Build systems to exploit computing's abilities to provide creative outlets.

The Media thread prepares students by helping them to understand the technical and computational capabilities of systems in order to utilize their abilities to provide creative outlets.

The student who pursues Media can combine it with Intelligence to study real-time animation, Information Internetworks to build high performance database systems, or with People to explore visualization of high-bandwidth data streaming. Media provides a creative pairing for any thread combination. 

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Early Preparation

  • Discrete Structures
  • Programming Fundamentals and Algorithms
  • Object-oriented design and programming
  • Operating Systems fundamentals

Knowledge Goals

  • The principles and technologies for software that acts as an interface between humans and reactive virtual environments that may for example include information, shapes, animations, simulations, sounds, and shared spaces.
  • Performance acceleration techniques for the acquisition, processing, transfer, and rendering of the various media.
  • Representation schemes for various media (geometry, animation, simulation, music) and the corresponding data structures and algorithms

Skill Outcome

  • Able to design, implement, and test environments where humans interact with 3D models and/or audio
  • Able to design and implement data structures for these media environments
  • Able to design and implement architectures controlling the interface between hardware and software in media devices
  • Able to build discrete element simulations
  • Able to describe the impact of presentation and user interaction on exploration using rich media

View the course prerequisites for the Media Thread.

Required Courses:

  • CS 1301 Introduction to Computing or CS 1315 Introduction to Media Computation, 3
  • CS 1331 Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming, 3
  • CS 1332 Data Structures and Algorithms, 3
  • CS 2050 or CS 2051 Introduction to Discrete Math for CS, 3
  • CS 2261 Media Device Architectures, 4 (When combined with another thread that requires CS 2110, students should take CS 2110 instead of CS 2261.)
  • CS 2340 Objects and Design, 3
Pick 3 of Media Technologies
  • CS 3451 Computer Graphics, 3
  • CS 4455 Video Game Design and Programming, 3
  • CS 4460 Information Visualization, 3
  • CS 4464 Computational Journalism, 3
  • CS 4475 Computational Photography, 3
  • CS 4497 Computational Aesthetics, 3
  • CS 4480 Digital Video Special Effects, 3
  • CS 4488 Procedural Content Generation, 3
  • CS 4496 Computer Animation, 3
  • CS 4590 Computer Audio, 3


Elective Courses:

Free Electives (9 hours)


Computing Fundamentals
  • CS 3240 Languages and Computation, 3
  • CS 3510 or CS 3511 Design and Analysis of Algorithms, 3
Multimedia Applications and Design
  • CS 4464 Computational Journalism, 3
  • CS 4475 Computational Photography, 3
  • CS 4770 Mixed Reality Experience Design, 3
Multimedia Connections
  • CS 4460 Information Visualization, 3
  • CS 4470 Introduction to User Interface Software, 3
  • CS 4550 Scientific Data Processing and Visualization, 3
  • CX 4236 Distributed Simulation Systems, 3

Contact - Undergraduate Advisors