Computer and Information Sciences
The Computer and Information Science department provides students the opportunity to explore technology from all perspectives. Whether learning about software design or the development of computer-generated imagery, it is important for students to think about themselves as both media makers and theorists. Each course is designed to help students learn how to maneuver different technological landscapes and understand the power they have at their fingertips. CIS courses are rotated annually based on current trends. Every class includes at least one unit where students will explore some form of programming.
The ability to design and render 3-dimensional images was once a niche skill for animators and video game designers. As the public’s interest in computer generated films and 3D printers is on the rise, more media developers are learning how to design and render 3D imagery. This 3D modeling course is designed to give students an introduction to the multiple ways to utilize 3D mesh designs. Using programs such as OpenSCAD, TinkerCAD, Sculptris, and Blender, students will develop 3D models for prototype development, 3D printing, video game modification, and character-based animation.
Cinematic Storytelling introduces students to the process of audio, video, and image development and distribution. Students learn the ins and outs of motion picture production, then use their skills to script, shoot, edit, export, and publish videos for social media and film festivals. By the end of the semester, students will have the background to create their own documentaries, narrative videos, and audio presentations, as well as to write in the traditional script format. Over the course of the semester, students will utilize video and audio editing software including Audacity, Adobe Audition, Adobe Premiere Pro and iMovie.
Introduction to Programming
Anyone with a passion for the creative process, who is interested in logic and problem-solving, can learn to develop games, applications, and software. Introduction to Programming is intended to ease students into the programming mindset by developing games in simpler languages like Scratch (developed by MIT) and OpenSCAD, then progress to the more difficult object-oriented language of Java. By the end of the course, students will have a foundational understanding of how programming works and will be able to create simple games and programs using different languages and design programs.
The Internet Age has had a dramatic effect on all modern industries. From reading to retail, there has been a seismic shift in the way in which traditional industries operate. In the broadcasting world, television re-runs are being replaced with video-on-demand, news conferences can be held anywhere via streaming services, and modern radio broadcasting comes in the form of podcasting. Broadcasting is a course designed to teach students about the power their computers and phones offer as mass communication devices. Students will work together to create podcasts, schedule and produce live streams, and design and market their own YouTube channels. Students will learn to use software including Adobe Premiere, Adobe Audition, and XSplit Broadcaster.
Visual imagery can function on a variety of different levels. In order for it to stand out to a viewer, or experience viral culture online, a creator must understand the process of image development, the audience that will see it, and the best method for its distribution. Computer Graphics is designed to give students an introduction to the world of graphic design and digital image creation. Throughout the semester students will have the opportunity to create visual sculptures, visual stories, internet memes, and animated GIFs. Students learn the ins and outs of pixel-based and vector designs through the use of software like Adobe Photoshop and Vectr and 3D design using OpenSCAD.
Social Media Marketing
The power of social media cannot be understated. A technology that started being used only by a niche youth population has now infiltrated all generations and demographics as it plays an ever-present role in communications and commerce. Posting to Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok can develop a brand following more quickly than any combination of billboards or television commercials. Social Media Marketing is a class that looks at the effect social media has had on culture around the world through analysis and actions. Students will work with production groups to create brands and use social media outlets to promote them. Through real-world interactions, students will become conscientious social media producers and managers.
Advanced Media Arts
Advanced Media Arts is a studio-based technology class in which students work on a project that is outside of the scope of a traditional computer technology class. Interested students propose a project to the instructor. Upon approval, the student attends class once a cycle to showcase the project’s progress, learn about other projects, help troubleshoot any issues he or she may be having, and discuss the viability of the project’s real-world application. At the end of the class, students are encouraged to showcase their work to the community. Advanced Media Arts is for students who are interested in honing a specific media or technology skill-set and believe they can create high level work. Students are required to take an introductory computer technology class as a prerequisite for Advanced Media Arts. Enrollment requires permission from the instructor.
Advanced Programming (Pre-requisite: Introduction to Programming)
The line between programming and becoming a programmer is a blurry one that most creators struggle with until they have reached an abundance of success. What these digital inventors fail to realize is that most programmers working in the industry today are self-taught. This course is intended to help students transition from being casual programmers to active creators through a series of activities that will put student work on display in both physical and digital locations. Students will learn advanced programming tactics in the Scratch and Java languages and explore creative coding principles using the Processing language. Students will also be responsible for their own mini-computer and are expected to regularly learn new content outside of the classroom.