final projects


A Pausch Bridge Happening
Thur 27 Oct 2011
7:30 PM @ the Pausch Memorial Bridge at CMU


Join us as we celebrate the spirit of Randy Pausch with the premiere of five new light shows for the Pausch Bridge. In the spirt of Randy Pausch, students worked in interdisciplinary teams with the challenge to envision and create new experiences for the Pausch Bridge. Below we describe four new pieces resulting from this course and another show by the artist Randal E. Bryant to also be unveiled. We also thank Intel Corporation for their generous support providing resources for this course. Please join us and get a chance to preview all of these exciting new shows.





Fusion builds off of the idea of the Pausch Bridge connecting the arts and sciences. By Showing a mix of colors across the bridge the show represents the collaboration between the two fields. The show then tracks people as the walk across the bridge and take a panel of light with them showing the exchange of ideas between the arts and sciences.

Jackson Gallagher
Ryan Pearl
Robert Kubisen
Sang Tian
Monica Tong





A Day in the Life

This 20 minute light show guides us through the universal day. From when the sun rises, until it sets, and until those strange hours at 4:00 in the morning, our moods and experiences fluctuate like the world around us. The bridge lighting reflects those experiences back at us with various combinations of moods layered on top of a nature-inspired interpretation of the passage of time. Thus the bridge becomes "A Day in the Life" of any of us.

Michael Epstein

Kelly Harrington

Thomas Abraham

Anthony Chivetta




The Pausch Bridge represents the multi-disciplinary, dynamic approach that the Carnegie Mellon community demonstrates as they fulfill their dreams, utilizing art, technology, and social interaction. Randy Pausch's values are embodied by students, staff and faculty members around campus. TwitterBridge strives to create a visual and physical dialogue between the campus community about those dreams, through use of Twitter and the bridge light show. TwitterBridge harvests our thoughts, feelings and actions by downloading tweets and visually representing them on the bridge; thus, encapsulating personal emotions and behaviors, integrating them into bridge's design, and echoing Pausch's Last Lecture.
Tweet @Pausch_Bridge to share your experiences.

Andrew Leitch

Bill McDowell

Zak Wise

Mickey Reiss

Emerson Stoldt



Time in Motion

This project aims to be both artistic and informative, playing with representations of weather and time in real-time. Based on live weather data, the colors and movement of the bridge lighting change to reflect the current mood of the environment. A unary clock in white overlays the weather lighting, providing a sense of constant movement and reinforcing the idea of "here and now".

Indu Ancha
Mike Berger
Matthew Ho
Chris Lee


One Sort or Another:

A study in how simple algorithms can yield a rich variety of effects



Sorting---putting all the items in a list into some order---is one of the most basic tasks performed by computers.  We cover around 6 different sorting algorithms in our introductory courses, varying in such factors as how fast they run and how easy they are to implement.  Many PhD theses have been written studying different aspects of sorting.  We teach sorting not just because it is a useful thing to do, but also because it demonstrates many of the general principles of algorithm design and analysis.


One Sort or Another uses visualizations of sorting to create a variety of dynamic and static lighting patterns.  It uses the colors of the rainbow to associate different “values” for a set of rectangles and then shows visualizations of different sorting algorithms, moving the rectangles to show how a program would move items to different positions until they are in sorted order.

Variety comes from altering different aspects of the sorting process:


  • * What ordering of items is to be achieved: from low (red) to high (violet), high to low, high in the middle, and even random orderings.
  • * What sorting algorithm should be used: we use eight different methods.  These can be broadly classified as either synchronous, where many rectangles move with each step, or asynchronous, where each move consists of swapping the positions of just two rectangles.
  • * How many rectangles there are, and how they are arranged.  Rectangles can be organized in one row or two and having different widths.


The overall result is that several thousand different possible different sequences can arise just in sorting from one order to another, producing many different visual effects.  These serve to demonstrate that computer programmers can tap into some of their most basic techniques to create programs that educate, entertain, and inspire.

Randal E. Bryant




Working in cross-disciplinary teams, students will explore light as art, interactive design and programming using a Pharos lighting control system. Students will explore the use of light and interaction using the actual controls within the Randy Pausch Memorial Bridge. Student teams will develop final projects that will be exhibited on the actual Randy Pausch Memorial Bridge.


Prerequisites: none

open to undergraduate and graduate students


learning objectives


Build collaborative skills - In the spirit of the Pausch Bridge metaphor learn to successfully collaborate with classmates across disciplines

Develop knowledge of expressive tools - Learn new tools of interaction and expression such as the Pharos lighing control system and interaction design techniques and put them into practice

Expand creativity and wonderment - Surprise, exceed, transform, and go beyond what has been done before


project goals


The goals of the course and project will help you develop and improve the following skills:


light as narrative - Understand the process of designing time-based lighting visual narratives

interpretation of light - Understand how to translate abstract concepts into specific images of light
light as temporal medium - Understand how time and motion can influence the meaning of a visual message
designing for interaction - Understand how to design for interactions that are able to engage individuals and/or an audience to participate in an interactive experience



This is a mini studio course with time devoted to lecture, discussion, worksessions, and critique of student work. This course will culminate with a public critique of group based lighting projects to be conceived, designed, and implemented on the Randy Pausch Memorial Bridge using the Pharos Lighting Controller.

rules of engagement

As a mini it is critical that you be fully engaged with your project and group for the full duration of the mini. As such we have the following course rules:


Be there!

Attendance of all classes is mandatory. You are allowed one excused absence for the semester without penalty; thereafter you will receive zero credit for the missed studio. To receive an excused absence, you must ask in advance, and receive an acknowledgment from the instructor. Excusable absences include family emergencies, job interviews, and presenting at a conference. It does not include wanting to leave early for long weekend or vacation. To receive credit for attendance, you must arrive on time.


Be active!

During the in class critique everyone is expected to be engaged in the discussion. Final project, timely attendance, and in-class and team participation are all critical parts of your grade.


grading criteria


participation in class, during critiques, and within your group
rigorous design explorations
quality of craftsmanship and level of completion of final project

Final grade will be Pass/Fail





Google Group: IE2011


Flickr Tag: ie2011cmu



01 Sep



Introduction to Lighting


Introduction to Interaction


Activity Zero: Lighting Matrix


Group Assignments


Handout: Project Brief


Handout: Original Randy Pausch Lighting Show


08 Sep

Pharos Intro


Introduction to the Pharos Lighting Controller (Chris Werner)


15 Sep

Light, color, and Sensing


NOTE: This class meets in Light Lab PCA 211


Light and Color Theory (Cindy Limauro)


Making Sense of Sensors (Eric Paulos)


Scott S. Snibbe and Hayes S. Raffle. 2009. Social immersive media: pursuing best practices for multi-user interactive camera/projector exhibits. In Proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI '09). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1447-1456.


Link to Scott Snibbe's work


22 Sep



29 Sep

interim Critique


In class critique of lighting design and interative ideas


06 Oct



13 Oct





Location: TBA






Mike Berger, CFA Drama  
Matthew Ho, CFA Arch               
Richard Ha, CS                       
Christopher Lee, CS                                
Indu Ancha, CIT     



Michael Epstein, CFA Drama               
Anthony Chivetta, CS & Drama            
Thomas Abraham, CS                                
Kelly Harrington, CS       



Andrew Leitch, CFA Drama             
Emerson Stoldt, CFA Arch                                           
Bill McDowell, CS                            
Zachary Wise, CS    

Mickey Reiss, CS       



Robert Kubisen, CFA Drama                
Monica Tong, CFA Arch                                
Jackson Gallagher, CFA Drama               
Ryan Pearl, CS                                                 
Sang Tian, CS