In PCOMP 1, we will explore the overlap between the worlds of the analog and the digital—the natural and the artificial—the physical and the virtual. We will experiment and create with sensors, microcontrollers, robots, and more. We will work with mechanical and electrical systems to learn how to both digitally and physically interface the world around us, as well as the world within us. Human-computer interaction is at the heart of this course. We will learn about the similarities between a human and a computer, and build news ways of bridging the gap between the two. The course is technical in nature. It will involve lots of coding, tinkering, and hands-on creativity.
As computing devices become more embedded in our environment, understanding electronic interfaces and how to prototype them has become a crucial aspect of design practices. Our main goal is to engage in experimentation labs that will fuel independent research. Labs ranging from DIY brain interfaces to Arduino/C++ coding sessions will spark new ideas, and propel conceptual models to be executed by the students as functional prototypes. Students are encouraged to activate out-of-the box “what if…?” methods of design thinking to search for the usability and potential applications of the technologies introduced in the classroom.
- The creation of fully functional and integrated prototypes.
- Detailed documentation of individual projects and lab exercises.
- Learning introductory theories and practices of electronic circuits.
- Becoming proficient in microcontroller programming.
- Learning to identify electronic components, and become literate in circuit schematics.
- Knowledge of how to go about creating unique Arduino libraries for more specialized projects
- Exploration of conceptual models which will critique, enhance, and innovate in the space of Human Computer Interaction.