Lab Update: ADAM Lab

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Projects from Brian Magerko’s ADAM Lab were featured at TEDx Peachtree, which was hosted here at Tech on November 13. TuneTable, a recent project led by second-year master’s student Marc Huet, was showcased at the event.


TuneTable is a tabletop tangible programming application. The project aims to teach basic computer programming concepts to middle school-aged to high school-aged students (9-15 years old) using physical blocks to make music. Users compose short songs by building chains of blocks that represent code. A group of Digital Media students are working on this project: Marc Huet, Travis Gasque, and Anna Weisling.

Along with this event, two groups from the lab participated in the STEAM3 Conference, where Magerko gave a keynote talk. The conference was hosted by Georgia State University on Thursday, September 11th and Friday, September 12th. The event “present[s] a comprehensive look into the future of experiential learning” and “provides an interactive stage for the exploration and demonstration of the fast emerging approaches, formats, technologies and learning models that will redefine education over the next decade.” The projects featured were: Viewpoints AI and Drawing Apprentice.

Viewpoints AI is an interactive installation piece that allows a human interactor/performer to co-exist in the same 2D plane as an artificially intelligent (AI) computer-controlled performer. The human and AI performers can create a shared movement experience through improvised interactions. The AI performer is a visually striking, anthropomorphic elemental being, composed of motes of light – living, playful entities that seek to explore the confines of their world, alongside the human visitor to their two dimensional world. Ph.D. student Mikhail Jacob is the lead on that project.

Drawing Apprentice, developed by Ph.D. student Nick Davis, is an enactive AI drawing partner that explores how computers can co-create with humans in abstract art. Contributions are improvisational and based on the input of the user. There is a reciprocal feedback loop between the user and the system. As a result, the user is influenced, and perhaps even inspired, by contributions made by the Drawing Apprentice.


On November 8th, Magerko was interviewed by Cara Kneer on Atlanta Tech Edge about tech related jobs and whether to influence kids to pursue a career in technology. Magerko emphasizes the difference between pushing kids to learn tech skills and exposing them to these skills. They also discuss the importance of accessibility to resources for kids from underrepresented race and gender groups. Watch the full interview here.

“Cool Stuff! Music-Based Software” is Magerko’s follow-up interview with Kneer about EarSketch, which he explains is a “free-to-use online environment” that “engage[s] kids in learning how to program by doing computational music remixing”. He shows off the program and walks through how to use it.

Learn about and play with EarSketch here.