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Senior Projects Win Awards at Spring 2008 Design Expo

 

April 2008

More than 40 Computer Science seniors exhibited their projects at the Spring 2008 Engineering Design Expo, held recently in the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory. These students are members of eleven teams completing Senior Projects (CSCI 4308-CSCI 4318) this year.

Ninety-six projects from throughout the College were exhibited at the expo. Two Computer Science Senior Projects received "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

  • Picasso

    Picasso - Super Doodle: A Web-Based Freehand Drawing Tool
    sponsored by Kerpoof LLC

    Boulder-based Kerpoof LLC has created the www.kerpoof.com kids' website, which is "all about having fun, discovering things, and being creative". The site allows kids to create movies, stories and drawings and to share them with other kids. Kerpoof requested the development of a new drawing program, Super Doodle, that could be incorporated into the Kerpoof website.

    Super Doodle is a web-based, freehand drawing program for kids -- but with a big twist. In addition to supporting all of the usual features of drawing programs such as save/load, undo/redo, clear, print, erase, fill, copy, color and pen size selection, move, and, of course, freehand drawing with the mouse, Super Doodle allows users with little drawing skill to create smooth, high-quality sketches. It does this by analyzing a user's mouse strokes to find various geometric features such as lines, curves, and angles, and then intelligently smoothes the results -- jagged edges become straight lines and rounded bends become perfect curves.

    Further, Super Doodle employs a number of "shape detectors" to determine a user's intention to draw a particular shape, rather than requiring the user to explicitly indicate their intention by selecting a specific tool. Roughly drawn rectangles morph into perfect rectangles as do similarly squares, triangles, ellipses, circles, diamonds, kite-shapes, and stars; scribbling over a previously drawn closed shape results in the shape being filled with the color of the pen. The degree of correction can be user-controlled from no correction to always drawing "perfect" lines, curves and shapes.

    Although originally planned simply as a proof-of-concept application, instead Super Doodle has been fully integrated it into all facets of Kerpoof's production website. Since this integration, Super Doodle has rapidly become one of Kerpoof's most popular products, with users filling the "shared scenes" section with amazingly-creative doodles.

  • COWAbunga

    COWAbunga - Scheduling System for the Conference on World Affairs
    sponsored by Conference on World Affairs

    The Annual Conference on World Affairs is a conference on "Everything Conceivable", including music, literature, environment, science, journalism, visual arts, diplomacy, technology, spirituality, the film industry, politics, business, medicine, human rights and more. It is held in Boulder every year in the month of April and is completely free to the general public. The conference consists of approximately 100 participants from around the world who speak in various panels discussing cross-disciplinary subjects.

    Scheduling the conference each year is a complicated process. Conference coordinators must be concerned, for instance, with ever-changing panelist and venue availability, associating moderators and producers with each panel, avoiding scheduling panelists for too many (or too few) panels or for panels that are too close together (in time) or too far apart (in space). In addition, the schedule can be somewhat fluid, requiring changes late into the scheduling process.

    For 60 years, this scheduling process has used a labor-intensive pencil and paper method. The COWAbunga system replaces that with a web-based system that allows conference coordinators to create conferences and then to add panels and venues to them. Panelists, moderators and producers can then be added to these panels. The system not only prevents problems such as scheduling a panelist in multiple panels at the same time, but also warns the coordinator of any "conflicts" (such as a panelist being scheduled for too many or too few panels, a panel that has no moderator, or a panel composed of all "rookie" panelists). Such conflicts are immediately detected whenever they occur, allowing the coordinator to address the issue as they see fit.

The Senior Projects course was taught by Bruce Sanders along with teaching assistants Guy Cobb 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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