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Field Trip! Computer Science Professor Takes Class To WCMA For Some Reason

This week, CSCI 368: Foundations of Principles of the Principles of Computer Programming took one lecture session out of their week to visit the WCMA Object Lab, for some reason.

Josh Hands, WCMA curator, described the vetting process for selecting these works, “the professor came to me and said, ‘hey, I’d like these kids to see some art relating to this stuff’ and attached a few of the homework assignments as if that would help me, an art historian, understand this computer science class at all.”

Hands decided to curate what he thought logical people might enjoy: an assortment of WCMA’s most polygonal and colorless pieces of art for the computer science students to observe.

“I know that computer science isn’t math, but I just sorta ran with the general STEM thing.  Math people love shapes, computer science people probably love math, so I figured computer science people like shapes?  I think that’s actually the transitive property.  Should I learn to code?”

Students of CSCI 368 described the visit as “fine” and “better than sitting still”.  When asked his favorite piece, Max Noggin ‘25 recalled a Kandinsky piece, “the painted black square reminded me of my computer screen when I turn it off.  But as art, I thought that it was boring.  So I think I learned I should never turn my computer screen off because then it’s boring.”

Prof. Watertrout of CSCI 368 found the visit enlightening, “The curator did an amazing job representing this class! We’ve been coding shapes all semester!  I love looking at shapes because they’re my favorite thing.  I think my students, many of whom also love shapes, are intimidated by art.  So I wanted to show them sometimes art is just shapes too. I hope they all realize shapes are the best.”


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