Introduction to Creative Computing . Winter 2011

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FAB LAB San Diego, in Partnership with UCSD Extension and The San Diego Supercomputer Center present a series of digital media and fabrication courses for high school students.

“Software is one of the most important forces defining our future: culturally, socially and politically … We focus on the cultural component: learning how to program with the visual arts”
Casey Reas (Processing co-founder)

Video by Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning . Student Speak Webisodes . Mc Arthur Fundation

In the Creative Computing course, students learn the fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context, including how to design interactive work while developing strong conceptual and analytical thinking skills required for creating programs. With the basic understanding of programming offered in this course, students will be able to explore programming in other languages such as Java quite easily. The concepts and skills taught in this course will set a foundation for future learning in fields such as the Media Arts, Interaction Design, Game Design, Web Development, and Data Visualization.

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This course introduces students to concepts and practices that relate to the ICAM major, as well as the Computer Science and Engineering program at UCSD.

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Module 1 . What is programming? . Drawing Basic Primitives with Processing

During the first class, students learn the fundamentals of programming and jump start using processing to draw basic shapes, the process begin with sketches in graph paper and then ‘translate’ the drawings into code using functions and parameters.

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Module 2 . Variables . Mouse Response . IR Pen

In our second class students were introduced to Variables, one of the fundamental elements of programming, they learned how to draw dynamically using global and system variables, and the interactive components of programming mouse response. All the students showed their assignments and shared their creative process, the reward for such an impressive work was the first steps into building an Infra Red device that they will get to use in our upcoming class when they’ll present their final work.

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Module 3 . Interactive whiteboard . Final student work presentation

In our last class students were introduced to the johnny lee project and how to use the IR Pen they’ve built with an interactive whiteboard using the wiimote as tracking device. All the students presented their final work made with processing and shared their experience in creative computing with the online community at Congrats to all of them for such amazing work!

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Watch videos of our students presenting their work in class!


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Introduction to Creative Computing classroom at
Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning showcases FAB LAB SD courses