Performamatics: Experiences With Connecting a Computer Science Course to a Design Arts Course
Our work is based on a partnership between the a Computer Science (CS) and Art, Music, and English departments in the area of exhibition and performance technologies. We define these areas broadly to encompass all CS applications in the creative and performing arts. These areas not only resonate with today's media-rich culture, but reinforce the fact that virtually all computer applications now require the integration of creative elements. CS majors must learn to work with specialists in areas where the perspective is often quite different from their own. We believe that computer scientists have much to learn from those trained in the arts and vice versa. The common thread in performamatics projects is that many tasks, performed by multiple people, must come together on a tight schedule by a specific date to achieve a desired result. Performamatics also implies that each team member must "perform" his or her task(s) in a way that can be integrated into a final product, regardless of whether that team member participates visibly in the culminating event. Our paper reports on initial attempts to couple CS courses and integrate CS elements with courses in Art, Music, and Theater. We describe the techniques we used that were designed to increase the scope and level of creativity in student projects and the impact these techniques and the presence of interdisciplinary teams had on those projects. We discuss changes we will make to improve the experience for both groups of students in the future and suggest new techniques we may try to better achieve our goals. This work is supported by NSF Award No. CNS-0722161. Principal Investigator: Jesse Heines. Co-Principal Investigators: Fred Martin, Gena Greher, Jim Jeffers, and Karen Roehr. Senior Personnel: Sarah Kuhn and Nancy Selleck. Further information is available at: www.performamatics.org.
Keywords: Interdisciplinary Programs, Computer Science and the Arts, Performamatics
Dr. Jesse M. Heines
Associate Professor, Dept. of Computer Science
Prof. Jim Jeffers
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Art