Rewiring the Imagination
Tom Ellman and Harry Roseman

Tom and Harry have co-taught the course “Computer Animation: Art, Sciences and Criticism” each Spring for the past 3 years. During this time, they have learned a lot about themselves and each other as they and their students explored the relationship between art and science in the context of computer animation.

They challenge their students to ask and answer these questions:

  • What can a scientist learn about science from working with an artist?
  • How does technology influence artistic creativity
  • How do the demands of artists provide challenges for computer scientists?

Tom is a faculty member in Computer Science while Harry has taught Art at Vassar for more than 25 years. In their keynote presentation they reflected on how they themselves have been challenged to move beyond their traditional discipline boundaries and begin to experience their work and their world from the other’s perspective. In co-teaching a course rich in theory yet requiring technical accomplishment in the complex animation tool Maya, they have met and overcome multiple challenges. Clearly, the rewards they reaped have far outweighed the challenges.