Innovations in Visualization

Computer Science and The Arts (CSA)

An inquiry based Art and Computer Science course in collaboration with the Alberta College of Art & Design (ACAD), the University of Calgary and the Banff Centre. This interdisciplinary course will draw upon such skills as graphics, human-computer interaction, interaction design, visualization, representation, perception, and aesthetics to investigate different modes of inquiry into creative practice at the intersection of art and science.

This research/creation course will result in a research project, research paper, and project exhibition.


Credits: 1 Full Course Equivalent (composed of 2 half courses, one in computer science and one in arts)

For CPSC students: CPSC 599.72/601.72, ART 513.96/619.03

For ARTS students: CPSC 599.73/601.73, ART 513.95/619.02

Duration: Winter 2008 Semester

Requirements: Consent of both departments.

Co-requisites: Each student must register in the appropriate course pair, for example:

1. a CPSC 4th year student will register in CPSC 599.72 & ART 513.96

2. an ART 4th year student will register in CPSC 599.73 & ART 513.95

3. a CPSC graduate student will register in CPSC 601.72 & ART 619.03

4. an ART graduate student will register in CPSC 601.73 & ART 619.02

Description: This is a intense course that brings students from U of C and ACAD together to to generate new work and new understandings in the context of collaboration between art and science. The course is co-taught by faculty from Computer Science, and ACAD. Students from U of C Comp Sci and Fine Art Departments together with ACAD MADT students will undertake collaborative work in teams of 2 students to produce visualizations and interactions informed by the intersection of two modes of inquiry: art and science.

The course will take the form of workshops, tutorials, and lectures.

At the start of each term students and faculty will attend a four day residential workshop, during the Winter semester block week at the Banff Centre in which proposals, projects, and teams will be defined and understandings developed. Throughout the semester students will attend class sessions, lectures, and workshops.

The Combined Interdisciplinary studies: For Computer Science and Arts students This is a project course. Each student will develop a major project in conjunction with a student from the other discipline; in this case this will be Computer Science students and Fines Arts or Media Art and Design students. Through the development of a major project, the students will develop an understanding how to collaborate across disciplines, and of how to incorporate different approaches to research, insight and creativity into their own research practices. The goals are to open up new modes of inquiry, to enable students discover how to incorporate the arts into computer science and/or science into the arts and to help students discover and create aesthetics in interactions with digital technologies, so that they can be more imaginative, more innovative, and less confined by technology. The intention is to work towards the creation of new technologies that embody aesthetic interaction, enabling the development of interactions with digital technologies where aesthetics can be gracefully integrated into functional design.

The intention of this course is to develop a learning environment that allows students to collaborate across disciplines and to exchange and acquire knowledge through experiential learning and inquiry. The primary goals focus on students acquiring critical, creative and complex thinking skills including:

  • enhancing and developing abilities and understandings in computer science and art and design,
  • acquiring skills to respond to and engage with the new emergent disciplines arising out of hybrid practice,
  • examining the value of interdisciplinary collaboration,
  • developing a broader, critically informed understanding of the research worlds of arts and computer science,
  • developing a sense of community and an understanding of collaboration, and
  • developing abstract thinking capabilities.

Important Dates: Banff Centre Workshop: starting 9:00 am Monday January 7th and ending 4:00 pm Thursday January 10th, 2008.

Participation in the Banff Workshop is essential and will have an associated cost. This cost is to cover accommodation, and three full meals a day while at the Banff Centre. There are scholarships/bursaries available for this course. All students applying to take this course will automatically be entered into the scholarship competition. If you wish to be considered for a bursary please add one short additional paragraph explaining this.

Application: Space for this course is limited to 20 students: 10 Computer Science students, 5 Fine Arts Students and 5 ACAD students - entry will be very competitive.

CSA Application Requirements

Art Science Links