Exploring The Artistic Side of Engineering

Natalie Monger Computer Science, Natalie, Professional & Academic, Research, Sports, Students, Viterbi Life, Viterbi Plus, Why USC, Women In Engineering Leave a Comment

I love both technology and dance. As a student in both USC Viterbi and USC Kaufman, I have the best of both worlds. I get to study both of my passions on the same campus with some of the best professors and students in the world.

Growing up, I have always used both sides of my brain. On the right side of my brain is my love for math, science, and computers. The left side houses my love for dance, dance studies, writing, and the artistic part of the sciences. My classes at USC have helped me realize that I can build a bridge between the two sides of my brain and have a significant impact on the fields of technology and dance.  

I love meeting other Viterbi engineers that minor in music, philosophy, or graphic design. It makes my heart jump for joy with the potential impact Viterbi engineers can have on the intersection of technology and art around the world. Diversity of thought is extremely important to innovation. Projects can have a large impact if they incorporate other fields in addition to computer science.

After almost two years of studying at the university of my dreams, I feel as if the construction on the bridge that I am building between the right side of my brain and the left side of my brain is almost complete. In one of my classes last semester, I read dance scholar Ann Hutchinson Guest’s descriptions of the evolution of technology in dance. My jaw dropped as I read her prediction that “in the future it is probable that a generation of choreographers will arise who can record their creations, in part if not in whole, before meeting with dancers.” In the future, computational programs may dominate dance. Because of my experiences at USC, I know that I want to be on the forefront of this idea.

I see the fields of technology and dance merging and transforming rapidly. I already have some of my own ideas, but part of the purpose of my dance minor through Kaufman and my research through USC ICT is to learn what is currently out there so I can formulate new ideas and suggest my own improvements. Specifically, I would like to focus on computerized choreography, using motion capture to choreograph and design dances before meeting with dancers in person. The two seemingly disparate fields of dance and technology may, in the future, merge into one—dance technology.

I believe with the incredible resources and professors I have at USC, my dreams of creating a product combining my two passions may become a reality within the next few years. And if other computer scientists would step out of their comfort zones and pursue a minor in the arts, it would kickstart the future in such an entertaining way.

Read more about the benefits of my education combining engineering and the arts here and here.

Natalie Monger

Natalie Monger

Meet Natalie

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