adventures with microcomputers prototyping with raspberry pi


Adventures with Microcomputers

HSCI-215, Art Center College of Design

Class Meetings: Tuesdays, 4PM – 650PM, A7

Office Hours: Tuesdays, 7PM - 9PM, A7



This prototyping-oriented class leads students through numerous open-ended, small-to-mid-scale design briefs in the Raspberry Pi 3 development environment. Students will explore environmentally deployed embedded media, mapping and surveillance techniques, as well as basic interaction strategies as a means to establish computer literacy in an always-connected, internet-of-things context. Simultaneously, students will learn strategies for seeing a project through from ideation to completion. Regular critiques will provide an opportunity for students to share their research and prototypes with their colleagues as well as receive direct feedback from the instructor.

Required Materials

Grading Policy

Grades will be calculated based on the following distribution:

  • Attendance = 20%
  • Lab participation/homework assignments = 35%
  • Project = 45%

Late project/assignment policy: for every week a project is late its highest possible grade drops by a letter.


  1. Construct simple circuits to interface electronics with digital systems
  2. Learn and explore the basic principles of software design
  3. Prototype experiences and devices across a continuum of technologies

Attendance Policy

Attending class is critical to learning this material. We have a lot to cover and will have to move pretty quickly to get through it all.

Absences will be excused if and only if I am notified via email prior to the beginning of class. Failure to do so will result in an unexcused absence. 3 unexcused absences will result in an automatic F in this class. If your absence is excused, we will work out a way for you to make up as much of the in-class activities as possible.

Class Schedule

Weekly Schedule (subject to change)

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

  • PRSNT: Deploy + Document, 10 Possible Revisions (HMWRK 5, 6, and 7)
  • LAB: 10. GPIO: Blink
  • HMWRK: 8. Revise + Deploy + Document
  • HMWRK: 9. Order a PiCamera and a Breadboard

Week 6

Week 7

  • PRSNT: Prototype Draft (BRF 2.), Deploy + Document, 10 Possible Revisions (HMWRK 10 and 11)
  • LAB: 12. GPIO: Button
  • HMWRK: 12. Revise + Deploy + Document

Week 8

  • Holiday: no class

Week 9

  • CRIT: Documentation/Surveillance Machine (BRF 2.)
  • LAB: 13. Analog Sensors

Week 10

  • PRSNT: 10 ideas (each) for 2 sensors
  • BRF: 3. Interaction

Week 11

  • PRSNT: Prototype Proposal Draft (BRF 3)
  • LAB: Open

Week 12