August 17, 2016 Workshop: Seeing Algorithms

Rensselaer is pleased to announce its second professional development workshop on STEAM titled Seeing Algorithms. This free workshop is for art teachers at local high schools that serve underrepresented students in STEM. The workshop will teach fundamental computational thinking concepts through cultural art. Google has, once again, provided funding for the workshop enabling art teachers who are selected to participate in the workshop to be paid.

Rensselaer’s CS4HS workshop trains art teachers and then their respective art students, particularly those that are underrepresented in STEAM, to see algorithms from a cultural perspective by having them simulate visual art using the visual, drag-and-drop, programming language of the award-winning Culturally-Situated Design Tools (CSDT) at CSDTs facilitate the simulation of a wide variety of cultural arts on the computer screen, from cornrow hairstyles and breakdance to kente cloth and drum patterns using concepts shared between computer science, mathematics, and art.

The workshop will comprise:

  1. A professional development workshop for art teachers August 17, 2016 from 8 AM to 2 PM. Art teachers will use a CSDT to simulate what they see reflected in a photograph of a cultural art form. Then, they will use the CSDT creatively to design a freestyle pattern. Finally, they take this art and computing fusion a step further by developing lesson plans for a two-week art activity that would engage their high school art students in physically crafting their virtual designs in the real world, using hands-on, art and design media.
  2. One two-week session in the art teacher’s high school where the art teacher implements the art activity in their art classes.
  3. Four CSDT software training sessions (up to 1 hour each) with high school students via Google Hangout or in person, over a four week period during the school year to assist teachers in successfully implementing their CT/Art lesson.
  4. A culminating group show via Algorythms ( a perpetual online exhibition of student art work created through the CS4HS@RPI workshop.

Part 1. CS4HS Workshop for art teachers:

  • 8:00 AM Morning refreshments
  • 8:15 Welcome and Introductions by Professor Audrey Bennett, M.F.A.
  • 8:20 Introduction to CSDTs by Professor Ron Eglash, Ph.D.
  • 9:30 Computational Art Making with CSDT
  • 10:30 10 Minute Break
  • 10:40 Computational Art Making with CSDT and Lesson plan developments
  • 12:15 PM Lunch
  • 1:15 Moving forward with implementation of lesson plans

Art teachers who participate in this workshop in its entirety (both parts) will receive a stipend of $1000. Registration is open, on a first come first served basis, at

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me directly with any questions: 518.276.8129.

GoogleThe CS4HS@RPI workshop on August 22 2012 was funded by Google’s CS4HS grant program. CS4HS (Computer Science for High School) is “an initiative sponsored by Google to promote Computer Science and Computational Thinking in high school and middle school curriculum.”