PSAM 3210 - Web Advanced: JavaScript (Syllabus) - Spring 2014

Looking for my JavaScript syllabus for Spring 2015?

This class has ended.

Dear Student,

In this class you will learn to record and communicate your ideas effectively by writing software. You will produce three programs in the JavaScript programming language, which I will teach you to read and write. You will also learn to use command line interfaces and edit source code effectively in the Emacs text editor. As a class we will discuss the artistic history of randomness, punctuation marks as traffic signals, machine speed, and the myth of interactivity.

Jeffrey Scudder

PS – Looking for our class emails?

Catalog Description

With the rapid evolvement of HTML5 in the past few years, the web has grown into a mature platform with infinite possibilities. This course focuses on creative explorations using web technologies while introducing some of the more advanced concepts and best practices in modern front-end web development. Topics will include 2D graphics and animation, latest HTML5 and CSS3 features, data-driven applications, and techniques for creating captivating interactivity.

Software Projects

The bulk of time in this class will be spent producing three programs that adhere to the instructions below. Each project has additional formal requirements, which will be discussed in class and reposted here as a reminder.

  1. Write a program that typesets a continuously changing sentence.
  2. Simulate a relationship between three individuals.
  3. Create a webpage whose interface is a façade for a program that does something else.


10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 - Nick Montfort - Randomness
Theodore Adorno - Punctuation Marks
No More Secondhand God: And Other Writings - Buckminster Fuller - Machine Tools
The Language of New Media - Lev Manovich - Myth of the Digital / Interactivity


The Unix Programming Environment
GNU Emacs Manual (June '85)


Our class will usually take place in a computer lab, but you should probably own/bring a laptop with which you have permission to install software.


JavaScript | Mozilla Developer Network
GNU Emacs Homepage
Jeffrey Scudder's JavaScript Class Google Doc

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:


Our classroom is I-422, located on 55 West 13th St. and occurring from 7:00–9:40 on Thursday nights.

January 30

1: Introduction to JavaScript
February 6

2: Variables
February 13

3: Objects
February 20

4: Functions
February 27

5: Working
March 6

6: Working
March 13

7: Project #1 Critique: Part 1
March 20

8: Project #1 Critique: Part 2
March 27

9: Spring Break!
April 3

10: Project #2 Introduction (Façade)
April 10

11: Working
April 17

12: Working Project #3 Introduction
May 1

13: Working
May 8

14: Final Critique: Part 1
May 15

15: Final Critique: Part 2


Your performance will be evaluated based on class involvement, technical progress, and the novelty of your ideas.

  • A: Exceptional
  • B: Good
  • C: Average
  • D: Below average
  • F: Poor
  • 30% ­ Class participation & dialogue
  • 30% ­ Project 1
  • 40% ­ Project 2
  • 25% ­ Project 3

Divisional, Program and Class Policies


Students are responsible for all assignments, even if they are absent. Late or incomplete projects and lack of preparedness for in­class discussions and presentations will jeopardize your successful completion of this course.


Class participation is an essential part of class and includes: keeping up with reading, contributing meaningfully to class discussions, active participation in group work, and coming to class regularly and on time.


Attendance – Faculty members may fail any student who is absent for a significant portion of class time. A significant portion of class time is defined as two absences for classes that meet once per week. Lateness or early departure from class may also translate into one full absence. Please contact me prior to class if you know you will have to miss all or a portion of our session.


In rare instances, I may be delayed arriving to class due to my full­time job. If I have not arrived by the time class is scheduled to start, students are expected to wait a minimum of thirty minutes for my arrival. In the event that I will miss class entirely, an email notification will be sent in advance. I do not expect this to happen. Guidelines for Studio Assignments – Work from other visual sources may be imitated or incorporated into studio work if the fact of imitation or incorporation and the identity of the original source are properly acknowledged. There must be no intent to deceive; the work must make clear that it emulates or comments on the source as a source. Referencing a style or concept in otherwise original work does not constitute plagiarism. The originality of studio work that presents itself as “in the manner of” or as playing with “variations on” a particular source should be evaluated by the individual faculty member in the context of a critique.

Student Disability Services

In keeping with the University’s policy of providing equal access for students with disabilities, any student with a disability who needs academic accommodations is welcome to meet with me privately. All conversations will be kept confidential. Students requesting any accommodations will also need to meet with Jason Luchs in the office of Student Disability Services, who will conduct an intake, and if appropriate, provide an academic accommodation notification letter to you to bring to me. At that point I will review the letter with you and discuss these accommodations in relation to this course. Mr. Luchs’ office is located in 79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor. His direct line is (212) 229­5626 x3135. You may also access more information through the University’s web site here.

Class Emails