Beginning this fall, Carnegie Mellon University will offer a Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA), a new interdisciplinary program that will equip students to explore and expand the connections between computation and the arts. Students enrolled in the program will work toward degrees that combine coursework in the university's world-class School of Computer Science (http://www.cs.cmu.edu/) with complementary studies in its internationally renowned College of Fine Arts )http://www.cmu.edu/cfa/) , which comprises the schools of Art, Architecture, Design, Drama and Music.
The BCSA program is an "integrated double major," which combines a sequence of full-strength computer science courses with a rigorous concentration in studio or performing arts.
"The unified Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts degree will allow a new generation of artist-technologists to create new forms of knowledge and influence culture at the highest possible level, by bridging fields in totally new ways," said Franco Sciannameo, director of the BCSA, Bachelor of Humanities and Arts (http://www.cmu.edu/interdisciplinary/programs/bhaprogram.html) (BHA) and Bachelor of Science and Arts (http://www.cmu.edu/interdisciplinary/programs/bsaprogram.html) (BSA) programs. In creating the BCSA program, Sciannameo collaborated with faculty and administrators from the College of Fine Arts and the School of Computer Science.
Sophomore Alyssa Reuter, who will join the first cadre of BCSA students, highlighted some of the possibilities the new program could facilitate. "Computer science and art are already fused in fields like character animation, game design, electronic music, interactive graphics and information visualization and robotics," Reuter said. "Meanwhile, new tools like rapid prototyping, motion capture and broadband Internet are spawning revolutions in architectural design, live performance and participatory culture. And computer science itself is increasingly oriented towards personal, expressive media. It's exciting to have this chance to exercise both sides of my brain and the opportunity couldn't have come at a better time."
Eight Carnegie Mellon students are scheduled to transfer into the BCSA degree program this spring, while several first-year students are poised to enter the program in the fall.
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The 2008 Robot Hall of Fame was a red carpet, star studded evening at the Carnegie Science Center. Major celebrities from the world of science and entertainment attended the event which recognizes excellence in robotics technology worldwide and honors the fictional and real robots that have inspired and made breakthrough accomplishments in robotics. Event Producer, Shirley J. Saldamarco, credits Master of Ceremonies, Anthony Daniels to jettisoning the night to spectacular new heights with his humorous wit and irresistible charm. Joining the festivities were Lars Nyengaard, Director, Innovation and Education Projects, LEGO Education, accepting on behalf of LEGO Mindstorms; Todd Jochem, President, Applied Perception, Inc. and Group Director, Foster-Miller, Inc. accepting on behalf of Navlab 5; Marc Raibert, President, Boston Dynamics, accepting on behalf of the Raibert Hopper; and Zachary Quinto, star of the television series “Heroes” and also starring in the soon to be released “Star Trek: the Next Generation” as “Spock,” accepting on behalf of Lt. Cmdr. Data.
Presenter Matt Mason, Director, CMU Robotics Institute, emphasized how the fascination with robotics continues to bring together people from business, technology, and education. Carnegie Science Center Director, Johanna Haas announced plans to open roboworld, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive permanent robotics exhibition, in spring 2009. Roboworld will become the permanent home for the Carnegie Mellon University Robot Hall of Fame. Robotics Trends president, Dan Kara, once again included the induction ceremony as part of the 6th annual RoboBusiness Conference and Exposition Conference. The conference has become a ‘must attend’ event for those interested in the business and technical issues related to the development of the personal, service and mobile robotics industry. Entertainment Technology Center Executive Producer, Don Marinelli, regaled the audience with tales of his vision of having science and entertainment come together in a single application. The ETC embodies the limitless capabilities when right brain and left brain come together.
Other notable guests included Jim Morris, professor of Computer Science and dean of the West Coast Campus of Carnegie Mellon University, Robin Shoop, Director of the Robotics Academy, Mark Hamill, Star Wars Luke Skywalker, and “Quasi,” the animatronic ambassador for the ETC.