Course List

The following is a list of all AIMS courses offered. Note that these are not offered every semester. Please consult with Miami’s most recent course list for available offerings.

AIMS also keeps a list of related courses from other departments and programs that are either included in our minor and major or might otherwise be of interest to IMS students.

IMS 171 Humanities and Technology (3)

Typically Offered Spring Semester
Introduction to methods of thinking used in humanities disciplines (literature, history, philosophy, classics, etc.), computer technologies, and their relationship. Practical skills (web page making; research on the Internet) and analytical skills (how to tell good information from bad) combined with theories about the Information Society. IIB, CAS-B. Crosslisted with ENG 171.

IMS 201 Information Studies in the Digital Age (3)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
Explores what it means to be information literate in today’s digital world. Students will not only learn about the latest technological advances but will also reflect on ethical and legal issues created by the information age. Intended for students wishing to become competent in the fields of Information Literacy and Information Technology. Course includes all aspects of the research process from the definition of the research problem to the acquisition and critical analysis of information, to the adaptation of that information for a digital environment.

IMS 211 The Analysis of Play (old title: Introduction to Game Studies) (3)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
Students are introduced to key historical and contemporary research in Game Studies, design, and production. The course functions as a survey for Game Studies, introducing the sues for game technology, current research in game studies, and the essential relationship of varied game industries.

IMS 212 The Design of Play (3)

Typically Offered Spring Semester
This course develops theoretical foundations and skills in understanding how fun is created. Students will study and design a variety of interactive situations that engage participants through the construction of playful experiences. The understanding of fun is informed by a variety of disciplines that include psychology, art and science. It never hurts to have a little bit of magic. Students will build and critique a variety of constructed experiences which serve as foundational work for the construction of computer games in subsequent courses.

IMS 215 3D Digital Sculpting (3)

Digital sculpting is an essential part of 3D content creation. This course is intended for students in the game program who want to work as an artist creating assets for video games. This course teaches industry standard software and the methodologies that game studios use when producing professional quality 3D assets for video games and other media. In addition to the academic benefit for students, this course will also help to make the game program more competitive among existing game programs on a national and international level.

IMS 218 3D Shading and Texturing (3)

Recently, the industry standard rendering paradigm in game engine technology has undergone a monumental shift in process and workflow. This course focuses on this updated rendering methodology. Students will learn how to adeptly handle the workflow while learning the applied theory behind the new rendering methodology. Facility with the skills and concepts of physically based rendering are a must for any student who wants to pursue a career as a game artist.

IMS/MUS 221 Music Tech (3)

Typically Offered Spring Semester
This course introduces the fundamentals of music technology in the context of its historical and cultural use. Scientific foundations of acoustics, digital audio, and audio engineering as well as technical skills for music production and notation will be addressed. Participants will learn the skills-based foundations of music technology through hands-on projects. Critical discussion will consider the social impact of contemporary and historical systems of recording, notation, and dissemination. Applications in the fields of interaction design, music entertainment, game design, digital signal processing, electrical engineering, music education, acoustics, and mass communications will be explored.

IMS 222 Web and Interaction Design (3)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
An investigation of interactive design as it relates to a variety media types. Using industry standard tools, students will learn to design, implement and refine interactive media for specific audiences. Students should expect to incorporate art/design theory, psychology, commercial business practice and creative problem solving.

IMS 224 Digital Writing and Rhetoric: Composing with Words, Images, & Sounds (3)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
In this course, students will explore ways in which writing practices are changing in light of emerging digital technologies. Recognizing that the act of writing can no longer be confined to the production of printed words alone, this course will engage students in both analyzing and producing digital multimodal texts that use and blend alphabetic, visual, and aural components (e.g., audio essays, video documentaries, web sites.) This course will introduce students to key rhetorical concepts(e.g., argument, arrangement, appeals, audience, context, delivery, invention) which can guide both their reading and writing of digital multimodal texts. No prior web authoring or multimedia composing skills required. This course fulfills a writing requirement for integrated English/language arts and middle childhood language arts education students. Cross-listed with ENG 224.

IMS 225 Games and Learning (3)

Typically Offered Every Semester
This course discusses the use of gaming for educational and other non-entertainment goals. It covers topics such as the learning principles of games, the design of educational games, procedural rhetoric, gamification, etc. The course itself is designed as a game. While taking this course, you will battle monsters (quizzes, exams, games, etc.), complete quests (design games, write papers, make videos, etc.), and (hopefully) save the world while acquiring critical knowledge and skills in the field of games and learning.
Download the rulebook at
Crosslisted with EDP

IMS 238 Narrative Digital Technology (3)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
Applies to digital games those notions about narrative structure and character development that have evolved in literature. Students will explore digital art as literary critics, asking whether games are art and analyzing how postmodern literary/digital art participates in globalization. Students compose narratives in writing as well as 3D graphics. Cross-listed with ENG 238.

IMS 253 Building Interactive Objects (3)

Typically Offered Fall Semester
This course lays the skills groundwork for creating physical prototypes of interactive objects. The course will provide familiarity with varied materials and methods of working with them, providing a vocabulary for designing physical objects, as well as many points of departure for future exploration. Basic interactive electronics will be introduced. We will execute small projects in wood, paper and plastic, using hand tools, power tools and digital rapid prototyping equipment, along the way discussing the strengths and limitations of each in relation to the others.

IMS 254 Design Principles Applied (3)

Typically Offered Fall Semester
This course introduces the student to the principles of design in a seminar format with some simple exercises to apply various principles. Whether it be the design of a system/organization or the creation of an application like a web site, a design solution is the unification of various elements. This multi-disciplinary approach will explore various forms of design and how principles are used to create a holistic result.

IMS 257 Web Interaction Programming (3)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
This course covers the basic coding patterns and practices present in all programming languages with an emphasis on those languages most common in web and mobile application platforms. It will take students through the fundamentals of algorithm design and then move on to expressing those designs in several popular languages. Because of the focus on web environments, this course will also explore the difference between presentation (such as with HTML) and interactivity (such as with JavaScript). The web and mobile focus will also lead to rudimentary discussions on client/server architectures and what content delivery choices are available when a mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet have such strong technical capabilities. No prior experience in web authoring is required.

IMS 259 Art and Digital Tools I (3)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
This course will introduce fundamental concepts of image and video editing and creation. You’ll learn some lighting and photo techniques, image cleanup and composition in Adobe Photoshop, vector graphics and typography in Adobe Illustrator, and strategies for shooting and editing video. Crosslisted with ART 259.

IMS 261 Information and Data Visualization (3)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
Information to information and data visualization, including basic statistical and design principles for data visuals and diagrams, both in static and interactive environments. The course will cover the history, context, theory, with some application, of creating and using visualizations, including Issues of ethics and data manipulation.

IMS 303 Online Journalism (3)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
Theory and practice of online journalism. Topics include current forms and social impact of online news, and the creative potential of the Internet as a news medium. Students will also develop online multimedia news project. Prerequisite: JRN 202. Cross-listed with JRN 303.

IMS 304 Electronic Music (3)

Typically Offered Spring Semester
Crosslisted with MUS 303.

IMS 305 Character Design (3)

This course teaches students how to create fully realized characters using 3D animation software to be implemented into a game engine. Creating characters is one of the most difficult tasks that you can undertake in the realm of 3D art. Character Artists must be knowledgeable in a wide array of areas including anatomy, fashion, figure drawing, 3D modeling and character rigging. This course teaches students how to join all these skills into the confluence that is becoming a character artist

IMS 310 Usability and Digital Media Design (Replaced by IMS 413) (4)

IMS 317 Writing for Games and the Game Industry (3)

This course will offer students the opportunity to learn the various genres of writing related to creating and marketing games. We will create a number of small writing projects but will focus on creating six specific documents (i.e., game journalism, board game system modules, game tutorials, game narratives, game design documents and pitch presentations).

IMS 319 Foundations in Digital 3-D Modeling and Animation (3)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
Provides both knowledge in the underlying concepts and practical skills in the design and development of computer generated 3D imagery.

IMS 333 Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship (old title: e-Enterprising) (3)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
Focuses on building new interactive/digital ventures, venture capital, and private equity with respect to networking technologies in both existing and emerging industries based on opportunity and assembling the resources required.

IMS 340 Internship (1-3; Maximum of 6)

For credit internships/ pre-professional practical experiences for qualified students. Crosslisted with ART 340.

IMS 351 Introduction to Mobile Application Development (3)

Typically Offered Fall Semester
Examination of the critical issues related to development of mobile applications; creation of non-native mobile applications using graphical and script-based programming languages; ethics of mobile applications; mobile media and user interfaces for mobile devices; problem analysis for assessing applicability of mobile solutions.

IMS 355 Principles and Practices of Managing Interactive Projects (3)

Typically Offered Fall Semester
An investigation of lightweight methods of running an interactive project of any kind, allowing the student to apply what he/she learns through project-management and digital project organization. Emphasizing the latest Agile project management techniques, the course teaches how to manage complex interactive media projects using a leadership philosophy that encourages teamwork, self-organization and accountability.

IMS 356 Flash Animation (3)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
Utilizing Adobe’s Flash software, this course provides an introduction to web-based animation and interactive multimedia along with the fundamentals of motion graphics and time-based design. Students explore this powerful application as a means of personal expression and as an applied development tool. A focus on usability helps enhance understanding of the multimedia capabilities/limitations of the World Wide Web and how to leverage them to create engaging user experiences.

IMS 359 Art and Digital Tools II (3)

Typically Offered Spring Semester
This class dives a little deeper below the surface of IMS/ART 259, getting more rigorously into both the aesthetics and technical skills of creative work employing technology. We’ll talk about the sensibilities that technology often brings to creative work, and how we can work with and against those tendencies. Opportunities to hybridize techniques with other artistic processes will be presented. Projects will involve Adobe CreativeSuite, animation, photo/video, computer controlled fabrication, computer programming and/or physical computing. Cross listed with ART 359.
–Prerequisite: IMS/ART 259 or Permission of Instructor – interested students with some experience in art OR technology who have not taken IMS/ART 259 should contact Jacob Tonski [] to determine if this course is a good fit.

IMS 377 Independent Study (1-3)

Independent study of Interactive Media. Designed with AIMS Faculty and the student.

IMS 390.C Special Topics in Interactive Media Studies: Commercialization (3; 6 Maximum)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
This course offers a rotating series of business-related topics to meet the changing needs and interest of students and faculty, specifically focusing on the varying applications and theories of interactive media. Though designed for those who live in a world of digital media, this course does not teach mechanical skills (PowerPoint, Fireworks, Flash, or Photoshop).

IMS 390.I Special Topics in Interactive Media Studies: Interpretation (3; 6 Maximum)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
This course offers a rotating series of critical and humanities-related topics to meet the changing needs and interest of students and faculty, specifically focusing on the varying applications and theories of interactive media. Though designed for those who live in a world of digital media, this course does not teach mechanical skills (PowerPoint, Fireworks, Flash, or Photoshop).

IMS 390.S Special Topics in Interactive Media Studies (3; 6 Maximum)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
This course offers a rotating series of simulation and game-related topics to meet the changing needs and interest of students and faculty, specifically focusing on the varying applications and theories of interactive media. Though designed for those who live in a world of digital media, this course does not teach mechanical skills (PowerPoint, Fireworks, Flash, or Photoshop).

IMS 390.V Special Topics in Interactive Media Studies (3; 6 Maximum)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
This course offers a rotating series of visualization-related topics to meet the changing needs and interest of students and faculty, specifically focusing on the varying applications and theories of interactive media. Though designed for those who live in a world of digital media, this course does not teach mechanical skills (PowerPoint, Fireworks, Flash, or Photoshop).

IMS 404.Y Mind and Medium (3)

Typically Offered Spring Semester
Cross-listed with ARC 404.Y.

IMS 407/507 Interactive Business Communication (3)

Typically Offered Spring Semester
Writing and communicating effectively within business contexts, with an emphasis on researching, reporting, proposing, and maintaining relationships using digitally networked interactive technologies.

IMS 410/510 Digital Development Methods: Theory and Practice (4)

Typically Offered Fall Semester
Examines the tools and methodologies involved in the development and the management of the production of new media. Students study different development models in a real-world setting with a client project, consultatively producing an interactive solution.

IMS 411 Visual Rhetoric (3)

Typically Offered Spring Semester
Cross-listed with ENG 411.

IMS 413/513 Usability and Digital Media Design (4)

Typically Offered Spring Semester
We explore and discuss important concepts in human-computer interaction (HCI) theory and usability, and learn about cutting-edge technologies used to measure the effectiveness of digital media environment design. In so doing, we pay particular attention to user expectations and how they drive user behavior. The major focus of the course assignments is designing and managing a usability study, then reporting on the results of that study.

IMS 414/514 Web and Social Media Analytics (3)

Typically Offered Fall Semester
This course examines and develops analytical ability with respect to the variety of information provided by web and social media behaviors. Students will learn about the mechanisms for observing behavioral and consumer generated information and the leading-edge technologies that aid in the collection and analysis of these data. We will focus on strategic and practical ways to provide radical personalization, improve consumer relationships, and develop effective and value-driven online marketing activities.

IMS 418/518 Social Media Marketing and Online Community Management (3)

Typically Offered Spring Semester
Traditional advertising and marketing models are being increasingly challenged by a world in which content creation, transmission, and aggregation are being decentralized. Markets are now conversations – some very short. Social media are living conversations that present marketers with the challenge of how to understand and participate in those conversations in an authentic and value-based manner. Moreover, these conversations don’t happen in a vacuum. The connected nature of different social (and physical) relationships define a community of interest. The community manager uses this entire space to help bring value to this community. This class examines the variety and taxonomy of social media and the strategies and tactics associated with social media marketing and community management.

IMS 419/519 Digital Branding (3)

Typically Offered Fall Semester
Digital media present marketers with a tremendous range of new branding vehicles, many of which are only now being implemented into marketing communications. In this class we will explore the role that these media play in stand-alone branding campaigns and as part of integrated marketing communications campaigns. To do this, we will also consider how traditional branding theory has evolved to accommodate theories of human-computer interaction. Cross-listed with MKT 419.

IMS 422/522 Advanced Web Design (3)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
This course is an opportunity to investigate interactive design as it relates to a variety of media types used by businesses. Using industry standard measures of effective design methods, students will learn to design and evaluate interactive products for business needs. This includes the design and evaluation of websites, games, kiosk systems, and others. Topics include the use of standard interaction (e.g. mouse, touchscreens) but also extend into emerging interaction through eye tracking, computer vision, and haptic interface. Effective interactive design is often achieved by the creative application of sometimes disparate disciplines. Students should expect to incorporate their understanding of art theory, psychology, commercial business practice and creative problem solving.

IMS 440/540 Interactive Media Studies Practicum (4)

Typically Offered Both Semester
Examines the tools and methodologies involved in creating and managing the production of new media. Students will study different development models in a real-world setting and work with a client in business or industry to consultatively produce an interactive solution. This course particularly focuses on two aspects of the client project: (1) the management of new media development, and (2) the processes that best develop the synergy of an interdisciplinary team working toward a shared goal and the tools of development. It will also emphasize project planning and management. While it maybe the case that programmers need to know coding and graphic designers need to know vector graphics, the successful manager will know something about all of these tools, about how they work together, and about how to specialize in one of them.

IMS 445/545 Game Design (3)

Typically Offered Fall Semester
Develops theoretical foundations, methods and skills in building 3D gaming environments.

IMS 452 Senior Thesis (3)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
All IMS co-majors must complete an independent project, typically in the senior year, under the guidance of an IMS faculty member. This project provides an opportunity for the student to synthesize various strands of their academic work, professional experience, and design knowledge; it should be a significant piece of intellectual and creative work; it should demonstrate that the student has developed professional expertise, knowledge, and skill in a specific area related to interactive media studies.

IMS 466 Critical Game Development (3)

Typically Offered in the Spring
It often takes an entire collegiate career for a student to develop their first finished game. This course aims to change this by letting students develop a short game (by themselves or with friends who are also taking the class). The course starts with the development of a game design that has a realistic scope. Afterwards, the students get to use their class time to work, discuss the games, playtest them, and tackle development problems as a group, all under the guidance of an experienced game design professor. The students are expected to invested a minimum of 100 hours into developing this game (which will be divided between home work and in-class time). The goal of the course is for to develop a short game that is publishable on an indie gaming website, such as, Game Jolt, Desura, and that can be submitted to design competitions.

IMS 477 Independent Study (1-3)

Typically Offered Both Semesters
Independent study of Interactive Media. Designed with AIMS Faculty and the student.

IMS 487/587 Game Prototyping, Pipeline, and Production (3)

Typically Offered Spring Semester
In this class students will learn how to create a contemporary computer game, applying standard techniques for creating art assets, communicating design and developing a playable demo. Students are expected to combine the knowledge and experience they have gained in preceding game courses to design and develop an engaging play experience from concept to completion.

IMS 461/561 Advanced 3D Visualization and Simulation (3)

Typically Offered Spring Semester
Advanced course in data visualization, 3D simulations, motion tracking, and virtual reality.

EDT/EDL662 New Literacies and Social Media (3)

This graduate course will investigate so-called “social media” (Facebook, Twitter, online communities) and their implications for helping us understand how notions of literacy are changing. We will view these media not necessarily as a threat to literacy but as an “accelerator” of change, both positive and negative, and attempt to come to terms with what the term “literacy” should mean in the 21st century. Toward this end, we will investigate research from the New Literacy Studies (New London Group, 1996; Lankshear & Knobel, 2006) movement, utilizing concepts toward an understanding of social media. This seminar will emphasize a hands-on approach (though no expertise with social media is assumed), with students engaging in a semester-long social media practicum, using and creating social media content. A particular emphasis will be placed on understanding the impact of multimodal, interactive texts such as digital videogames, social networking sites, internet memes, and the rise of new, mobile technologies (smartphones, the Kindle, and the iPad). Please note this course is graduate-only, not cross-listed with a 400-level course.