School of Media, Culture & Design

Applied Computer Science

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

The Applied Computer Science program helps students become designers, thinkers and leaders of the new digital age. It is an art and technology hybrid degree focusing on emerging digital practices by working with interactive environments, experiential design and human interaction. The program uses computer science as a tool to innovate within the fields of design, entertainment, and media arts. This STEM degree enables students to develop into creators and innovators, preparing them for some of the most exciting and cutting-edge careers of today and tomorrow.

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Fall 2018 ACS Lecture Series

The Applied Computer Science Lecture Series features practitioners from a wide range of creative and scientific fields, all of whom incorporate applied computer science and technology at the core of their professional inquiry. Open to the entire Woodbury community, the lectures aim to foster dialogue around the increasing role of technology in society, its application across a diverse range of professional practices, the resulting explosion of creative and expressive modes of production, and the ethical and moral dilemmas that have emerged as technology has evolved. Watch the next live stream.

 

Faculty

Woodbury’s faculty are accomplished, caring academics and professionals dedicated to supporting the success of students throughout their academic journey. They bring their professional expertise to students and work closely with them to teach the skills and theory required to enter professional practice or pursue advanced study. Through this individualized attention, Woodbury fosters close mentoring relationships between faculty and students in a supportive and encouraging environment.

FACULTY DIRECTORY

Facilities

The Applied Computer Science department has extensive technical facilities at its disposal, centered around a 20-seat dual-platform teaching and production lab with state of the art Mac/Windows workstations, a dedicated electronics teaching and production facility as well as a Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Lab. In addition, the program provides access to a 4,000-sq. ft. sound stage and Woodbury’s making complex which includes a wood/metal shop, and a digital fabrication lab.

making complex

Alumni Spotlight

Andranik Aslanyan is the founder and CEO of Code Headquarters, specializing in the production and development of video games for the console market.  Andranik is also a senior consultant at the Animation Lab in Nickelodeon’s Animation Studios, exploring alternative animation pipelines and digital platforms of the future such as virtual reality.  “The knowledge I gained from the Applied Computer Science major is instrumental to my daily operations; we taught to work across different mediums and a broad spectrum of technologies for the current job market.”

Woodbury’s Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science is a unique STEM program with an emphasis on technology in a creative context.

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Applied Computer Science Student Showcase

Internships & Careers

Internship opportunities:

  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratories
  • Microsoft
  • Nickelodeon Animation Studios
  • Oblong Industries
  • Two Bit Circus
  • Code Headquarters
  • Fancy VR
  • Audio Design & Service
  • IMAX Corporation
  • Architectural Technology Laboratory Venture

Internships are a required component of the BS in Applied Computer Science.

Career opportunities:

  • Game Programmer
  • App developer
  • Experience designer
  • Web developer
  • Interaction designer
  • VR/AR developer
  • Visual effects specialist
  • Wearable technology designer
  • Projection designer
  • Robotics engineer
  • Technical director
  • Software engineer

 

  • Technical project manager
  • Projection mapping specialist
  • Research and development engineer
  • Creative coder
  • Physical computing engineer
  • Drone operator
  • Autonomous vehicle developer
  • Big data engineer
  • Artificial intelligence developer

Applied Computer Science Courses

The Applied Computer Science – Media Arts curriculum is structured around three main types of classes:  Design/Media, Programming, and Design/Tech hybrid studios. Each one has been carefully designed to work with a specific, cutting-edge technology and high-demand programming skills applied to a particular creative environment. During their junior year, students can choose an applied study focus in Interaction Design, Experiential Design,  Entertainment Technology, Game Development, or Technology Entrepreneurship. In their senior thesis, students explore their chosen “Applied Focus” in more depth, acquiring expertise in one particular area, and enabling them to pursue a professional career in that field.

Course Requirements

TECH 101 TECHNOLOGY, ART AND CULTURE
This foundational course ties together major themes and movements in the history of the arts, science and technology up to the present day with a focus on their impact on culture at large. Examining the cutting edge of current and near future developments from a historical perspective, students will learn to identify major technological and artistic innovations that often drive disruptive societal change. Course lecture material and supplemental readings pay particular attention to pioneering individuals and groups leading innovation with cross-disciplinary, forward-thinking and experimental work. Throughout the semester students will complete regular writing assignments and presentations, culminating in a semester research paper.

TECH 102 PROGRAMMING 1
This studio course serves as a practical introduction to the fundamentals of computational media with emphasis on code as the language of computing. No prior background in computer programming is assumed as the course covers basic concepts of syntax, code structure, programming constructs, algorithms, data organization and computer applications. Concepts such as procedural animation, generative graphics and interaction will be explored using a creative coding approach. Students will complete weekly programming assignments, culminating in an original semester project that elaborates on the concepts and techniques covered in the course.

TECH 121 ACS LECTURE SERIES
The Applied Computer Science Lecture Series features practitioners from a wide range of creative and scientific fields, all of whom incorporate technology at the core of their professional inquiry. Open to the entire Woodbury community, this course aims to foster dialogue around the increasing role of technology in society, its application across a diverse range of professional practices, the resulting explosion of creative and expressive modes of production, and the ethical and moral dilemmas that have emerged as technology has evolved.

GDES 107 DIGITAL PRACTICE
This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of digital technology, including their roles in the creation, reproduction, and distribution of visual messages. Students will study major drawing and imaging software used in the graphic design industry. They will also become familiar with digital tools and terminology as they apply to creative visual communication. Studio. Prerequisite: None

WRIT 111: ACADEMIC WRITING 1
WRIT 111 is an intensive writing course that introduces students to university standards for academic writing and teaches students how to use the writing process and social processes to write for various audiences. WRIT 111 students improve their prewriting and revision abilities and learn to modify the essay form, integrate their opinions and experiences into essays, and create multiple-source papers in the MLA format. WRIT 111 also includes learning to coordinate first- and third-person narration and critiquing readings for bias and for other logical fallacies. Seminar. Prerequisite: WRIT 100, Bridge to Academic Writing or appropriate placement score.

MATH 249: COLLEGE ALGEBRA
This is a course in algebraic functions. Topics include but are not limited to: relations, functions; inverse functions;the algebra of functions; polynomial, rational exponential, and logarithmic functions. Course content is covered in three realms; symbolic, graphic and the written word. In addition, each topic includes components of problem solving and applications. Lecture. Prerequisite: Placement exam or MATH 149, Intermediate Algebra with a grade of “C” or better.

TECH 111 MIXED REALITY
This class serves as an introduction to real-time Rendering engines. Students will explore various platforms for the design and creation of AR and VR applications. Emphasizing hands-on experimentation, this experiential studio is meant to be a collaboration between both programmers and designers to research and develop new paradigms for user experience and new pipelines for the creation of 3D content. Using VR and AR equipment, students will work individually and in teams to practically apply novel design principles, culminating in a semester project demonstrating a critical approach to designing for these emerging forms of media

TECH 112 Introduction to Programming II
This course introduces advanced programming concepts through the construction of interactive experiences for the web by building on programming fundamentals learned in the introductory programming course. Students will learn software design patterns, synchronous and asynchronous programming, unit testing, version control, hosting, data formats and how to work with an API. Students will create interactive works using a variety of backend and frontend technologies. Possible projects include interactive data visualization, networked games, and responsive design.

TECH 211 3D SPACES AND DIGITAL FAB-LAB
This course serves as an introduction to the 3D environment, form and spatial design. Students will become familiar with rapid prototyping techniques, by drawing, modeling and building two and three-dimensional forms. Students will learn how to develop the models physically using laser cutters, 3D printing, and CNC milling technology.

WRIT 112: ACADEMIC WRITING 2
WRIT 112 is an intensive writing course and is the capstone course in the Writing Program. WRIT 112 students develop their research and writing skills; practice MLA and APA documentation formats; and integrate diverse kinds of documents to explore topics, solve problems, and develop arguments. WRIT 112 also includes elements of document design and field research, and completing research into a subject other than English. Specifically, the issue of sustainability will be examined by each student through the lens of his/her major. While studying sustainability, students will critically think, read, and write, and study the relationships between language, knowledge, and power. Seminar. Prerequisite: WRIT 111, Academic Writing I or appropriate placement score.

LSCI 105: INFORMATION THEORY AND PRACTICE
This course is an introduction to the production and dissemination of information and knowledge. Using networked information systems, traditional scholarly resources, and evolving delivery systems, students develop an understanding of concepts underlying the research process, and skills in retrieval and critical evaluation of resources appropriate to university level research. Provides experience in the ethical use and presentation of research results with correct documentation styles, and the application of knowledge and skills to research assigned in other courses.

TECH 212 DIGITAL MEDIA WORKSHOP
This class will introduce core concepts and practices of digital media creation and workflows. This course will provide students with hands-on training on cameras, techniques, and software used in working with time based digital media workflows that can be applied across a number of industries. Creative freedom is encouraged during this course and students will explore art concepts in different contexts, through a series of projects generating images and graphics in motion. Topics may include: animation, cinematography, compositing, typography, non-linear editing systems, video standards and video workflows.

TECH 312 INTERACTIVE PROTOTYPING
This studio is a hands-on introduction to design and creation of interactive prototypes that form the basis of intelligent objects and spaces in the sphere of media art & design, architecture, wearable technology and IoT (internet of things). Students will acquire practical electronics and embedded programming skills in experimenting with technologies such as microprocessors, sensors, actuators, LED lights, wireless nodes. In addition, the course will include topics in 3D modeling and fabrication as a means to achieving a complementary synthesis of form and function in student’s projects.

GDES 106 GRAPHIC DESIGN 1
Introduction to the field of graphic design exploring the creation and function of design as a tool of communication, including issues of information, concept and execution. Emphasis will be placed on understanding principles of visual organization and typography and the study of the elements of design as applied to graphic design problem solving.

ARTH 204 HISTORY OF MODERN ART
This course will seek to create a historical narrative from c. 1860 to the period immediately following WWII by outlining the major artistic movements and theories in modern art. Focusing primarily on the art of Europe and the United States, students will also study design, architecture, and film in order to observe the characteristics of progress and originality that often define avant-garde modernism.

MATH 251: TRIGONOMETRY W/ DESCRIPTIVE GEOMETRY
This is a course in trigonometry and descriptive geometry. Topics include radian measure, algebraic and trigonometric functions, inverse functions, trigonometric identities and equations, vectors, laws of sine and cosine, vector algebra, orthographic projection, multiview drawings, visualization, fundamental views of the point line and plane. Lecture. Prerequisite: MATH 249, College Algebra with a grade of “C” or better.

TECH 256 ACS LECTURE SERIES
The Applied Computer Science Lecture Series features practitioners from a wide range of creative and scientific fields, all of whom incorporate technology at the core of their professional inquiry. Open to the entire Woodbury community, this course aims to foster dialogue around the increasing role of technology in society, its application across a diverse range of professional practices, the resulting explosion of creative and expressive modes of production, and the ethical and moral dilemmas that have emerged as technology has evolved.

TECH 2xx NEW MEDIA ENVIRONMENTS
This experimental studio covers the recent history, applications and aesthetics of experiential design, with a focus on interactive and immersive environments. This hands-on hybrid Art&Tech class will cover topics such as the design of real-time generated graphics and audio-reactive visuals, projection mapping, programming interactive installations and other creative prototyping tools.

TECH 2xx APPLIED DISCRETE MATHEMATICS FOR COMPUTING
This class aims to teach students how to think mathematically, in an applied context. Five main themes will be covered: mathematical reading, combinatorial analysis, discrete structures, algorithmic thinking, and applications and modeling. Mathematical logic will include the foundation for methods of proof and combinatorial analysis how to solve counting problems. Discrete structures will include sets, permutations, relations, graphs, trees, boolean algebra and finite state machines. Algorithmic thinking will cover solving problems by creating an algorithm, specification of the algorithm and verification that it works. Students will model problems and applications, using the tools and programming platforms that they have been using in the previous programming sequences.

TECH 2xx INTRODUCTION TO MACHINE LEARNING
This course explores the principles of artificial intelligence focusing on the development of deep learning algorithms. With a state of the art and creative approach, the students will understand core concepts involved in machine learning to begin developing and training networks in different mediums and contexts.

INDS 1XX: INTERDISCIPLINARY CORE
INDS 101 Journeys
INDS 102 Natures
INDS 103 Conflicts
INDS 104 Knowledges

COMM 120: PUBLIC SPEAKING
This course provides a study of the oral presentation of ideas and feelings that blend contemporary communication theory with traditional approaches to public address. This course also provides experience in public speaking, interpersonal communication, and critical listening skills. Lecture. Prerequisite: none. Offered spring, summer, and fall. No lab costs.

TECH2xx Progress Portfolio

TECH 3XX DESIGN/TECHNOLOGY EXPLORATION
Students will research and create a series of creative works surrounding a special topic. For the development of these projects, they will use various technological platforms, and explore/revise the various tools that they have learned in the previous years of the program. This class is meant to serve as a first approach to the development of a professional project. Work is expected to be highly creative and demonstrate mastery in core programming and technical concepts.

TECH 3XX ADVANCED MIXED REALITY
This class will explore various platforms for the design and creation of AR and VR applications. Emphasizing hands-on experimentation, this experiential studio is meant to be a collaboration between both programmers and designers to research and develop new paradigms for user experience and new pipelines for the creation of 3D content. Using real time game engines, and various hardware equipment and mobile devices, students will work individually and in teams to practically apply novel design principles to build new applications, culminating in a semester project demonstrating a critical approach to designing for these emerging forms of media.

TECH 3XX EXPERIMENTAL 3D LAB
Experimental 3D Laboratory focuses on learning the basics of 3D animation, motion graphics, and generative 3D. We will examine the history and principles of 2D / 3D motion graphics and create new interpretation of 3D motion design through working with interactive tools and communicating with realtime rendering engines. Topics include: 2D and 3D motion graphics, data visualizations, 360 video, scripting, integration with VR and interactive devices. Studio. Prerequisite: Intro to programming, Mixed reality studio, Intermediate programming and a 3D modeling course.

ENVT 220: ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
This course provides an overview of topics including ecosystems, biodiversity, mineral and nutrient cycles, sources of energy, waste and pollution, and environmental movements and philosophies. Lecture. Prerequisites: None.

COMM 235: MEDIA ETHICS
This course will explore the origins of ethical behavior and actions within the media by looking at both classical and contemporary approaches to ethical decision making and applying them to modern media practices. Students will question media behavior, critique media practices, and search for suggestions that will most positively affect both the media institutions and the publics with which they interact. Lecture.

TECH 3xx MOBILE APPLICATIONS
Fueled by the explosion of Apple’s iOS and Google Android platform, the increasing ubiquity of mobile devices has reshaped the technology landscape. This course will provide a solid grounding in the development, testing and deployment of software across a variety of mobile hardware platforms and API’s. Students will complete regular programming assignments, culminating in a semester project that consists of deployment-ready code and clear technical documentation.

GDES 396 USER EXPERIENCE
This studio course introduces the contemporary design practices in addressing the design of interfaces and systems with a user-centered focus. The process involves basic knowledge of means for considering, evaluating, and anticipating the consequences of design action in a variety of systems. It will lead students to become critical users of technology, able to match technological choices to specific problems and their respective contexts, and invent the systems through which users create their own experiences. Studio.

TECH 3xx ACS MEDIA/DESIGN ELECTIVE

XXX NATURAL SCIENCE COURSE WITH LAB
PHYS24X: TRIG-BASED PHYSICS This course is an introductory level course in mechanics, waves, heat, optics and electricity. Laboratory.
Prerequisites: ENVT 220, Environmental Studies and MATH 251, Trigonometry with Descriptive Geometry with a “C” or better.

3XX: INTERDISCIPLINARY SEMINAR

TECH 4xx RESEARCH SEMINAR
The research semester is meant to provide students with the opportunity to carry out an in depth study of their areas of interests. Students will do extensive research in a topic until midterm,by exploring research techniques, and writing a paper on the subject. During the second part of the semester they will redirect their research towards their Thesis project. Students will research and gather support materials; identify a faculty review committee; and gather a project team. At the end of the research semester, students will submit an Applied Computer Science Thesis Project Proposal signed by members of the faculty from the disciplines represented in the student’s proposal.

TECH 4xx THESIS I
The Thesis sequence is intended as a springboard for culminating student’s research, technological explorations and functional prototyping in a focused thesis project. The goal is to combine creative intent and practical implementation illustrating technical expertise and critical thinking. Focus is placed on conceptual originality and creative problem solving, addressing contemporary issues, as well as practical methodology and a structured implementation approach. Throughout the semester students will work on individually-developed software, hardware and mixed media prototypes, regularly presenting them in class to the instructor and their peers while providing constructive feedback to each other. At the end of the semester, students will present the Applied Computer Thesis proposals, complete documentation and defend the core concepts synthesized as part of their research and development process.

3xx ACS MEDIA/DESIGN ELECTIVE

SOCIAL SCIENCE ELECTIVE

XXXX 3XX: GENERAL EDUCATION ELECTIVE

TECH 4xx NEW MEDIA VENTURES
This course focuses on the development of research methodologies that enable the students to reflect on their past and current work, and evaluate their practice within the discipline. Throughout this course, students are introduced to number of theoretical, technical and professional references that will guide the documentation and representation of the research.
The goal is to provide a fundamental research and professionalization framework in order to create versatile and competitive practitioners that educate themselves unflinchingly in order to develop an informed, ethical stance that will guide their aspirations and decisions at every stage of their careers.

TECH 4xx THESIS II
This advanced thesis course will focus on the production and execution of the student’s senior Thesis proposals. Focus will be placed on individually-developed software, hardware and mixed media prototypes. Students will develop and complete their thesis projects including documentation, prototypes, applications and defend the core concepts synthesized as part of their research and development process. They will demonstrate equal technical and design proficiency, conceptual originality, practical methodology, creative problem solving, and critical thinking in the implementation of their project. At the end of the semester, students will exhibit their Applied Computer Thesis projects as part of the Applied Computer Science ShowCase.

UNRESTRICTED ELECTIVE
UNRESTRICTED ELECTIVE

Applied Focus

Over the course of the degree program, students can choose an applied focus in five different area. They will take three studio courses in those areas and, during their senior thesis, students will explore their chosen field in more depth, allowing them to acquire expertise in one particular area. The option of a multi-faceted approach for students who wish to explore a more varied selection of classes is also available.

Applied focus areas

  • Interaction Design.
  • Immersive and Experiential Design
  • Entertainment Technology
  • Game Development
  • Technology  Entrepreneurship.

Design and Media

Starting with a strong foundation in design and composition, students will explore visual arts in different contexts: 2D, 3D modeling, animation,  digital fabrication, digital media, interaction, and experiential design.

Programming

The applied computer Science program has a rigorous programming sequence starting at freshmen year. During the course of the degree, students will become proficient in several programming languages and their applications. By paying special attention to the development of a broad set of technical skills, the ACS program opens a full new world of experimentation for our students.

Hybrid Studios

The hybrid courses are unique to the ACS – Media Arts program. Each one has been carefully designed to work with a specific, cutting-edge technology and high-demand programming skills applied to a particular creative environment. These courses make the ACS program unique in its field. Examples of these classes are Interactive prototyping, media environments or the Mixed Reality sequence.

University accredited by:

WSCUC: Senior College and University Commission