PDI Studio 1: Visualization

OVERVIEW: The visualization session of PDI Studio 1 introduces students to visual methods for understanding wicked problems in society. From rough freehand sketching to refined digital drawing, students gain experience thinking visually.

PRIMARY REQUIRED READING: Required readings will come from a set of books and journals and will be made available to you via the schedule on the visualization website (baohouse.org/visualization). You will receive login credentials after you enroll in PDI Studio 1 and before the first day of class. Supplemental required readings may be scheduled throughout the session as needed.

MATERIALS: For the visualization session, please purchase the following materials from the Rensselaer bookstore:

  • Pentallic Sketchbook, black, 7 x 7 inches: $9.99
  • Bic Wite-Out Correction Pen: $2.99
  • Post-It Notes, 1 package: $1.59
  • 1 Black Twin Sharpie, Fine and Chisel points: $3.89
  • Pro-Art Drawing Tools Value Pack (includes white plastic eraser, sharpeners, kneader eraser, blending stump): $3.19
  • 6” metal ruler: $2.50
  • Staedtler Tripulus Fineliner, 10 pack: $14.49
  • Set of 12 Pentallic Drawing Pencils: $6.49
  • 1 one to five pound package and air-dry basic modeling clay (Acceptable brands include but are not limited to: Staedtler Fimo Air Basic Model Clay; Crayola; Sheffield Self Hardening Clay; Activa La Doll Premier Air-Dry Clay)
  • 1 white or translucent plastic knife or equivalent
  • Activ-Wire Mesh, 12 x 24 sheet: 7.99 at Walmart
  • Wire

Your materials list also includes a required cloud subscription ($19.99 per month) to the Adobe Creative Suite. Visit: http://www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud/buying-guide-education.html. You will use Adobe Photoshop CC and Adobe Illustrator CC to complete your assignments in the Visualization session.

LEARNING OUTCOMES & ASSESSMENT MEASURES: Upon completion of the visualization session, you will be able to use visualization methods to understand complex problems in society as evidenced by your attendance at each session and expected documentation of each session’s activities in your sketchbook.

EVALUATION: You are required to attend all visualization sessions and participate in the activities to the best of your ability. There are five visualization modules and each is worth a maximum of 20 points. If you have questions about your visualization grade after receiving it, please contact me immediately by email: bennett@rpi.edu. The following scale will be used to determine your final grade in the visualization session.

  • A=94-100 points
  • A-=90-93.99
  • B+=87-89.99
  • B=84-86.99
  • B-=80-83.99
  • C+=78-79.99
  • C=74-77.99
  • C-=70-73.99
  • D+=68-69.99
  • D= 64-67.99
  • F=<63.99

ATTENDANCE POLICY: Attend all visualization sessions on time. Each unexcused absence will cause your final grade in the visualization session to drop 20 points; whereas you will lose 10 points for an excused absence. Three or more unexcused absences and four or more excused absences will earn you 0 (F) in the visualization session. Being late 2 times by 15 minutes or over will constitute an unexcused absence. Leaving early or taking a break from class for more than 10 minutes will also constitute an unexcused absence.

Your absence is officially excused only when I receive a message from the Student Experience office. E-mail se@rpi.edu or call x8022 to get your absence officially excused. I am required to recommend to the PDI Director, Dean Nieusma, and the primary course instructor, Brandon Costelloe-Kuehn, that you receive an EWS for excessive latenesses, absences, or poor quality work.

OTHER COURSE POLICIES: Participating in a visualization session means attending, listening to a lecture, and/or completing a hands-on exercise in your sketchbook. Keeping a sketchbook is not an option; it is a requirement. You will lose up to 10 points each time your sketchbook does not properly document the exercises from a visualization module or meet expectations.

Assignments are due by the date indicated in the schedule. There will be no make-ups for missed sessions due to unexcused absences. Also, Rensselaer’s course catalog encourages collaboration. It is good training for your professional career. At times I will require collaboration with peers. I expect all members of the group to share the work equally. If problems arise that you’re unable to resolve among yourselves, let me know immediately.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: Student–teacher relationships are built on trust. For example, students must trust that teachers have made appropriate decisions about the structure and content of the courses they teach; and, teachers must trust that the assignments that students turn in are their own. Acts that violate this trust undermine the educational process. The Rensselaer Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities defines various forms of academic dishonesty; and you should make yourself familiar with them. In this class, all assignments that you turn in for a grade must represent your own work unless you have collaborated with another student in which case your assignment should note clearly with whom you collaborated. Submission of any assignment that is plagiarized or otherwise in violation of this policy will result in a penalty of failure of the visualization session and a recommendation of failure of the course to the primary instructor of the course and the director of the PDI program.