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2007 Lloyd Fosdick Award Winner Announced


May 2007

The 2007 Lloyd Fosdick Award, intended to recognize exemplary collaborative projects that include Computer Science undergraduates as participants, was recently announced. This year's winning project was RachSolid: A Java-Based Piano Tutor. Project team members were undergraduate Computer Science majors Brandon Booth, Thomas Josephson, Eric Lefebvre, Garrett Lewellen and Nathaniel Watkins.


Alejandro Cremaschi, Assistant Professor of Piano and Pedagogy at the University of Colorado, is authoring a book that will help teach people of all ages to play the piano. Accompanying the book will be an interactive, software piano tutor, RachSolid. This interactive piano tutor will be able to load and musically display the contents of MIDI files (or MIDI lessons provided with the book), and will allow a user to interact with a loaded piece of music in two modes. The first, Learning Mode, allows users to learn the notes and internalize the hand motions for a musical piece at their own speed. The second, Performance Mode, allows them to practice the piece at tempo. Additional features of the software include music playback, performance recording, performance grading, and persistence of completed lessons for future playback and/or exportation of the performance as a new MIDI file. This software will allow young and beginning pianists to learn and practice performing many pieces to improve the development of their piano skills.

The software has been described as being "hard to stop playing" by musicians who have been involved in beta testing. Attention to detail is evident throughout each of the underlying software components. Attention to usability and aesthetics, especially apparent in the user interface, help make the user experience enjoyable.

RachSolid was one of twelve projects completed in Computer Science Senior Projects (CSCI 4308-CSCI 4318) during the 2006-2007 academic year. The Senior Projects course was taught by Bruce Sanders along with teaching assistants Aaron Beach and Karie Shipley.

The Undergraduate Committee wishes to congratulate the winners, as well as two other excellent teams that were also nominated for the award:

This annual award is named for former Department Chair Lloyd Fosdick. Nominations for the award come from Computer Science faculty directing group projects, with the Undergraduate Committee selecting the award-winning project from those nominated each year. Each undergraduate student in the award-winning group will receive a $50 prize.

See also:
Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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