These activities are designed to help prepare you for each unit’s final project.  My hope is this: that you’ll find that the more focus you commit to the assignments, the more you’ll get out of lecture and discussion.

If you feel these activities aren’t preparing you, or if you find yourself devoting more than a few hours to each activity, please, reach out, and let’s talk.   If you’re having a problem, quite likely so are your peers.

There will be 10 activities, which collectively count for 16% of your grade.  Not turning in an activity results in a zero for that activity.  Not submitting 3 or more generally results in an F for the Assignments portion of your grade, which can pull your overall grade down by a full letter grade.

Submitting them on time keeps you (and the whole class) on track, so make sure to mark the deadlines in your calendar.

See the Grading page for more details.

Throughout the semester, activities will be posted below in reverse chronological order…
Activity 10
Due :arrow_right: by 11:59 PM, Wednesday May 17

Follow the tutorials. 

Check out these helpful tutorials, and follow along with your own copy of Max 8.

Tutorial 1
Tutorial 2
Quiz #1 (via Google Forms):
Tutorial 3
Tutorial 4

You may find it useful to look at quiz #1 FIRST, taking notes on the tutorial as you go.
Send the patch file for each completed tutorial to me via Slack DM.

Activity 9
Due :arrow_right: by 11:59 PM, Monday May 8

Read and Respond.  Read Max/MSP for average music junkies.

Write a response of roughly 250-500 words that thoughtfully and thoroughly addresses these questions:
•How is the Max interface described?
•How was Max software founded (who, why, and when)?
•How did Max software development/distribution evolve?
•What are the three precursors of Max software?
•How does one of the mentioned composers or musicians work with Max?

Extra credit:

.Listen to two of the sounds in the Modalities (horizontal separator section; the middle link no longer works) and describe what you hear in relation to the written descriptions.

.Watch Audio Facelyzer (horizontal separator section) and describe what effects you see and hear in relation to the written description.

Submit your response as a comment to the #activity09 channel on Slack.

Activity 8
Due :arrow_right: by 11:59 PM, Monday April 17 (submit to #activity08)

Read and Respond
Read all three of these articles…

• Physical Computing’s Greatest Hits and Misses, written by Tom Igoe on his blog — Click through to read and view links for projects mentioned throughout (some links are broken)

• A Day in the Life of Wearable Tech, in Time Magazine, written by Gee, Ho, and Raab

• UX for Wearables and Physical Computing, on the Adobe Blog, written by Andrew Smyk

Write a response of at least 500 words (max 1000 words), demonstrating that you’ve read all three articles by referencing and elaborating on at least one specific example from each article. Also reflect on the examples in relation to your current understanding and interest in physical computing.

Submit your response as a comment to the #activity08 channel on the MTEC1101 Slack.

Activity 7
Due :arrow_right: by 11:59 PM, Monday, March 27 (submit via OpenProcessing class)

Read and Code
In Getting Started with p5.js, read and code along with the examples:
Chapter 4: Variables (pages 41-50, through Example 4-7)
Chapter 5: Response (pages 59-72, up through Example 5-12)
Complete Short Study #2: Responsive Drawing
Make a paper sketch and write out the pseudocode for the interaction that you want to create. DM a photo of that (or a GoogleDoc link) to me via Slack.
Draft and test your code in the OpenProcessing sketch editor within your account.
Your sketch must include everything listed in Assignment #6 (at least 3 of the 2D Primitives — see Figure 3-1 on p. 20 in the book — and at least 3 of the line or shape attributes)
At least 2 of your shapes must overlap (so that you demonstrate an understanding of code order)
Design with attention to visuals (composition, colors, shapes, strokes, etc.), e.g. not accidental
Declare, assign, and utilize one or more variables (e.g. for color or coordinates, that you’ll use in your drawing to replace number values)
Make at least one of your variables change…
* over time, e.g. via a statement in a “for loop” — see this example sketch — AND/OR —
* via an if statement with the mouseIsPressed() boolean variable (see Ex. 5-10 on p. 88 in the book) — see this example sketch
Add comments throughout your code to explain your drawing elements and interactions.
Properly align each line of code, e.g. all code should be indented inside setup() and draw()
When saving your sketch, fill out these fields:
o TITLE (replace My Sketch in the large text at the top with your own unique title)
o DESCRIPTION (briefly describe your sketch)
o HOW TO INTERACT WITH IT (e.g. what the viewer needs to click on)
o WHO CAN SEE YOUR SKETCH? [choose: “My Class”]
o WHO CAN SEE THE CODE? [choose: “My Class”]
o WHO CAN COMMENT? [choose: “My Teacher”]
Update your snapshot image by clicking on “i” then Edit, then the camera icon under the image placeholder, then click to take a photo.
Submit it before the deadline indicated within our OpenProcessing class site by (1) scrolling down to the Assignment 7 section, (2) clicking “Add Sketch” and (3) choosing your sketch — you’ll then see a check mark overlay.
• A photo of your sketch + pseudocode, submitted via Slack.
• A sketch submitted to Activity 07 in the OpenProcessing Class which should include comments, alignment, and follow the criteria listed above.

Activity 6
Due :arrow_right: by 11:59 PM, Wednesday, March 15 (submit via OpenProcessing class)
Complete Short Study #1: Algorithmic Drawing
Building on what we did in class, create your own unique drawing using 2D primitive shapes.
∗ Reference Chapter 3: Draw (pages 17-40) in the Getting Started with p5.js book.
∗ Reference my variation examples in Section 01 within the OpenProcessing class.
Draft and test your code in the OpenProcessing sketch editor within your account (remember how to see the split-screen layout via the Editor tab, and to play/refresh and save frequently).

You can draw a character, an object, create an illusion, etc., but your drawing and code must be original.

Your sketch must include:

  • A canvas size of at least 400 x 400
  • At least 3 different types of 2D primitive shapes
  • At least 3 types of variation (e.g. scale, outline, color, transparency, corner treatment, etc.)

When it’s finished, submit it to the Activity 06 (Section 02) collection in our OpenProcessing class.

Fill out these fields: Description; How to interact with it; Who can see you sketch? [choose: “My Class”]; Who can see the code? [choose: “My Professors”]

This an individual assignment, with peer support.

Activity 5
Due :arrow_right: by 11:59 PM, Wednesday, March 15 (post in #activity05)
Read and Respond
“What is Code?” by Paul Ford:
Read the required sections, as listed in the linked assignment PDF—each title is linked to the anchor in the page—and then write a response (around 500 words), making sure to answer the questions in italics.

Activity 4
Due :arrow_right: by 11:59 PM, Tuesday, February 15 (post in #activity04)
Read, Research, & Respond:


Visit the Games for Change Game Archive.  (

Browse through the games until you find one that interests you.


Research the game:
Read the synopsis.
              Look at the graphics.
              If you can, try playing it!
              If there’s a video trailer, watch it.


Before next class, write a brief (250-500 word) review of the game in question.

At the minimum, your response should include:
The game’s name
Who made it
A brief summary of the game
When it was released
An analysis of the game that follows the VAP game-design rubric:

pink (describe the game),

orange (the social issue it deals with),

green (game mechanics)


blue (values).

To review the VAP game-design cards concept, visit the VAP / Grow-a-Game website, or check out this word doc which provides a sample list of games, issues, actions and values.

Activity 3
Due :arrow_right: by 3:59 PM, Tuesday, February 15 (post in #activity03)
Read and Respond

  1. Read this NYT article: Dozens of Women in Gaming Speak Out About Sexism and Harassment.
    Write a response of around 300 words that answers these questions:
    • What were the events that prompted female gamers and streamers to begin sharing their stories about sexism and harassment on social media?
      • What actions do you think would be most effective in creating structural change in the gaming industry?
      • What is one of the specific women’s stories, along with the corresponding responses/results?
  2. Read this NYT article: Chess (Yes, Chess) Is Now a Streaming Obsession.
    Write a response of around 300 words that answers these questions:
    • Describe the viewing of live chess games in relation to the streaming statistics, and other games, that are mentioned in this article (make sure to mention the specific streaming platform and which Big Tech company owns it).
      • Describe how the accomplishments of a top player like Mr. Nakamura attracts attention from other media, and how that feeds back into the gaming culture.
        • How does your own experience of playing/watching/streaming games relate to any of this?

Post your response (two separate ones, or together as one with a combined total word count of around 600 words) as a comment to “activity03” on Slack.

Activity 2
Due :arrow_right: by 3:59 PM, Tuesday, February 07 (post in #activity02)
Before watching the videos specified below, write a summary (around 100 words) of how you usually come up with an idea for a project.
Break this process into discrete steps.  As an example of what I mean by ‘discrete steps’: if I were describing how I make a sandwich, I’d say: 1) I get a loaf of bread, 2) I get the fillings for the sandwich, 3) I assemble the fillings on a slice of bread, 4) I put another slice of bread on top.
Watch and respond: Watch two videos (embedded below and included in the assignment PDF) and respond to the prompts in the assignment PDF.
Read and respond: Read Speculative design: 3 examples of design fiction by Tony Ho Tran and respond to the prompts in the assignment PDF.
Follow the instructions in the assignment link for response & how to submit.

The 4 Steps to Getting an Idea, Kirby Fergusson (
Build your creative confidence, David Kelly (

Activity 1
Due ➡ by 3:59 PM, Tuesday, January 31
Watch and Respond:
Watch the second half of the documentary “The Digital Promise” (2014) by José Manuel Pinillo at (Download the documentary for easier reviewing.)
Navigate to the time stamp of 36:51; you’ll see a couple seconds of black screen and start watching from there through the end of the video.
Write a response, around 500 words, and submit it as a comment to the “Activity 01” channel on Slack (#activity01):
1. Choose one of the interviewee’s quotes to thoughtfully reflect on (for example, Mark Dery, Clay Shirky, Nicholas Negroponte, Tiffany Shlain, or any others who are identified in this section), making sure to relate it to how you utilize technology in your life.
2. Choose one of the specific examples of technological development or innovation that’s mentioned in the video and find one news article that was published within the past year to relate it to (include a hyperlink to the news article in your response).
The news article could be about a current technology that you think is related, or a review of movie, tv/streaming show, art exhibition, etc. that deals with a similar issue.
Compare and contrast some aspect of what is stated and shown in the video with what’s mentioned in the article.
Earn extra participation credit! Read and meaningfully engage with the written responses of your peers.