UCSC Creative Coding is a team of interdisciplinary researchers and artists affiliated with the Computational Media department at University of California, Santa Cruz. We focus on applied research in interaction and visualization, and also on the exploration of experimental and creative works based on current techniques in human-computer interaction, scientific and information visualization, graphics, computer vision, immersive environments, and machine learning. A core philosophy of UCSC Creative Coding is that by incorporating research methodologies from media arts, design, and computer science, we can develop novel solutions to interdisciplinary problems. Moreover, we believe that the creative outputs generated at the intersections of artistic and empirical research can meaningfully elucidate issues in science and technology relevant to contemporary culture.

We are always looking for bright students to join our group or to help out on projects. For questions about how to get involved with UCSC Creative Coding, please email angus@ucsc.edu or stop by the lab, located in E2-258.

Welcome Kyle! Kyle Gonzalez joins the Creative Coding Lab to pursue research in computer graphics, new media arts, and the history of technology.

Our paper introducing the QW-Net architecture, A reduced-precision network for image reconstruction, developed by first author Manu Mathew Thomas in collaboration with Intel researchers Karthik Vaidyanathan and Gabor Liktor, is accepted to ACM SIGGRAPH Asia and will published in ACM Transactions on Graphics later this year.

Our collaboration with the the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Polyphorm: Structural analysis of cosmological datasets via interactive Physarum Polycephalum visualization, is accepted to IEEE VIS. It will be presented by Oskar Elek in October as part of the main conference (in the SciVis track), and will be published in IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics early next year.

Jasmine Otto’s article Entering the design space of digital portraiture: A case study in avatar creation tools is accepted to the ICCC Casual Creators Workshop, to be presented on September 8th at 8:50am.

An article describing our software application for exploring patterns in spectroscopy data, titled Quasar Spectroscopy Sound: Analyzing intergalactic and circumgalactic media via data sonification, is accepted for publication in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society (JAES). The QSS software was developed by lead authors Brian Hansen and Joseph N. Burchett.

The Creative Coding Lab is working with multidisciplinary digital media artist George Legrady on an installation that will be featured as part of the CAFA Art Museums’s Techne Triennial later this year. Montana Folwer and David Abramov will help to create an updated version of Legrady’s Voice of Sisyphus project, originally developed in 2011 in collaboration with Ryan McGee and Joshua Dickinson.

Our paper Bio-inspired structure identification in language embeddings is accepted to the IEEE VIS Workshop on Visualization for Digital Humanities, where it will be jointly presented by lead authors Henry Zhou and Oskar Elek.

Work exploring the contribution of intergalactic media to the dispersion measure from a fast radio burst that uses the MCPM data reconstuction method developed by Creative Coding researcher Oskar Elek, titled Disentangling the Cosmic Web Towards FRB 190608, is accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Angus Forbes’ article Creative AI: From expressive mimicry to critical inquiry is published in the journal Artnodes.

CMPM 35, Data Structures for Interactive Media, is being taught by Angus Forbes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:40am to 1:25pm. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the course will be accessible online.

CMPM 201, Computational Media Theory, is being taught by Angus Forbes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:20pm to 4:55pm.

Congratulations Mahika! Mahika Dubey has accepted a full-time position as a software engineer at Tesla, where she will be developing machine learning solutions for vehicle diagnostics.

Congratulations Manu! Manu Mathew Thomas has accepted an internship position at Intel’s Graphics Processing Research team, where he will conduct research exploring the application of deep learning to real-time rendering.

Two papers are accepted to ACM SIGGRAPH, taking place in Washington, DC in late July. Avital Meshi will present Stepping inside the Classification Cube: An intimate interaction with an AI system and Richard Grillotti will present Resonant Waves: Immersed in geometry as part of the Art Papers track. Both papers will also be published in the Leonardo journal, and Avital Meshi’s project is also discussed in an interview featured on the ACM SIGGRAPH Blog.

Jasmine Otto has both a paper, Procedural montage: A design trace of reflection and refraction, and an artwork, exul mater, accepted to to the Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) Conference and Media Arts Festival.

Oskar Elek is giving a contributed talk on the Monte Carlo Physarum Machine at the ALife conference on July 15th.

CMPM 163, Game Graphics & Real-time Rendering, is being taught by Oskar Elek on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:50am to 11:25am. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the course and affiliated labs will be accessible online.

CMPM 151, Algorithmic Music for Games, is being taught by Brian Hansen on Tuesdays from 5:20pm to 8:45pm. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the course will be accessible online.

A number of news outlets have published stories about our research published on March 10th in Astrophysical Journal Letters, including Popular Science, Discover, Universe Today, Cosmos, Seeker, Inverse, CNET, Astronomy, Forbes, SciShow News, The Planetary Society, The Cosmic Companion blog, The Poetry of Science blog, What Da Math?, reddit, and ScienceBlog. This work was also featured on both NASA’s and ESA‘s homepage and by the UCSC News Center.

Oskar Elek and Joseph N. Burchett are giving a talk titled “Galaxy Ecosystems in the Cosmic Web Revealed by Slime Mold’s Primitive Intelligence” for the UCSC Annual Postdoc Symposium at 1:20pm on March 5th in the UCSC Cowell Ranch Hay Barn.

Luis Cataldi of Epic Games visits the Creative Coding Lab on February 13th to meet with students and to introduce new features of the Unreal Engine.

Congratulations Cassia! Cassia Artanegara has accepted a full-time position as a UX researcher at Good Research.

Our collaboration with the Department of Astrophysics and Astronomy on tracing dark matter filaments using a computational model inspired by Physarum polycephalum slime mold, titled Revealing the dark threads of the Cosmic Web is accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal Letters. The first authors of the paper are Joseph N. Burchett and Oskar Elek.

Montana Fowler will present her work Capturing large-scale artifacts via reflectance transformation imaging with a drone at Museums and the Web 2020 on March 31st.

Welcome Ana Sofia and Alejandro! Anna Sofia Frattini and Alejandro Caldero join the Creative Coding Lab as visiting scholars as part of an international exchange program with the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia.

Avital Meshi’s project Classification Cube is selected for the NeurIPS Workshop on Machine Learning for Creativity and Design’s AI Art Gallery.

CMPM 202, a graduate seminar in Computational Media Research, is being taught by Angus Forbes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:50am to 11:25am in Kresge College (KC), room 325.

Welcome Henry, Montana, Jeffrey, Kapil, and Bryan! Henry Zhou, Montana Fowler, Jeffrey Weekley, Kapil Gupta, and Bryan Chao join the Creative Coding lab to pursue a variety of research topics in visualization, graphics, virtual reality, and machine learning.

Cassia Artanegara and Angus Forbes are awarded Best Poster at the BioVis Challenges Workshop at IEEE VIS 2019 for their work RasVis: Redesigning pathways to support analyses of experimental data, developed in collaboration with the Daniel Kim Lab of the UCSC Genomics Institute.

Three papers are accepted to IEEE VIS 2019, taking place in Vancouver, Canada in October. David Abramov will present RuleVis: Constructing patterns and rules for rule-based models and Ran Xu will present TempoCave: Visualizing dynamic connectome datasets to support cognitive behavioral therapy during the main conference’s short papers session, and Mahika Dubey will present Data brushes: Interactive style transfer for data art at the IEEE VIS Arts Program (VISAP) papers session.

Angus Forbes is giving a keynote presentation at the International Conference on Dance Data, Cognition, and Multimodal Communication (DDCMC’19) in Lisbon, Portugal on September 21st.

The Creative Coding Lab receives funding from Colciencas and the U.S. Department of State’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund program. The project, Information Visualization and Digital Fabrication with Applications to Creative Industries, will support international exchange with the Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia.

The Creative Coding Lab and the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics receive a Hubble Space Telescope Theory award from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). Researchers from UCSC will collaborate with astrophysicists from Caltech, CU Boulder, UCSB, and SDSU to develop CosmoVis, a novel visual analytics platform to explore hydrodynamic simulation datasets and analyze intergalactic and circumgalactic media.

Two papers are accepted to the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC), taking place in Seattle, Washington. Mahika Dubey will present Predicting biker density at bikeshare station intersections in San Francisco and Sarah Frost will present CompostNet: An image classifier for meal waste on October 17th.

CMPM 164, Game Engines, is being taught by Angus Forbes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1:20pm to 2:25pm in Physical Sciences (PSB), room 114.

Angus Forbes is an invited panelist for a discussion on AI in the Arts and Design at SIGGRAPH 2019, with Memo Atken, Erkki Huhmato, and Max Sims. The panel is organized by Ruth West, Victoria Szabo, and Danielle Siembieda, and takes place on July 30th at 1pm in Los Angeles Convention Center’s Experience Presentation Theatre.

Our collaboration with UIC mathematician Jan Verschelde is accepted to the SciPy 2019 paper proceedings. Jasmine Otto will present Solving polynomial systems with phcpy on July 8th in Austin, Texas.

Angus Forbes is a senior participant in the Kavli Summer Program In Astrophysics, focusing on the use of machine learning and visualization to analyze large astronomical surveys. Oskar Elek and Joseph Burchett from (UCSC) and Paulo Henrique Barchi (Brandeis) will explore topics in graph extraction and filament identification using computational models inspired by the foraging behavior of Physarum polycephalum. The program runs from July 8th through August 16th.

Congratulations Sarah! Sarah Frost has accepted a software engineering internship position at the Center for Information Technology at the National Institutes of Health, where she will develop cloud-based data infrastructure.

Congratulations Manu! Manu Mathew Thomas has accepted a research internship position at Intel’s Advanced Rendering Technologies group, where he will conduct research exploring the application of deep learning to real-time rendering.

Congratulations Mahika! Mahika Dubey has accepted a summer internship position at Hive, a company that recently introduced a full-stack AI platform.

Congratulations David! David Abramov has accepted a summer internship position at the Data Visualization Summer Program at Caltech, collaborating with faculty and researchers from NASA JPL, Caltech, and Art Center to develop interactive tools to visualize space craft and remote sensing data on the planetary scale.

The Creative Coding Lab receives an award from Epic Games to develop new curriculum in computer graphics and to support graduate research on topics in computational media.

Angus Forbes is presenting a talk titled “Designing effective interfaces to visualize and analyze complex data” to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) on May 29th.

Our collaboration with the the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, IGM-Vis: Analyzing intergalactic and circumgalactic medium absorption using quasar sightlines in a Cosmic Web context, is accepted to EuroVis 2019, and will be presented by David Abramov on July 6th in Porto, Portugal.

Our paper, Exploring sonic parameter mapping for network data structures, is accepted to ICAD 2019, and will be presented by Brian Hansen on June 24th in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom.

Mahika Dubey and Oskar Elek present recent machine learning projects at the Applied Artificial Intelligence Initiative seminar on June 5th at 12noon in E2-215.

Jasmine Otto presents recent work at the Computational Poetry Workshop, taking place on May 25th in E2-180 from 11am to 3pm.

Sydney Weiser and Brian Mullen, postdoctoral researchers in the Department of Neuroscience, present their work examining the properties and role of spontaneous neural activity in the development of the visual system.

The Creative Coding Lab is presenting four posters at the UCSC Data Science Day on Friday, May 10th at 2:45pm. Angus Forbes is participating in the morning panel discussion on “Responsible Data Science” at 9am.

Our paper, Image denoising using a generative adversarial network, by Abeer Alsaiari, Ridhi Rustagi, A’aeshah Alhakamy, Manu Mathew Thomas, and Angus Forbes, is awarded Best Paper at ICICT 2019.

Angus Forbes is serving as a Program Chair for Expressive 2019 with Stephen DiVerdi and Craig Kaplan. Expressive is co-located with Eurographics 2019, and will take place on May 5th and 6th in Genoa, Italy.

CMPM 163, Game Graphics & Real-time Rendering, is being taught by Angus Forbes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:40am to 1:15pm in Social Sciences 2, room 75.

Welcome Oskar and Brian! Oskar Elek and Brian Hansen join the Creative Coding lab as postdoctoral researchers to conduct research in computer graphics and computational fabrication (Oskar) and computational audio (Brian).

Jasmine Otto presents her zine Toy models: Explain & predict systems using the dynamic medium at the Computery Zine Fest at !!Con West on February 24th.

Art I don’t like: An anti-recommender system for visual art is accepted to Museums and the Web 2019. Sarah Frost will present the project on April 4th in Boston, Massachusetts.

UCSC Creative Coding receives an Applications and Core Technology University Research (ACT-UR) grant from Keysight Technologies to identify and visualize patterns in electronics manufacturing and network visibility data.

Congratulations Sarah and Manu! Sarah Frost and Manu Mathew Thomas’ start-up project Art I Don‘t Like is funded by the IDEA Hub for Creative and Social Entrepreneurship at UCSC.

CMPM 202, a graduate seminar in Computational Media Research, is being taught by Angus Forbes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:20pm to 4:55pm in Social Sciences 2, Room 165.

Angus Forbes introduces data visualization to elementary school students at Chiaravalle Montessori on December 17th.

David Abramov‘s video project “Throw Me Away” is featured at the DANM Open Studios, and Cassia Artanegara presents a series of her recent paintings at Art Open Studios on December 7th.

Jasmine Otto was part of a team of Computational Media students who released the generative novel Silk for NaNoGenMo 2018.

Angus Forbes is presenting a Leonardo Art & Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) talk on December 4th in the Second Stage Theater at UCSC.

Angus Forbes is giving a talk at UCSC titled “Creative AI and Machine Learning for Graphics and Visualization” as part of the Santa Cruz Machine Learning series at 12pm on November 14th in room E2-215.

Andres Burbano, a visiting media archeologist from Universidad de Los Andes, is presenting a talk at the Computational Media Colloquium in E2-475 on October 26th at 12noon. His talk is titled “Color, Light, and Language: Computational Media in Latin America,” and investigates the emergence of visual, sonic and computational technologies in Latin America.

Welcome Manu, Jasmine, David, Sarah, and Mahika! Manu Mathew Thomas, Jasmine Otto, David Abramov, Sarah Frost, and Mahika Dubey join the Creative Coding lab to pursue a variety of research topics in visualization, graphics, virtual reality, and machine learning.

Our collaboration with the CoNECt Lab, Phase-angle spatial embedding (PhASE): A kernel method for studying the topology of the human functional connectome, is accepted to MICCAI 2018.

CMPM 290A, a graduate seminar in Immersive Analytics, is being taught by Angus Forbes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:40am to 1:15pm in Social Sciences 2, Room 363.

Archives are available for news and events prior to Fall 2018.