15-104 Introduction to Computing for Creative Practice


Course Level: Undergraduate

Frequency Offered: Generally offered every fall - confirm course offerings for upcoming semesters by accessing the university Schedule of Classes.

Course Relevance (who should take this course?): IDeATe minor and concentration students, non-science and engineering majors who want to learn programming skills and concepts.

Key Topics:Background Knowledge:Learning Resources:
  • Programming
  • JavaScript

Basic computer skills such as typing and editing text, saving information in files, using a web browser and email.

  • The course uses the p5.js variant of Processing for its programming language and toolkit.
  • The Processing reference is online and supplemented by notes and examples on the course website.
  • There are additional books, notes, and videos online from various authors and Processing instructors.
Course Goals/Objectives:Assessment Structure: 
  • The course develops skills and understanding of text-based programming in a procedural style, and the application of such skills to interactive art and design, information visualization, and generative media.
  • The objective is art and design, but the medium is student-written software.
  • Students will become familiar with basic software algorithms, including idioms of sequencing, selection, iteration, and recursion; elementary data structures (arrays, files, trees), object-oriented interfaces and functional abstraction, and other computational principles (randomness, concurrency, complexity).
  • Participation/Engagement
    • Mainly attending class and labs (10%)
  • Examinations (30%)
    • Exam #1, ~September 20 (30% of Examinations) Exam #2 ~October 18 (30% of Examinations)
    • Exam #3 ~November 15 (30% of Examinations)
    • Written Exam ~November 19 (60212) & 20 (15104) (10% of Examinations)
  • Deliverables (60%)
    • Technical Assignments (40% of Deliverables)
    • Looking Outwards Reports (10% of Deliverables)
    • Open-Ended Projects (50% of Deliverables)
      • Weekly Projects (70% of Projects)
      • Capstone Project (30% of Projects)
  • Prerequisites Required: None
  • Minimum Grades in Prereqs: n/a
  • Corequisites: None
  • Prerequisite for:
    IDeATe minor and concentrations
  • Anti-requisites: None
  • Cross-Listed: None
  • Substitutes:
    for IDeATe: 15-112, 18-090, and 16-223
  • Related Courses: 15-110
  • Reservations: None
Most Recent Syllabus: 
Special Permission Required: No
(if yes, please see Notes)
Units: 10
Course Website:
Department Website:
College Website:
Sample class notes:
Sample Assignment:
Sample Lecture Recording:
Typically no recorded lectures
Notes: 15-104 satisfies the software skills portal requirement for IDeATe minors and concentrations. Students will develop an understanding of the contexts, tools, and idioms of software programming in the arts. 
Updated: May 2017Back to Course Profile List