Course Policies

tl;dr: Course policies outline that you should keep process documentation, you are responsible for your own work and that it's of the highest academic integrity, there is no course fee but project costs may be your own, and good attendance is required (no more than 3 absenses).

The structure of this course makes it critical for you to be in attendance. The way we’ll learn is through sharing of perspectives in discussions, through case studies and (guest) lectures, through in class exercises, and through discussion/critique of the work we make. This means it’s beyond important for you to be in class and on time.


All work must be submitted or presented by the deadline. Late work will not be accepted.

This course will assign a mixture of independent and group based projects. For independent projects, all work submitted must represent a distinct product by that individual and may not be produced in partnership with any peer within the class. Group projects allow for collaboration but expect that all members contribute to the final work equally. Work submitted for assessment in one class may not be submitted in full or in part for assessment in a second class.

Please visit the section on grading for a full description.

Process Documentation

Students are expected to maintain good documentation of their work process throughout the course. It is recommended that all students should maintain a journal (notebook, blog, etc) and regularly photograph (or video) their creative work as it is being prepared. Students will be asked to share this documentation with the instructor as part of regular assignments and graded outcomes.

Required Texts

There are no required texts for this class. Regular readings will be assigned on the topic. Regular readings will be assigned. Digital and photocopied reading/viewing material will be provided by the instructor and made available on the course Canvas and/or on the course webpage.

Hardware and Software

Projects may require the use of specialized software and/or hardware. A range of tools will be made available to students e.g. videoconferencing technologies, iBeacons, microcontrollers, and software. Students are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the tools available as early as possible (see below).

Facilities and Lab Use

The course will use the IDeATe Physical Computing Studio in Hunt Library. Students are required to comply with the policies and procedures for the IDeaTe facilities (see: and specifically for the Physical Computing Lab and Lending. Current information on accessing IDeATes facilities can be found on their facilities and resources website.

Until January 31st - REMOTE delivery.

As the course will be delivered remotely during this time, there is no expectation of facilities use or access. You are not permitted to access or visit classrooms to attend remote sessions. It may be possible to access some resources (3D printing, lending, laser cutters) and equipment during this time. Advance appointments for all services are strongly encouraged by sending requests to at least one business day in advance, as our on-site staff may be busy attending to various areas of the facility throughout the day. Occasional interruptions in service may occur. Please plan ahead.

After January 31st - Expected In Person

The lab is a shared space used by your colleagues and by other classes. The maintenance of the lab is the responsibility of the students i.e. students should clean up the lab as they use it and leave it in good working condition for others.

IDeATe and the Physical Computing Lab provides some short term lending of tools, parts and consumable components for use in student projects. These are available for reasonable use only and abuse of this resource or lab itself may result in loss of access.

For some of the assignments, students maybe be required to use specific equipment, hardware or software. All required equipment (hardware, components, etc.) will be made available for these assignments (see below). Additional and advanced hardware and components may be accessed in the Physical Computing Studio and in the IDeATe equipment lending pool which is open 7 days a week in the basement of Hunt Library. Required hardware (laptops, cameras, peripherals) may be checked out on request. If particular equipment is needed but is not available in the Studio or the Equipment Lending Library, let the instructor know.

Course Costs and Fees

There are no fees associated with this course.

Students will be provided with the basic resources, including a microcontroller, and other electronics components, to support lab explorations. Students will be provided a small budget for consumables where possible, and beyond that will be expected to cover their project costs individually.

Data Loss

Students are responsible for their own work. Work lost to due computer error, portable media error, or personal error is the responsibility of the student and will not be an excuse for late or missing work. At the end of the semester all students may be required to submit all work incl. source code, process documentation, etc. Do not discard original files of any assignment and the use of github or other source management solutions is recommended.


You should be in every class (regardless of the remote delivery format for the start of class) unless you have an accomodation or excused absense. It is a challenging semester and accomodations can be made. Check in if this is needed or helpful.

See the full attendance policy


If there’s a planned or unplanned absence for medical or personal reasons, let us know as early as possible. In all cases where you’ve missed a class, you’re responsible for understanding the course content and future deliverables. See the full absences policy

Instruction and Recording

In this class and while we are remote, meetings and class sessions will be audio/video recorded for educational use for enrolled students in this course. Recordings will be made available after class for your personal, educational use only. Recordings may not be downloaded, redistributed, shared or used beyond this class. Recordings of class sessions are covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and must not be shared with anyone outside your course-section. The purpose of these recording is so students in this course (and only students in this course) can watch or re-watch past class sessions. Feel free to use the recordings if you would like to review something we discussed in class or if you are temporarily unable to attend class.

While recordings will be made, this is not offered as an alternative to attendance. You are expected to be present during scheduled meeting times. Additionally no student may record any classroom activity without express written consent i.e. because the course will be recorded you are not given the permission to do so also.

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity is expected at all time. Carnegie Mellon has a established as well-defined policy on this subject which can be found at:

It is the responsibility of the student to verse themselves with these policies. This, for example, requires the proper acknowledgement of any work used in course deliverables by appropriately citing sources. You should familiarize yourself with CMU’s policy for academic integrity, and carefully read the section on Plagiarism (even if you think you fully understand what it means).

All necessary and appropriate sanctions will be issued to all parties involved with plagiarizing any and all course work. Plagiarism and any other form of academic dishonesty that is in violation with these policies will not be tolerated, will result in failure of the course and, potentially, further disciplinary action.

Academic Accommodations

If you have a disability and have an accommodations letter from the Disability Resources office, I encourage you to discuss your accommodations and needs with me as early in the semester as possible. I will work with you to ensure that accommodations are provided as appropriate. If you suspect that you may have a disability and would benefit from accommodations but are not yet registered with the Office of Disability Resources, I encourage you to contact them at

If you are unwell and cannot attend class for a medical reason, accommodations for course deliverables and required attendance can be provided. In this circumstance, contact me as soon as possible and set up a time to meet (once you are well enough to do so) to discuss. It is recommended that you provide documentation (e.g. a note from a doctor) or if the medical issue will be ongoing, to work with the office of Disability Resources.