Immersive Media Design B.A.
Digital art and computer science come together in the new Immersive Media Design major (IMDM), preparing students to work and succeed in emerging areas of digital media.
Immersive Media Design B.A.
The Immersive Media Design (IMD) major prepares students to excel in creativity and innovation using digital tools and technologies and is co-taught by faculty in the Department of Art and the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS).
Students in the “Emerging Creatives” (B.A.) track will build on their artistic talents by learning cutting-edge technologies like virtual and augmented reality, projected imagery, computer graphics, 3D modeling and user interfaces. Graduates will be able to work as artists, VR designers and creative technologists in fields including the arts, computer science, architecture, healthcare and more.
What is Immersive Media?
Immersive media surrounds the viewer with interactive sight, sound and touch media to create engaging experiences that expand reality. The program uses digital tools and technologies to explore how immersive media can be used in the visual and performing arts, medical applications, education, entrepreneurship and more. Technologies for immersive digital media include virtual and augmented reality, large-scale projection, interactive physical computing and software-based immersive video and audio installations, among many others. Effective design of these experiences require practitioners who are adept at using technology in the creative realm.
A joint major between the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Art, the program combines coursework in both departments and focuses on collaborative, team-based classes, which allows students to master and apply skills in emerging fields of art, design and creative technology. Studio laboratory courses in each year of the major give students opportunities to design and create new works and add to their portfolios. The program has two tracks: a Bachelors of Science (B.S.) entitled Creative Coders offered through the College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, and a Bachelors of Arts (B.A.) entitled Emerging Creatives offered through the College of Arts and Humanities.
Those pursuing the B.A. through ARHU will take courses in the Department of Art with the intent of exploring their creative potential through the use of new technologies made possible by advances in art and tech.
Immersive Media Design In Action
Art professor awarded grant to create immersive experience of one of world's largest oil reserves.
Shannon Collis, associate professor of art at the University of Maryland, is on a mission to tell the story of the lesser known Athabasca Oil Sands in Canada. Using digital video, drone cinematography and sound recordings of the area. The resulting project, called “Strata,” will bring Canada’s immense oil fields to a gallery installation through immersive digital media. “Strata” is a reference to layers in the ground, or what happens when earth is being excavated.Sensory Excavation
Cy Keener received a $200,000 continuing grant from the National Science Foundation.
Assistant Professor of Sculpture and Emerging Technology Cy Keener will develop and test a low-cost, open-source buoy to provide meteorological and oceanographic data, a project he has been working on since 2018. In collaboration with research scientist Ignatius Rigor, a senior principal research scientist at the University of Washington, Keener will also travel to the Arctic and make visual art with data collected through the instruments deployed.Work Portraying Arctic Ice Melt
Students in this program will learn how to design, develop and produce various forms of immersive media–ranging from tactile and audio platforms to virtual reality and augmented reality. They will build immersive media projects individually and in teams, tailored to their talents and career interests. Students will choose one of two tracks–Innovative Coders or Emerging Creatives–to focus on either the technical or artistic side of immersive media.
The major formally starts fall 2021. Those interested in joining the major when it starts should consider taking the required introductory courses IMDM127 and IMDM150 this year. If you have questions about these courses, or the major, please direct those to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The core of the major is a four-year sequence of IMDM courses culminating in a year-long senior capstone project. All students in both tracks take this sequence. In the first year, all students learn about immersive media, including its theory and practice, and start building their first immersive media works. During the fall semesters of the second and third years, students develop technical and artistic skills, then build on those skills in the spring semesters by constructing a collaborative group project. In the fourth year, students plan and carry out a significant immersive media work of their own design.
Students wishing to major in IMDM should start with IMDM101 and IMMD150, and also start the related coursework in the track that best fits their personal interests, talents and background.
Note that all courses are identified by a four-letter code: IMDM, CMSC, or ARTT. For more information on eligibility and the application process, see the apply tab.
- IMDM101 Introduction to Immersive Media (fall)
- IMDM150 Introduction to Digital Theory and Culture (spring)
- IMDM227 Introduction to Computational Media (fall)
- IMDM290 Collaborative Studio I, AI Image + Time (spring)
- IMDM327 Augmented and Virtual Reality, for Innovative Coders (fall)
- IMDMD350 Advanced Digital Media Theory, for Emerging Creatives (fall)
- IMDM390 Collaborative Studio II, Experiential Computing (spring)
- IMDM490 Capstone I (fall)
- IMDM491 Capstone II (spring)
In this track, more artistically inclined students complete a Bachelor of Arts degree through the College of Arts and Humanities. The Emerging Creatives track requires the core sequence of IMDM courses, seven courses in studio art, and two computing courses, in addition to general education campus requirements. The first year requirements overlap with the studio art major, so students can decide after 30 credits whether to major in IMDM or ARTT.
The Innovative Coders track is for the more technically inclined, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences. The track requires the core sequence of IMDM courses, eight courses in computer science, and four courses in ARTT, in addition to general education campus requirements. The first year of requirements overlap with the computer science major, so students can decide after 30 credits whether to major in IMDM or CMSC.
Admission to the Major
Students seeking to major in immersive media design should indicate that when they apply to the University of Maryland. The major is currently under review to be a Limited Enrollment Program. Under the planned LEP, students will need to pass a portfolio review at 45 credit hours. Students wishing to take Track 1 will need to meet the LEP requirements of the Computer Science major.
To ensure that transfer and new students start with the appropriate courses, the department offers exemption exams for CMSC131, CMSC132, CMSC216, and CMSC250. Students who have taken CS courses prior to starting at Maryland can go here for more information.
Students interested in IMDM should contact the director, Roger Eastman, for further information on the program, courses, and options for completing the major.
Go here to learn how to apply to the University of Maryland
Art Department Program Faculty
Matthias Zwicker, Lead Faculty; Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Computer Science
A computer visualization expert who develops high-quality rendering and signal processing techniques that are used for computer graphics, data-driven modeling and animation.
Roger Eastman, IMD Director; Professor of the Practice in Computer Science
A computer scientist whose research focuses on AI and robotics, computer vision and machine perception, and graphic visualization with VR and AR.
Evan Golub, Principal Lecturer of Computer Science
A senior lecturer and researcher whose interests lie in human-computer interaction, intergenerational design teams and educational technology.
Huaishu Peng, Assistant Professor of Computer Science
A human-computer interaction expert who designs hardware and software systems to enable interactive 3-D modeling.
Amitabh Varshney, Professor of Computer Science and CMNS Dean
A leading researcher in developing virtual and augmented reality applications used for emergency medicine, education and training, and the visual and performing arts.
New Major Immerses Students in Coding and Creativity
The University of Maryland has a new four-year undergraduate program that combines art with computer science to prepare students to design and develop immersive media content and tools.
The immersive media design (IMD) major is co-taught by art and computer science faculty with expertise in virtual and augmented reality, digital art, projected imagery, computer graphics, 3D modeling, and user interfaces spanning audio, visual and tactile platforms.Maryland Today Story