NME 1450/ 4 credits
Tues 8:30-12:10
Spring 2015 with Prof. Tega Brain
Office hours Thursday 11-1pm.
Office – Natural Sciences, Level 2, Room 2053

Important Links

Course site:
Course google group for posting code questions.

Course Description

In this course you will learn how to make things with computers. We will be exploring poetic and creative computation using the free and open-source programming environments, Processing and Arduino. We will be learning fundamental programming concepts, exploring computation as a medium for art and looking at a range of artists who work in this area. You will be experimenting with a range of different techniques to realise creative projects which will be documented online. Topics will include programming interactivity, generative graphics and computer vision.

Course Objectives

  • develop a sound understanding of fundamental programming concepts
  • to develop fundamental skills developing creative works with computational media
  • critically engage with historic and contemporary computational art practices
  • develop personal learning strategies, project planning and problem solving skills


The recommended textbook for this class is: Processing for Visual Artists, 2014. It is not compulsory but is an extremely useful reference book that you will use throughout new media. It is in the library reserves (here) and you can borrow it on a short term loan.

The previous edition of this text would also be sufficient, you will just have to remember that there have been some very minor changes to some of the code syntax since it was published.

Course Requirements


Do I have to be good at Math to do well in this course?

No! Of course it helps, but don’t worry we will be revising the basic Math in class and it’s much easier and relevant when applying it to enjoyable past times like animation. What is more important than being a brilliant mathematician is that you are organized in your approach to writing programs and solving problems.

Do I have to be good at using computers to do this course?

Again of course this helps, but we are starting at the beginning and you will be introduced to everything you need to know to satisfy the course requirements. Remember, vibrant artistic and creative ideas are as important as technical proficiency in this course.

Is this a web design course?

No. This is a course to introduce you to programming and programming concepts. We are learning a language similar to javascript that is very flexible. It is typically used by artists to make interactive applications, graphics and data visualizations.

Will I be a proficient programmer at the end of this course?

No, that take years of practice. This is an introductory course and will get you started on your path to using computation in your creative work. This course is as much about art and creativity as it is about programming.


You lose 5% per missed class. Miss more than 2 classes and you automatically fail. This is not negotiable. Come to class late – after 8.45 or leave early – before 11.55 and that counts as half an absence.


Students with documented physical, learning, and psychological and other disabilities are entitled to receive reasonable accommodations. If a student needs accommodations, he/she must first register with the Office of Access and Accommodations at 914 251-6035 or


  • 60% Class code assignments (weeks 1-9)
  • 20% Physical computing assignment (weeks 10-14)
  • 20% Attendance, participation and homework (including preparedness)