Curricle, a curriculum exploration platform three years in the making, launched to Harvard undergraduates this week. As students arrive on campus and begin planning their semester, they can now find classes through interactive visualizations highlighting unexpected connections and fostering new modes of inquiry.

https://curricle.berkman.harvard.edu — available to Harvard users only.

Curricle is beta testing this semester, and seeking feedback from all users on how we can improve the platform and build new useful features. In our first few days, we have seen 5% of the student body test out the website. We look forward to sharing their insights soon.

The Curricle project began in 2015, when then-dean…


In the interest of discovering what goes on at Harvard’s metaLAB, I sat down for a talk with Associate Director Matthew Battles, who is working on so many projects he referred to them as “projects that nest in projects.” One project in particular he wanted to discuss is Earth Measurer, as it encapsulates his varied interests in technology, art, and the natural world.

The idea for the project was sparked when he noticed how computer scientists refer to algorithms as “a mystery” like human consciousness, Battles told me. We don’t really understand how it happens, they say. Around the same…


Harvard’s metaLAB was invited to join this year’s Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria by Eveline Wandl-Vogt of the Austrian Academy for Sciences, Austria’s central non-university research and science institution. Wandl-Vogt works in the division of the Digital Humanities for the Academy, and her long-term project is called Postdictionary, an open innovation collaboration between artists, practitioners and scientists. Desiring a living, more sensory experience of the project, she asked metaLAB Associate Director Matthew Battles to collaborate in making food culture experiments at the Postdictionary station. …


The Ars Electronica Center on the Danube in Linz, Austria

Over the past five days, about 100,000 people swarmed to Linz, Austria for Ars Electronica, Europe’s premier festival for art, technology, and social reflection. Harvard’s metaLAB was also there, offering critique among the techno-positivism, with five members exhibiting three current projects.

The Ars Electronica Festival has been taking place annually in Linz since 1986, as a deliberate effort to change the city’s image (Linz is known for being Austria’s most industrial city and Hitler’s home town), and this year’s theme was “Error — the Art of Imperfection.” …


Antonio Perez is a junior at Olin College of Engineering, where he’s studying to be a Mechanical Engineer. He became a summer fellow at metaLAB through “Sketch Model,” Olin’s culturally-oriented externship program, which allows its mechanically-minded students to be exposed to the humanities. Perez told me that engineers have an elitist way of looking at the world — since they think all that really matters is making something — but after his time at metaLAB he’s been impressed with the importance of following ethical avenues of thought when it comes to the social implications of design.

Over the summer, Perez…


Snow (Xue) Dong is a senior at Harvard, studying Sociology and also Visual Arts. She was attracted to the non-traditional, interdisciplinary approach of metaLAB, and as a SHARP Fellow she has been working on Curricle, the platform of tools that will drastically change how students navigate the Harvard curriculum. Many students find classes by word of mouth, and Snow says Curricle captures this aspect by “visualizing the catalog.” She further elaborated that the platform accomplishes this by allowing for searches by types of activity — if for instance, the class is a lecture, studio, field trip, or lab.

Snow Dong during a presentation of Curricle

Yet Snow’s…


Nikhil Dharmaraj is a rising senior … in high school! He wanted to work as an intern at metaLAB this summer because he’s interested in using interactive art to express technological ideas — and what better place is there for that?

Nikhil has mostly worked with metaLAB’s Creative Researcher Sarah Newman on her project “Moral Labyrinth.” This art project, which was exhibited as an installation in Berlin earlier this year, asks ethical questions about the use of Artificial Intelligence. Before coming to metaLAB, Nikhil didn’t know much about AI ethics or the issue of value alignment, but he now sees…


About three years ago, metaLAB at Harvard took up the challenge to develop a digital tool that would revolutionize how students, faculty, and administrators engage with the Harvard curriculum. And on Thursday August 2, 2018, the LAB presented Curricle to a small audience of deans, faculty, and members of Harvard Initiative for Teaching and Learning (HILT). This presentation was the soft launch of Curricle, a platform that visualizes the course catalog and the history of Harvard’s curriculum through the use of algorithms and machine learning. …


Sinead Danagher is a rising sophomore at Harvard, leaning toward a major in the History of Art and Architecture. Interested in interdisciplinary fields, she became a SHARP Fellow at metaLAB as part of the undergraduate research village program. But one thing Sinead quickly noticed is that rather than doing mundane research, as she expected, she has actually been helping to create a product — Curricle, metaLAB’s prototype platform for course discovery and selection, and which will be launched at Harvard this fall.

Sinead presenting Curricle

According to Sinead, Curricle aims to allow students to find courses through more intuitive ways than the current…


Since 2011, metaLAB has been charting new connections in the networked arts and humanities. We’ve developed technology, published books, and made an abundance of art works and installations exploring artificial intelligence, libraries and collections, and technology’s roles in experiences of the natural world. And here on Medium, we’re renewing our commitment to dialogue on these topics. In the next few days, we’ll share news of projects and events, explore the topics that fascinate us, and profile students and affiliates who are helping us make this work.

To foster this conversation, we’ll be hearing from folks around the lab as well—both…

metaLAB (at) Harvard

Experimental research and knowledge design lab exploring intersections between technology and the arts, humanities, society, and the natural world.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store