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CSEET 2010: Day 3 - Keynote

Notes from Day 3 of the CSEET conference...

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Arosha K Bandara
11 March 2010

Notes from Day 3 of the CSEET conference

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Keynote: The Entertainment Technology Centre Story

Don Marinelli, Executive Producer, ETC @ CMU

The ETC is the Entertainment Technology Centre, which was established by Randy Pausch and Don Marinelli with the aim of bringing together computer scientists and artists to solve real world problems.

The ETC offers a 2-year graduate curriculum in entertainment technology where only the first semester involves taught modules.  The remaining 3 semesters involve a serious of project modules where the students work in small interdisciplinary teams to build systems to address real-world problems.

Examples of projects developed by ETC students include:

  • Animateering system: allows children to interact with virtual puppets (which are virtual representations of real puppets on display at the Pittsburgh Children's Museum) - Link:
  • Synthetic Interview: allows a person to have a dialogue with a software controlled agent, often representing a historical figure - Link:
  • Literacy as Play: provides tools for children to write their own story books - Link:
  • More projects @

The basic message of the ETC is to develop the notion of craftsmanship for developing educational entertainment technologies.  The main teaching mode is 'learning by doing', which is why there is such a significant emphasis on project work.  

The following quote from the ETC website captures the philosophy of the program succinctly:

"We do not intend to take artists and turn them into engineers, or vice-versa. While some students will be able to achieve mastery in both areas, it is not our intention to have our students master “the other side.” Instead, we intend for a typical student in this program to enter with mastery/training in a specific area and spend his or her two years at Carnegie Mellon learning the vocabulary, values, and working patterns of the other culture."


Arosha K Bandara
12:34 on 11 March 2010 (Edited 03:04 on 12 March 2010)

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