SITT: May 16 in the 1823 Room

System Code
Coding context context

Information Services’s Spring Institute on Teaching & Technology will be Thursday, May 16, from 9.30 to 2pm in the 1823 Room of the library.

Some details:

  • Pastries and coffee will be available from 9am. Lunch will be available at noon.
  • Drop-ins are welcome/encouraged!

The exact schedule is still firming up, but you can expect something like:

  • 9.30 Welcome/overview/highlights of past, present, future (many people)
  • 10.15 Electronic lab notebooks (Hebe Guardiola-Diaz)
  • 10.30   Hidden Literacies, Scalar, and Digital Scholarship (Christopher Hager, Hilary Wyss)
  • 11 Creative Coding Fellows (Aidali Aponte-Aviles, Serena Laws, Dan Lloyd, Mitch Polin)
  • 11.50-12.15 Get food
  • 12.15 Keynote: Nick Montfort (MIT): “Learning to Program and Explore.” Abstract:

How can humanists and artists learn to use computing in the most general ways, and in ways that are engaged intellectually with their disciplinary methods and practices?

My answer to this question is that they can learn to program computers, as millions of “ordinary users” did in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when BASIC was the lingua franca of computing. Specifically, I hold that a valuable type of programming to learn is what I consider exploratory — using the computer as a means of sketching, brainstorming, and inquiring about important topics. Artists and humanists should learn the fundamentals of general-purpose programming because this best opens up the computer’s exploratory potential. More than learning to use any pre-built tools, and more than learning to communicate with and supervise programmers, being able to program offers the facility to create new kinds of artworks and to probe data and media for new ideas.

To enable individual and classroom learning, I wrote the book Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities and have taught many courses based on it ranging in length from a few hours to a semester. I am now revising the book so that it can be released in a second, open-access edition. I will describe my concept of exploratory programming, the educational principles behind what is in (and what isn’t in) the book, and what I have learned since starting to develop the first edition.

Photo “System Code” by Flickr user Yuri Samoilov / Creative Commons licensed BY-2.0