Coursera and peer evaluations

September 9, 2013 at 12:38

I am really disappointed with Coursera and  the peer assessments evaluations. A few months ago, I enrolled in the Creative Programming for Digital Media & Mobile Apps course. At that moment, I felt really excited about doing some programming stuff in a more artistic way and I wrote about it in this blog. At some point, I decided to take the signature track and pay 39$ for it. I wanted some credit back at the end of the course because I was going to spend a lot of time and effort on the it…

Finally, I obtained a grade with distinction, but I was really pissed off with some of the peer evaluation messages:

” I am not sure why you submitted five sketches, but I’ve got four other students work to evaluate and I find your submission annoying.”

“why no comments? you submitted five projects (instead of one,) and all their code, but no comments to help me understand how any of them work. This code maybe easy for an experienced programmer to understand, but even an experienced program would have commented their code. It’s very difficult to give a true evaluation of your work….There is no specific project in this pile.”

The rest of the comments were like “Nice!”, “code clear”, “good abstraction” or “Original Idea, good work!”. My final grade was a 5/10 and made me feel as my classmates didn’t take their time to properly evaluate any of my projects. This course was about experimenting and going beyond the examples, the main reason why I released five projects instead of only one…

Anyway, I’ve got the point and a valuable experience: I’m not going to take the signature track again if the instructors are not going to evaluate my work. I don’t want to waste my money and my time evaluating other people’s work.

Processing and livetifact

July 1, 2013 at 08:24


Three weeks ago, I enrolled in a Coursera course called Creative Programming for Digital Media & Mobile Apps. I’m enjoying the course very much despite I find it a bit easy. We were asked to develop a couple of projects, focusing both on the artistic and the programming part. We’re using the Processing framework to accomplish our goal. The IDE is prepared to export code written in Java to Android (Java), web browsers (JavaScript) or as a desktop application (the default behavior). Depending on the architecture chosen, the code may change, so it’s important to develop with some architecture in mind.

At the moment, I’ve been playing in four different mini-projects or sketches, as processing community called them:


It’s a little grass-field simulator. I wanted to play with bezier curves and the wind (simulated when clicking with the mouse on the screen). You can access the sketch here (only works on Chrome): grass.


This sketch is opening a Caffeine molecule from a PDB file and displaying it in 2 dimensions. Here it is a small screencast:

You can download the binary and the code from here.


Same as before, but this time using 3D capabilities:

Download the binary and code from here.


This is my favorite project, I’ll spend much more time on it in the next three weeks. Livetifact names comes from “live” and “artifact”, it’s a kind of cell which breaths (and suffers from some anxiety!). You can feed it clicking on the screen. Livetifact will launch its ciliums to catch the food and will generate some sound (or noise). I’m planning to use it as a platform for developing a “sensing and living” sampler. Access the project here (only fully supported on Chrome browser): livetifact. There’s a lot of job to do on the programming, sound and graphics parts.