PUCD 2035 - Creative Computing (Syllabus) - Fall 2015

Looking for my Creative Computing syllabus from Fall 2014?
This syllabus is subject to slight alterations throughout the semester.

Dear Student,

Recently, our culture has become infatuated with software. Because design is a practice which involves a great deal of imagination and technical facility, it is the ideal discipline through which to write programs because software is an imaginary machine that runs on a real one.

In this class, you will learn to effectively record and communicate your ideas in software by writing your own.

Jeffrey Scudder

Catalog Description

This course will introduce students to the building blocks of creative computing within the visual and media environment. Students will learn to create dynamic images, type and interfaces, that can translate into print, web and spatial forms. Through weekly problems, students will learn programming fundamentals that translate in virtually all programming platforms. Primary software platform: JavaScript.

Assignments & Assessable Tasks

The coursework for this class consists of completing three software projects and understanding three associated readings. Your projects will be reviewed in the desktop version of Google's Chrome web browser. See schedule for details. You must hand in a compressed archive file (a ".zip" that contains source code, screenshots, and a high resolution video) of each assignment by the date it is to be shared with the class, and all of them once more on the date of your final critique.


In class you will receive credentials to access these.

Theodore Adorno - Punctuation Marks from psam 3210 spring 2014
David Gelernter - Mirror Worlds - Disembodied Machines
Marshall McLuhan - Understanding Media - Number


Our class will be held in a computer lab, but it is recommended that you bring a laptop on which you have permission to install and run software.


Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will:

Schedule & Location

9:00 am - 11:40 am - Friday - 6 East 16th Street, Room 603
Check back weekly for links to assignment criteria, examples, and class notes.

September 4

1: What is programming and how can designers think about it? Syllabus Overview. Read Punctuation Marks by Theodore Adorno.
September 11

2: Making webpages with HTML & CSS. Reveal assignment 1: Text. Notes
September 18

3: Continue working on assignment 1. Notes
September 25

4: How do we talk about computer based work? Sharing of assignment 1. Notes
October 2

5: What is JavaScript? What is a drawing? Read Disembodied Machines by David Gelernter. Notes
October 9

6: Picking apart JavaScript. Reveal assignment 2: Marks. Notes
October 16

7: NO CLASS: Begin assignment 2.
October 23

8: Work in class on assignment 2. Functions & Data Types in JavaScript. Notes
October 30

9: Continue working in class on assignment 2. More about JavaScript. Notes
November 6

10: Last class to work on assignment 2. Notes
November 13

11: Sharing of assignment 2. Read Number from Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan. Notes
November 20

12: Genres of Software. Reveal assignment 3: Character. Notes
November 27

NO CLASS: Thanksgiving!
December 4

13: Polishing and editing assignments 1-2. Work on assignment 3. How to present and document your work properly. Notes
December 11

14: Last class to work on assignment 3. Notes"
December 18

15: Final critique of all assignments. Notes


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
  • 70% Assignments & Readings (equally weighted) see above
  • 30% Class participation & dialogue

Grade of W

The grade of W may be issued by the Office of the Registrar to a student who officially withdraws from a course within the applicable deadline. There is no academic penalty, but the grade will appear on the student transcript. A grade of W may also be issued by an instructor to a graduate student (except at Parsons and Mannes) who has not completed course requirements nor arranged for an Incomplete.

Grade of WF

The grade of WF is issued by an instructor to a student (all undergraduates and all graduate students) who has not attended or not completed all required work in a course but did not officially withdraw before the withdrawal deadline. It differs from an "F," which would indicate that the student technically completed requirements but that the level of work did not qualify for a passing grade. The WF is equivalent to an F in calculating the grade point average (zero grade points), and no credit is awarded.

Grades of Incomplete

The grade of I, or temporary incomplete, may be granted to a student under unusual and extenuating circumstances, such as when the student’s academic life is interrupted by a medical or personal emergency. This mark is not given automatically but only upon the student’s request and at the discretion of the instructor. A Request for Incomplete form must be completed and signed by student and instructor. The time allowed for completion of the work and removal of the "I" mark will be set by the instructor with the following limitations:

Undergraduate students: Work must be completed no later than the seventh week of the following fall semester for spring or summer term incompletes and no later than the seventh week of the following spring semester for fall term incompletes. Grades of "I" not revised in the prescribed time will be recorded as a final grade of "WF" by the Office of the Registrar.

Divisional, Program and Class Policies


Students are responsible for all assignments, even if they are absent. Late assignments, failure to complete the assignments for class discussion and/or critique, and lack of preparedness for in-class discussions, presentations and/or critiques will jeopardize your successful completion of this course.


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.


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 three absences for classes that meet once per week and four absences for classes that meet two or more times per week. During intensive summer sessions a significant portion of class time is defined as two absences. Lateness or early departure from class may also translate into one full absence.

Blackboard or Canvas

Use of Canvas may be an important resource for this class. Students should check it for announcements before coming to class each week.


In rare instances, I may be delayed arriving to class. If I have not arrived by the time class is scheduled to start, you must wait a minimum of thirty minutes for my arrival. In the event that I will miss class entirely, a sign will be posted at the classroom indicating your assignment for the next class meeting.

Electronic Devices

Use of electronic devices (phones, tablets, laptops) is permitted when the device is being used in relation to the course's work. All other uses are prohibited in the classroom and devices should be turned off before class starts.

Academic Honesty and Integrity

The New School views "academic honesty and integrity" as the duty of every member of an academic community to claim authorship for his or her own work and only for that work, and to recognize the contributions of others accurately and completely. This obligation is fundamental to the integrity of intellectual debate, and creative and academic pursuits. Academic honesty and integrity includes accurate use of quotations, as well as appropriate and explicit citation of sources in instances of paraphrasing and describing ideas, or reporting on research findings or any aspect of the work of others (including that of faculty members and other students). Academic dishonesty results from infractions of this "accurate use". The standards of academic honesty and integrity, and citation of sources, apply to all forms of academic work, including submissions of drafts of final papers or projects. All members of the University community are expected to conduct themselves in accord with the standards of academic honesty and integrity. Please see the complete policy in the Parsons Catalog. It is the responsibility of students to learn the procedures specific to their discipline for correctly and appropriately differentiating their own work from that of others. Compromising your academic integrity may lead to serious consequences, including (but not limited to) one or more of the following: failure of the assignment, failure of the course, academic warning, disciplinary probation, suspension from the university, or dismissal from the university.

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. SDS assists students with disabilities in need of academic and programmatic accommodations as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. http://www.newschool.edu/studentservices/disability/