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Photo credit: Ryan Holsopple

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PIMA 7741G Interactive Media Programming: Course Information

Professor Holsopple Fall 2021 OER

Contact Information for Professors

Course Name: PIMA 7741G​ Dynamic and Interactive Media Performance I
Class Meeting Location: Classes are Hybrid we will meet on Zoom
Unfortunately, it is most likely, we will not meet in person this semester, classes will be online until otherwise notified.

Class Time: Mondays 6:05PM - 8:50PM

Ryan Holsopple
Adjunct Office hours will be hosted on Zoom during the semester, these will be isolated to a time period discussed on the first class meeting.
CUNY has allotted 1 office hour/week for this class.

Briggan Krauss at

Learning Objectives:

  • Use software and hardware to create interactive performances / artworks.
  • Identify a wide variety of Max objects and their uses.
  • Discuss the uses of Max as a control source, for sound design, and video/projection design for a variety of projects.
  • Write your own interactive program in Max/MSP/Jitter that runs without error and fulfills its intended purpose.
  • Evaluate existing Max Patches for errors and suggest solutions to problems found.
  • Defend dramaturgical choices implemented into a patch for a chosen performance use.
  • Be will be able to share/exchange Max patches with collaborators and be able to adapt and incorporate other’s work into their own patches.


Plan of Study

This seminar will deal specifically with the Max/MSP/Jitter (often just called Max) programming environment. Max is a graphic programming environment which simply means that instead of writing code, the program is built around a graphic interface which allows for much easier and intuitive use.

Max/MSP/Jitter [Max] is an application that is similar to having a vast box of Legos that you can use to write your own applications and for designing interactive programs all from the ground up. The open nature of Max gives it a slightly high learning curve but it’s this “build anything you can think of” flexibility that makes Max an excellent environment for creating programs for use in music performances, dance, theater, performance art, sound and art installations, animations, video and especially any situations involving human computer interaction such as using sensors on the human body, physically tracking objects in a space or even using data taken live from the internet.

Each student in the class will be required to become very fluent in this programming environment and to design and realize artistic projects with it.
Technical topics to be covered include: basic tenets of programming (variables, data structures, data transforms, testing, flow control, encapsulation, debugging, user interface design, etc.); the Max/MSP/Jitter programming environment; review of specifics of the MIDI software protocol, digital audio, and digital video; algorithmic composition of animation, video processing, and/or music; algorithmic computer cognition of user input and gestures; and "artificially intelligent" computer behavior.
Class sessions will consist of a) participatory lecture/demonstrations on the above mentioned technical topics, b) group work on programming assignments and projects, and c) presentation and discussion of student projects in progress and the specific technical and aesthetic issues encountered. Work outside of class will include reading, self-teaching/research, and (primarily) design and programming of assignments and creating interactive art projects.

Students will be presented with specific assigned programming tasks, and will also be required to design and implement their own programming project/systems.


See Class Rubric

Grading is based on timely completion of all the course requirements. Since every assignment is considered a vital part of the educational experience of the course, serious and high quality work is expected at all times.

Grading will be based on three levels of programming assignment:

  • Final Exam (25%)
  • Large final programming/artistic project (25%)
  • Assigned exercises to learn specific programming concepts (15%)
  • Midterm Exam (15%)
  • Communication and Participation --including documentation (20%)

It is suggested that students exchange information, criticism, discussion, etc. via online group discussion and/or email whenever they have a question (or a discovery) of potentially general interest to the group.


  • 7741G recordings will be discussed at our first class meeting

Resources and Support for Distance Learning

Resources and Support for Distance Learning
The Center for Teaching and Learning website ( has resources and support
mechanisms including the following:

Digital Toolbox Information about the various tools available at the college

Adapting your Course for Remote Learning

Netiquette in an Online Academic Setting: A Guide for Brooklyn College Students

Accessibility for Students with Disabilities

Brooklyn College Self-paced Blackboard Basics course

Brooklyn College Guide to Online Pedagogy (BCGO)

Teach in Ten: 10 Steps for Effective Online Pedagogy

Faculty in need of one-on-one pedagogical support can contact the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)

CUNY Guidelines: Requiring the Use of Cameras during Online Classes
Faculty utilizing Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate and other digital technology to deliver course curriculum
and materials must be sensitive to issues of privacy. Faculty offering classes through web conferencing like
Zoom cannot require that students turn on their cameras during live classes, unless there is a pedagogical
need to do so.

If an instructor has determined that there is a pedagogical need to require the use of cameras: (1) the
requirement for students to be visible on the video must be communicated to students in advance of
registration and enrollment, and (2) students who do not have access to cameras and therefore are unable to
comply with the requirement must be accommodated. These rules must also be followed if an instructor
plans to use a technology that requires students to turn on their cameras during test-taking.

A special note for Fall 2021:

This is not a normal semester. You are taking a class during a pandemic that has caused long-term and widespread disruption. This semester will require all of us to maintain constant situational awareness. It is likely that there will be changes made to this syllabus throughout the semester as the situation evolves. Please be prepared to be flexible.
The number one priority this semester is your health and safety. If at any point your personal situation changes (eg.,you or a family member become sick, living arrangements change) please contact me so I can accommodate your needs. I am committed to ensuring you learn what you need from this class without sacrificing your physical and mental well-being.

This semester I think we can afford to cut each other some slack as we traverse these trying times. If you are struggling, please let me know. Life is already stressful enough right now; this class should not add to that stress.

Course Requirements

  • complete all projects and homework assignments
  • read assigned texts
  • complete one Final Project (see Project page for description)
  • complete Midterm and Final Examinations
  • participate in classroom discussion and critiques 
  • document and present of your work and project online
  • attend class according to our attendance policy

Attendance Policy

Online only classes are both challenging for students and teachers. We understand internet connections and technical malfunctions come with this new territory. Please let us know if technology is failing you and we will try to assist you and make this as good of an experience as possible. A recurring Zoom meeting will be scheduled and sent to all students at the beginning of the semester, please include it in your virtual calendars.
Prompt attendance in all PIMA classes is of the utmost importance to students and faculty alike. Arriving late or missing classes not only wastes tuition and contact hours, but also derails instruction and compromises participation in ongoing collaborative projects. Class discussions, screenings, and events form the basis of the program’s structure and content. The faculty strongly discourages missing class time for any other reason than illness.

More than two unexcused absences will result in the student not passing the class. Repeated lateness will affect one’s final grade.
The faculty does understand that, in very special situations, students have professional opportunities that may necessitate missing class on rare occasions. For these kinds of events, at the discretion of the program head, absences may be excused. These situations are restricted to the following conditions: (1) the opportunity must dovetail with the professional goals and aspirations of the PIMA curriculum; and (2) a request must be filed with the program director in advance of the first class of the semester.
Last-minute opportunities will not be considered.

Accessibility and Disability Information

The Center for Student Disability Services is working remotely at this time. Please email them at for assistance. Students should inform the professor if they have a disability or any other situation that may require Section 504/ADA accommodations. The faculty and staff will attempt to work out whatever arrangements are necessary. Please provide me with your course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with me as soon as possible to ensure accommodations are met in a timely fashion.

In order to receive academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability or who suspect that they might have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell or the Assistant Director, Josephine Patterson or their general email

Student Bereavement Policies

Bereavement Policy

  1. Students who experience the death of a loved one must contact the Division of Student Affairs, 2113 Boylan Hall, if they wish to implement either the Standard Bereavement Procedure or the Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure. The Division of Student Affairs has the right to request a document that verifies the death (e.g., a funeral program or death notice). Contact Email:
  2. Typically, this death involves that of a family member, in parallel to the bereavement policy for faculty and staff. However, it is up to the discretion of the Division of Student Affairs to determine if a death outside of the immediate family warrants implementation of the student bereavement policy.
  3. As an option, and in consultation with the Division of Student Affairs, students may take the Leave of Absence Bereavement after the Standard Bereavement.
  4. Reference to the Student Bereavement Policies will be noted on course syllabi.
  5. Students requesting a religious accommodation should contact the Division of Student Affairs as well. The chief student affairs officer, or a designee, and the student will engage in an interactive process with the goal of finding an acceptable accommodation.

Bereavement Procedure:

  • Upon approval from the Division of Student Affairs, the student is allowed one week, commencing from the day of notification to the Division of Student Affairs, of excused absence.
  • Should the student feel that he/she/they/them needs additional days, these should be discussed with individual course instructors and/or the Division of Student Affairs.
  • The Division of Student Affairs will contact the student’s faculty and academic staff of the student’s courses.
  • Faculty and academic staff will be advised that extensions must be granted to the student for the period of one week of excused absence.
  • Further extensions may be negotiated with the student when he or she returns to campus.
  • Students are encouraged to discuss options with their instructors.

Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure:

  • Students may be allowed to withdraw from the semester in which the death occurs.
  • The Bereavement Leave of Absence is for one semester only.
  • Students who have opted to take the Bereavement Leave of Absence and have already attended classes for the semester of the leave will be allowed to re-enter the following semester without having to reapply to the college.
  • Students who wish to take the leave of absence prior to the beginning of the semester will be required to reapply for the following semester.
  • Students who are in good academic standing will be given the opportunity to successfully complete the credits for the semester in which they return.
  • Students will consult with the Division of Student Affairs, on a case-by-case basis, as to whether they should withdraw from their courses during this leave of absence or to request incompletes from the faculty member.
  • Given that there may be a potential impact on financial aid, students who receive financial aid and who take the Bereavement Leave of Absence, upon arrangement with the Division of Student Affairs, will meet with a financial aid adviser prior to taking this option.