Browse Active Research Projects

Undergraduates can participate in projects for credits by registering in CS 4974 or 4994. Consult the Faculty Advisor or Research Supervisor before you register for this course.

Participation on a VTURCS project could also lead to an honors thesis for CS majors interested in graduating with honors.

Can't find anything that piques your curiousity? Don't be afraid to check out the Computer Science faculty list for someone who has a research interest you'd like to know more about. They might just have something for you.

Nicholas F. Polys

3D Blacksburg

Faculty Advisor
Nicholas F. Polys
Research Supervisor
Nicholas F. Polys
Description of Work
Th collection, translation and integration of geospatial information is increasingly important for safety, development, transportation and policy. This independent study will work on any of several aspects for 3DBlacksburg.org from the server to the client.
Application Instructions
Email to setup a convenient time to discuss details.
Project URL
not online yet
Area(s) of Research
Computer-Aided Instruction, Digital Libraries, Human-Computer Interaction, Databases
Compensation
Work for Credit
Contact
npolys@vt.edu
Wole Oyekoya

3D CAVE Projects

Faculty Advisor
Wole Oyekoya
Research Supervisor
Wole Oyekoya
Description of Work
As part of effort to get Unity3D running in the CAVE (VisCube), I'm looking for students interested in running various projects/experiments. Familiarity with Javascript and C# is a plus. Students can conduct studies on various visualization systems for medical, training, geospatial or any scenario of interest to you. There are other areas such as attention modelling in virtual environments. Please see project url below.
Application Instructions
Contact me for more details.
Project URL
http://vis.arc.vt.edu/home/wolex/projectideas.html
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction, Artificial Intelligence
Compensation
Negotiable
Contact
wolex@vt.edu
Doug Bowman

3D user interfaces for gaming

Faculty Advisor
Doug Bowman
Research Supervisor
Doug Bowman
Description of Work
Recent game consoles (e.g., Sony PS3 and Microsoft XBox 360) have sophisticated 3D spatial input capabilities (Sony Move and Microsoft Kinect). In this project, students will use these platforms to develop and evaluate 3D interaction techniques for navigation, selection, and manipulation in gaming contexts.
Application Instructions
Send a resume to bowman@vt.edu and explain your relevant background and interests in this project. Experience with GUI programming (CS 3744), HCI (CS 3724), and 3D graphics (CS 4204) is highly desirable, but not required.
Project URL
http://research.cs.vt.edu/3di/
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction
Compensation
Work for Credit or Volunteer
Contact
bowman@vt.edu
Nicholas Polys

3D User Interfaces for Scientific Visualization

Faculty Advisor
Nicholas Polys
Research Supervisor
Nicholas Polys
Description of Work
In the Visionarium Lab [https://snoid.sv.vt.edu/visionarium/] , we are using tablets and multi-touch tables to add 2D interfaces to immersive virtual environments. This project will explore alternative architectures and techniques to support scientific analysis.
Application Instructions
Email me.
Project URL
http://
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction, Problem Solving Environments, Software Engineering
Compensation
Work for Pay
Contact
npolys@vt.eud
Joe Gabbard

A Handheld Approach to Mobile Augmented Reality

Faculty Advisor
Joe Gabbard
Research Supervisor
Joe Gabbard
Description of Work
The Mobile Augmented Reality Lab is researching novel definitions and applications of Augmented Reality (AR) technology. One of our goals is to transition the technology usage from cumbersome head-worn, tethered, and indoor contexts, to wireless and truly mobile user experiences. The specific project at this time, is to employ a camera-enabled handheld computer (e.g., PDA, mobile phone) as a "window to the world", overlaying location-based information onto a real-time video image. We are collaborating with SeeVT with the goal of providing additional user interaction techniques to mobile users across campus.
Application Instructions
Email me to setup a time to discuss more details. Creative approaches to the problem are encouraged.
Project URL
http://
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction
Compensation
Work for Credit or Volunteer
Contact
jgabbard@vt.edu
Cliff Shaffer

Algorithm Visualizations

Faculty Advisor
Cliff Shaffer
Research Supervisor
Cliff Shaffer
Description of Work
Help to advance our research program on algorithm visualization. Options include 1) Create one or more algorithm visualizations to be used in courses such as CS2606. We do our implementations as Java applets. This will extend our library of algorithm visualizations for use in courses at Virginia Tech. For examples of our previous work, see: http://research.cs.vt.edu/AVresearch/ 2) Contribute to development of the AlgoViz Portal (http://algoviz.org). This might involve PhP programming, and/or learning about the Drupal Content Management System. 3) Help with our "Open Textbook" project, to create an online, "open source" free textbook for Data Structures where the text is integrated with algorithm visualizations.
Application Instructions
Contact Dr. Shaffer to set up an appointment.
Project URL
http://research.cs.vt.edu/AVresearch/vturcs
Area(s) of Research
Computer-Aided Instruction, Human-Computer Interaction
Compensation
Work for Credit
Contact
shaffer@vt.edu
Joe Gabbard

Augmenting Information Rich Displays

Faculty Advisor
Joe Gabbard
Research Supervisor
Joe Gabbard
Description of Work
To date, most augmented reality (AR) applications have focused on overlaying information onto the real-world, to provide information to users such as building labels, geo-rectified wayfinding indicators, etc. In these cases, the real-world background is typically a building, a road-surface, the sky, and so on. This project aims to explore the advantages of integrated information systems, where AR technology is used to augment information rich spaces. This work, for example, may involve using an AR display to augment the GigaPixel display, providing (potentially personal or sensitive) information on top of information. Creative ideas along these lines are also encouraged.
Application Instructions
Email to setup a convenient time to discuss details.
Project URL
http://
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction
Compensation
Work for Credit or Volunteer
Contact
jgabbard@vt.edu
Godmar Back

Client- and server-side web technology surrounding LibX

Faculty Advisor
Godmar Back
Research Supervisor
Description of Work
Implement cool web technology with and surrounding LibX. For more information, see http://libx.org/ This project is for anybody who wants to learn modern, so-called "Web 2.0" technologies such as AJAX on both client or server. While our main application area is libraries (digital and traditional), the technology we develop transcends them. I have several projects "shovel-ready" and I am willing to entertain ideas (including for mobile applications) you may have. LibX-related projects have won multiple awards at past VTURCS symposia and have led to software that is used by tens of thousands of users world-wide.
Application Instructions
Send email.
Project URL
http://libx.org/
Area(s) of Research
Digital Libraries, Human-Computer Interaction, Networking, Software Engineering
Compensation
Work for Pay or Credit
Contact
gback@cs.vt.edu
Scott McCrickard

Collaborative Storyboarding

Faculty Advisor
Scott McCrickard
Research Supervisor
Scott McCrickard, Stacy Branham, Shahtab Wahid
Description of Work
This project explores issues related to the design of user interfaces through the creation of collaborative storyboards. The project team is investigating novel interfaces--large displays, tabletop computers, handhelds/tablets--that can facilitate the creative process.
Application Instructions
Contact the supervisors for details.
Project URL
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction
Compensation
Work for Pay or Credit
Contact
mccricks@cs.vt.edu
Chris North

Creating Java GUIs

Faculty Advisor
Chris North
Research Supervisor
Chris North
Description of Work
Paid (or for Credit) Undergrad Research job opening We are hiring undergraduate computer science students to work on an NSF-funded collaborative research project between Engineering Education and Computer Science. The project involves creating visual software tools for interactive concept maps to support engineering education applications. The position is for the Spring 2012 semester, but could start immediately and can continue into the summer and next year if desired. The hours and hourly rate are negotiable. Students can alternatively work for CS4994 course credit. If interested, please contact Dr. Chris North, north@vt.edu.
Application Instructions
email north@vt.edu
Project URL
http://
Area(s) of Research
Computer-Aided Instruction, Human-Computer Interaction, Problem Solving Environments, Software Engineering
Compensation
Work for Pay or Credit
Contact
north@vt.edu
Scott McCrickard

Creating Location-Aware Notification Systems for Virginia Tech

Faculty Advisor
Scott McCrickard
Research Supervisor
Miten Sampat
Description of Work
As pervasive computing devices become more commonplace, we begin to see applications based on a user's location. Creating applications for such situations carries several technical challenges such as: determining current location, detecting artifacts in the environment, and real-time tracking of parameters that the users want information about. These systems are classified as "location-aware" or "context-aware". Through this project, students will work on creating applications on the seeVT location intelligence platform to build location-aware systems. Projects will involve developing applications for state-of-the-art handheld computers, and conducting usability tests on them. Come with your own domain ideas, or plug into one of the many ideas from around campus!
Application Instructions
Email Dr. McCrickard to apply.
Project URL
http://research.cs.vt.edu/ns/
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction
Compensation
Work for Credit
Contact
mccricks@cs.vt.edu
Scott McCrickard

Creating Real-World Peripheral Displays

Faculty Advisor
Scott McCrickard
Research Supervisor
Scott McCrickard
Description of Work
Peripheral devices like stock tickers and sports score trackers are moving off the computer desktop and into the real world. The goal of this projects is to build a real-word device that displays information collected online in an interesting way. Examples of existing systems and ideas for things to build are available from Dr. McCrickard, or come up with your own!
Application Instructions
Contact Dr. McCrickard for details and to sign up!
Project URL
none
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction
Compensation
Work for Credit or Volunteer
Contact
mccricks@cs.vt.edu
Edward A. Fox

CTRnet (Crisis, Tragedy, and Recovery Network)

Faculty Advisor
Edward A. Fox
Research Supervisor
Description of Work
NSF is supporting our developing a distributed network of sites around the globe, in different languages, to help those who face natural or man-made crises or tragedies, so communities can recover effectively. We collect and disseminate information, including through work with the Internet Archive, and provide tailored services to each of the many different types of stakeholder communities. Many different technologies and approaches are being incoporated.
Application Instructions
Contact Dr. Fox (fox@vt.edu) or Drs. Ramakrishnan or Kavanaugh
Project URL
http://www.ctrnet.net
Area(s) of Research
Artificial Intelligence, Data Mining, Databases, Digital Libraries, Human-Computer Interaction, Knowledge
Compensation
Work for Credit or Volunteer
Contact
fox@vt.edu
Doug Bowman

Demonstrating the benefits of immersion

Faculty Advisor
Doug Bowman
Research Supervisor
Doug Bowman
Description of Work
Immersive virtual environment technology (such as the CAVE) puts the user inside a 3D computer-generated world. Although this technology has been available for many years, we still know very little about the benefits of immersion. When should immersive technology be used, and what advantages should it provide? In this project, the student will implement a simple virtual world and design and run an experiment using the CAVE to demonstrate the benefits of immersion in this world. A wide range of experiments/worlds/tasks are possible.
Application Instructions
Send email to set up an appointment if you would like to apply. Experience with HCI (e.g. CS 3724) and computer graphics (e.g. CS 4204) is recommended, but not required. Experience with the design, administration, and/or statistical analysis of experiments is a plus.
Project URL
http://research.cs.vt.edu/3di/
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction
Compensation
Work for Credit or Volunteer
Contact
bowman@vt.edu
Scott McCrickard

Designing and Evaluating Notification Systems

Faculty Advisor
Scott McCrickard
Research Supervisor
Scott McCrickard
Description of Work
Notification systems attempt to efficiently and effectively deliver current, important information to users in multitasking situations. Examples of notification systems include instant messengers, stock tickers, and ubiquitous systems. This independent study examines this emerging research area through team activities and semester projects in a fun but challenging environment.
Application Instructions
Email Dr. McCrickard for more details or to sign up.
Project URL
http://research.cs.vt.edu/ns/
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction
Compensation
Work for Credit or Volunteer
Contact
mccricks@cs.vt.edu
W. Feng

Desktop Supercomputing with the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)

Faculty Advisor
W. Feng
Research Supervisor
Description of Work
Today's high-definition displays, e.g., 1080p = 1920x1080 > 2 million pixels, support a frame rate of 30 frames per second (fps) so that fast-actioned video appears smooth to the viewer. In other words, 60-million pixels must be updated every second. Such processing capability amounts to needing a supercomputing device (in this case, a video card) to update the display at such a fast rate. Consequently, this project seeks to 'hijack' and re-purpose the use of the video card, or more specifically, the graphics processing unit (GPU) within the video card, for general-purpose computing. Target GPUs include the following: AMD Radeon HD 5450, AMD Radeon HD 5870, AMD Radeon HD 5970, AMD Firepro V7700, NVIDIA GTX 280, NVIDIA GTX 480, NVIDIA GTX 580, NVIDIA Tesla Fermi, and the much-ballyhooed AMD Fusion. To actually see the power of the GPU in action, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPBFenYg2Zk. There are a myriad of component projects associated with this project. A sampling is provided below: 1. GPU and the 13 Dwarfs. http://www.gpucomputing.net/?q=node/275. 2. "Compute the Cure" for Cancer using GPUs. Google 'Feng Compute the Cure' for more information. 3. Molecular dynamics in support of rational drug design. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPBFenYg2Zk. Note: For those interested in human-computer interaction, a nice interface to the above would serve as a nice project as well, or an interface to our existing codes.
Application Instructions
E-mail a resume to feng@cs.vt.edu. Optional, but preferred, materials include unofficial undergraduate transcript and a brief one-paragraph statement of what interests you about this project.
Project URL
http://synergy.cs.vt.edu/ and http://accel.cs.vt.edu/
Area(s) of Research
Bioinformatics, Human-Computer Interaction, Parallel Computation, Problem Solving Environments, Software Engineering, Systems, Theory, Databases, Data Mining, Knowledge
Compensation
Negotiable
Contact
feng@cs.vt.edu
Andrea Kavanaugh, Manuel Perez-Quinones

Digital Government

Faculty Advisor
Andrea Kavanaugh, Manuel Perez-Quinones
Research Supervisor
Andrea Kavanaugh, Manuel Perez-Quinones
Description of Work
Assist with requirments analysis, software design and field testing, or with data analysis from ongoing interviews, surveys and community focus groups. We study the use and impact of information technology on citizen-to-citizen interaction and deliberation. Are online resources increasing civic engagement? For whom -- an elite or a more broad spectrum of citizens? Do we need better tools (or modifications to existing tools) to support deliberative democracy and to integrate online feedback from citizens to government? Which social media are effective for what types of interaction for which users?
Application Instructions
Contact Andrea Kavanaugh by email (kavan@vt.edu), or phone (231-1806). My office is 1137 KnowledgeWorks II (CS Department at the corporate research center).
Project URL
http://diggov.cs.vt.edu
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction, Theory
Compensation
Work for Credit or Volunteer
Contact
kavan@vt.edu
Andrea Kavanaugh, Manuel Perez-Quinones, Deborah Tatar

Do Cell Phones Teach Computing Skills?

Faculty Advisor
Andrea Kavanaugh, Manuel Perez-Quinones, Deborah Tatar
Research Supervisor
Andrea Kavanaugh, Manuel Perez-Quinones, Deborah Tatar
Description of Work
This project, entitled Scaffolding Technology for Low Literacy Groups: From Cells Phones to Desktop Computing, seeks to understand the role that cell phone usage might play in helping adults with low reading and computer literacy to learn computing skills. We are also designing and developing tools to provide an interface between cell phone applications (e.g., contact list, text messaging) and comparable programs on desktop computers (e.g., email, word processing).
Application Instructions
Contact Dr. Andrea Kavanaugh by email.
Project URL
http://
Area(s) of Research
Computer-Aided Instruction, Human-Computer Interaction, Theory
Compensation
Work for Credit or Volunteer
Contact
kavan@vt.edu
Edward A. Fox

Ensemble Pathway to Computing Education Resources

Faculty Advisor
Edward A. Fox
Research Supervisor
Description of Work
Virginia Tech is a key part of the NSF-funded Ensemble project, in charge of its distributed portal, to support those who want to make learning about computing easier and better. Our aim is to improve access to educational materials related to computing. At VT we work with Drupal, Fedora Repository, Facebook, Second Life, WebCat, and other innovative systems. We need people to work on interfaces, ontologies, social networks, personalization, and many other challenges.
Application Instructions
Please contact Dr. Fox for more details. Also involved are Drs. Shaffer and Edwards and Fan.
Project URL
http://www.computingportal.org
Area(s) of Research
Computer-Aided Instruction, Digital Libraries, Human-Computer Interaction, Knowledge
Compensation
Work for Credit or Volunteer
Contact
fox@vt.edu
Adrea Kavanaugh

EPIC

Faculty Advisor
Adrea Kavanaugh
Research Supervisor
Adrea Kavanaugh
Description of Work
The EPIC project is an investigation by the Center for Human-Computer Interaction of the use and impact of community computer networking in Blacksburg and Montgomery County supported by NSF. Undergraduate research assistants could help this summer with interview data analysis (using NVIVO software), survey data processing (using SPSS), and/or session logging analysis. If you are interested, please contact Andrea Kavanaugh (kavan@vt.edu or 231-1806)
Application Instructions
Contact Andrea Kavanaugh (kavan@vt.edu or 231-1806)
Project URL
http://epic.cs.vt.edu
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction, Networking
Compensation
Negotiable
Contact
kavak@vt.edu
Chris North

Genomics Visualization

Faculty Advisor
Chris North
Research Supervisor
Robert Settlage
Description of Work
Are you considering a career in Bioinformatics? Let’s get your feet wet. In this project, we will develop and build a visual tool for assembling genomes from vast amounts of DNA (or RNA) sequence data. The problem is this: a) the NextGen sequencing machines are producing vast amounts of data (>25Gbases per day) which are outpacing our ability to analyze the data and b) current algorithms all have manual steps where human interaction is the key to completing the project and yet the tools for performing the manual analysis are not optimized for the scope of the problem. Here we are looking for an individual(s) with knowledge in perl, relational databases, Java, and a drive to produce a usable product to help in creating an interface for genome sequence assembly.
Application Instructions
Contact: Robert Settlage, Director, Data Analysis Core (DAC), Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Virginia Tech, Chris North, Department of Computer Science,
Project URL
Area(s) of Research
Bioinformatics, Digital Libraries, Human-Computer Interaction, Problem Solving Environments, Software Engineering, Computational Biology, Databases
Compensation
Work for Pay or Credit
Contact
north@cs.vt.edu
Chris North

GUIs, Visualization, GigaPixel Displays

Faculty Advisor
Chris North
Research Supervisor
Chris North
Description of Work
Learn to design, develop, and evaluate graphical user interfaces and data visualizations, including for non-traditional interactive display systems such as our GigaPixel Display or Multi-Touch tabletop, in a variety of open research projects.
Application Instructions
Email north@vt.edu
Project URL
http://infovis.cs.vt.edu/
Area(s) of Research
Bioinformatics, Computer-Aided Instruction, Digital Libraries, Human-Computer Interaction, Networking, Parallel Computation, Problem Solving Environments, Software Engineering, Databases, Data Mining, Knowledge, Artificial Intelligence
Compensation
Work for Credit
Contact
north@vt.edu
Aditya Johri

Information and Communication Technology for Human Development

Faculty Advisor
Aditya Johri
Research Supervisor
Aditya Johri
Description of Work
Are you interested in the use of information technology for changing the lives of 2.5 billion people on the planet who live on less than $2.5/day? Do you see the use of computer science for improving human development? My lab is doing several research projects related to this topic and we are looking for students to join the research.
Application Instructions
Please email Dr. Aditya Johri (ajohri@vt.edu) to apply or if you have any questions.
Project URL
http://filebox.vt.edu/users/ajohri
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction, Knowledge
Compensation
Work for Pay or Credit
Contact
ajohri@vt.edu
Scott Midkiff

Investigating the Application of Pervasive Computing Concepts to Teaching and Learning

Faculty Advisor
Scott Midkiff
Research Supervisor
William (Bill) Plymale
Description of Work
The focus of this project is to learn how pervasive computing concepts and technologies can be used to enhance the areas of teaching, learning, and other university experiences. Pervasive computing concepts will be studied, and realized using hardware prototyping and development kits. Team-based projects will associate pervasive computing concepts with real-life student experiences at Virginia Tech. Sun Microsystem's SunSpots, Arduino controller and development environment, Crossbow and Sentilla/Moteiv motes, and the Processing programming system will be used for hands-on work.
Application Instructions
Please contact Bill Plymale (plymale@vt.edu) with an expression of interest. Include a current resume and/or a list of technical courses taken and any other relevant experiences.
Project URL
Area(s) of Research
Databases, Human-Computer Interaction, Networking, Systems
Compensation
Work for Credit
Contact
plymale@vt.edu
Deborah Tatar

MicroCoordination Study and Development for Data Analysis

Faculty Advisor
Deborah Tatar
Research Supervisor
Joon Suk Lee
Description of Work
We have a number of multi-person collaborative Sudoku games that differ in the kinds of collaboration they afford to users. We are currently seeking a research assistant for our “Micro-coordination” project. A student (research assistant) will have a chance to participate in an administrative process in an on-going HCI research project as well as in a data analysis tool development process. Administrative part will involve running experiments with subjects, preparing materials for running experiments, and preparing data for analysis. For data analysis tool development part, s/he will be asked to develop a set of data analysis tools. S/he can choose any programming language (preferably Java and/or Python) but minimum knowledge on file I/O handling, and GUI programming is required. The research assistant will keep written record of their hours and accomplishments and attend research meetings(once a week), prepared to talk about their experiences and accomplishments. The student will evaluated by (1) his or her accomplishment of the assigned task and/or (2) his/her negotiation about how to handle obstacles and (3) the quality of his/her communication about progress and obstacles.
Application Instructions
Please send email to dolomite@cs.vt.edu and cc dtatar@cs.vt.edu.
Project URL
http://
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction
Compensation
Work for Credit
Contact
dolomite@vt.edu; dtatar@cs.vt.edu
Nicholas F. Polys

Mobile 3D Graphics

Faculty Advisor
Nicholas F. Polys
Research Supervisor
Nicholas F. Polys
Description of Work
This project will devise 3D and web-based applications and interfaces especially for mobile devices. How do we use the extra speed and dimensionality to improve work, play, and usability? We will look at remote maintenance scenarios and augmented reality.
Application Instructions
Email to setup a convenient time to discuss details.
Project URL
not online yet
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction
Compensation
Work for Credit
Contact
npolys@vt.edu
Daniel R. Dunlap, Andrea Kavanaugh

NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Faculty Advisor
Daniel R. Dunlap, Andrea Kavanaugh
Research Supervisor
Dunlap, Kavanaugh and others in the Center for Human-Computer Interaction
Description of Work
We have positions for undergraduate researchers funded by the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. The projects involve user-centered design and evaluation of collaborative virtual environments and applications. Specific projects include a collaborative learning environment for science students, a knowledge management system for public school teachers, extensions to the Blacksburg Electronic Village, and quality-of-life support for military personnel. Technical questions include -- how can collaborators maintain "awareness" of one another in virtual environments?, how can we log and evaluate "sessions" in distributed systems?, what is the impact of community networking on families and community groups?, how can military personnel maintain their personal lives while serving thousands of miles from home? We will hire at least 6 undergraduates in this program, and probably 8. Students can also arrange to work for course credit of various sorts, including service learning, independent studies, and honors theses.
Application Instructions
Send email to dunlapd@vt.edu, kavan@vt.edu
Project URL
http://java.cs.vt.edu
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction, Software Engineering, Systems, Computer-Aided Instruction
Compensation
Work for Pay or Credit
Contact
dunlapd@vt.edu
Wu Feng

Parallel Programming with Video Cards and More ...

Faculty Advisor
Wu Feng
Research Supervisor
Description of Work
The world of computing is now irrevocably parallel. CPUs have "topped" out roughly 3.0 GHz. So, while performance in the past has doubled roughly every 2 years due to increases in clock frequency, future performance increases will be due to the doubling of the number of cores in a system every 2 years. As such, we are looking at programming models, environments, and applications on multicore and manycore architectures. Of particular relevance and accessibility for VTURCS students are mapping applications onto traditional multicore (Intel and AMD), hybrid multicore (Cell and PlayStation3), manycore (video cards), and reconfigurable multicore (Tilera TILE64) architectures.
Application Instructions
E-mail a resume to feng@cs.vt.edu. Optional, but preferred, materials include unofficial undergraduate transcript and a brief one-paragraph statement of what interests you about this project.
Project URL
http://synergy.cs.vt.edu/
Area(s) of Research
Bioinformatics, Human-Computer Interaction, Parallel Computation, Systems, Theory, Computational Biology, Data Mining
Compensation
Negotiable
Contact
feng@cs.vt.edu
Andrea Kavanaugh

Social Computing

Faculty Advisor
Andrea Kavanaugh
Research Supervisor
Andrea Kavanaugh
Description of Work
Working with local groups in the community to help them become information producers through the use of tools for non-experts (for example, authoring web materials, customizing content, and collaborating online with wikis or blogs). Various local groups include medical (New River Health District), educational (Montgomery schools), ethnic (Christiansburg Institute), civic (Literacy Volunteers), and socio-economically disadvantaged (New River Community Action, Appalachian Women's Alliance).
Application Instructions
Contact me by email (kavan@vt.edu) or telephone (231-1806); my office is 1116 in KnowledgeWorks II, the CS Department building in the corporate research center.
Project URL
http://www.cs.vt.edu/node/682
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction, Theory
Compensation
Work for Credit or Volunteer
Contact
kavan@vt.edu
Dan Dunlap

TeacherBridge

Faculty Advisor
Dan Dunlap
Research Supervisor
Dan Dunlap
Description of Work
The Center for Human-Computer Interaction is seeking applicants for 2 NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) positions with the TeacherBridge Project (http://www.teacherbridge.org). Ideal applicants would be highly motivated undergraduate students in Computer Science, Engineering, or related fields who are interested in research with technology and local K-12 teachers. The positions will involve approximately 10 hours per week at $11 per hour for Fall 2004 and Spring 2005 semesters. The tasks will involve research and evaluation related to the TeacherBridge project, system, and participants. This includes a wide range of possibilities such as data collection, analysis, field research, and related tool development. Please contact Dan Dunlap 231-2345 for more information.
Application Instructions
Contact me.
Project URL
http://www.teacherbridge.org
Area(s) of Research
Human-Computer Interaction
Compensation
Work for Pay
Contact
dunlapd@vt.edu
Dr. Christopher Williams; Dr. Chris North

The Adaptive Concept Map (large-scale node-Link diagram visualization)

Faculty Advisor
Dr. Christopher Williams; Dr. Chris North
Research Supervisor
Description of Work
The goal of this project is create a new type of “digital textbook” for an engineering course. While the content would be standard, the innovation lies in the visualization of the structure of the information. The online tool we aim to create, termed “the adaptive concept map” is a navigable node-link diagram (concept map) of the course topics that provide the user the ability to “zoom-in and zoom-out” of varying levels of topic detail. Expert generated concept maps (node-link diagrams designed to visualize an expert’s cognitive structures) have been shown to improve learning and retention when used with classroom instruction or as a way to organize digital information. As with any node link diagram, however, when maps become too large they become very difficult to process. Existing strategies to combat this problem include animating the creation of the map or creating a nested map structure. While both of these strategies have been shown to reduce cognitive overload, neither of them are optimal solutions for all learners and both hinder navigation of the information in some way. At its core, the proposed adaptive concept map is a series of linked content pages. These pages would be mostly traditional webpages that provide information on a specific idea from a course (about 20 minutes of classroom instruction). In addition to the content itself, the pages would include tags indicating the related ideas, tags indicating the nature of those relationships, and tags indicating any groups the individual idea belongs to (such as chapter or course groups). Once the content pages are created, the adaptive map software would be used to navigate these pages. Users would be able to view the information at different levels of abstraction. At the lowest level of abstraction (highest detail) the user would view an individual idea in the form of the content page created by a content expert. If the user “zooms out” they begin to see the concept map structure. The content page that is the current focus of the user gets reduced to a node with a short description. Using the metadata embedded in the pages, the adaptive map tool would build up other related concepts around the central node. As the user continues to zoom out more and more layers of related nodes build upon the focus node. As more nodes become displayed, less information is displayed for each node. First descriptions and then the titles themselves disappear. As this happens, clouds form over groups of nodes showing the groups the nodes belong to. Chapter titles and then course titles become visible over groups of nodes. At any level of abstraction except for the lowest level, the user will also be able to navigate the structure by clicking on other nodes in the display. The adaptive concept map tool is hypothesized to help visualize and navigate large concept maps. Large concept maps could be used to structure information for an entire course and link together several courses over a curriculum.
Application Instructions
Please send a resume and statement of interest to Dr. Williams (cbwilliams@vt.edu) and Dr. North (north@cs.vt.edu).
Project URL
http://
Area(s) of Research
Computer-Aided Instruction, Databases, Digital Libraries, Human-Computer Interaction, Knowledge, Software Engineering
Compensation
Work for Credit or Volunteer
Contact
cbwilliams@vt.edu
Edward A. Fox

Undergraduate Researcher in Digital Libraries

Faculty Advisor
Edward A. Fox
Research Supervisor
Edward A. Fox
Description of Work
Many projects related to digital libraries, from theory to software to systems to performance to applications (especially to education). The URL below lists many research ideas. See also Digital Library Research Laboratory www.dlib.vt.edu or Faculty Advisor's home page http://fox.cs.vt.edu for more info.
Application Instructions
Contact E. Fox, x5113, 2160G Torgersen Hall
Project URL
http://fox.cs.vt.edu/talks/Research.htm
Area(s) of Research
Computer-Aided Instruction, Digital Libraries, Human-Computer Interaction, Software Engineering, Theory, Databases, Data Mining, Knowledge, Artificial Intelligence
Compensation
Work for Credit or Volunteer
Contact
fox@vt.edu
Wu Feng

Virtual Computing for K-12 Pedagogy

Faculty Advisor
Wu Feng
Research Supervisor
Description of Work
Computing has become an indispensable tool for enhancing productivity, accelerating scientific discovery and innovation, and enriching K-12 education. However, with respect to the latter, computing has arguably had limited impact on children, parents, and teachers in rural and economically disadvantaged areas and serves as additional evidence of the ever-expanding digital divide between the “haves” and “have nots.” To address this inequity as well as reduce the overall cost of adopting and maintaining information technology (IT) infrastructures in K-12 education, we propose to build upon our virtualization project: • To simplify and expedite the delivery of educational content anywhere and anytime. • To create an engaging and “kid-friendly” curriculum so as to improve the quality of IT education holistically from elementary school through high school and in support of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Application Instructions
E-mail a resume to feng@cs.vt.edu. Optional, but preferred, materials include unofficial undergraduate transcript and a brief one-paragraph statement of what interests you about this project.
Project URL
http://myvice.cs.vt.edu/
Area(s) of Research
Computer-Aided Instruction, Human-Computer Interaction, Systems
Compensation
Negotiable
Contact
feng@cs.vt.edu