- Course Number:
- Old Main Computer Lab
- 8 AM - 9:45 AM
- Phone Extension:
- E-mail Address:
- Dr. Charles Redmond
- To Be Announced
All of my office hours will be held in the computer labs. I will have set office hours from 9:45 - 11:00 every MWF morning. I will have at least two and a half more office hours per week. In order to better suit your schedule, I would like to be flexible with these. Please contact me if you would like to meet with me outside of the set office-hour times, and we can set up a time that fits both of our schedules. If, by the end of the week, I have not fulfilled my total quota of at least six office hours, I will make up the difference on Friday or the weekend. I will of course announce the times of these end-of-the-week office hours.
There is no required textbook for the course. Also, all of the software we will use is free. During the first few classes, I will show you how to obtain and install this software on your personal machines. We already have the software installed on the machines in the lab. In the "helpful links" section of our website there are links to the hompages for these software projects (Context Free Art, POV-Ray, and GIMP).
The IDST courses here at Mercyhurst are, for the most part, meant to give you some exposure to a number of different disciplines and to several faculty members from different departments. The disciplines represented in this course are mathematics, computer programming, and art. Our course is unique, however, in that it has only one main instructor (me). I am representing the disciplines of both mathematics and computer programming, and I can answer any questions you have regarding the Mathematics and Computer Systems Department and its majors and minors. But through our outside speaker program, you will also meet several members of the Art Department, who would be glad to answer any questions you have about their majors, minors, and courses.
It is my hope that you, by taking this course, will perhaps change your mind about the nature of these three disciplines, especially if you began the course with negative feelings toward them. You may wish to take another course in one or two of them, or even pursue a minor or major in one of them. I firmly believe that exposure to mathematics, computer programming, and art helps you to think and improves your problem-solving abilities, enhancing your experience and performance in any discipline. Keep an open mind. Allow doors to be opened for you and your future.
Mathematics, computer programming, and art combine well and are excellent choices for an interdisciplinary course. Creating generative art is a fun, engaging, and unintimidating way to learn some mathematics and some programming. It also allows students who do not have traditional art skills, such as drawing, painting, or sculpting, to make art. We will be learning two languages in this course, each of which is a programming language especially designed to produce graphics and generative art. Most of the course will be based on the Context Free Art language, but we will also gain some experience with POV-Ray toward the end of the course.
The computer programming topics we will cover include loops, recursion, variables, functions, and curly-brace notation. In mathematics we will see fractals, 2D and 3D coordinate systems, trigonometry, and transformations. Regarding art theory, we will definitely be taking a look at color, perspective, and perhaps composition. But for the most part, I am going to leave specific topics in art to our speakers to present and explain.
As I have previously mentioned, we will be having a series of outside speakers giving us presentations. Some of the speakers will be from our Art Department, but others will be members of the art community, from both within and outside of the Mercyhurst community.
At the conclusion of the course, after consulting with our outside speakers and possibly a few of my other faculty colleagues, I will choose my favorite student design and feature it on a t-shirt I will wear throughout the rest of the year to advertise our course. I may keep you posted, as we go through the course, as to which designs are in the running.
It is very important that you make every effort to attend class. It is much more difficult to learn the material on your own. If you miss class regularly, the chances are that you will not do as well in the course as you would have done otherwise. I will take attendance every day so that I know who attends and who does not. A prerequisite for additional help outside the classroom is regular class attendance. You are responsible for what is announced or covered in class even if you are absent.
I WILL NOT RE-TEACH CLASS LESSONS, OVER AND OVER AGAIN, TO INDIVIDUALS WHO MISS CLASS! Get to know your classmates. If you miss class, get the notes, study the notes, and try the homework. See me then with your questions.
In keeping with college policy, any student with a disability who needs academic accommodations must call the Learning Differences Program secretary at 824-3017, to arrange a confidential appointment with the director of the Learning Differences Program during the first week of classes.
I post notes for each class. In each post I summarize what we did that day in class, and I ALSO MAKE IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS. You are therefore required to read each post. Any announcements I make I will assume everyone has received. You can access the class notes by going to the class schedule and clicking on the day.
Fifty percent of your grade will be based on class participation. Your class participation grade will be based on your performance in three categories:
- Attendance (ESPECIALLY DURING OUTSIDE SPEAKER PRESENTATIONS!)
I will take attendance everyday. Please miss class ONLY if you have a legitimate, verifiable excuse, and please notify me via e-mail or in person if you are going to be absent. If you are not able to notify me before the class you miss, please notify me as soon as possible afterward.
Your assignments will be, for the most part, to construct and post your own pieces of artwork, using the techniques we have been covering in class. There will be a due date for each assignment, AND YOU MUST HAVE A VERIFIABLE, LEGITIMATE EXCUSE TO AVOID A PENALTY FOR A LATE ASSIGNMENT.
The quizzes are meant simply to help you stay current with the material and to give you some idea of what the exam questions might be like. They will be done at home, online, with your notes, and you may retake each quiz as many times as you wish until you have 100%. There will be a due date for each quiz, AND YOU MUST HAVE A VERIFIABLE, LEGITIMATE EXCUSE TO AVOID A PENALTY FOR A LATE QUIZ.
I will be taking notes on how you perform in all of these categories as we move through the course. Points will be deducted from your final class participation grade for assignments and quizzes done incorrectly, unexcused late assignments and quizzes, frequent late assignments and quizzes (excused or not), unexcused absences, and frequent absences (excused or not).
Fifty percent of your grade will be based on class participation, twenty-five percent on your midterm performance, and twenty-five percent on your final exam performance. The exams will be paper exams, with students having no access to electronic devices of any kind. You may, however, use your notes. The final exam will be cumulative.
Grades will be assigned according to the following scale:
- 94% - 100% A
- 90% - 93.99% B+
- 84% - 89.99% B
- 78% - 83.99% C+
- 70% - 77.99% C
- 65% - 69.99% D+
- 60% - 64.99% D
- 0% - 59.99% F
To post grades and to give quizzes, I will be using Moodle, a free and open-source alternative to Blackboard. I will explain how to access and use Moodle during the first week of class.