New York City College of Technology

Entertainment Technology Department

186 Jay Street, Room V-205, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone: 718-260-5588


ENT 1280, The Ins and Outs of Physical Computing

Fall Semester 2012

Tues: 10-11:40am  Thu: 10-11:40am


Instructor: Prof. Damon Loren Baker

Office: Room 205, Voorhees Hall

Office Hours: 1:30-2:30pm Tues and Thurs (Some Tuesdays I might be late getting back from college council meetings but I’ll be in by 2)



Course Description

An introduction to interactive technology with a focus on how we use technology to express ourselves and interact with our environment. This class will combine a hands-on exploration of sensors and microcontrollers with concepts of interaction design employing a structured design process. Students will work on creative group projects and provide on-line documentation of their work. An array of sensing technologies from simple switches to video tracking will be introduced. Students will use the simple programming of microcontrollers to process incoming data from sensors.


This is a team based exercise in applying the scientific method to solve real problems.


If you have a legitimate reason for missing a class/assignment or if you will be late, you must contact me (see above) before class begins.   It is City Tech policy that if you have three unexcused absences, you will fail the class. Two late arrivals to class count as one un-excused absence. Email me or call Margaret Medina in the Entertainment Tech office as soon as you realize that something may prevent you from making it to


Recommended Text

Banzi, Massimo. Getting Started with Arduino. Sebastopol, CA: Make:Books, 2008.



We will mostly be using online readings but this is a good place to start, and it’s cheap. This book isn’t required but it is strongly recommended



  • Quizzes            10%
  • Journals            10%
  • Project Proposal            10%
  • Final Project            10%
  • Project Documentation            10%
  • Class participation            10%
  • Midterm            20%
  • Final            20%





Academic Integrity Policy


Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion. The complete text of the College policy on Academic Integrity may be found in the catalog.




Each week students are required to post a one page (250 words minimum) post to the class blog on openlab (Title it something unambiguous like “Week 1 Journal Entry”). There will be specific topics assigned throughout the semester, but when one isn’t assigned, use it as a place to document your progress with and questions about the materials we are covering and the results of your experiments. These posts are due by 9am on  Monday each week at the very latest. Students are then required to post two responses (minimum one grammatically correct sentence) to other students journals and responses each week by 9am on Wednesday.  Grammar and spelling count.


Useful Websites



Course Website

There is a class blog located at:


Resources and announcements will be posted there as the semester progresses. Students are required to create an openlab account and to check the class blog for announcements and to follow the progress of their fellow students.

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