UB Sets New Master's Program In Digital Arts

Release Date: July 24, 1997 This content is archived.


The Department of Media Study this fall will introduce a master's-degree program in digital arts, a largely self-directed, collaborative course of study expected to draw students from a variety of disciplines.

The new program is a high-end enterprise for people with unusual skills, said Roy Roussel, assistant professor of English and interim chair of the Department of Media Study.

By teaching students to use the computer as an artistic tool, the program will prepare them for careers as artists or applied artists in institutions and corporations that marry image, sound and digital technologies, such as television production; movie-making; advertising; teaching; curating; gallery, museum and regional media-center programming, and a broad range of arts management activities.

"It's not for everyone," Roussel admits, "but for those who want to use new technologies to develop advanced methods of visual and auditory expression, this program is a quantum leap forward." Students will be able to devise their own academic programs by drawing from four existing areas of study already offered at UB: digital music, computer science, computer art and media study.

Those with similar interests but different skills will be encouraged to develop collaborative thesis projects. Roussel said the digital-arts program will be "perfect" for students with a bachelor of arts degree, for instance, who have an idea of what they want to do and how they want to position themselves in relation to their chosen area of investigation, but need to develop skills not available here before in an existing program of study.

The new program will have a formal relationship with the Center for Cognitive Science, an interdisciplinary research center that draws faculty from many fields to build a new and unified understanding of cognition that includes, but moves beyond, the perspectives of individual disciplines.

Cognitive science theory and research represents a change in the direction of American social and behavioral sciences research. It reverses the movement toward ever-finer disciplinary distinctions to support an integration of the disciplines to develop unified theories of knowledge. The departments involved in the center include anthropology, biophysics, communicative disorders, geography, industrial engineering, learning and instruction, linguistics, neurology and nuclear medicine, philosophy, physiology and psychology.

For more information, contact Roussel at 645-6902.

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