Gaming Concentration Creates New Possibilities for Honors Computing in the Arts Student

Take artistic creativity, add in computer algorithms and you get the computing in the arts (CITA) major. Jo Jackley, a current College of Charleston Honors College senior and CITA student, has a passion for both artistic expression and computing. She describes computing in the arts as “a computer science degree splashing in some artistic interests … you’re just given an emphasis on how to combine an artistic element.”

And the CITA major’s game development and interaction concentration has allowed her a space to blend her interests into a single experience. This summer Jackley worked over 10 weeks alongside Sarah Schoemann, assistant professor of computer science, on a research project called MYdata. Jackley describes MYdata as a data collection app that combines a phone app with a wearable wrist device. Using the resources provided in Schoemann’s Critical Art and Technology (CAT) Lab, Jackley gained experience with coding and software development to create the app. She also learned hardware skills to build the wearable device, which she made using an Arduino microcontroller with Bluetooth low energy connectivity.

Inspired by an artistic project conducted by data scientists Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec called Dear Data, which used hand-drawn postcards to visualize personal data of the two women such as how often they laughed in a day, MYdata offers users a chance to digitally capture and display their own personal collection of data throughout their day such as the number of times they crave a cigarette or are talked over at work.

The MYdata app comes with a wearable bracelet that allows the user to decide what data to record. The user can assign the meaning of their data and then record a timestamp of when it occurs using a button on the bracelet. From there, users can make visualizations to further represent the data collected, whether for personal reflection or artistic expression.

To learn more about Jo Jackley’s research, check out the full article by Aamiee Norris in the College Today!

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