EDPX 2300 Systems

Fall 2015
MW 1:00-3:50 @ Sturm 434
Dan Wilcox, Shwayder 215, danomatika.com
Email: daniel.wilcox[at]du[dot]edu
Voice: 412 980-7081
Office hours: M 4-6pm & by appointment

Syllabus PDF


PiratePad A
PiratePad B

Online Sketchbooks

Tony Borek
Richard Bui
Stone Fisher
Mack Foster
Brian Franceschi
Piper Friedman
Lyndsey Gonsoulin
Duncan Koontz
Nathan Losee
Kevin Shanken
Jacob Villa
Ian Wagner

11/18 - 11/20: Project 3 - Design & Build

Project 3 is to design, build, and present your own system. It can be a modification or update to an existing system or something you create on your own as long as you go into depth and are intellectually rigourous.

Presentations will be held on Wednesday Nov 18th & Friday Nov 20th in the Shwayder 2nd floor common area. You will be able to set up during the morning before each class. Monday November 16th will be a work day.

Presentation Schedule

Wed 11/18 1-3:50

Fri 11/20 2-3:50 (Final Exam time)

11/2: Makey Makey

Note: We will meet in Shwayder in the second floor common area for today's class. Make sure to come a little early if you don't have card swipe access to the second floor, as there are other classes starting in Shwayder at the same time so other students will be able to let you in.

Yay! Makey Makey kits for everyone!

Makey Makey is a simple little electronics board that emulates a mouse & keyboard when plugged into your computer. It has little pads and jumper pins to connect wires, buttons, alligators clips, etc to create your own physical interfaces without having to do any embedding computing programming (aka Arduino).

Stuff to Bring

We'll spend all of class playing with our Makey Makey kits, so come prepared with a few of the following:

In-class Assignment: Novel Interface

Also, bring some kind of software you want to control. Could be a game, a text editor, a NetLogo program, a Processing project you've been working on, a Max or PureData patch, etc. The goal for the end of class is to have come up with a new, physical interface to this program that we can all try. Think of alternative, conceptual interfaces as opposed to the same mappings the program already uses.

The Make Makey kit is yours to keep after class. You paid for it through your lab fee! Add it to your toolchest for Project 3.

10/26 - 10/28: Project 2 - Simulation

Project 2 is to build and present a simulation of a system which can be one of your system domains from Project 1 or the following which are covered after Project 1:

The simulation can be done in NetLogo, Processing, or whatever tool you're used to using and can also be simualted through an in-class activity or performance action. The presentation should be in a Powerpoint-style (Google Docs Presentation, Keynote, Prezzi, slide in pdf form, etc) and cover the following main points:

You also need to provide an overview post on your online sketchbook which should include a synopsis of your project. This is also the perfect place to host your presentation slides

Presentation Schedule



10/21: System Design Exercise 2 - Turing Machine Programming

The Turing Machine is a theoretical model for the basis of modern computation as laid out by Alan Turing in the mid 1930s. In it's simplest form, the machine consists of the following:

The table is defined using a state diagram with each state reading the value of the current position on the tape and then performing one or a set of the available instructions in order:

  1. erase or write a symbol at the current position on the tape
  2. move left or right or stay in place
  3. switch to a new state within the instructions table

The exercise is to write a set of Turing Machine programs to solve a set of problems that we'll "run" in class.

10/7 - 10/12: Project 1 - Analysis

Project 1 consists of 6 system domain analyses in your online sketchbook & a 15 minute presentation of 2 these in depth.

The domains are:

  1. self-directed (first week)
  2. biological
  3. environmental/ecological
  4. control/feedback
  5. industrial (presented next class, think assembly lines, automation, power plants, steel mills, oil & gas, chemical processes, etc; basically large scale purpose built systems)
  6. choose a second from 2-5 (or work ahead, see future domains in the syllabus)

Presentation Schedule



* Jacob may feel unfairly chosen for this spot since he wasn’t in class today. He’s allowed to convince one of the Oct 12 presenters to switch spots (via bribes, promises of future help, etc).

9/28: System Design Exercise 1 - Up Goer Five

We will spend today's class expanding and reworking one of your current system domain (up to this point) analyses.

Inspiration: xkcd Up Goer Five schematic & The Ten Hundred Words of Science tumblr

You will have the first half of class to:

You will then present your analysis in the second half of class.


Useful tools:

Use only those words that are either found in the Frequently Used Words PDF and/or accepted by the Up-Goer Five Text Editor.