Polymathic Making Workshops, Spring 2019

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.


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.

January 22, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301

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. 


3D Modeling with Blender

Learn the basics of 3D modeling using Blender.

January 29, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301

Participants will learn the basics of Blender, a widely-used open-source 3D modeling platform. Participants will explore Blender's interface before moving on to key features of the platform: employing transformations and modeling, learning useful shortcuts, and adding textures and lighting to objects. Participants should walk away from the workshop knowing how to model simple everyday objects.


Introduction to Creative Code

Learn how to write code and use algorithms to create beautiful graphics.

February 5, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301

After a survey of generative design applications and tools, participants will explore and play with algorithms that create many different graphics and animations. Participants will learn the basics of writing code in order to create such algorithms using p5.js, a javascript library. No prior coding experience required!


Practical CAD and 3D Modeling

Learn how to use computer-aided design (CAD) software to make custom manufacturable parts.

February 19, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301

Participants will learn how to use computer-aided design (CAD) software to design and mock up simple three-dimensional objects and prepare those objects for manufacture. Participants will also have the option of preparing their objects for 3D printing at the Ahmanson Lab.


Introduction to Unity

Learn Unity to build simple games.

February 26, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301

This workshop will serve as an intorduction to Unity, a popular game-engine for designing and building games that can be deployed on desktop, mobile or VR/AR consoles. Participants will become familiar with the Unity interface, game objects and components, and will use the basic functions they learn to build a simple but exciting game. Basic coding experience is required.


Practical Arduino

Learn how to work with Arduino microcontrollers.

March 5, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301

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.


Augmented Reality for Beginners

Learn about Augmented Reality and build your own AR application.

March 26, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301

Augmented Reality (AR) allows you to overlay digital content on top of real-world objects when viewed through a camera on a cell phone or tablet. Participants will get an introduction to AR and learn how to create a very cool and very simple AR application on their own! We will use Unity and Vuforia (a popular game development engine) to build this application. Absolutely no coding required.


Raspberry Pi and Network Security

Learn how to hack things with Raspberry Pi and Kali Linux.

April 2, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301

A Raspberry Pi is a small, powerful, and highly customizable computer. Using these computers, participants will explore cybersecurity tools on Kali Linux, an ethical hacking operating system.


Data Visualizations with D3.js

Learn how to create interactive visualizations using the D3 JavaScript library.

April 9, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301

D3 is a JavaScript library for creating dynamic and interactive visualizations on the Web. In this workshop participants will learn to create beautiful and meaningful visualizations using different types of data and to interact with their visualizations to generate selective data insights.


Applied Neural Networks

Learn the basics of neural nets.

April 16, 3:00-4:30pm
Ahmanson Lab | LVL 301

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.

Image credit: "Arduino Day at WeMake," by Silvia Potenza is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / cropped from original.