Devices in hand, a group of students lucky enough to get into one of Carnegie Mellon University's newest classes are already hard at work. They are learning the art of iPad programming.
But they aren't the only ones.
The class lectures are available for free at Carnegie Mellon University on iTunes U — bringing the top-notch instruction of CMU's Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) to learners far and wide.
Co-taught by CMU Assistant Professor Niki Kittur and a team of top industry developers, this project-based course will focus on the design and implementation of iPad applications that help users visualize and make sense of large data sets.
Bridging theory and practice, the course will give students:
- a basic background in visualization;
- understanding of the cognitive processes involved in transforming visual representations into mental representations, insight and discovery; and
- instruction on implementing these techniques in real applications for the iPad.
"I'm really excited because it combines cutting-edge development on the iOS platform with research and tools from HCII," said Kittur, who will be teaching the course with Paul Hankes Drielsma, a top industry developer.
Kittur added, "The idea is that we can help students not just understand how to program but also what to program: how to develop iPad apps that take information and turn it into knowledge and insight."
The software engineering topics taught will focus on the latest technologies available in the newly released iOS 5.
For those interested in following along, object-oriented programming experience is recommended.
"Right now we have interested students from all over the school — from computer science to HCI to design to electrical engineering; I think this is a really popular area now," said Kittur.
"The Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon is the premier department for research and education in designing ways for people to more efficiently, more effectively, and more pleasurably interact with devices and information," said Justine Cassell, director of HCII.
"The students we teach here at CMU are top technologists who use their skills to improve people's lives."
Watch the course on iTunes U or on any iOS device with the free iTunes U app.