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Courses

Core Courses

Students starting in the IMM major take core courses focused on digital media, interactive computing, web design, and technical innovation. A final core course combines all these areas and explores issues of collaboration, project management, community engagement, and client-driven design. IMM majors must take all five of the following courses:

IMM 110 Introduction to Digital Media

This course introduces popular tools and techniques for constructing digital media, including still images, sound and video. Critiques of student work, readings, and discussion will allow us to examine the evolving formal criteria and consider the cultural and historical context of such work. How has the existence and use of these new forms transformed our everyday experience? What are the similarities and differences between the so-called digital media revolution and previous revolutions enabled by then emerging technologies, such as photo reproduction, television and film?

Typically Offered: Fall and Spring

Prerequisites: None

IMM 120 Introduction to Interactive Computing

A first course in computing languages for interactive multimedia. Students learn how to “talk” to a computer using programming, in the process creating custom software, visualizations, interactive installations and games. Through intensive laboratory experience, students learn the fundamentals of programming, including data types, algorithms, events, control structures, functions, heuristics, logic, interaction and abstraction. Students also learn to work with a range methods for input and output, including bitmap and vector graphics, sound, animation, video and sensors.

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, and Summer

Prerequisites: None

IMM 130 Design Fundamentals for the Web

This course allows students to develop and practice specific, foundational skills in web production, while simultaneously developing an understanding of and strategies for effective visual communication in general. Students will develop an understanding of when and how to use tools such as HTML, CSS and Javascript. Through readings, lectures and demonstrations, students will also develop an appreciation for fundamental issues of graphical communication, including color, typography and composition. Throughout the course we will compare and contrast traditional approaches to design with similar approaches on the web, examining the differing constraints and additional considerations of designing for a digital and interactive medium.

Typically Offered: Fall and Spring

Prerequisites: None
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IMM 170 What’s New is Old: A History of Innovation

This course examines key innovations throughout history and milestones that anticipated modern-day technology and media and informed our attitudes toward them. Through readings, documentaries, and discussions, we’ll consider technological innovations that range from the compass to the smartphone, media innovations from the written word to streaming video, and innovations in storytelling from Homer to hypertext. Through field trips we’ll explore local contributions to this history, including Thomas Edison, David Sarnoff, Roebling Steel, and Bell Labs. This course is a complement to other foundation courses in the IMM major, with students applying their digital media, programming, and writing skills to help tell the story of these innovations, and in some cases bring them back to life in digital form. The course also serves as a bookend to the major, posing questions that students will ultimately address through their senior thesis projects.

Typically Offered: Fall and Spring

Prerequisites: None

IMM 280 Design Perspectives for Interactive Multimedia

This class is interdisciplinary, bringing together the various bodies of knowledge that inform the field of interactive multimedia, such as storytelling, interaction design, interface design, project management and user testing. The class provides an overview of concepts necessary both to create and evaluate interactive multimedia projects. Students apply these ideas to a series of individual writing and production assignments, and ultimately to a collaborative, real-world design project that spans most of the semester. This writing-intensive course is the last of the five core courses for the Interactive Multimedia major, and is a prerequisite for all 300-level and above courses.

Typically Offered: Fall and Spring

Prerequisites: successful completion of three introductory IMM courses (IMM 110, IMM 120, IMM 130, IMM 170)
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In-Major Options

The five IMM core courses are followed by a range of intermediate and advanced option courses. Some allow for more focused study in a particular area — animation, digital fabrication, music technology, or web design, for example. Other courses, such as those in game design, provide an opportunity to combine media, interactivity, and writing in the context of collaborative projects.

IMM majors must take four IMM courses at the 200-level or above and two IMM courses at the 400-level, totaling six intermediate and advanced options altogether. These include Animation 1 and 2, Games 1 and 2, Dynamic Web Applications, Electronic Music, Interactive Storytelling, Interactive Music Programming, Time Media, Independent Studies, Internships, and a range of Special Topics in media disciplines.

IMM Mini Courses

Every semester, IMM offers a range of Mini Courses on specialized topics. These small-format seminars meet four times during the semester and earn 0.25 units of elective credit. The topics are designed to provide a short introduction to a special topic or skill of interest to IMM students, and often explore innovative new areas of the IMM curriculum. Recent topics have included Casting 3D Printed Objects, Animation Drawing, 3D Texturing for Games, Introduction to Interaction Design (IxD), Twine Basics, and Composing Ambient Soundscapes.

IMM Senior Thesis

The culmination of the IMM major is a two-semester capstone sequence (IMM 498 and 499) in which students work closely with faculty to research, design, implement, test, and refine a project that best showcases their skills and interests. During the first semester, offered in the fall only, students thoroughly research, design, explore, and experiment as they plan out their project. By the end of the first semester, students produce a formal project proposal, inspired and supported by research in the history of their chosen field. During the second semester, offered in the spring only, students build or implement their project while exploring individualized approaches to creative discipline and project management. By the end of the second semester, students promote and showcase their work in an online portfolio and a final culminating public exhibition.

Electronic Music class, Prof. Teresa Nakra

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Electronic Music class, Prof. Teresa Nakra

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Games & Design class, Prof. Matt DiMatteo

Interactive Multimedia, Prof. John Kulphoff

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