— elbrockmeyer @ 7:47 pm

Making Things Interactive (MTI) is a studio course based on physical prototyping and computing. You will develop novel sensing, interaction and display techniques through projects and short assignments.


You will be graded on the successful completion of three projects and also on the intangible aspects of participating in a studio course including attendance, participation and positive impact on discussions and design development. The general grading breakdown is as follows:

Project01 – Microphone translation – 20%

Project02 – Raspberry Primer – 20%

Project03 – Find your voice – 40%

Intangibles – Attendance*/Participation/Effort – 20%

*If you miss class more than once with an unexcused absence you will lose 5% of your total course grade. If you miss class more than twice you will lose 10% of your total course grade. Attendance and participation is mandatory and you must contact me prior to class if you need to miss for any reason. Reasonable excuses for missing class include health/wealthness/family emergencies.

For each final project documentation you will be required to have at a minimum the following:

  • 5 high resolution images

  • A professional quality video including voice over or informative text

  • A finished prototype

  • Multiple intermediate prototypes

  • A presentation – this may or may not include a slideshow

  • A link (open or otherwise) to your source code

  • Wiring diagrams for anything hardware related

  • CAD drawings/models of fabricated elements


This course is unique in that your projects may fit into a multitude of categories and citations and proper references will vary depending on your intended audience. For example, a student writing a short paper for an academic conference will have different requirements, in terms of citations, than someone producing a project as a kickstarter.

That said, the expectation in MTI is that you will go out of your way to find the appropriate means of referencing other’s work. This is particularly important in a field where we synthesize technologies developed in another’s field and apply it to interactive scenarios.

We expect students to assist each other throughout the course of the semester. This includes teaching other students from your own expertise. Please use your best judgement in deciding when you’ve gone from teaching to spoon feeding.

You will work collaboratively at times throughout the semester. If this is the case, we expect you to make clear which parts of each project were completed by each student. All students are expected to work on all technical aspects of each project including coding and wiring.

CMU’s academic integrity policy outlines the University’s position on academic integrity and the penalties associated with transgressions of said policy. Please read it.


We will meet Monday and Wednesday from 8:00 am to 9:50 am in MM303. We will describe the weekly schedule at the beginning of each week but the general structure is as follows:

Week 01 :: Project01

Week 02 – 05 :: Project02

Week 06 – 15 :: Project03

Each project will have checkpoints with required work. Project02 in particular will be a series of short assignments intended to introduce you to new techniques on the Raspberry Pi.

You will need to bring a laptop and any hardware prototypes required of that class session.


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