We are looking for an Assistant or Associate tenure track faculty that will join and continue building our transdisciplinary program. The position resides both in the College of Engineering, which includes among its faculty three Nobel laureates and 29 members of the National Academy of Engineering as well as the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, which is regarded as one of the most interdisciplinary venues for humanities and fine arts related research in the US.

The position is open from October 31 until February 1 and interested candidates are encouraged to apply at least by January 10 for primary consideration.

MAT seeks exceptional candidates who will establish a vigorous research and teaching program at the intersections of engineering, the sciences and the arts. The candidate is expected to have a proven record of engagement in fields such as, but not limited to: distributed or autonomous systems, robotics, high-dimensional data, cybernetics, aerospace, large scale sensing, bioengineering, applied machine learning, embedded computing, media systems, biomimetics, and immersive, interactive, distributed or networked systems. The successful candidate will be expected to actively engage in interdisciplinary research, creative work and teaching in engineering, the sciences and the arts.


Media Arts and Technology

Graduate Program

University of California Santa Barbara




Audio-visual performances and installations by the MAT community in downtown Santa Barbara, on the first Thursday of every month.



The course was taught by MAT professor Yon Visell and Mechanical Engineering professor Elliot Hawkes. Music will be provided by MAT PhD student Diarmid Flatley.

SBCAST is located at 513 Garden St, in downtown Santa Barbara.


Past Events  



S. Patwardhan, A. Kawazoe, D. Kerr, M. Nakatani, Y. Visell, Too hot, too fast! Using the thermal grill illusion to explore dynamic thermal perception. Proc. IEEE Haptics Symposium, 2018.

J. Jiao, Y. Zhang, D. Wang, Y. Visell, D. Cao, X. Guo, X. Sun, Data-Driven Rendering of Fabric Textures on Electrostatic Tactile Displays. Proc. IEEE Haptics Symposium, 2018.

B. Dandu, I. Kuling, Y. Visell, Where Are My Fingers? Assessing Multi-Digit Proprioceptive Localization. Proc. IEEE Haptics Symposium, 2018.

J. van der Lagemaat, I. Kuling, Y. Visell, Tactile Distances Are Greatly Underestimated in Perception and Motor Reproduction. Proc. IEEE Haptics Symposium, 2018.

M. A. Janko, Z. Zhao, M. Kam, Y. Visell, A partial contact frictional force model for finger-surface interactions. Proc. IEEE Haptics Symposium, 2018.



Most research on the interpretability of machine learning systems focuses on the development of a more rigorous notion of interpretability. I suggest that a better understanding of the deficiencies of the intuitive notion of interpretability is needed as well. I show that visualization enables but also impedes intuitive interpretability, as it presupposes two levels of technical pre-interpretation: dimensionality reduction and regularization. Furthermore, I argue that the use of positive concepts to emulate the distributed semantic structure of machine learning models introduces a significant human bias into the model. As a consequence, I suggest that, if intuitive interpretability is needed, singular representations of internal model states should be avoided.

Paper: arxiv.org/abs/1711.08042

Symposium: interpretable.ml


Abstract Reality is an interactive installation that creates 3D geometric art as an abstract expression of physical human bodies. The application takes viewers physical features and their relation to the physical space as inputs to generate and place basic geometric forms in a virtual 3D space. Each geometric shape, virtual position and orientation, and color are affected by individual viewer’s physical positions, movements, and dominant colors. The overall structure of the geometric shapes are controlled by a modified Voronoi diagram, a computational geometric algorithm, to explore novel aesthetics.

Click here for more info about the event

Tags: Jieliang Luo

It Found A Voice... Now It Needs A Body*

With HIVE, we intended to explore the idea of a sonic intelligence: learning, experiencing, reacting, and finally, "thinking" in sound. Can we model such a system? A system with a body whose morphology is based on picking up and sending sound signals, a system who can learn from its environment and evolve in its response, a pseudo ‘being’ that traces our sonic foot-print and projects our sonic reflection.

Created via fusing aspects of sculptural form, spatial sound, and interactive methods, HIVE is an art installation that explores the relationship between sound, space, body, and communication. HIVE was produced in 2016 by Sölen Kiratli and Akshay Cadambi and debuted in Santa Barbara Center for Art, Science, and Technology (SBCAST) in December of 2016.



* From the tagline of 1996 animated feature film, Ghost In the Shell.


The exhibition will be on display from September 2017 until March 2018 at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (Center for Art and Media), one of Europe’s most important digital media arts museums.

"Voice of Sisyphus" consists of a large projection of a black and white photograph taken at a formal ball, an image reminiscent of the staging of the Alain Resnais film "Last Year in Marienbad". Custom software was developed that unfolds in 8 audio-visual phases, each with a specific set of image segmentation, filtering, and animation, translating the pixel data into a continuous 4 channel sonic experience distributed through the four corners of the exhibition space.

Production credits include: George Legrady (concept and project development), Ryan McGee (image analysis, sound synthesis and spatialization software), and Joshua Dickinson (audio-visual composition software).



Past News  

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.