STEM Incubator Sections for Fall 2017

CSC 192-A and 192H-A Robotics

Are there jobs can’t or won’t be able to do? Are the limitations computational, societal, technological, or other? By gaining a deeper understanding of how robots work, especially as autonomous agents, students will better appreciate how society may be impacted by the growth of robots in the work force. This course addresses these question by having students build a robot from a kit, dealing with sensors, motors, and simple electronics then programming the robot to solve a challenge posed by the students. During the semester, students will keep a weekly blog by critiquing articles, news clips, videos, etc. that present robot use in society.

No previous programming experience is needed as the course is fully self-contained. Students will learn about simple robots and controls, computational problem solving, algorithm development, simple machine learning and AI, and fundamental programming. While students will be provided considerable guidance and mentoring, they are free to be creative and to fail (failing is a great way to learn). No experience in any of these areas is needed or is expected, and often the least informed come up with the most original ideas.
Pete Santago, PhD

Paul Whitener

CSC 192-B and CSC 192H-B Digital Sound and Music

In this course, students will be introduced to the science of digital sound and music, including the physics of sound waves, the mathematical representation of single-frequency sound as a sine function, and the frequencies and harmonies of music.  Students will also learn how to program a microprocessor – a Raspberry Pi – using a sound production language called Sonic Pi.  Creating their own sounds and music through Sonic Pi will reinforce the concepts that students learn in the course.

Jennifer Burg, PhD

CSC 192-C  and 192H-C Human-Centered Design

This STEM section seeks to explore and develop innovative technology that can help people with disabilities or the environment. Starting with specific challenges, students work in small teams exploring computing and sensor technology to design and implement solutions to these challenges. For disabilities, these solutions often take the form of wearable devices involving programmable Arduino boards, sonar sensors, bluetooth modules, etc. An example of such solution is the Human Echo Location Partner (H.E.L.P.) device developed by students to help visually impaired individuals sense proximity to nearby objects. For the environment, students work on developing or improving the capabilities of small aerial or underwater drones used for conservation purposes. Faculty mentors for this section include Profs. Pauca, Conner (Biology) and Silman (Biology).

Paúl Pauca, PhD


Sections from previous semesters