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Arts & Technology Program

Arts & Technology Program at Smith College

This interdisciplinary minor provides students with a strong foundation in media arts and technology studies, while laying the groundwork for more advanced work in this area. Two primary strengths of the minor are the broad range of topics and approaches to which students are exposed, and the individualized nature of each student’s trajectory. The field of arts & technology is by nature diverse and rapidly changing, and therefore requires broad exposure, and self-direction and high motivation from the student. We expect our students to reach a point by graduation where they can anticipate and influence emerging trends rather than merely follow them, and help create and define new aesthetics for computer media.

Requirements & Courses

Smith College established the program in arts & technology in the spring of 2009. The emphasis is on arts plural, including art, music, dance, theater and film, and on technology broadly conceived, including computer science, engineering, mathematics, statistics, physics and sociology. Goals include:

  • To meet the needs of today’s developing artists/scientists through a curriculum that integrates current technologies and computational resources with contemporary creative practice, scholarship and original research.
  • To provide opportunities for students and faculty to work collaboratively across departmental and division boundaries, engaging critical issues at the intersection of the arts and technology. 
  • To build on and integrate the strong arts and technology research and practice taking place at Smith College.

While each student’s path through the minor will be unique, all students must meet certain core requirements. The requirements are structured into three layers: a specific foundation level, a flexible intermediate level and a culminating Special Studies. Students will take one or more of the foundation level courses to discover how technology is employed in various fields of art, to experience the process of art critique, and to identify the areas of creativity in which they are interested. The intermediate level courses provide a progressive interdisciplinary structure that guides students to embrace at least two disciplines, at increasingly advanced levels of artistic and technological stages. The sixth course is a Special Studies the student designs with her advisers. There are many exciting possibilities, including collaborations with other students, venues for public performances, exhibitions, demonstrations and publication.

Six semester courses are required for the arts & technology minor: at least one foundational course, at least three intermediate courses and a culminating Special Studies. Students will also be encouraged to use appropriate Five-College courses, and they will design their intermediate course plan in consultation with an adviser.

One or more foundational courses:

  • ARS 162 Introduction to Digital Media
  • CSC 106/IDP 106 Introduction to Computing and the Arts
  • THE 100 The Art of Theater Design

There are a wide range of intermediate-level courses available from a variety of departments across campus. The following courses are only a subset of the available options. Students are encouraged to design their intermediate course plan in consultation with a minor adviser.

The minor requires at least three intermediate courses, from at least two different departments, at least two at the 200-level or above:

100 Level Courses

  • ENG 100 Engineering for Everyone
  • CSC 111 Computer Science I
  • CSC 112 Computer Science II
  • FYS 164  Issues in Artificial Intelligence
  • PHY 108  Optics is Light Work

200 Level Courses

  • MUS 205 Popular Music and Technology
  • PHY 224 Electronics
  • MTH 227 Topics in Modern Mathematics: Mathematical Sculptures
  • ARS 263  Intermediate Digital Media
  • CSC 240  Computer Graphics
  • THE 253  Lighting Design I
  • FLS 280  Introduction to Video Production
  • CSC 260  Programming Techniques for the Interactive Arts
  • CSC 290  Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

300 Level Courses

  • MUS 345 Electro-Acoustic Music
  • CSC 354 Seminar in Digital Sound and Music Processing
  • ARS 361 Interactive Digital Multimedia
  • DAN 377 Expressive Technology and Movement
  • THE 318 Movements in Design

The culminating experience for the minor is a Special Studies on a topic approved by an arts & technology minor adviser:

  • 400 Special Studies (4 credits)

Minor Advisers

Rodger Blum, Dance

Ed Check, Theatre

Barbara Kellum, Art

Joseph O’Rourke, Computer Science

Fraser Stables, Art

Steve Waksman, Music/American Studies

Arts & Technology Working Group

Pau Atela, Mathematics & Statistics

Rodger Blum, Dance

Ed Check, Theatre

Kiki Gounaridou, Theatre

Eric Jensen, Center for Design Fabrication

Alexandra Keller, Film Studies

Barbara Kellum, Art

Joseph O’Rourke, Computer Science

Fraser Stables, Art

Paul Voss, Engineering

Steve Waksman, Music / American Studies

Lynne Yamamoto, Art

Nan Zhang, Theatre



Arts & Technology Program

Department of Art
Brown Fine Arts Center
Hillyer 304
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01060

Phone: 413-585-3135
For more information about the Arts and Technology Program at Smith College, please contact the director, Barbara Kellum, or any of the advisers.