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Senior Projects Win Awards at Spring 2007 Design Expo

 

April 2007

Nearly 50 Computer Science seniors exhibited their projects at the Spring 2007 Engineering Design Expo, held recently in the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory. These students are members of twelve teams completing Senior Projects (CSCI 4308-CSCI 4318) this year.

Eighty-eight projects from throughout the College were exhibited at the expo. Four Computer Science Senior Projects received awards, including the award for the "best" project of the expo, the "People's Choice Award", as selected by attendees at the expo:

  • TouchUp

    TouchUp - A Multi-User, Touch-Based Drawing Program
    sponsored by Center for Lifelong Learning and Design

    • Brian Braeckel
    • Tyler Brown
    • Nathan Campbell
    • Jonathan Smith

    The goal of the project was to produce an application to investigate the capabilities of Mitsubishi Electronics Research Lab's (MERL) prototype DiamondTouch table. This table allows up to four users to interact simultaneously and independently on a touch screen surface. TouchUp is a multi-user, touch-based drawing program, which exploits this DiamondTouch functionality in the form of a collaborative artistic environment, in which multiple users can work together to manipulate a single digital image. Because all users have their own personal settings, they are able to draw with different tools at the same time, and undo or redo their actions without interfering with each other's work.

    Beneath its simplicity, however, lies a surprising degree of complexity. The quality of the design and implementation is evident from subtle capabilities (such as the ability to dynamically add and remove users) to core design aspects (such as undoing or redoing user-specific actions). Additional features, such as the ability to "flick" GUI components about the screen provide for an enjoyable user experience.

In an unprecedented occurrence, the runner-up for the People's Choice Award (by a single vote!) was also a Computer Science Senior Project:

  • RachSolid

    RachSolid - A Java-Based Piano Tutor
    sponsored by University of Colorado College of Music

    • Brandon Booth
    • Thomas Josephson
    • Eric Lefebvre
    • Garrett Lewellen
    • 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.

Two additional Computer Science Senior Projects were recognized with "Best in Section" awards. This recognition was given by industry judges based on interviews with each project team, demonstrations of each project, and evaluation of each project's results by the judges. Winners of this award for Computer Science were

  • BioKid

    BioKid - A Kid's Game Using a Biofeedback Device
    sponsored by The Wild Divine Project

    Throughout the last six years, Wild Divine has developed different health and wellness games using their "Lightstone" biofeedback device. Although these games have been very successful, many families wanted their children to be able to participate as well. Unfortunately, the existing games were too difficult for young children to master. The BioKid project addresses this issue by creating a game that is fun and kid-friendly, while still keeping the Wild Divine game-themes in mind.

    The biofeedback input device was developed for home use by professionals in biofeedback therapy. The device gathers data for heart-rate-variability and skin-conductance-level, which are, respectively, the change in heart-rate and skin moisture over time. The other two input devices are the keyboard and mouse. Combined, these three devices allow the player to interact with the game elements.

    The result is a biofeedback-driven game for kids, second grade and older. The game monitors the player's heart-rate and skin-conductivity to see if he/she is getting more excited, calmer, or staying steady. This 2D Flash game has Zelda-like feel with its top-down view, collecting of items, and smashing bushes. The main goal of this particular adventure has the game's hero "Nettle" herding a flock of sheep into their pen. Nettle can communicate with the sheep when the player is calm and relaxed, and the sheep will then follow Nettle. When the player is excited or anxious, the poor sheep get nervous and can't follow. Through the fun mechanics of the game and the Lightstone device, this game helps kids understand that they can consciously affect their heart-rate. It also reflects the way their feelings affect the world around them. Kids can learn how to get better at relaxing and understand they can control their anxiety with a little focus and skill.

  • Rhea's Aim

    Rhea's Aim - A Web-Based Employee Management System
    sponsored by Avaya Inc.

    • Christopher Bondeson
    • Philip Jones
    • Joseph Hellebusch
    • Seth Wilcox

    Avaya is a leading global provider of business communications applications, software and services, building and managing communications networks for more that one million businesses. They are also the world leader in IP telephony and are a FORTUNE 500 company employing many thousands of people. Among their numerous product offerings, Avaya provides systems that help to manage office communication systems.

    This project implements a web-based user interface for Avaya's Directory Enabled Management (DEM) configuration management product. DEM, a module that sits between Avaya's communication equipment and an LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) directory (such as Active Directory), automatically manages the phone and voicemail systems based on the entries in this LDAP directory. The system provides services for three distinct classes of users: regular employees (who can manage their personal information as well as look up information about other employees); human resources users (who can add and remove employees and maintain various data related to these employees); and IT users (who can dynamically manage the structure and organization of the system through a powerful interactive employee template management facility).

The Senior Projects course was taught by Bruce Sanders along with teaching assistants Aaron Beach and Karie Shipley.

 
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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