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MAT End of the Year Show 2024

June 5th @Elings Hall
June 6th @SBCAST

EoYS Poster
MAD Logo

Develop your technical literacy
and creative design skills

For more information, visit:
UCSB Summer Sessions website

Media Arts and Technology

Graduate Program

University of California Santa Barbara


Understanding and Enabling Human-AI Teaming for Real-World Computer Vision Tasks


Recent machine learning research has demonstrated that many task-specific AI models now surpass human performance on static benchmarks. However, in real-world applications where human users collaborate with, or rely on AIs, key questions remain: Do these advancements in AI models inherently improve the user experience or augment users' capabilities? When and how should we partner users with AI to form effective human-AI teams? This dissertation explores new forms of human-AI collaboration in the context of real-world computer vision tasks. We shape a research space where users play different roles in diverse AI-assisted workflows -- from passive recipients of AI model outputs to active participants who steer the shaping of the model. 1) We developed intuitive user interfaces to help users, in this case astrophysicists, leverage deep-learning segmentation models in different scenarios. The end-to-end model enhances the accuracy of automated processing of daily space observations from 20+ telescopes globally. The AI-integrated GUI tool injects confidence into researchers' manual analysis of scientific imagery. 2) We proposed the concept of "restrained and zealous AIs" to harness the complementary strength in human-AI teams. Insights from a month-long user study involving 78 professional data annotators suggest that recommendations from ill-suited AI counterparts may detrimentally affect users' skills. 3) Finally, we brought a novel concept of "in-situ learning" to augmented reality, where the user interacts with physical objects to train spatially-aware AI models that can remember the personalized environment and objects for various tasks. Each project elevates the end user to a more active and engaged role in the inference, training, and evaluation processes of human-in-the-loop machine learning. In summary, this dissertation provides insights into the optimal times and methods for teaming humans with AI for real-world collaboration, informing the design of future AI-assisted systems.

SketchPath: Using Digital Drawing to Integrate the Gestural Qualities of Craft in CAM-Based Clay 3D Printing


This thesis presents the design and outcomes of SketchPath, a system that uses hand-drawn toolpaths to design for clay 3D printing. Drawing, as a direct manipulation technique, allows artists to design with the expressiveness of CAM-based tools without needing to work with a numerical system or constrained system. SketchPath works to provide artists with direct control over the outcomes of their form by not abstracting away machine operations or constraining the kinds of artifacts that can be produced. Artifacts produced with SketchPath emerge at a unique intersection of manual qualities and machine precision, creating works that blend handmade and machine aesthetics. In interactions with our system, ceramicists without a background in CAD/CAM were able to produce more complex forms with limited training, suggesting the future of CAM-based fabrication design can take on a wider range of modalities.

Past Events  


Weihao is currently a PhD candidate in the Media Arts and Technology (MAT) program, where his research is centered on improving the modularity, customizability, and interactivity of Generative AI tools. His primary goal is to enhance the diversity, expressiveness, and audience connectedness of AI-based artworks. Weihao's research contributions have been published in conferences, such as Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), The ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), and The International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). His artwork has been exhibited in venues such as Beijing Times Art Museum, FeraFile, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation (MOXI), SIGGRAPH, and UCSB MAT End of Year Shows.

The intent of the fellowship is to provide graduate students who are passionate about exploring the intersection of multiple fields related to the initiative with the opportunity to participate in research projects and activities organized as part of the annual summit.


Mellichamp Initiative in Mind & Machine Intelligence Summit 2024

The Computer Music Tutorial, Second Edition (2023) by Curtis Roads


Curtis Roads, professor in Media Arts and Technology and affiliate faculty in Music at UCSB, has announced the publication of an expanded, updated, and fully revised Second Edition of his textbook The Computer Music Tutorial (2023, The MIT Press, 1257 pages).

Essential and state-of-the-art, The Computer Music Tutorial, Second Edition is a singular text that introduces computer and electronic music, explains its motivations, and puts topics into context. Curtis Roads's step-by-step presentation orients musicians, engineers, scientists, and anyone else new to computer and electronic music.

The new edition continues to be the definitive tutorial on all aspects of computer music, including digital audio, signal processing, musical input devices, performance software, editing systems, algorithmic composition, MIDI, and psychoacoustics, but the second edition also reflects the enormous growth of the field since the book's original publication in 1996. New chapters cover up-to-date topics like virtual analog, pulsar synthesis, concatenative synthesis, spectrum analysis by atomic decomposition, Open Sound Control, spectrum editors, and instrument and patch editors. Exhaustively referenced and cross-referenced, the second edition adds hundreds of new figures and references to the original charts, diagrams, screen images, and photographs in order to explain basic concepts and terms.

Features include:

New chapters on virtual analog, pulsar synthesis, concatenative synthesis, spectrum analysis by atomic decomposition, Open Sound Control, spectrum editors, instrument and patch editors, and an appendix on machine learning.

Two thousand references support the book's descriptions and point readers to further study.

Mathematical notation and program code examples used only when necessary.

Twenty-five years of classroom, seminar, and workshop use inform the pace and level of the material.

As Prof. Roads states: "I finished writing the first edition in 1993. It finally came out in 1996, the year I joined the UCSB Music faculty as a Visiting Associate Professor. Writing the Second Edition required going through the research literature in the field since 1993. It often felt overwhelming but I just had to keep going. In 2017 I devoted all my creative time to the project. I promised myself I would finish it in 2020, and at 10 PM on 31 December 2020 I finished writing. Time for Champagne! The production process took all of 2021 and most of 2022. In a way it was a perfect project for the pandemic lockdown, as it gave me a daily purpose in a time of isolation. The textbook has been the core of my teaching at UCSB."

An article about the release of the 2nd edition was published in the UCSB Current:

The book can be found at MIT Press:

Professor Roads's previous books include Microsound (2001, The MIT Press) and Composing Electronic Music: A New Aesthetic (2015, Oxford University Press).

This SPARKS session focuses on the innovative interactive digital artwork and pioneering artists prior to the year 2000. Interactive digital art’s roots began forming in the 1960s and blossomed in the following decades. By relinquishing the power to control the outcome of a work of art, digital artists in the 1960-1990s established a democratic, reciprocal relationship with the viewer. Without a defined history, artists were free to experiment and create works that capitalized on the concept of “possibilities”. These individualized personal art experiences took many forms including screen-based art, immersive installation environments, haptic device art, and much more.


Vladimir Bonačić’s interactive digital installations 1969 – 1971
Darko Fritz

Media Art as Thinking Space
Monika Fleischmann and Wolfgang Strauss

Interactive Plant Growing – a journey of an interactive garden created in 1992
Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau

Searching for Conditions of Possibility: Jeffrey Shaw’s Artistic Practice in Expanded Cinema
Lukasz Mirocha

Engaging Subjectivity Through Interaction
Greg Garvey

The enduring telematic vision of a coexistent third space
Paul Sermon

From Music Composition to Multimodal Interactive Composition – An Historical Overview
JoAnn Kuchera-Morin


This event is co-moderated by MAT alumni Dr. Myungin Lee and co-sponsored by the ACM SIGGRAPH History Committee.


Synaptic Time Tunnel, SIGGRAPH 2023.

Sponsored by Autodesk, the Synaptic Time Tunnel was a tribute to 50 years of innovation and achievement in the field of computer graphics and interactive techniques that have been presented at the SIGGRAPH conferences.

An international audience of more than 14,275 attendees from 78 countries enjoyed the conference and its Mobile and Virtual Access component.


Marcos Novak - MAT Chair and transLAB Director, UCSB
Graham Wakefield - York University, UCSB
Haru Ji - York University, UCSB
Nefeli Manoudaki - transLAB, MAT/UCSB
Iason Paterakis - transLAB, MAT/UCSB
Diarmid Flatley - transLAB, MAT/UCSB
Ryan Millet - transLAB, MAT/UCSB
Kon Hyong Kim - AlloSphere Research Group, MAT/UCSB
Gustavo Rincon - AlloSphere Research Group, MAT/UCSB
Weihao Qiu - Experimental Visualization Lab, MAT/UCSB
Pau Rosello Diaz - transLAB, MAT/UCSB
Alan Macy - BIOPAC Systems Inc.
JoAnn Kuchera-Morin - AlloSphere Research Group, MAT/UCSB
Devon Frost - MAT/UCSB
Alysia James - Department of Theater and Dance/UCSB

More information about the Synaptic Time Tunnel can be found in the following news articles: SIGGRAPH, Autodesk Take Time Tunnel Through Computer Graphics History on 50th Anniversary SIGGRAPH 2023 Highlights

PR Newswire: SIGGRAPH 2023 Conference Commemorates 50 Years of Innovations With Growth in Contributed Works and In-person Attendees

ACM SIGGRAPH is the premier conference and exhibition on computer graphics and interactive techniques. This year they celebrate their 50th conference and reflect on half a century of discovery and advancement while charting a course for the bold and limitless future ahead.

Burbano is a native of Pasto, Colombia and an associate professor in Universidad de los Andes’s School of Architecture and Design. As a contributor to the conference, Burbano has presented research within the Art Papers program (in 2017), and as a volunteer, has served on the SIGGRAPH 2018, 2020, and 2021 conference committees. Most recently, Burbano served as the first-ever chair of the Retrospective Program in 2021, which honored the history of computer graphics and interactive techniques. Andres received his PhD from Media Arts and Technology in 2013.


Read more from the ACM SIGGRAPH's website and this article on the ACMSIGGRAPH Blog.

The next ACM SIGGRAPH conference is in August 2023 and will be held in Los Angeles, California

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