Master of Science
Integrated Digital Media
Launched in 2004 as the Integrated Digital Media Institute of Polytechnic University, Integrated Digital Media (IDM) is the 'STEAM' program offered by NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering. Focusing on the intersection of engineering and creative practice, it is located within Tandon’s Department of Technology, Culture, and Society (TCS) alongside two sibling programs: Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Sustainable Urban Environments (SUE).
IDM offers a four-year BS degree, a 30-credit MS degree, a cross-school minor available to all NYU students, and an accelerated 5-year BS/MS. The IDM curriculum integrates topics typically found in an arts context - creative expression and design within both fixed and interactive media - with engineering topics such as signal processing and human-computer interaction. As a program within TCS, this curriculum embraces the department’s core focus on the intersection of engineering and society, encouraging students to engage with technology in a creative, critical, sustainable, and ethical manner; IDM courses feature strong emphasis on human-centered, outward-facing work that integrates values of self-expression, equity, and social justice into engineering. The IDM program articulates these goals through a number of initiatives, many of which, such as the ABILITY Project, are already done in close collaboration with other departments in the University.
IDM is the only program in Tandon in which the majority of faculty and students are women. As with all Tandon programs, we strive to excel in diversity, inclusion, and equity, with a high proportion of first-in-family students, students of color, and students receiving significant federal aid for college.
As a research-active program within NYU Tandon School of Engineering, IDM faculty collaborate in research that integrates digital media and society. Our projects range from using motion capture technology to reimagine theatrical performance, to developing novel uses of virtual/augmented reality for health and wellness, to the integration of STEAM learning into special needs education, to the development of citizen science tools to empower NYC residents to monitor and report on noise pollution in their communities, to helping NASA JPL develop next-generation user interfaces for space exploration, to assisting with the search and visualization of the historical record of New York City.
In our academic programs, digital media is explored as a spectrum of practices that range from computer programming (for app development, software design, game development and interaction design) to 2D and 3D graphics (for human-computer interfaces, augmented reality, motion capture, and game design & development) to photography, film, and audio (for media installations, performing arts research, and integration with various mediums). Our students are artists, designers, and creative technologists working in highly fluid industries that reward the creative, the thoughtful, the technical, and the innovative.
The required courses in the Master of Science program are Ideation and Prototyping, Creative Coding, Media Studies, and Media Law. Some of the electives we offer include, but are not limited to, web design and development, digital cinema, game design and development, sound, live performance, interaction design, and mobile augmented reality. Graduate level special topics courses currently include AR, VR, motion capture, assistive technology, human-computer interfaces (HCI), mobile application development, user experience (UX) design, motion capture, digital fabrication, interactive installation, among many others. Four, required electives can all be taken within Integrated Digital Media or other programs within NYU Tandon School of Engineering OR three out of the four electives can be taken anywhere at NYU outside of NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Our students often take courses in other School of Engineering programs like Computer Science & Engineering and Tech Management & Innovation, as well as other NYU programs such as NYU Steinhardt’s Music Technology and NYU Tisch’s Interactive Telecommunications (ITP).
The curriculum combines project-based learning with the study of historical, legal and philosophical aspects of digital media. We emphasize the development of skills applicable to a broad spectrum of media through individual and collaborative work. Guest lectures and conferences supplement our curriculum and maximize students’ personal contact with leaders in various sectors of the following fields: business, advocacy, service, entertainment, and education. The program culminates in a thesis that combines theory and practice to showcase students’ creative and technical abilities.
Our faculty include leading artists, designers, developers and performers who passionately engage in professional work and research at the intersection of engineering and creative practice.
Research and Outreach
Graduate students in IDM participate fully in research initiatives through the Brooklyn Experimental Media Center (BxmC), the research arm of IDM, and in our partnerships with other programs and schools at NYU Engineering, NYC Media Lab, the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), NYU, and other NYC institutions.
Some of our top research areas include:
Brooklyn Experimental Media Center (BxmC)
The Brooklyn Experimental Media Center (BxmC) is the research arm of Integrated Digital Media at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. BxmC provides an interdisciplinary environment for media research at the School of Engineering, partnering faculty and students from the Integrated Digital Media program with collaborators from the School of Engineering, NYU, Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), New York City, and beyond. Our research combines experimental practices in media arts and engineering, constantly modifying industry-standard technologies and creating new ones. The BxmC has a close relationship with the School of Engineering's Incubators—Varick St., DUMBO and NYC-ACRE—to provide students with opportunities for internships and startup development in the ever-growing NY tech-start up scene.
Integrated Digital Media is located in MAGNET (NYU’s Media and Games Network), a 40,000 square foot facility on the MetroTech campus. MAGNET is a destination for faculty and students who share an interest in the intersection of games and media. MAGNET is a multi-school cluster that co-locates five academic programs from across the following NYU schools: Tisch School of the Arts; Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; Tandon School of Engineering; Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and the Computer Science Department of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.