Polymathic Making Workshops, Spring 2020

Join us this semester at the Ahmanson Lab for a series of hands-on workshops on Arduino and Raspberry Pi microcontrollers, 3D modeling and printing, augmented reality applications, generative visual coding, neural networks and more. Workshops in our Polymathic Making series are for a general audience and require no prior programing skills or technical expertise.

All workshops in this series will be held on Tuesday afternoons from 3:00-4:30pm in the Ahmanson Lab, Leavey Library (Map).

RSVP to reserve your place at one or more of these workshops.


Dance, VR, and Photogrammetry

Learn about 3D video capture.

January 21, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301

RSVP for this workshop.

Using Depthkit, software for volumetric video capture, participants will learn about new techniques for capturing 3D footage of human motion.

This workshop is being held in conjuction with the event, "Techno-logy Dance: Race, Gender, and Pose Detection Technology," featuring Margo Apostolos and Sabela Grimes (USC Kaufman School of Dance) the following Wednesday (Jan. 22). See more.


Introduction to 3D Printing and the Makerbot Replicator (5th Gen.)

Learn how 3D printers work, how to create and print your own 3D model, and how you can use the Ahmanson Lab's Makerbot Replicator.

February 4, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301
RSVP for this workshop.

After a discussion of recent advancements and affordances of 3D printing technology, participants will make their own 3D model and prepare it for 3D printing. After the workshop, Ahmanson Lab staff will print participants’ models and have them available within a few days. 


Data Surveillance and Digital Rights

Get tech woke.

February 18, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301
RSVP for this workshop.

In the U.S., the deregulation of the corporate surveillance industry and the executive branch’s disregard for judicial oversight have created institutional juggernauts with outsized power on culture, mind, economy, and society. In this workshop, students will learn about their digital rights, and how they can try to take agency and ownership of their own data.

This workshop is being held in conjuction with the event, "Here’s Looking at You: Interrogating Facial Recognition Tech" featuring Kelly Gates (Communication and Science, Studies, UCSD) and Simone A. Browne (African and African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas, Austin) the following Friday (Feb. 21). See more.


Practical Arduino

Learn how to work with Arduino microcontrollers.

March 10, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301
RSVP for this workshop.

Microcontrollers are compact computers in the form of single integrated circuits that can be embedded in anything from appliances to robots. Participants at this workshop will learn about the applications of microcontrollers, from manufacturing and entrepreneurship to DIY and hacker cultures, and learn how to implement them in their own projects.


Deep-fake Detection

Learn methods and tools for detecting deepfakes.

March 24, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301
RSVP for this workshop.

This workshop will introduce students to the field of digital forensics and offer best practices and technological methods for spotting AI-generated fake media online. In addition, participants will get hands-on training with available tools for detecting deepfakes.

This workshop is being held in conjuction with the event,  "Media Forensics: What the Deepfake?" featuring Wael Abd-Almageed and Hao Li (Computer Science) the following Wednesday (March. 25). See more.


Wearable Technology

Learn how to embed small sensors in clothing and jewelry.

April 7, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301
RSVP for this workshop.

The miniaturization of electronics has allowed us to make clothing and jewelry that respond to our health, motion, and thoughts. After an overview of several commercially available sensors and devices, students will learn methods to attach small electronics to clothing, using Arduino.


Applied Neural Networks

Learn the basics of neural nets.

April 21, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301
RSVP for this workshop.

A neural network is a set of algorithms, modeled on the human brain, designed to discover and "learn" patterns within massive data sets. These networks are powering a new generation of artificial intelligence and are responsible for radical recent advancements in facial recognition, surveillance, autonomous vehicles, and synthesized speech systems. Participants in this workshop will explore simple neural networks and learn how their algorithms work.

This workshop is being held in conjuction with the event,  "AI on the Go: Ancient Games and Future Gamers" featuring Richard Lemarchand (Cinematic Arts) and Kadri Vihvelin (Philosophy) the following Wednesday (April. 22). See more.