This is going to be one of those really fun but time-intensive courses where you end up working around the clock, you neglect all your other courses, your main love interest breaks up with you for being "emotionally absent" and you don't even notice, and by the end of the semester your entire life and your fundamental perception of reality have changed forever.
Thank god it's not a full year course.
Instead of everybody doing the same thing, this is going to be a projects course, with a theme. Between January and May of 2005, we are going to work together to build virtual worlds.
Each of you will focus on an aspect of world building, and by the end of the semester it will all come together when the many intricate pieces fit one into the other like a fine swiss watch, as if by wizardry, but actually by virtue of solid software engineering.
Some of you will direct the behavior of virtual characters, others will build virtual sets and architecture, still others will build vehicles and other transport devices. Some students will focus on the audio part of the world.
A related current interest of mine is collaborative interactive tables with projectors and cameras, that let people sit around a table, hang out, talk, even drink beer (this part is very advanced), while interacting with information projected onto the table surface between them. I am interested in using such a table as an interactive "window" to our virtual world. And there are plenty of interesting ways to do this.
In other words, in this class you can actually get results by handwaving: You can develop software for gestural and other kinds of multimodal input, using vision and machine-learning algorithms to let people interact with the virtual world by use of natural movements, like pointing and exchanging thoughtful gifts.
There is much to do, and you my friend are just the student to do it. Come to the first lecture, and all will be revealed.
STUDENT PAGES ARE HERE
THE CLASS LISTSERVE IS HERE.
THE CLASS WIKI IS HERE.
Lecture 2 (Jan 31)
Lecture 3 (Feb 7)
Lecture 4 (Feb 14)
Lecture 5 (Feb 21)
Lecture 6 (Feb 28)
The NYAM web site is: http://www.nyam.org/.
Dan Reznik's email (for those who might want to intern) is: dan.reznik AT siemens DOT com
Summer internship opportunity at the American Museum of the Moving Image