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Applying to MAT for Fall 2021

The deadline for applying to MAT for Fall 2021 is December 15th, 2020 at 11:59pm (PST).

More information please visit

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




Igniting Change: asking, &what if& and &why not& from the margins. The DRIVE to be authentic in a world that marginalizes difference requires the grit to realize your personal vision no matter the roadblocks that detour, deflect, and try to stop you. Drive is fueled by an ambition, to not be satisfied with the status quo because you are curious, you allow yourself to experience life, and you are not afraid of risk. Drive is the challenge to anyone who tries to erase you from your excellence. Drive is creating a space to ask, “what if” and “why not” from the margins. Drive is the fuel to connect and share experiences with people you might not know; you do not know well; or you would never know because of perceived differences. Stories from Pamela's global travels and encounters with world citizens speak of angst and they speak of joy. They speak of shared values and they speak of the possibilities of change.


Pamela L. Jennings, Ph.D. is nationally recognized as a thought leader for integrative research and learning across the Arts and Technology with positions and projects at a range of higher education and federal institutions. She worked as a design researcher at IBM Almaden Research Center and SRI International. She served as a National Science Foundation Program Director and led the CreativeIT program and co-led several other programs in computer science and STEM education. Pamela has been involved in several National Academies of Sciences initiatives including a committee member for the “Integration of the Humanities and Arts with Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Higher Education: Branches from the Same Tree” consensus report. Pamela held the first joint professorial appointment between the Fine Arts and Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. As the CEO of CONSTRUKTS, Inc. Pamela leads the development of an IoT and mixed-reality platform for learning. Having spent countless years teaching computational technologies to artists and engineers and participating in international communities of makers and hackers, she is deeply knowledgeable in developing products that are rooted by principles of human centered design. Pamela received her Ph.D. from the Center for Advanced Inquiry in Integrative Arts, University of Plymouth School of Computing, Electronics, and Mathematics (U.K); MBA from the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan; MFA in Computer Art from School of Visual Arts, New York City; MA in Studio Art from New York University & International Center of Photography program; and BA in Psychology from Oberlin College & Conservatory.

In this research the intersection between art and neuroscience primarily from the perspective of a Media Artist is explored. Neural activity creates electric and magnetic fields in the human brain and Brain Computer interfacing (BCI) gets that brain’s activity, which in turn can be used to control an application or environment. A reactive BCI is when an application generates stimuli that someone needs to focus on, which creates changes in that person's brain activity.

Another goal of this research is to develop an interface using visual perceptive EEG data to create a computational language, that is, come up with a framework that will provide sonic and/or visual output of this neurofeedback information. This is done primarily from an artist/composer (Art) standpoint while looking into cognition and perception (Science). The research project exposes some significant considerations in the use of BCI technology for artistic purposes, like how to precisely collect and process EEG data aesthetically, as well as what license I can use with the data in order to create meaning or an environment for the audience themselves to bring meaning to the artwork. The interest lies in seeing how visual perception can inform and offer new forms of expression.

This dissertation looks at artistic explorations and narratives that comes out of the BCI data, drawing on insights from fields like cognitive neuroscience, neurofeedback, biology, Brain Art and Op Art. It also presents a novel approach in creating media artworks using VEP features and multimodal interaction to explore visual and sonic output. It also documents development of Visum and Aspecta, two bio artworks by concentrating on the conceptual design, approach, methods and challenges.

The overall goal is to offer pathways within the field of human computer interaction by introducing novel sensory methods of interfacing with computer systems that aim to amplify human qualities.

Past Events  


"Uncertain Facing" is a data-driven, interactive audiovisual installation that aims to represent the uncertainty of data points of which their positions in 3D space are estimated by machine learning techniques. It also tries to raise concerns about the possibility of the unintended use of machine learning with synthetic/fake data.



Photo: Jade Martinez-Pogue / Noozhawk

Located in La Cumbre Plaza at 120 South Hope Ave Suite F119, the museum creates a hands-free interactive experience that explores the next generation of media arts. The art pieces are primarily by local artists, including one by MAT students Xindi Kang and Rodney Duplessis titled "Oscilla", in which a person speaks into a microphone, and watches the frequencies of his or her voice displayed in multi-color on a large screen.

Read more about MSME in this Santa Barbara Noozhawk article.


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 an MS degree in Media Arts and Technology.

EmissionControl2 is free and open-source software available at:

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

The William and Meredith Saunderson Prizes for Emerging Artists consist of three awards of five thousand dollars each to support young emerging visual artists whose practice shows potential and is deemed to have the determination and talent to contribute to the legacy of art in Canada.

The lab also received honorable mentions for two papers on interpersonal touch by authors Hachisu, Reardon, Shao, and Suzuki and Dinulescu, Reardon, and Topp.


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