanisms. Many complex visual phenomena can be generated from less than 100 lines of code, such as the Mandelbrot set, reaction-diffusion, and the Lorenz attractor. We will study and implement a variety of these phenomena.

MAT 201A - Media Signal Processing

4 units

Basic concepts in digital signal and image processing (transforms, convolutions, etc.), filter design, image enhancement and coding, digital video.

MAT 201B - Computing with Media Data

4 units

Recommended Preparation: One quarter introductory programming course and one quarter "data structure and algorithms" course.

Hands-on introduction to developing multimedia applications. Representation and perception of sound, images, and time. Media computing paradigms including OOP, callbacks, multithreading, OpenGL, distributed computing, algorithmic control, indeterminacy, real-time interactivity, and mapping data between sensory modalities. Students develop a series of audiovisual works (as C++ software) leading to a final project.

MAT 201C - Media and Society

4 units

Comparison of electronic and traditional media. Topics: Impact of networks on art and commerce, social history of communication technologies. Notions of authorship, shifting role of corporations in an increasingly global economy. Impact of multi-user environments and virtual reality technology on society.

MAT 232 - Advanced Computer Graphics

4 units

Covers advanced computer graphics topics in rendering, animation, and modeling. Topics may include, but are not limited to: programmable shading, General-Purpose GPU (GPGPU) computing, rigid body dynamics, OpenCL programming, physically based animation, subdivision surfaces, shadow algorithms, character skinning methods, ambient occlusion, and fractal growth algorithms.

MAT 235 - Computer Imaging

4 units

Fundamentals of digital imaging systems, including the capture, storage, display, and retrieval of image and video data. Topics include the nature of light, color, optics, sensors, human vision, image processing, and computervision.

MAT 236 - Computational Systems for Visual Art and Design

4 units

Computational systems of rules, relationships, and behaviors can extend traditional art and design practices or support new creative workflows. We will explore the creation of computational systems for visual art and design. We will use creative coding platforms and algorithms to create visual works that are flexible, dynamic, and generative. In the process, we will touch on the design philosophy and abstractions of existing creative coding platforms and examine methods to create alternatives. Students learn basic approaches to modify creative programming languages and frameworks or develop new software interfaces for visual expression. Technical production will be complemented by readings on computational art and design theory.

MAT 237 - Designing Expressive Technologies

4 units

Computational tools create new opportunities for making things, yet designing expressive computational systems poses many challenges. Addressing these challenges requires finding ways to integrate rigorous and structured research and development methodologies with observations of real-world creative production, and dialog and collaboration with different kinds of makers. This course is for Ph.D and Masters students with an interest in researching and designing computational technologies for art, design, manufacturing, or craft. The course is run as a seminar involving discussion of readings and concepts presented in lecture and exploration of human-computer interaction research methodologies.

MAT 238 - Computational Fabrication

4 units

Computational fabrication enables people to design digital forms by writing code and then construct these forms, at least partially, via fabrication machines, like 3D printers and computer-numerical-controlled (CNC) machines. In this course, students explore tools, workflows, representations, and applications of computational fabrication. Students are instructed in the use of computer-aided-design software tools and programming languages aimed at the design of physical artifacts. The course also covers the process of converting digital designs to physical form through computer-aided machining (CAM) for different forms of additive and subtractive CNC machines.

MAT 240A-F - Digital Audio Programming: The Series

4 units

Recommended Preparation: Some experience in programming and basic acoustics.

A six-quarter practical programming course devoted to digital audio applications development. The emphasis is on learning to use current state-of-the-art programming methods, tools, and library APIs. Programming assignments are given in the C, C++, Java, Smalltalk and/or SuperCollider programming language.

Topics: A. Using Commerical I/O APIs; B. Spectral Transformations; C. Spatial Sound Manipulation; D. Sound Synthesis Techniques; E. Multi-rateControl and Synchronization; F. Media Application Integration.

MAT 254 - Arts-Engineering Research

4 units

Theoretical and applied directions in arts-engineering research.

MAT 255 - Concepts and Aesthetics of the Computational Image

4 units

Recommended Preparation: Some knowledge in any or all of the following relavant fields: computation,simulation and modeling, aesthetics and visual studies.

Enrollment Comments: Open to non-majors. Designed for majors.

Interdisciplinary course to analyze the digital computational image, its history, the theoretical, conceptual, philosophical underpinnings, issues of aesthetics, and critical analysis of simulation and representation. Course bridges arts, engineering, humanities. Assignments include reports and possibly projects.

MAT 258 - Art and Science of Aerospace Culture

4 units

Interdisciplinary course/seminar/practice for artists, academics, engineers, and designers interested in exploring the technological aesthetic, cultural, and political aspects of the space side of the aerospace complex. Design history, space complex aesthetics, cinema intersections, imaging/telecommunications, human spaceflight history, reduced/alternating gravity, experimentation, space systems design/utilization.

MAT 259A - Projects in Visualizing Information

4 units

Project-based course focused on aesthetics of algorithmic visualization. Course concentration on fundamentals of data visualization and design, with an emphasis on data query, analysis, processing and visualization in linear, 2D frequency, and spatial map visualizations.

MAT 259B - Projects in Visualizing Information

4 units

The follow-up projects course to MAT 259A. Emphasis on data processing, representation of abstract data in 3D, interactivity, and correlation with an external data source such as NY Times. Emphasis on exploration of algorithmic processes, and aesthetics of visualization.

MAT 261A - Transvergence Seminar I

4 units

Recommended Preparation: Demonstrated experience and accomplishment in creative and analytical fields; programming; interactive media; 3D computer graphics; geometry and trigonometry; physics; art/architecture/music/design; theory and criticism.

Artistic, philosophical, scientific, and technical foundations of transdisciplinarity, transmodality, and Transvergence. New conceptions of actual, virtual, and informational space and form. Trans-Euclidean geometry, from Gauss to present. Emergence and immanence in algorithmic poetics and information aesthetics. Models of physical, biological, and social complex systems. Worldmaking and epistemology.

Open to non-majors.

MAT 261B - Transvergence Studio I

4 units

Recommended Preparation: Demonstrated synthetic and analytical ability; programming; media. Project-driven studio (with articulated discourse component). Concurrent enrollmentin Transvergence Seminar I (261A) is strongly recommended.

Open to non-majors.

MAT 261C - Transvergence Seminar II

4 units

Recommended Preparation: Demonstrated synthetic and analytical ability; programming; media Discourse-driven seminar (with implemented art/research component). Concurrent enrollment in Transvergence Studio II (261D) is strongly recommended.

Introduction to Transmodal Continuum. n-dimensional conceptions of space (and form) after Riemann. Scalar, vector, and tensor fields and beyond. Digital, physical, biological, and neurophysiological considerations in the poetics of the very small. Models of morphogenetic and evolutionary developmental emergence. World making and ontology.

Open to non-majors.

MAT 261D - Transvergence Studio II

4 units

Recommended Preparation: Demonstrated synthetic and analytical ability; programming; media Project-driven studio (with articulated discourse component). Concurrent enrollmentin Transvergence Seminar II (261C) is strongly recommended.

Trans Architectures: The Pantopicon, Habitable Cinema, and Invisible Architectures. Multi-agent systems: Implementation of morphogenetic and developmental models of emergence. Design and implementation of everted virtual environments and eversive Worldmaking. Locative Worldmaking: linking locative media, online worlds, tracked/sensed space, and eversive virtual environments.

Open to non-majors.

MAT 261E - Transvergence Projects

4 units

Recommended Preparation: Demonstrated synthetic and analytical ability; programming; media.

Advanced projects course fusing all modalities of transvergence into implemented works embodying the Transmodal Continuum. Physical Worldmaking: addition of physical computing, spatial sensing, and digital fabrication to immersive, eversive, and locative Worldmaking. Worldmaking and phenomenology.

Open to non-majors.

MAT 265 - Open Projects in Optical/Motion - Computational Processes

4 units

Student defined research projects course focused on optical, or other imaging/sensing device interfaced with a computer such as anamorphs, experimentsin multiple exposure, spatial & virtual exploration, distance/presence, reflection and penetration (x-ray, infrared, medical (MRI, PET), etc.

MAT 276IA - Direct Digital Synthesis: Processing and Composition

4 units

First quarter of general purpose computing for computer music applications. Topics include: music synthesis using computer programs, and score input programs.

MAT 276IB - Direct Digital Synthesis: Processing and Composition

4 units

Second quarter of a two-quarter sequence course concentrates on computer music instrument design using music software and exploring applications of frequency modulation, additive/subtractive synthesis, digital signal processing, and computer music composition.

MAT 276LA,B,C - Digital Audio Montage

2 units

Three-quarter sequence course concentrates on multi-track recording, mixing, digital signal processing, and studio based composition.

MAT 276N - Special Topics in Electronic Music

4 units

Advanced topics in computer music composition, synthesis, and digital signal processing.

MAT 293 - Internship in Industry

4 units

Special projects for selected students. Offered in conjunction with selected industrial and research under direct faculty supervision. Prior departmental approval required.

MAT 294CR - Presenting MAT Projects

1 unit

Students develop concise descriptions and practice mock presentations that will be critiqued by faculty and peers in preparation for public exhibition of their work. Emphasis on technical and aesthetic clarity.

MAT 299 - Independent Study

4 units

Independent research under the guidance of a faculty member in the department. Offers an opportunity to qualified students to undertake independent research or work in a group laboratory in digital media arts and technology.

MAT 502 - Teaching in Media Art and Technology

1-4 units

Courses taught or assisted by T.A.'s.

MAT 594 courses- Special Topics in Multimedia Engineering, Visual Arts or Electronic Music

1-4 units

MAT 596 - Directed Research

2-12 units

Independent research, either experimental or theoretical, may be taken by properly qualified graduate students under the direction of a faculty member.

MAT 597 - Individual Study for Ph.D. Examinations

1-12 units

Maximum of 12 units per quarter; enrollment limited to 24 units per examination. Instructor is normally student's major advisor or chair of dissertation committee. S/U grading. Individual studies for Ph.D. qualifying examination.

MAT 598 - Master's Thesis Research and Project Research

1-12 units

For research underlying the thesis/project and writing of the thesis/project.

MAT 599 - Ph.D. Dissertation Research and Preparation

1-12 units

For research and preparation of the dissertation.