Polymathic Making Workshops, Spring 2021

Join us this semester at the Ahmanson Lab for a series of remote, hands-on workshops that critically examine new technological phenomena. These are paired with the Harman Academy's Polymathic Pizza series.


Deepfake Detection - Thursday, January 28 | 3:30p-4:30p

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 experience with recent AI applications and technologies that generate ‘fake’ media.


The Age of Neural Networks - Thursday, February 18 | 3:30pm-4:30pm

This workshop will introduce neural networks, a class of algorithms that governs the current period of artificial intelligence. After a discussion of it’s intellectual origins, we will discuss current events and issues on the topic. Participants will have hands-on experience coding these algorithms, and using these algorithms for a few different use cases.


Brain Computer Interfaces - Thursday, March 25 | 3:30pm-4:30pm

This workshop will introduce the technology behind Brainstorm, a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) platform developed at the Ahmanson Lab that allows users to play games using EEG machines that detect brain activity. Participants will have hands-on experience making interactive generative art using this technology.


Books in Browsers: An Introduction to Scalar - Thursday, April 8 | 3:30pm-4:30pm

This workshop will introduce participants to Scalar, an authoring and publishing platform

used by faculty and students at colleges and universities worldwide to create born-digital, media-rich research projects and exhibitions. The first half of the workshop will include a    presentation on the platform’s origins and aims as well as the conceptual framework underlying its features. The second half will include a hands-on overview of the platform’s basic functionality: adding media and text to Scalar projects.


Platforms and Power - Tuesday, April 27 | 3:30pm-4:30pm

This workshop will have participants examine the degree to which platform owners exert control over their users. We will discuss recent issues in free speech in social media governance in addition to anarchic worlds in video games and utopian open source development communities.