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Computer Simulations and Interactive Media

Computer Simulations and Interactive Media is a course on design and prototyping. This course will introduce students to the concepts of web app development, game design, and artificial intelligence through basic programming and mathematics. The course will provide a general overview of simulations, interactivity, and prototyping, with emphasis on culture, history, real world practices, and applications. Students will journal their explorations, develop and build a final team project, and present their projects via live demo. After the course, each student will have their own online design and programming portfolio.

Instructor: Sherol Chen

  • E-Mail:
  • Course Website:
  • Meeting Time: 9 am - 11:30 am MTWRF
  • Class Room: 200-205 Main Quad

Teaching Assistants


  1. Math Quiz
  2. Computer History IF
  3. Lock IF
  4. Seurat
  5. Visual Sort
  6. Bouncing Balls - Particles and Gravity
  7. Traveling Sales Mousey
  8. A* is for Alan
  9. Game AI - Tic Tac Toe, Black Jack, or Rock Paper Scissors
  10. Cellular Automata
  11. Arduino
  12. Final Project

Texts and Materials

Course Topics

Topics and Schedule are subject to change

Lecture Assignment Reading
Tue Introduction and Setup Wordpress and Github signup, JS Math Quiz Cookbook ch 1
Wed History and Foundations of Computing JS Interactive Fiction Cookbook ch 2
Thr Algorithms and Data Structures Twine IF, Processing, JS Mole Game Cookbook ch 3
Fri Guest Speaker, Finite State Machines Field Trip: Tech Museum
Mon AI, Searching, Sorting, Animations Processing Sort, JS Tile Game Turing Paper, Cookbook ch 4
Tue Graphs, Search Processing TSP, JS Platformer Design Book, Cookbook ch 5
Wed Field Trip: Exploratorium Field Trip: Exploratorium
Thr OOP and A* Processing A*, JS Fighter Gates Letter, Cookbook ch 6
Fri Logic and Arduino, Guest Speaker Arduino
Mon Game Theory and Game Studies Processing Tic Tac Toe, JS Shooter Cookbook ch 7
Tue Cellular Automata Processing CA, JS FPS Cookbook ch 8
Wed Field Trip: Computer History Museum Final Project, JS RPG Cookbook ch 9
Thr Final Projects, Guest Speaker Guest Speaker, Final Projects
Fri Final Project Presentations Final Project Presentations


Week 1

  • Day 1 - Prime Numbers, Permutations, Combinations, Internet, Networks, Github, Wordpress, Command-Line Arguments, Domain Name, DNS, Hosting, Sieve of Eratosthenes, Top Level Domain, Client Side, Server Side
  • Day 2 - History, Bit Manipulation, Base Conversion, Parameters, Functions, Assembler, Microprocessor, Microcontroller, IDE, Variables, For-Loop, Game-Loop/Draw-Loop, Machine Language, Boolean, Hexadecimal, Octal, Logic Error, Syntax Error, Canvas, Datatypes
  • Day 3 - Type Errors, Data Structures, Arrays, Stacks, Linked Lists, Queues, Binary Trees, Graphs, Bit Manipulation, Operator, Operand, Bit Shifting, Dynamic Typed Language, Operator Overloading
  • Day 4 - Guest Speaker, Finite State Machines

Week 2

  • Day 5 - Turing Test, Dartmouth Conference, AI, Loebner, Cleverbot, Eliza Effect, Imitation Game, Selection, Insertion, Bubble, Binary Search, Binary Search Tree, Processing.js, Big-O, Animations, Divide and Conquer
  • Day 6 - Prototypes, Traveling Sales Person, Adjacency Matrix, Dijkstra's Algorithm, Depth First Search, Breadth First Search, Greedy Algorithm, Brute Force Algorithm, NP Complete, Polynomial Time, Non-Polynomial Time, Directed/Undirected Graph, Weighted/Unweighted Graph
  • Day 7 - Field Trip
  • Day 8 - OOP, Abstraction, Polymorphism, Inheritance, Encapsulation, Greedy Best-First Search, A*, Flood Filling, Internships, Methods, Classes, Objects, Heuristics, Tree Search, Prototypes
  • Day 9 - Circuits, kD Trees, Arduino, Ohm's Law, Logic Gates, Guest Speaker

Week 3

  • Day 10 - Game Design, Game Theory, Game Studies, Game Trees, Alternate Reality Game, Hash Tables, Hash Functions, Ludus Paida Narrative, Ludology Narratology Debate, Game AI, Decision Trees, Concept Net, Implication, Demorgans Law, Double Implication (iff)
  • Day 11 - Cellular Automata, Networks, Servers, Information Conformity, Probabilities, Asch Experiment, Game Developers, Game Developers Conference
  • Day 12 - Field Trip
  • Day 13 - Guest Speaker
  • Day 14 - Final Projects


Research Journals

/soe/sherol/.html/teaching/data/pages/spcs/summer2014/sim.txt · Last modified: 2014/08/01 15:39 by ffpaladin