The N2N (N-Squared) Digital Learning Classroom
A New Paradigm for Immersive Participatory Learning

California Institute of the Arts | Stanford University, CCRMA
Ajay Kapur + Ge Wang

The N2N (N-Squared) Learning project seeks to explore new paradigms for future classroom that will revolutionize student learning through the use of digital media, engaging students in computer science, music, and technology at CalArts, Stanford University's CCRMA, and beyond. In this environment, classroom participants are placed in configurations (e.g., circle) to give each person immediate and symmetrically sonic and visual access to everyone else - simultaneously. Each student station consists of a laptop, hemispherical speaker array, controllers for music-making, and a large-scale, mobile digital display (e.g., 70"-80" HDTV).

(download full-resolution pdf)

The information that is traditionally self-viewed by the laptop user becomes material for exploration for all students. The curricula involved to prototype this classroom (software, programming, music composition, sound design, hardware design, live performance) are well suited to this type of many-to-many learning since each requires a process of creative decisions where the learning takes place from doing, experimenting, and peer learning. By enabling students to actively engage with (potentially all) other students at every stage of this process, and by developing a dedicated curriculum for this type of classroom, we imagine that the learning process will be not only enriched and accelerated, but fundamentally transformed.

video: download (.mov 60mb)
concept and existing components;
what if we can do all of them in an "N2N" kind of way?

deliverables include:
  • instantiation of the very first N2N Digital Learning Classroom,
    at CalArts + Stanford University's CCRMA (remotely)
  • development and complete documentation of the N2N curriculum:
    • detailed syllabus + assignments
    • software platform + examples (all open source)
    • hardware schematics, instructions, and tutorial
    • freely available, and suitable for building future N2N classrooms
  • 2 large-scale N2N performances with the Stanford Laptop Orchestra
  • extensive documentation: freely available online
  • in depth presentation in journals, conferences, performances, and more

related components

multi-discplinary music technology program at CalArts;
at the nexus of music performance, hardware/robotics for music

Stanford University's renowned
Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics;
at the natural crossroads of CS, music, EE, cognition,
and signal processing.

Stanford Laptop Orchestra
large-scale computer-mediated classroom + ensemble;
radically transforming traditional pedagogy and performance;
powerful research platform

ChucK programming language
programming language tailored for real-time audio;
effective (and fun) in classrooms at the intersection
of computer science and music.


Ajay Kapur
Professor and Program Director
Music Technology: Interaction > Intelligence > and Design (MTIID)
California Institute of the Arts

Ge Wang
Assistant Professor
Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA)
Department of Music (also Computer Science, by Courtesy)
Stanford University

Thank you!