Innovation and Revolution


Making, Breaking and Hacking 21st Century Technology


How does using digital technology affect our experience of the world? What makes the technology we use everyday tick?  Can technology be used as a creative tool?

To answer these questions and more, in this course we will use a variety of tools including coding, 3D printing and laser cutting to create applications, programs, and real world "stuff" while discussing the implications of digital technology in the modern world.

Throughout this course we will take an interdisciplinary approach to projects, incorporating art, technology and Judaism, challenging convention and celebrating ‘the hack.'



The following topics and activities have been part of this course in past summers. Your experience may include some of these or others like them, depending on the instructor’s plans.

Ask Questions

  • How have technological innovations fueled massive change in society?

  • What are the social, ethical, and political implications of technology on society?

  • What are the implications of a culture plugged into Facebook and iPhones?

  • What is your role in the current technological revolution?


Find Answers

  • Engage in ethnographic research and observe people's interactions with technology

  • Clock time in Brandeis's new MakerLab trying your hand at 3D Printing or embedded systems

  • Visit the world's preeminent hackerspace and see real life welding, machining, woodworking, jewelry, hot glass, rapid prototyping, foam, fabrics, plastics, electronics, and robotics projects in progress.

  • Visit a working robotics lab and understand what makes them work.

  • Learn from real world techies and hackers about the creative work they're engaged in to help shape their communities.


Take Action


  • Use cutting edge technology to design things in the real world;

  • Learn to harness code to build interactive computing experiences

  • Design and present an activity to your peers from other Genesis courses that weave together academic, scientific, political, ethical, religious and economic perspectives;

  • Challenge your Genesis peers on issues around technologies that impact our community and experience during the summer.


Meet the Instructor


  • Read about our Innovation and Revolution course instructor Russel Neiss

  • Hear Russel speak about the course: