Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI
Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI

Sonic Thinking - Methods of Working with Sound (Wintersemester 2021/2022)

Dozent: Dr. Julia von Thienen

Allgemeine Information

  • Semesterwochenstunden: 2
  • ECTS: 3
  • Benotet: Ja
  • Einschreibefrist: 01.10.2021 - 22.10.2021
  • Lehrform: Seminar
  • Belegungsart: Wahlpflichtmodul
  • Lehrsprache: Englisch

Studiengänge, Modulgruppen & Module

IT-Systems Engineering MA
  • Professional Skills
    • HPI-PSK-KO Kommunikation
  • Professional Skills
    • HPI-PSK-DTA Design Thinking Advanced
Data Engineering MA
Digital Health MA
Cybersecurity MA


Hosts: This seminar is co-organized by Julia von Thienen, Marisol Jimenez, Henrik von Coler, Nico Steckhan, Knut Kaulke and Julius Holtz.

When? The seminar takes place on Mondays, beginning Oct 25, afternoon 3:15-4:45 pm
Where? Predominantly, the seminar is held in person: HPI main building, ground floor, HE.51/52. A few sessions will be held online. For all sessions, a Zoom option is available, so that even in-person-sessions can be attended online.

Online access:
Meeting ID: 637 3734 4273
Passcode: 05373895

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While the human sense of vision is harnessed a lot in human-computer interaction, opportunities arising from other human senses are much less explored. This class is especially dedicated to the auditory sense and resulting design opportunities in the field of digital engineering. It provides basic knowledge, skills and experiences in three directions:

- Computer music and sound synthesis – tools and algorithms (by Dr. Henrik von Coler & Julius Holtz)

- Artistic perspectives on sound (by Dr. Marisol Jimenez, Leonardo Auri, Nico D'Aleman & Julius Holtz)

- Sound and science (by Dr. Julia von Thienen, Nico D'Aleman, Dr. Nico Steckhan & Dr. Knut Kaulke)

A major part of the class is your own creative project. Based on personal interests and passions, you can self-design your own digital engineering project, in which you explore opportunities of sound.


There are no prerequisites for attending this class. 


Your major work in this class will be a creative project, which you develop in the broad area of sound and digital engineering. You can conduct the creative project alone or in teams. You can conduct one bigger project across the Sonic Thinking Seminar and the Neurodesign Lecture if you like. It is also possible to continue a previous project pursued in a Neurodesign class, from Data Sonification or previous Sonic Thinking classes.   

The final grade will be determined as follows:

Your Creative Project

  • 20% first project presentation
  • 20% final project presentation
  • 30% documented source code - final project submission

In-Class Topics

  • 15% audio technology method competence & engagement in class
  • 15% artistic & creative exploration in class


Preliminary agenda, minor changes still possible


25 Oct: Introduction

01 Nov: Marisol - Artistic Perspectives on Sound I

08 Nov: Nico D. - Sonic Thinking. Getting Knowledge from Sound

15 Nov: Nico D.- Sonification and Auditory Display

22 Nov: Leo - Music Theory in Practice for Programmers I

29 Nov: Leo - Music Theory in Practice for Programmers II

06 Dec: Nico S. & Knut - Sound for Biomedicine and Digital Health

13 Dec: First Student Presentations*

03 Jan: Marisol - Artistic Perspectives on Sound II

10 Jan: Julius - Qualitative Research in Sound

17 Jan: Marisol - Artistic Perspectives on Sound III

24 Jan: Julius - Designing with Spatial Sound

31 Jan: Henrik - Technology of Computer Music I

07 Feb: Henrik - Technology of Computer Music II

14 Feb: Final Student Presentations*


31. March: Submission of project documentation*


*Dates with content by course participants