Carnegie Mellon University

BXA Intercollege Degree Programs

Interdisciplinary Academics + Arts

Armero Award

The Henry Armero Memorial Award for Inclusive Creativity was created in 2013 in memory of BCSA student Henry Armero, through the generous support of the Armero family and the contributions of Dropbox. A $2,500 award is granted annually at the Meeting of the Minds Undergraduate Research Symposium each May. The award is open to BCSA seniors completing a BXA capstone project, who register to enter the competition. The winner is selected by a jury of representatives from the BXA Intercollege Degree Programs, the School of Art and the School of Computer Science. The Henry Armero Memorial Award will reward student projects with a focus on creativity, eclecticism, individuality and inclusiveness. Projects should find innovative ways of fostering on- and off-line community.

2018 AWARD WINNER

Sara Adkins
BCSA, Computer Science and Music Technology with a minor in Sound Design

Creating with the Machine is a set of compositions that combine algorithmic and traditional methods of music composition into live performances. It explores how interactive generative algorithms can influence creativity in musical improvisation and create a compelling listening experience for the audience. Three compositions were created and premiered, each showcasing a different algorithmic composition technique. These performances aim to meld the themes of creativity and computation in order to expose the audience to the use of automation and randomness for artistic purposes.

2017 Award Winners

Winners 2017 and prior, were awared to BXA, School of Art and/or School of Computer Science students whose project applications were selected by committee to be funded and shared publically.

Elizabeth Agyemang
BFA, Art with an additional major in Professional Writing

In Neighborhood Pen Pals, personal narratives are the bridge between community engagement and social activism. The piece exists in the form of a subscription box and a pen pal letter campaign, wherein weekly letters, prompts and prints invite participants to engage with their community. Through printmaking and letter writing, Neighborhood Pen Pals seeks to mend the discord between online discourse and corporeal communication.

Nick Castellana
BCSA, Computer Science and Music Performance
Valerie Senavsky
BSA, Chemistry and Music Performance with a minor in English 
Gowri Sunder
BHA, Psychology and Art  
Theodore Teichman
BSA, Neurobiology and Music Composition  

Dreams are a space of great intimacy but also an accessible way of sharing fears, love and wonder for the world. REM Walks is a social practice piece that uses virtual reality, installation and sound recordings to give rise to an experience where the audience is allowed to explore social exchange and creation. The virtual reality program will allow viewers to collectively interpret dream narratives collected from the Pittsburgh community drawing and sound generation by a sequential interpretation of a dream, wherein the audience gets to place the next viewer into an immersive space of their imaginations. Through this virtuality reality installation, viewers will have the ability to peek into the beauty of private worlds of those in our community.

John Choi
BCSA, Computer Science and Art

Filmmaking and robotics are inherently multidisciplinary endeavors. Producing a film requires the efforts of writers, artists and producers alike. Building a robot requires the collaboration of electrical, mechanical and software engineers. What happens when the two worlds get mashed together? We get advanced humanoid robot movie actors starring in a series of short films parodying famous movies along the likes of Harry Botter, Saving Private Robot, and Fortran Gump. With Robot Parody Movies, the line between artist and engineer becomes so blurred that there is literally no distinction between producing creative art and building creative invention.

Luca Damasco
BCSA, Computer Science and Art
Zachary Rispoli
BFA, Art
 

Wick 
is a free browser-based toolkit for creating interactive things for the internet. With Wick, you can create games, animations, and everything in between. Your creations can run on any device with a web browser—that means mobile too. And since Wick lives in the browser, you don't have to download any extra software to use it!

Kabir Mantha
BSA, Mathematical Sciences and Music Technology with a minor in Sound Design 

A May 2017 production of Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle aims to radically reenvision a traditional opera to gain new perspectives on the work itself as well as the archetype of an operatic experience. This production transforms the music of Bartók with the immateriality of acousmatic performance to create an immersive electroacoustic experience. To achieve this, we subvert the traditional opera house listening paradigm by using a combination of live and prerecorded instrumental parts spatialized using a multichannel surround sound system in an intimate black box theater.

Kira Melville
BFA, Art with a minor in Environmental Studies 

Movin’ with Kira
 is a mobile, human-powered, dj protest float, a feminist chitty-chitty-bang-bang for political and social engagement.

2016 AWARD WINNERS

Audrey Banks
BFA, Art

The Sentient Street is a public art installation and performance in which a hundred objects in a public space are inhabited by individual personas that interact with the general public. By layering a fantastical anthropomorphized world of sentient objects over mundane environments, this project privileges emotional complexity over algorithmically-designed efficiency and invites the public to question our technophilic attraction to coldly intelligent environments and objects.

Jacqueline Barnes
BHA, Creative Writing and Art


PhantaNoir is producing three things: the beginning of a graphic novel, an explainatory article, as well as a short animation introducing the world of the graphic novel. PhantaNoir delves into the population of black fantasy fans, and calls not only for their representation, but for their dominance in a genre that has long ignored, debased or derided its black fan base. It was inspired not only by the need for representation, but for those within creative social circles who created and made black art so unapologetically.

John Choi
BCSA, Computer Science and Art

As it stands today, access to human-size mobile manipulator robots is mostly limited to well-funded technical research institutions, often manned exclusively by a handful of engineers and scientists who find it difficult to imagine their robots being used outside of their labs in the name of art. In contrast, the objective of the Multipurpose Mobile Manipulator is to build a series of research-grade mobile manipulator platforms that anyone can use and work with.

Madalyn Gryger
BHA, Psychology and Art

Sanctum,
 the Luna Gala clothing line, explores the experience of living with mental illness. Sanctum is a place to feel safe. It explores the idea of safety in relation to mental illness by recreating boundaries in which people with mental illnesses live in the form of fashion. By using different materials, forms and transparencies, the line creates variations of boundaries between the model and the audience, thus mimicking the mental boundaries that living with a mental illness can create.

Alicia Iott
BCSA, Computer Science and Art
Charlotte Stiles
BFA, Art

The Girls are Home takes the shiny new toy, virtual reality, and combines it with a traditional age-old toy, the dollhouse. Inside the dollhouse, an observer can peer through pairs of windows to see a universe created with VR. The dollhouse will have multiple pairs of windows so several viewers may observe different parts of the narrative simultaneously, thus each observer can create their own narrative. This project addresses the chasm that exists between cutting edge technology, material culture and the domestic, plain-Jane realm. By uniting a feminine childhood toy with a relevant and intriguing narrative about domestic characters using virtual reality, The Girls are Home may bridge that gap.

Ralph Kim 
BFA, Art
Maryyann Landlord
BFA, Art

The interactive animation Memory Slugs utilizes multiple Oculus Rifts to deliver a novel storytelling structure, in which the virtual space reacts to the direction of the viewer's gaze. Whereas virtual reality typically entails isolation from immediate reality, this project facilitates social interaction by encouraging multiple participants viewing unique, emergent stories to verbally share their experiences, as well as provide a spectacle for viewers outside of the Rift.

Lina Pulgarin-Duque
BSA, Physics and Drama

ChalkBot is a CNC chalk plotting tool that aims to improve the way people interact with their cities and communities by promoting the adaptability of public spaces and establishing a sub-community through interaction with technology. Initially developed by Louis Elwood-Leach as a tool to aid event planning, the overlay of different software and hardware enables a wide variety of professional and amateur applications. ChalkBot is a new concept in digital manufacture and part of an exploration to discover how robots can become a part of our modern society. This iteration will be exploring how to use ChalkBot to create an interactive art experience.

Lauren Valley
BFA, Art

Body Electric is a sound reactive robotic dress that takes input in the form of pitch from the wearer and outputs it as motion through an eight-foot, motor-actuated skirt. The final performance will feature a vocalist wearing the dress while acting as the controller through the performance of an original composition.

2015 Award Winners

Lindsay Cavallo
BFA, Art
Anna Failla
BHA, Ethics, History, & Public Policy and Architecture
Samantha Riordan
BHA, Creative Writing and Architecture

Dracula & Dracula is a web series about the real life struggles of two everyday vampires and their monster friends. The series is a fully improvised vlog (vampire blog) starring two vampire friends who met at last year's monster convention. Each episode is fueled by relevant topics including facing monster prejudice, familial strife, the struggle to get a job in the current economy and debunking common misconceptions about vampires. This project will explore how the art of puppetry affects the way a story is perceived. The community of viewers is encouraged to interact and influence the content through online comments.

Kevin Karol
BCSA, Computer Science and Drama


Isn’t it pretty to think so? is a new, hour long musical theater experience created by a team of students from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama, School of Music and School of Computer Science. Audience members will engage with the performance through their cell phones and be crucial in determining not only their own experience of the composition, but also the experience of those around them. Isn’t it pretty to think so? extends Stephen Sondheim’s principle, "Content Dictates Form," into the digital age to explore the way technology shapes our cultural landscape and how we experience it. The production will run on December 10, 2015 at 8:55pm in Chosky Theatre as part of the School of Drama's PLAYGROUND.

Bryce Summers
BS, Computer Science with a minor in Music

Hump Yard
 is a board game that synthesizes the job of operating a train yard with the field of data structures. The familiarity and appeal of trains is used as a metaphor to understand computational ideas. Trains must conform to established paths called tracks, much like how processors must conform to paths called programs. The fun game format aims to motivate players to open themselves up to experiencing algorithmic thinking and computer science in general. The components for Hump Yard, including track pieces and train cars, may be used by educators as effective manipulatives for teaching technical subject matter.

2014 Award Winners

Andrea Gershuny
BCSA, Computer Science and Art
Katherine Lee
BHA, East Asian Language & Culture and Art with a minor in Communication Design
Jolyn Sandford
BCSA, Computer Science and Art

The Geromotion Machine is a mobile web app station that can pull segments of audio from different sources and mix them to create sounds based on the movements of the users' bodies in front of a camera. The Machine draws the audience in by allowing them to pick and choose which audio sources to mix (input) to get an unexpected new sound (output) based on their movement. It encourages silly behavior and dancing in public places, as well as enabling the audience to let loose without worrying. Most of the inspiration for this project is from Henry’s ideas for a Frame show as well as his project Audiyou and Me.

Mishq Laliwala
BFA, Art with an additional major in Human-Computer Interaction

Samantha Ticknor
BFA, Art with a minor in Computer Science

Zine To Screen To Screen (ZTSTZ)
 is a project that focuses on bringing zine-making techniques to the general population in two parts, physical and digital. The physical realm includes didactic artwork aimed at informing the audience about the potential of everyday materials while the digital is a set of tools that act as catalysts in the zine-making process. The project was inspired by the fast and quick nature of millennial and hopes to provide them with a toolkit for zine-making.

March 2, 1993 - December 7, 2012

In loving memory of a brilliant mind and a creative soul who will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.

Born in Madrid, Spain, Henry grew up in Spain, Mexico City and Greenwich, Connecticut. He graduated from Greenwich High School in 2011 where he was a member of the State Champion Math Team and was the co-founder of the Fictional World History Club. Henry received the Peter Church Memorial Award for Creativity in Math and Science.

Henry studied Computer Science and Art in the BCSA program at Carnegie Mellon University. He had interned at Nvidia Corporation in Silicon Valley and had accepted a position at Dropbox in San Francisco for Summer 2013. Henry’s academic talents and creative aesthetic pushed him to create works that brought people together. In the fall of 2012, Henry was the recipient of an arts grant to create a smartphone app which he called Audiyou and Me, with which groups of people would create music by wirelessly linking their smart phones to a central hub equipped with large speakers. Other projects Henry created included games, videos and installations; most memorably a two-person, 8-bit video game based on Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, and a recreation of the Goya etching The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters as an animation on a whiteboard.  

In addition to being a brilliant student whose teachers described his math proofs as works of art, Henry was an avid reader and supremely talented computer programmer, gamer, artist and musician. It was clear to all who knew him that his mind worked on a different level than anybody else's. Yet his joie de vivre and unique sense of humor allowed him to connect and be loved by everyone from 8 to 80. 

The world has lost a larger than life character who promised so much and was loved and admired by all.