New programming and design course available this fall

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Write code for your own interactive online adventure game and create intricate designs from fractals in a new programming class this fall.

Offered at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, “Mathematics 101E: Computer Science” provides the best fundamental techniques for programming and design taught by one of the world’s foremost experts in computer science education.

Mark and Melody Teppola, Distinguished Presidential Visiting Professor Eric Roberts

Eric Roberts, a longtime professor at Stanford University, who has been teaching Willamette for a year as Mark and Melody Teppola Presidential Distinguished Visiting Professor, derived the course from projects he developed at Stanford and elsewhere. other universities. Roberts is also a member of the Willamette Computing and Data Science Faculty Group, which is part of a larger university effort to expand computing and data science offerings across campus and across campuses. disciplines.

The new class is as serious about math and technology as it is about creativity. Students will learn to reveal details in photographs undetectable to the human eye, have a virtual robot paint from a palette of over 16 million colors, and concoct new worlds in an adventure game developed by Roberts based on whoever started the genre. Some pop culture will be incorporated into the course – Rey and the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars appear – as will the story of some of the earliest digital art forms, such as the Jacquard Loom.

No prior coding knowledge is required, and students can rely on experienced undergraduate programmers for help.

By the end of the semester, students will have experience in digital image manipulation, timeline animation, and interactive techniques for web content, all of which will be directly applicable to jobs in graphic design, web development. and computer-generated imagery in movies, Roberts mentioned.

Above all, they will know how to approach problems like an expert. The course covers fundamentals such as implementation, testing, and most importantly debugging, which Roberts sees as similar to the work of a detective who uses evidence and logic to solve a mystery.

“Learning the basics of programming allows students to use it in new and more creative ways,” said Roberts, “and they should be able to do whatever they want from this course.”

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