In accordance with UC Santa Barbara's COVID-19 response, Media Arts and Technology is closed to walk in traffic. We are conducting business remotely and can be reached via email. For a list of faculty and staff, please go to our Media Arts and Technology Directory.

For information about Covid-19 related research ramp up policies, see:

COVID-19 Information for the UC Santa Barbara Campus

Media Arts and Technology

Graduate Program

University of California Santa Barbara


Professor Kuchera-Morin and Dr. Rincon will be joined by Jean Johnstone of UC Berkeley, and will evaluate the impact of arts, culture and entertainment to the future of California.

About the California 100 Research Grants

California 100 is a new statewide initiative being incubated at the University of California and Stanford University focused on inspiring a vision and strategy for California’s next century that is innovative, sustainable, and equitable. The initiative will harness the talent of a diverse array of leaders through research, policy innovation, advanced technology, and stakeholder engagement. As part of its research stream of work, California 100 is sponsoring 13 research projects focused on the following issue areas:

  • Advanced technology and basic research
  • Arts, culture, and entertainment
  • Education
  • Economic mobility, inequality and workforce
  • Energy, environment and natural resources
  • Federalism and foreign policy
  • Fiscal reform
  • Governance, media, and civil society
  • Health and wellness
  • Housing and community development
  • Immigrant integration
  • Public safety and criminal justice reform
  • Transportation and urban planning

California 100 Initiative

Institute for the Future


JoAnn Kuchera-Morin


Gustavo Alfonso Rincon

  • Congratulations to Dr. Yitian Shao who is recipient of the 2020 Eurohaptics Society Best PhD Thesis Award!
  • A paper titled Proprioceptive Localization of the Fingers received the award for Best Journal Paper of 2020 in IEEE Transactions on Haptics. Congrats to authors B. Dandu, Prof. I. Kuling (TU Eindhoven), and Prof. Y. Visell.
  • An article in IEEE Spectrum highlights our Tactile Echoes system for haptic augmented reality, with insightful commentary by lab member Anzu Kawazoe. This work is reported in our paper in IEEE Transactions on Haptics, by authors Anzu Kawazoe, Prof. Max Di Luca (U. Birmingham), and Prof. Visell.


Anzu Kawazoe and Yon Visell

MAT 80XU (E)Utopian Design Tools (Mediated Worlds: THEMAS Special Topics)

The course is part of the MAT THEMAS undergraduate course series that incorporates STEM + Arts & Humanities (Technology Humanities Engineering Mathematics Arts Sciences).

Course description

What does it mean to "make the world a better place"? How do we enact eutopias (good, possible places) rather than merely imagine utopias (ideal, impossible places)? (E)Utopian Design Tools is a creative-computing and project-based class that operationalizes positive and innovative change. Working with the 3D graphics program Blender and connected platforms, we leverage digital tools as the arm of our imaginations, addressing contemporary problems as creative opportunities. We engage worldmaking, immersive art, and speculative design through the transdisciplinary pedagogical model of THEMAS (STEM+Arts+creative Humanities) to impart a holistic thinking and making toolbox. Additionally, we train a making reflex to problem-solving through iteration and prototyping. Strategies for designing with impact, ingenuity, and empathy are further refined via concepts from cognitive science, user-centered design, engineering ethics, and information aesthetics, among other areas. A selective survey of the literature of utopias also contextualizes this undertaking. In these ways, we empower students to meet challenges holistically, effectively, imaginatively, and compassionately, with a cutting-edge toolkit supercharged with computation. The "real world" is not fixed but music in motion: we are its composers and performers. In this unique, historical moment, how will you create the future?

This year's virtual conference is from October 24-29. Congratulations to Hannah Wolfe, Solen Kiratli, Sihwa Park, Lena Mathew, Weidi Zhang and Donghao Ren for their contributions to the 2021 International Conference on Computer Vision Theory and Applications.

IEEE VIS App 2021 Intro Video

Mark will work with scientists to create artworks that investigate and illuminate topics that deal with the basic building blocks of the universe. His focus at UCSB has been projects that are generative, collaborative, technologically-based and visually intriguing.


Cangjie is a complex intelligent system that was designed as a conceptual response to the future semantic human-machine reality. There are two visualizations generated by Cangjie through perceiving the real-world via a camera (located in the exhibition space) in real time. Inspired by Cangjie, an ancient Chinese legendary historian (c. 2650 BCE), who invented Chinese characters based on the characteristics of everything on the earth, we trained a neural network "Cangjie" to learn the constructions and principles of all the Chinese characters. It transforms what the neural network perceives into a collage of unique symbols made of Chinese strokes. UCSB Computer Science PhD alumni Donghao Ren also collaborated on the project.

Due to the pandemic, the exhibit has been modified to use public sources of data that replaces the video camera in the exhibition space.

Another art project by Weidi Zhang titled "Lavin" has been selected to be a part of the art gallery for the 2021 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition. The virtual event will take place June 19-25 2021. MAT PhD alumni Rodger Luo also collaborated on the project.

A new audio visual artwork by Weidi Zhang titled "Astro" will be shown at Planetarium 1 in St. Petersburg Russia.


Astro by Weidi Zhang

Weidi discussed her current art projects in an interview by Neural Magazine.

EmissionControl2 is a granular sound synthesizer. The theory of granular synthesis is described in the book Microsound (Curtis Roads, 2001, MIT Press).

Released in October 2020, the new app was developed by a team consisting of Professor Curtis Roads acting as project manager, with software developers Jack Kilgore and Rodney Duplessis. Kilgore is a computer science major at UCSB. Duplessis is a PhD student in music composition at UCSB and is also pursuing a Masters degree in the Media Arts and Technology graduate program.

EmissionControl2 is free and open-source software available at:

The project was supported by a Faculty Research Grant from the UCSB Academic Senate.

Past News  


Exhibition Catalogs

End of Year Show

About MAT

Media Arts and Technology (MAT) at UCSB is a transdisciplinary graduate program that fuses emergent media, computer science, engineering, electronic music and digital art research, practice, production, and theory. Created by faculty in both the College of Engineering and the College of Letters and Science, MAT offers an unparalleled opportunity for working at the frontiers of art, science, and technology, where new art forms are born and new expressive media are invented.

In MAT, we seek to define and to create the future of media art and media technology. Our research explores the limits of what is possible in technologically sophisticated art and media, both from an artistic and an engineering viewpoint. Combining art, science, engineering, and theory, MAT graduate studies provide students with a combination of critical and technical tools that prepare them for leadership roles in artistic, engineering, production/direction, educational, and research contexts.

The program offers Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Media Arts and Technology. MAT students may focus on an area of emphasis (multimedia engineering, electronic music and sound design, or visual and spatial arts), but all students should strive to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries and work with other students and faculty in collaborative, multidisciplinary research projects and courses.

Alumni Testimonials