Doors of Perception
If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. - William Blake.
The human portals for receiving sensory information leave a lot on the table. For example, we only see a narrow band of the electromagnetic spectrum. On the other hand, they also have ample excess bandwidth, evolved to handle emergencies.
Frank is inspired by the vision that modern technology can repurpose some of the excess bandwidth, to open new horizons. Concretely, in recent years he has, in collaboration with Clubes de Ciencia, developed an intense one-week workshop/course where students take in some basic theory while, in parallel, creating hardware and software that re-codes and expands color perception. This course (in evolving forms) has now been taught by volunteer instructors over a dozen times in several Latin American cities, and by Frank himself at ASU. An enhanced and expanded version is now being developed for delivery ASU and MIT in spring 2018.
You can read more about the projects here. ASU Clubes report.
ASU Spring 2018 Course by Frank Wilczek
Workshop in Perception Technology
After a review of basic theory around (mainly) color perception in humans and throughout the animal world, the course will focus on design and hands-on construction of software and hardware to explore and expand (mainly) visual perception. Students will create meaningful Python- and Arduino-based projects around these themes. “Packaged” projects introduce additional (hyperspectral and extra-spectral) information channels into images, create interesting visual environments, and explore synesthesia, color blindness, and tetrachromacy. Then, following a disciplined brainstorm (“Sprint”), the class will suggest and develop new projects.
Enrollment will be limited to twenty students, to allow intense interaction and small team collaboration.