MFA in Media, Technology and Entertainment: Graduate Course Descriptions

Course Requirements

DIG 6547: 3D Production for Interactivity (4 credits)

Prerequisite: Admission to M.F.A. in Media, Technology and Entertainment
This course provides a broad overview of the 3D modeling, texturing, rigging and animation pipeline for use in most interactive 3D environments. Specifically, students adapt these 3D production techniques to the creation of game assets to be implemented in a visual demo of their game concept, assets, animation tests and other artowrk for interactive applications.

DIG 6575L: Graduate Media Technology Studio (4 credits)

Prerequisite: Open to students enrolled the M.F.A. in Media, Technology and Entertainment
Students complete practical research in digital media and interactive techniques using the MTEN lecture-laboratory resources. With faculty guidance and supervision, they prepare creative works and submit them for consideration in an M.F.A. exhibition. All students prepare a written synopsis of creative goals and research.

MMC 6707: Creating Interactive Culture (4 credits)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing
Course explores the intersection of expressive and communicative media with technology, as well as the new aesthetics and practices that are emerging around user interaction. Through collaboration and experimental production, candidates examine interactive media and culture from the perspective of hybrid processes and structures, often expanding the notions of performance, installation, intervention and presentation.

DIG 6589: Portfolio Workshop (4 credits)

Prerequisite: Admission to M.F.A. in Media, Technology and Entertainment
Students develop projects ranging from creative coding to narrative-based 3D animation that will be completed by the end of the semester. Student works-in-progress are presented each week for critical evaluation and analysis.

DIG 6436: Survey in Digital Media Techniques (4 credits)

Prerequisite: Admission to M.F.A. in Media, Technology and Entertainment
This production class explores ideas of visual storytelling in space and time, taking inspiration from personal history, games, scientific theories and the cultural shifts of digital technology. The class encourages the development of a personal voice and artistic experimentation. The technical and aesthetic elements using composition/visual effects software are explored.

DIG 6546: Preproduction, Prototyping and Previsualization (4 credits)

Prerequisite: Admission to M.F.A. in Media, Technology and Entertainment
Explores preproduction techniques and workflows in the production of large-scale creative projects. Students create a number of products around developing a core idea that will culminate in a pitch/project book and/or demo reel of the idea’s development throughout the course.

MMC 6715: Studies in New Media (3 credits)

A critical examination of key theoretical works and arguments in the field of new media and an investigation of the cultural implications of new technologies.

FIL 6409: Experimental Cinema (4 credits)

Prerequisite: Graduate students in M.F.A. in Media, Technology and Entertainment
Introduces students to nonfiction experimental and abstract film and video. Explores the fundamental forums, structures and ideas behind experimental film and video. Students are exposed to the processes involved in experimental production and develop the skills involved in the research and planning of nonfiction, abstract film and video.

DIG 6605: Interactive Interface Design (4 credits)

Introduces design interactive interfaces for software and hardware. By emphasizing a conceptual approach toward interacting with technology, students learn creative coding techniques using the Processing language and Arduino microcontroller. These techniques bridge the gap between design, technology, engineering and art.

IDC 6506: Programming for Interactivity (4 credits)

Covers the creation of new media artwork and the use of creative coding. Explores the artists that utilize code, the significance of this work and how their work has been created. Also explores designing hardware and software with the goal of exhibiting this work as interactive art.

Recommended Electives

CAP 6010: Multimedia Systems (3 credits)

Multimedia systems concepts and characteristics. Multimedia compression techniques. Systems architectures for multimedia. Multimedia networking, communications, and synchronization. Multimedia operating systems. Video partitioning and retrieval. Multimedia systems and tools. Wireless multimedia. Multimedia applications. Student projects.

CAP 6018: Multimedia Programming (3 credits)

This is a graduate-level course focusing on software optimization in general and efficient multimedia software and systems development in particular. The course will use a video-coding algorithm and analyze complexity and architecture dependencies. The course will introduce efficient programming techniques including software optimization, SIMD programming, Open MP, DirectShow architecture, and Intel performance tools (Compiler, IPP, VTune). The course will include hands-on software development and performance analysis.

CAP 6411: Foundations of Vision (3 credits)

Study of the interdisciplinary science of vision, combining psychological, neurophysiological, and computational aspects of vision research. Research paper and project topics will be chosen from a list of latest developments in the field.

CNT 6515: Mobile Multimedia (3 credits)

Course covers technologies, tool, and standards for multimedia services over 3G/4G wireless networks. Topics covered include the 3GPP’s IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) and video services over IMS.

COT 5930: Game Programming (3 credits)

The main objective of this course is to learn how to build games from scratch. The games will run under Windows and will be written using C# (Visual Studio 2005) and XMA 2.0 from Microsoft. The techniques that we learn can be applied to other applications besides games. These include simulations, instrumentation and educational software, and other software applications that require dynamic high speed interactive displays of graphic objects.

COT 5930: Computer Animation (3 credits)

Course includes basic animation concepts, principles of animation, storyboarding, character development, animation rendering, and design. Also, 2D animations for use in practical applications are developed. Basic 3D modeling, rendering, animation techniques, and common algorithms used to create computer animation are introduced.

COT 5930: Cutting-edge Web Technologies (3 credits)

To develop hands-on knowledge of the latest web development tools, languages and models. Students will develop projects consisting of innovative Web-based solutions. Topics include: characteristics and foundations of Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), server-side technologies and languages, client-side technologies and languages, usability and human factors, and content sharing tools and technologies.

COT 5930: iPhone Programming (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to software development for the iPhone OS platform. Students will become familiar with the native objective-oriented language used for iPhone OS development, Objective-C, as well as the design patterns necessary to carry out development of iPhone apps. This includes proper Objective-C syntax, defining classes, and proper object-oriented techniques such as abstraction and inheritance. Common design patterns, such as the Model-View-Controller and Delegate patterns, will be discussed as a foundation needed to comprehend and take full advantage of the core objects used in the iPhone Software Development Kit. Finally, we will dive into the vast library that makes up the iPhone SDK, and become familiar with many of the most commonly used APIs that are necessary for great iPhone applications. Throughout the term, we will discuss the theory of what makes a great iPhone application, such as proper design considerations, usability, and acceptable performance characteristics. Most of these guidelines are outlined by Apple, and many are required in order to meet the standards necessary to publish to the App Store, and as such, are just as important to an application as the code that drives it.

COT 5930: Android Programming (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to software development for Google’s Android mobile phone. Students will learn programming basics and develop marketable applications, using emulators for application development and real phones for demonstration.

COT 6930: Visual Information Retrieval (3 credits)

Study of the interdisciplinary research area of visual information retrieval. Research paper and project topics will be chosen from a list of latest developments and open challenges and opportunities in the field.

CNT 6885: Video Communication (3 credits)

Advances in computing and communications technologies have made possible powerful mobile devices with significant computational power. Delivering video services to such mobile devices is a challenging problem that requires research and understanding of the fundamental video communications technologies. This course is designed to provide a comprehensive learning and experience in the area of digital video communications. The course will cover the video coding standards widely used in the industry such as MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and H.264, as well as the communication technologies used to deliver video services such as RTP, video over IP networks, IP TV, video multicasting, and 3G networks with special emphasis on IPTV services.

DIG 6645: Video Processing (3 credits)

An introduction to the fundamentals of digital video processing. Topics will be chosen from video processing, video compression, organization of video databases, video storage, indexing, and retrieval, video transmission and streaming, and latest developments in digital video technologies. Students will use MATLAB for practical projects.

ART 6684: Exhibition Practices in Film, Video and New Media (4 credits)

Prerequisite: M.F.A. graduate standing in Media, Technology and Entertainment
Introduces students to a number of exhibition techniques and practices for film, video, media, sound and installation art. Course explores the fundamental forms, structures and ideas behind film and video exhibition. It exposes students to the process involved in curatorial duties, administrative responsibilities and programming detail for screenings.

FIL 6026: Film History and Historiography (3 credits)

Prerequisites: A study of film at the undergraduate level and the completion of an undergraduate degree with at least the equivalent of a minor in film or media studies
Seminar where students present talks on selected topics and write papers of publishable length on issues in film history and historiography. This is a core requirement in most university-level graduate film programs in the US.

FIL 6365: Video Production Workshop (4 credits)

Prerequisite: Graduate students in M.F.A. in Media, Technology and Entertainment Explores the basics of film and video production in its most fundamental form. Gives participants a general introduction to film and video production, providing historical, technical, conceptual, artistic, aesthetic and theoretical insight into the medium. A number of video projects will be produced throughout the term.

FIL 6935: Studies in Film and TV: Bodies and Technologies (3 credits)

This course examines the body as a culturally and historically contingent category, a material locus of practices and an object of fashioning and self-identification. With a focus on the mediated body, the emphasis of this course is both the representation of the body (as a discursive subject in film, television and new media) and the impact of various media forms and technologies on physicality and subjectivity. The course considers the multiple intersections and points of convergence and conjoinment between bodies and technologies, where the two may be either systematically re-shaped, fundamentally re-envisioned, or completely absorbed by one another. Subjects to be considered include: the science fiction and horror genres (which may contain specific anxieties about the loss of the body), computer culture and digital imaging technologies (which may present certain utopic narratives about disembodiment), online identity, collective intelligence, gaming and play (all of which give form to the expressive potential of the body), and scientific inquiry (a discourse of mastery, often literalized in medical visualization, and countering the principle of the disembodied subject in the field of new media).

COM/FIL/MMC/SPC/JOU/RTV 6931: Special Topics (3 credits)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of department

DIG 5930: Interactive Multimedia (3 credits)

Introduction to interactive multimedia production. Class projects explore the potential of interactive media to communicate, express, and challenge cultural ideas. The course seeks to develop a combination of critical, technical, and design skills.

DIG 5930: New Media Narrative (3 credits)

This course explores traditional and alternative storytelling using new media tools and paradigms. The class encourages experimentation, while developing critical, technical, and design skills. Taking inspiration from film, video, animation, comics, art, and literature, the class creates collaged, multi-perspective, modular, and multi-participant narratives. Students are taught the language of filmmaking and the director’s craft as it applies to the digital format. Aspects of mise-en-scene, visual storytelling, continuity-style coverage, temporal and spatial montage theory, directing actors and thinking visually, will be essential to the new media director’s palette. All forms of digital filmmaking will be discussed including dramatic, documentary and independent features as well as commercials, music videos and experimental subjects. Through lectures, readings, screenings, web-postings, discussions, writing and production assignments, students will learn the basic principles and vocabulary of film theory and aesthetics. Understanding these fundamental ideas will help students develop a more critical eye towards creating new media.

DIG 5930: Digital Video Editing (3 credits)

An intensive study of the technical and aesthetic elements of nonlinear digital video editing. Students learn strategies for media management, image capture, sequence creation, title creation, working with audio, video effects and compositing.

DIG 5930: Video Game Studies (3 credits)

This course is an overview of the interdisciplinary academic study of video games, with focused attention to the analysis of games as interactive media, as rule-based systems, as cultural and social texts, as designed learning spaces, as arenas of play, and as the products of industrial discourse and design.

FIL 6807: Film Theory and Criticism (3 credits)

This course is an overview of the major topics in film theory, and includes structuralist, psychoanalytic, feminist and Marxist approaches to film, as well as debates about realism and authorship. The course surveys both classical and contemporary film theories, and provides a historical perspective on the discipline. This class examines the intersection of film studies with other disciplines, including literature, art and the social sciences.

ISM 5930: Internet Application Programming (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to teach students how to design and develop Web sites at the introductory to intermediate level. This course is project-oriented. Students are required to finish several Internet-based projects using the tools introduced in class.

RTV 6006: Television and Video Studies (3 credits)

This course is a critical investigation of the history of broadcasting from its beginnings in the nineteenth century imagination to the present. The primary concern is the relationship between broadcasting and the social contexts in which it has been produced and received. The course considers the relationship between art, citizenship, technology and commerce, and reviews critical and practical responses to the broadcast industry as well as new industrial models that reflect contemporary technological trends, new modes of distribution, and new developments in interactive and transmedia narrative.