On April 21, 2015, Dr. Bill Manaris was invited to the University of Utah, where he presented “Computing in the Arts: A New Major for Creative People” as part of the Arts & Technology Lecture Series.
Computing in the Arts (CITA) is an innovative interdisciplinary major, which combines computer science with artistic theory and practice. CITA is relatively easy to implement because it repurposes existing courses and resources. At the College of Charleston, this involves three tracks (music, studio art, and theatre). CITA incorporates four synthesis courses, one per academic year, to help students interweave the two distinct curricular experiences. In the four years of its existence, CITA has increased participation in computing by 23% mainly from an underserved population (students interested in the arts). Approximately 49% of these students are women. These students tend to be strong in design and creativity, thus enriching the field with professionals who can envision new technologies and surprising innovations.
The talk provided inspiration behind CITA, discussed implementation highlights at the College of Charleston, and presented several projects that have emerged as a result of CITA. These include a Laptop Orchestra, Monterey Mirror (a computer musician that listens to humans and responds with new material in real-time), Jython Music (a Python environment for music making and creative programming activities, intended for musicians and programmers), Harmonic Navigator (a system for exploring harmonic spaces in J.S. Bach Chorales and other music in real-time), Time Jitters (a four-projector interactive gallery installation synthesizing artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction with music and visual art), and Loutraki Sunset (a music composition created by converting a beautiful image to aesthetically pleasing music).
For more information about the CITA program, please visit: http://cita.cofc.edu.