School of Media, Culture & Design

Applied Computer Science

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

The Applied Computer Science – Media Arts 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.

Follow our official Applied Computer Science – Media Arts Instagram: @woodbury_acs_mediaarts

 

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Applied Computer Science at Woodbury

Watch to learn more about how this unique STEM program can help turn students into the creators and innovator of the future. Applied Computer Science students develop a broad skill set by working with virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) reality environments, computer graphics, digital media, web development, mobile platforms, electronics, 3-D modeling, digital fabrication, and more.

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.

 

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:

  • Creative Technologist
  • Creative coder
  • VR Developer (Virtual reality)
  • AR Developer (Augmented Reality)
  • Software developer
  • Technical Director
  • Technical Artist
  • Game Developer
  • Interactive Engineer
  • Unity developer
  • Java-script developer
  • UX designer (User Experience)
  • Interaction designer
  • VFX specialist (Visual Effects)
  • Interactive project manager
  • Production manager
  • Technical project manager

 

  • Digital Producer
  • VFX Software Developer (Visual Effects)
  • Artificial intelligence developer
  • App developer
  • Python Programmer
  • Experience designer
  • Experiential designer
  • Digital Experience Designer
  • Web developer
  • Projection designer
  • Wearable technology designer
  • Robotics engineer
  • Software engineer
  • Projection mapping specialist
  • Research and development engineer
  • Physical computing engineer

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, or Game Development. 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

CSMA 100 ACS LECTURE SERIES
The Media Technology 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. Each week, the students will be given four questions to answer after participating in the lecture. This weekly practice will enable them to learn how to engage in a discussion with each lecturer, as well as reflect on various research methodologies and fields. Lecture.

CSMA 101 INTRODUCTION TO PROGRAMMING
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 project that elaborates on the concepts and techniques covered in the course. Studio.

CSMA 102 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.

FOUN 102 DESIGN AND COMPOSITION
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.

CSMA 111 INTRODUCTION TO 3-D WORLDS
This course serves as an introduction to threedimensional environments. During the term of the course, students will learn to model and work within the virtual 3-D space. Students will build complex objects, and then learn 3-D rendering and use of animation tools. Students will also learn digital fabrication techniques by making physical 3-D objects using laser cutters, 3-D printers, and CNC milling technology. Studio.

CSMA 112 INTERACTIVE PROTOTYPING
A hands-on introduction to the design and creation of interactive prototypes that form the basis of intelligent objects and spaces in the sphere of media, art and design, architecture, wearable technology, and IoT (Internet of Things). In the course of the semester, students will acquire practical electronics and embedded programming skills by experimenting with technologies such as microprocessors, sensors, actuators, and LED lights, using them in conjunction with the software tools, source code libraries, and network services facilitating their applications. Class sessions will focus on the design and construction of electronic circuits used to explore real-time interaction. Students will complete regular programming assignments, culminating in a collaborative installation project that integrates the hardware and software technologies, concepts, and programming techniques covered in the course. Studio. Prerequisite: CSMA 101, Introduction to Programming.

CSMA 113 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 programmers and designers to research and develop new paradigms for user experience and new pipelines for the creation of 3-D content. Using the Unity game engine and various hardware equipment, such as the Microsoft HoloLens, HTC Vive, and mobile devices, 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. Studio.

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.

CSMA 202 INTERMEDIATE PROGRAMMING
This course introduces intermediate 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 application programming interface (API). Students will create interactive works using a variety of back-end and front-end technologies. Possible projects include interactive data visualization, networked games, and responsive design. Studio. Prerequisite: CSMA 101, Introduction to Programming.

CSMA 203 DIGITAL MEDIA
This class will introduce core concepts and practices of digital media creation and workflows. This course will provide students with hands-on training on the 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, nonlinear editing systems, video standards, and video workflows. Studio

GDES 107 DIGITAL PRACTICE
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.

CSMA 212 MEDIA ENVIRONMENTS
This experimental studio covers the recent techniques, aesthetics, and applications of experiential design, with a focus on interactive and immersive environments at a human scale. It is a hands-on hybrid art-and-technology course that will cover topics such as the design of real-time generated graphics, audioreactive visuals, projection mapping, programming interactive installations, and other creative prototyping tools. Studio.

CSMA 213 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
This course explores the principles of Artificial Intelligence focusing on the development and deployment of machine learning algorithms. Lectures and reading assignments for the class aim to provide a broad overview of the contemporary research, best practices, and applications in the fields of robotics, data analytics, audio analysis, computer vision, and other areas. Practical approaches to engaging with the subject material will be emphasized through hands-on programming assignments and exercises, including applications of machine learning at the hardware level using sensors and embedding computing platforms. Employing state-of-the-art software frameworks with a creative approach to problem solving, students will understand core concepts involved in machine learning to begin developing expertise with intelligent algorithms, neural networks, training data sets, and more. Studio.

CSMA 214 APPLIED MATHEMATICS
This class aims to teach students how to think mathematically in applied contexts. Five main themes will be covered: mathematical reading, combinatorial analysis, discrete structures, algorithmic thinking, and applications and modeling. Mathematical logic 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 learned in previous technology programming sequences. Lecture. Prerequisites: MATH 259, College Algebra and MATH 251, Trigonometry with Descriptive Geometry.

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.

CSMA 215 Progress Portfolio

Required as a co-requisite to CSMA 212 or CSMA 214, students will develop a Portfolio and Repository including work, documentation, and source code from each major studio completed. Students also will complete reflective self-assessments evaluating their strengths, weaknesses, and overall performance in lower-division studios. Students will be assessed for their progress in the program and readiness for upperdivision studios. Studio. Co-requisite: CSMA 212, Media Environments.

CSMA 302 ADVANCED PROGRAMMING
This course serves as a culmination of the programming sequence of the ACS department by building on programming fundamentals learned across the degree. This class will explore lower-level programming and computer science practices at the machine level. Students will work with complex algorithms, abstract data types, recursion, and increment their problem-solving skills. Students will also practice real world case scenarios such as software team assembly, best version control practices, and code review.

APPLIED FOCUS 1

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.

CSMA 311 DESIGN TECHNOLOGY EXPLORATION
This hybrid art-and-technology course serves as a continuation of CSMA 212, Media Environments. This studio aims to find a balance between design, programming, and hardware implementations. Students will research and produce a series of creative works surrounding a particular topic, culminating in the development and presentation of a proof of concept. We will look at contemporary examples in the field and carefully study projects from ideation to final production, paying special attention to the design, exploration, and production processes. Work is expected to be highly creative and demonstrate proficiency in core programming and technical concepts. Studio. Prerequisites: CSMA 212, Media Environments, CSMA 203, Digital Media, CSMA 113, Mixed Reality, CSMA 112, Interactive Prototyping, CSMA 101, Introduction to Programming, and CSMA 202, Intermediate Programming.

CSMA 312 MIXED REALITY 2
Building on the foundations laid in the Mixed Reality course, this class will dive deeper into computer science and programming topics as they relate to developing consumer-ready mixed reality experiences. Topics covered will include inter-device networking, efficient architecture, and mobile optimization. Students will also be encouraged to consider critically the current and future state of virtual and augmented reality through hands-on experience with hardware such as consumer VR/AR devices, emerging hardware prototypes or development kits, and mobile devices. Students will work individually to develop a midterm project demonstrating proficiency in developing software for user-facing experiences, which will culminate in a semester project demonstrating proficiency in developing network software and meeting agreed-upon standards. Studio. Prerequisite: CSMA 113, Mixed Reality

APPLIED FOCUS COURSE 2

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

CSMA 400 RESEARCH SEMINAR
The capstone research semester provides the student with the opportunity to explore possible capstone projects. 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 Capstone Project Proposal signed by members of the faculty from the disciplines represented in the student’s proposal. Studio. Prerequisite: CSMA 311, Design Technology Exploration.

CSMA 401 THESIS I
This course is the first semester in the development of a student-led Senior Thesis project with a focus on technological explorations and functional prototyping of individually developed software, hardware, and/or mixed media prototypes. With guidance from the instructor, students are expected to engage in independent research, identify an area of interest, and determine the scope of a year-long project demonstrating technical proficiency, conceptual originality, creative problem solving, and critical thinking. Students will complete a thesis proposal with supporting documentation and defend the core concepts synthesized as part of their research and development process. Studio. Prerequisite: CSMA 311, Design Technology Exploration.

APPLIED FOCUS COURSE 3

SOCIAL SCIENCE ELECTIVE

GENERAL EDUCATION ELECTIVE

CSMA 402 THESIS II
This advanced capstone course will focus on technological explorations and functional prototyping for the Senior Thesis project. Focus will be placed on individually-developed software, hardware and/or mixed media prototypes. Students will complete their thesis proposals, including documentation, and defend the core concepts synthesized as part of their research and development process. They will demonstrate technical proficiency, conceptual originality, practical methodology, creative problem solving, and critical thinking in the implementation of their project. Final review will include presentation to the student’s faculty review committee and presentation in the Applied Computer Science Showcase. Continuation of CSMA 401, Thesis I. Part two of a two-semester sequence. Studio. Prerequisite: CSMA 401, Thesis I.

CSMA 422 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES

This course will provide a broad overview of STEM and STEAM industries, focusing on industry ethics, economic models, and entrepreneurship. Through the development of research methodologies, students will reflect on their past and cur-rent work and evaluate their practice within the discipline. The course will provide a basic survey of ethical theories and discussions of the role of professional organizations in maintaining good practice, including ethical concerns such as data privacy, and software and media piracy. The goal is to provide a fundamental research and professionalization frame-work in order to create versatile and competitive practitioners. This class will teach students to continue to educate themselves and develop an informed, ethical stance to guide their aspirations and decisions at every stage of their careers. Prerequisite: CSMA 311, Design Technology Exploration.

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