Innovation and Revolution


Making, Breaking and Hacking 21st Century Technology

How does the technology that is all around us work? How does using this technology effect our experience of the world? 

How can digital technology be used as a creative tool? 

In this course we'll explore these themes as we create, break, hack and manipulate a variety of tools and resources. Collaborating with peers, you'll create a vibrant community where you will be encouraged to experiment as you develop your technical and creative skills. You will learn how to control and build the digital tools that we use everyday.
Throughout the summer, you will explore a variety of emerging tools and skills that are useful in this digital age including: 
  • computer programming
  • hardware hacking
  • web security & privacy
  • harnessing web based APIs
  • 3D Printing and more. 

Directed assignments and open ended questions and conversations will invite you to test new ideas and techniques, and to develop your digital literacy and you build your own digital and physical creations and tinker with others. You will also have opportunities to work with your peers to create collaborative projects and share your creations with the broader community and the world.



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: