Issues of Color in Media Technology

This seminar covers the technical aspects of color for use in practical applications of Media Technology. Color is discussed from three distinct points of view: human vision, visual processing and digital displays. Topics include the production of color, physiology and psychophysiology of color, the sensation of color, color systems, coding and processing, color vision, rendering in graphics environments, color as an interface, semantics and aesthetics of color.

Instructor: Walter Bender ( x3-7331, E15-328
TA: Joey Berzowska ( x3-0312, E15-355
Course Adminitrator: Felice Napolitano (


This course encourages students to experientially explore the relationships between sensory stimulus, color appearance, and the relationships of color appearance as a means to develop more effective color communication tools.


To aid students in their pursuit, the course consists of hands on exploration of questions that point to the critical scientific and technological challenges of color and hands on attempt to pursue personal exploration of a model for color communication.


Generally each class will begin with discussion of research other people have done on the same topic as last week's exploration topic. This discussion may include visits by some of the researchers or by authors who have written on the subject. The intent is to encourage you to explore a subject before you read about it; hence you will be experimenting before you read the suggested references. This approach tends to avoid biasing your own interpretations of what might be going on and provides you with your own base of experience to which you can relate when you read other people's research on the subject of interest. The second class activity will be an exploration of this week's class goal.


Weekly JAVA programming or painting assignment and reading, as well as an individual or group term project. Classes will consist of a weekly group experiment, brief lecture, and discussion. There will be occasional guest lectures by leading color researchers.

Course Outline


50% of your grade is based on class participation in the experiential exploration of questions pointing to critical challenges. The focus is on acquiring personal experience to which you can relate at some future date when reading other people's research or when attempting to address a challenge in this field.

25% of your grade will be for a project that might add insight to an effective color model with stated objectives. The intent is to offer you the opportunity to pursue something personally meaningful while having access to a group of people (classmates, teacher, visiting lecturers) who are addressing the same fundamental problem.

25% of your grade is dependent upon biweekly problems.

Suggested Reading

Last Modified: September 08, 1997