Launched in 2004, the Integrated Digital Media (IDM) Program is a place that fosters creative practice, design research and multidisciplinary experimentation with emerging media technologies. Located within Tandon School of Engineering, in the Department of Technology, Culture, and Society (TCS), IDM is a ‘STEAM‘ program combining artistic inquiry with scientific research and technological practice to explore the social, cultural and ethical potentials of emerging technologies. We focus on how to create new experiences with technologies but also on what is worth making and why?
IDM offers a four-year BS degree, a 30-credit MS degree, a cross-school minor available to all NYU students, and an accelerated 5-year BS/MS. The IDM curriculum integrates topics typically found in an arts context – creative expression and design within both fixed and interactive media – with engineering topics such as signal processing and human-computer interaction. As a program within TCS, this curriculum embraces the department’s core focus on the intersection of engineering and society, encouraging students to engage with technology in a creative, critical, sustainable, and ethical manner; IDM courses feature strong emphasis on human-centered, outward-facing work that integrates values of self-expression, equity, and social justice into engineering. The IDM program articulates these goals through a number of initiatives, many of which, such as the Ability Project, are done in close collaboration with other departments in the University.
IDM is the only program at NYU Tandon in which the majority of faculty and students are women. As with all Tandon programs, we strive to excel in diversity, inclusion, and equity, with a high proportion of first-in-family students, students of color, and students receiving significant federal aid for college. We firmly believe in the role engineering and creativity can play in affecting social change, and have proudly developed and hosted conferences, hackathons, and days of action around diversity in games, inclusion and equity in creative technology, better experiences for users of mass transit, safer streets, design for disability, and immigrant rights. We partner with Brooklyn-based non-profit arts and advocacy organizations for much of this programming, including the ISSUE Project Room, Eyebeam, Tech Kids Unlimited, and Code Liberation.
In our academic programs, digital media is explored as a spectrum of practices that range from computer programming (for app development, software engineering, game development and interaction design) to 2D and 3D graphics (for human-computer interfaces, augmented reality, motion capture, and game design & development) to photography, film, and audio (for media installations, performing arts research, and integration with various mediums). Our students are artists, designers, and creative technologists working in highly fluid industries that reward the creative, the thoughtful, the technical, and the innovative.
Our Bachelor of Science program centers around the IDM core, a suite of courses that focus on the four areas of Image, Sound, Narrative, and Interactivity. These courses are combined with upper-level electives ranging from user experience design to augmented reality to motion capture, as well as courses from the Tandon Engineering core, media studies courses taken in the department of Media, Culture, and Communication (MCC), and additional courses in math, science, humanities, and social sciences. Students will be exposed to a maker-centric, project-based education focused on their development as socially engaged, creative individuals fluent in the use and development of cutting-edge technology. IDM students are encouraged to engage in research and to develop their own work through their classes, capstone projects, the Tandon VIP Program, Tandon InnoVention, NYU Entrepreneurship, the NYC Media Lab Combine Program, and internships within New York City’s $23.6B media industry.
The required courses in the Master of Science program are Ideation and Prototyping, Creative Coding, Media Studies, and Media Law. Some of the electives we offer include, but are not limited to, web design and development, digital cinema, game design and development, sound, live performance, interaction design, and mobile augmented reality. Graduate level special topics courses currently include AR, VR, motion capture, assistive technology, human-computer interfaces (HCI), mobile application development, user experience (UX) design, motion capture, digital fabrication, interactive installation, among many others. Four electives are required for the degree; these can all be taken within Integrated Digital Media or other programs within NYU Tandon School of Engineering; three out of the four electives can be taken anywhere at NYU. Our students often take courses in other Tandon departments such as Computer Science & Engineering and Tech Management & Innovation, as well as other NYU programs such as NYU Steinhardt’s Music Technology, Digital Media Design for Learning, and Art & Arts Professions, and the graduate programs at NYU Tisch in Emerging Media, such as the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) and the Game Center.
The IDM curriculum combines project-based learning with the study of historical, cultural, legal and philosophical aspects of digital media. We emphasize the development of skills applicable to a broad spectrum of media through individual and collaborative work. Guest lectures and conferences supplement our curriculum and maximize students’ personal contact with leaders in various sectors of the following fields: business, advocacy, service, entertainment, and education. The program culminates in a thesis that combines theory and practice to showcase students’ creative and technical abilities.