teaching machines

Flips and Twists

Living in the Southern Hemisphere after a lifetime in the north draws one’s attention to geometric concerns. I regularly trace a path through time and space to remind myself if I am 15 hours ahead of my colleagues back home or behind. Different stars light up the sky. Many phenomena, like the seasons, flip. But […]

Stolen Rings

Recently, I stole something precious from a friend. I was sitting in Andy’s office, and there it was. An interesting shape. Three rings nestled inside each other. They could rotate independently, but if any translated, the others would follow. I had to have these rings. So, I stole them. Well, I stole the idea of […]

Introducing Deltaphone

A collaborator and I have been talking about turtle geometry lately. Meanwhile, I’ve been taking the piano lessons I was never forced to take as a child. One thing led to another, and now these two separate activities of my life have had a child. That child is named Deltaphone. Deltaphone is a blocks programming […]

Vector Giraffe

One of the ways I hope to make it through my children’s teenage years is to make games with them. I think we’ll be able to skip over drugs, alcohol, tattoos, skateboards, and pubescent love entirely if I play my cards right. To that end, I’ve made decent progress on getting my kids to learn […]

Resize and Pad Images

I was recently given the task of converting a massive corpus of images (10) to a fixed resolution with a fixed amount of padding. In the past, I’ve used ImageMagick to make quick work of problems like this, but I can never remember its commands. Maybe I should write down my solutions as an investment […]

Barrel in Pixels

My sons and I have started taking a Coursera MOOC on pixel art. Our first assignment was to create a barrel, like that which might appear in a “pirate game.” Here’s my interpretation: I’m not sure that I thought about pirates at all as I laid down those pixels.

Digital Musical Instrument Design

Welcome to Digital Musical Instrument Design, one of the courses at the 2018 Summer Computer Science Institute at Carleton College. This page contains all the course notes and exercises that you will need throughout the week. Day 1 On this day we introduce the notion of a sound wave, and we see how the frequency […]

WAV Abstraction in Pure Data

Those poor students who get a teacher that is teaching a subject for the first time. I’m that teacher these next three weeks, and our subject matter is digital music and Pure Data. One of the questions I was asked in this first week is how to create an abstraction that plays an arbitrary WAV […]

Music Mouse, Part VI

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. The Arduino side of the Music Mouse is working. Whew! All that’s left is to interpret the messages it sends out in Pure Data. Soon we’ll have music. Pure Data Interpreter […]

Music Mouse, Part V

This post is part of a series of notes and exercises for a summer camp on making musical instruments with Arduino and Pure Data. In this exercise, we start issuing MIDI numbers. When the musician goes up or down in the Music Mouse interface, a single note of the melody is played. When the music […]