The MAT curriculum is designed to provide students with a broad grounding in media arts and technology, motivate creative thought and independent research that pushes the state of the art, provide opportunities for collaborative interdisciplinary project work, and impart concrete job skills for work in artistic or technical capacities in future media fields. Cross-disciplinary proficiency and collaborative projects are the glue of MAT. Faculty advisors assist students in planning their electives depending upon backgrounds and interests.
The Master's and Ph.D. curricula are structured around a matrix of disciplines and research foci, where students and faculty from different disciplinary backgrounds work together in interdisciplinary research areas. Three disciplines represent the primary educational backgrounds and fields of work:
Electronic Music and Sound Design
The electronic music and sound design emphasis focuses on electronic music systems and techniques, composition, immersive sound design and spatialization, interfaces, hardware and software development, and digital audio engineering. It is intended for technically inclined musicians and highly motivated musical engineers. Courses include composition lessons, technical and aesthetic instruction, laboratory work, as well as directed research in musical and technical projects.
Visual and Spatial Arts
The visual and spatial arts emphasis focuses on interdisciplinary, collaborative arts-technology research such as virtual and mixed realities, human-computer interaction, algorithmic morphogenesis, transarchitectures, data mapping, and visualization, digital sculpture, wireless broadband, motion capture, and distributed sensing. The relationship of present to future media is of particular interest, especially as it relates to nanotechnology, biotechnology, new materials, and new fabrication methods.
The multimedia engineering emphasis is intended for creative engineers and computer scientists seeking a comprehensive program in multimedia research. Key topics include multimedia software systems, media signal processing, multimedia networking, computer imaging, and human-computer interaction. Students will be involved in the development of large-scale software systems of different types. Courses include in-depth work on multimedia networking programming tools, imaging, and the development of complex signal processing software systems.
MAT students generally focus on an area of emphasis, according to the student's background and career interests. These research foci are:
Distributed multimedia systems; media signal processing, compression, transmission, and storage; media networks; scalable multimedia middleware.
Synthesis, processing, representation, and analysis of multimedia information; design and creation of media content.
Human interaction with multimedia information in the context of interactive applications; visualization and immersive environments; interactive sound performance; interactive art installations; vision-based interaction.
By integrating core disciplinary expertise with interdisciplinary research focus, MAT students pursue a transdisciplinary education, creating entirely new conceptions of media and art. Towards this goal, students take courses in MAT and other departments, participate in seminars, and produce a thesis, project, or dissertation that represents significant and independent research.