MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2014 Activities by Sponsor - Media Arts and Sciences

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Ahead of Their Time: From the Antikythera Mechanism to the Anti-Beatles

V. Michael Bove, Jr.

Jan/16 Thu 01:00PM-02:30PM E15-443

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Prereq: none

From the well-known to the obscure, from nonlinear fiction to fuel-cell vehicles and touchscreen maps, we celebrate a collection of technological, artistic, and other achievements that appeared tens, hundreds, or even a thousand years before the rest of the world caught up with them. Attendees are encouraged each to bring a favorite example of their own.

Sponsor(s): Media Arts and Sciences
Contact: V. Bove, E15-448, 617 253-0334, VMB@MEDIA.MIT.EDU

Design and Development of Media for edX

Sebastian Seung, Professor of Neuroscience

Enrollment: Unlimited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/03
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions

Come design the future of education.

In IAP 2012, the Seung lab hacked conventional approaches in neuroscience research by bringing it to the people. Since, we've inspired 100,000 people around the world to join the quest to map the brain - check out Now, we're hacking education.

9.01 Intro. Neuroscience is being taken online like no course has before. We believe that best in education doesn’t just mean the best in content. It means the best in people. Over IAP, we’re bringing together people from all areas of expertise to design, develop and star in media (games, simulations, videos) for 9.01X. You'll meet and work with people from Mass Art, Harvard, MIT and Berklee, and the work that you do in class with be featured on edX and in promotional materials. You'll also get a survey of the educational technology landscape with a speaker series throughout the course, featuring professors and designers of existing online courses.

If there's a particular resource that you need in order to make your idea happen, we can work with you to make it available. Anything is possible :) 

To get an idea of what we're working on, check out our demo video

Interested? Contact us and let us know how you can contribute to the best online course in the world.

Sponsor(s): Academic Media Production Services, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Media Arts and Sciences
Contact: Claire O'Connell, 46-5065, 650 380-5955, CEO@MIT.EDU

Fabrication from Fabric: Design and Creation of Clothing, Accessories, and Other Textile Based Items

Laura Perovich, Philippa Mothersill

Jan/13 Mon 02:00PM-06:00PM E14-240
Jan/14 Tue 10:00AM-12:00PM E14-240, (optional fabric store trip)
Jan/14 Tue 02:00PM-06:00PM E14-240
Jan/15 Wed 02:00PM-06:00PM E14-240

Enrollment: preference to Media Lab students
Sign-up by 01/06
Limited to 15 participants
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions

This hands-on class explores the design and fabrication of textile based objects, from shirts to iPad cases.  We step through the entire process, from choosing a project to designing a pattern to selecting materials and finally executing your vision.  The course covers traditional approaches to sewing and fabrication as well as emerging methods including computational design and novel materials.  Each class includes an introduction to the topic followed by a hands-on application.  All levels of experience welcome, sample applications will be provided.  Guest instructors from the fashion design industry.


Sponsor(s): Media Arts and Sciences
Contact: Laura Perovich,

Human + Computer Workshop w/ RISD (Arduino, Rapid Prototyping, Sci-Fi)

David Mellis, PhD student, MIT Media Lab, Sophia Brueckner, Master's Student, MIT Media Lab, Tiffany Tseng, PhD Student, MIT Media Lab, Ryan Mather, RISD STEAM

Jan/11 Sat 10:00AM-04:00PM MIT
Jan/18 Sat 10:00AM-04:00PM RISD
Jan/25 Sat 10:00AM-04:00PM MIT
Feb/01 Sat 10:00AM-04:00PM RISD

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 12/15
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions
Prereq: One of: electronics, programming, rapid prototyping, design

Join a team of Brown, RISD, and MIT students for a 4-part workshop series on the body and technology! We will be meeting every Saturday come January, alternating between RISD/Brown and MIT campuses, with our last workshop falling on Feb. 1. The workshop series will culminate in projects and a show, open to external submissions, at Exposé, the RISD student-run gallery.

Transhumanism is the belief that the human race can evolve beyond its current limitations through the use of science and technology. However, will our accelerating transformation into cyborgs be a form of transcendence or are we building our own prisons of technology? This class will combine the design of new body/machine interfaces with learning relevant technical skills in electronics, digital fabrication, and programming. With a focus on building wearable devices, human augmentation, and alternative, more visceral forms of communication, students from MIT, Brown, and RISD will work in groups to conceptualize, prototype, and finally build functioning versions of their ideas in whatever form they will take. 

More details are available on the application! Keep your eyes peeled for posters around campus as well. The application is due December 15th at midnight. Decisions will by turned around by the 22nd. More exact information on location and requisites will come to those accepted. 

Fill out an application here!

Organized by Brown + RISD STEAM + MIT Media Lab

Sponsor(s): Media Arts and Sciences
Contact: David Mellis,

Making a TV Show Without the TV

Dazza Greenwood, Visiting Scientist

Enrollment: Come to 1st session or please contact project lead to join later
Limited to 10 participants
Attendance: Attend relevant sessions and we can schedule flexibly in advance.

This project is to create a web-based participatory "show" in the style of a television variety show. The content focus is "Social Physics and the New Field of Data Science"  featuring ideas of Media Lab Professor Sandy Pentland's new Social Physics site and book.  The show will be made of short segments, including mini interviews with experts, fun segments like "person on the street views on big data" and a design challenge engaging participants in design and innovation. 

The IAP project will be led by Dazza Greenwood of the MIT Media Lab and co-led by Stephanie Rowe of the Sloan School. In-person sessions will be hosted at the Media Lab but most sessions will be conducted online.

Participatory functions and features of the show will be melded with the content and the intended user experience path. The collaborative services and tools initially expected include Google Hangouts, TouchCast, Twitter, GitHub and a CMS such as Wordpress or Drupal to act as a front end frame for the show. The design challenge will focus on the process of innovation and exploring methods and mechanisms that catalyze creativity. 

This project is appropriate for people interested in developing a) web-based tv production and online engagement, b) the topic of data science and "Social Physics", which is the substantive content of the show, or c) engaging people in design and innovation.

For more information on this project, see:

Sponsor(s): Media Arts and Sciences
Contact: Daniel "Dazza" Greenwood, JD, E15-384b, 617-500-3644,

Project Planning/Review Standup Meetings

Jan/08 Wed 01:30PM-02:30PM E15-384b / Lounge, Bring laptop
Jan/14 Tue 03:30PM-04:15PM Online, Have High bandwidth, mic/headphones & apps ready
Jan/21 Tue 03:30PM-04:15PM Online, Have High bandwidth, mic/headphones & apps ready
Jan/28 Tue 03:30PM-04:15PM E15-384b / Lounge, Bring laptop

The weekly project standup meetings focus on production planning and review.  The kickoff meeting is for introductions, questions/ideas/discussion, selection of project roles and we will demo an ultra-fast example of a complete production cycle showing how a segment is created, published and managed in a minimal prototype format. Our workflow enables project and production work to happen mostly online.

Stephanie Rowe - Sloan Fellow, Dazza Greenwood - Visiting Scientist

Video/Web Content Production Sessions

Jan/10 Fri 01:30PM-02:30PM Online Session, Have High bandwidth, mic/headphones & apps ready
Jan/17 Fri 01:30PM-02:30PM Online Session, Have High bandwidth, mic/headphones & apps ready
Jan/24 Fri 01:30PM-02:30PM Online Session, Have High bandwidth, mic/headphones & apps ready
Jan/29 Wed 01:30PM-02:30PM Online Session, Have High bandwidth, mic/headphones & apps ready
Jan/30 Thu 01:30PM-02:30PM Online Session, Have High bandwidth, mic/headphones & apps ready
Jan/31 Fri 01:30PM-02:30PM Online Session, Have High bandwidth, mic/headphones & apps ready

The Video/Web Content Production Sessions focus on a) producing, post-producing and provisioning video and other media assets for the show, b) managing participant questions/contributions and c) administering/managing the online sites, apps and services comprising the show.  The show workflow enables all these activities to be conducted online allowing participants to be physically dispersed.  

Stephanie Rowe - Sloan Fellow, Dazza Greenwood - Visiting Scientist