My Projects

One great aspect of working in academia is having the freedom to create new things and try new approaches to learning. Below is a collection of technologies that I have created and continue to work on as well as a number of projects I have either served in a supervisory or advisory role.

My Team

It is my great fortune to be surrounded by so many talented undergraduate students who every year bring new ideas and new energy to campus. I am also lucky to have a research partner in Ete Chan of Biomedical Engineering who has great complementary skills to my own and is always on the lookout for great opportunities. Together we run our own VIP Team (Vertically Integrated Projects) which, among other things, aims to create innovative technology solutions for Bioengineering education. The students below are currently working with me on various research projects ranging from helping Stony Brook hospital make better use of Ventilators during the Covid-19 crisis (Vent), to developing a toolset of online applications for students to use to create content in their courses (WolfieTools), to various game related projects, like Regio Vinco, a geography-based learning game. Here's my current team:

Student Research

One great advantage of enrolling in a Computer Science program at an AAU school is the research opportunities available to undergradate students. We teach the principles, the foundations of Computer Science, but we also encourage students to expand the boundaries of technology. To build and then use applications in new and interesting ways. Over the years I have had the great fortune of being part of a number of research projects, either as the faculty advisor, or as a participant, that have been sometimes interesting, unusual, and disastrous. The subjects have ranged from new Web technologies to serious gaming. Research in games as learning tools interests me in particular.

One nice thing about teaching undergraduates is that they grow up with different biases than me. Many times they see the world and the technology in it in a completely different way, and so I am always infused with their new ideas and perspectives. When students come to me and ask me what research entails, I tell them it just means make something different and great. My approach to undergraduate research is that I encourage students to think in terms of three principles:

  1. Become an expert in something. Think of the research project as an opportunity to learn a technology that you always wanted to know how to use. Carefully choose your platform and libraries such that those skills will translate well to future opportunities.

  2. Make something for your portfolio. These days a resume isn't enough to get in the door as a software engineer. Employers want to see a body of polished work. They want to see that you have interesting ideas and that you have the skill and determination to complete a worthwhile project.

  3. Be selfish Not a good principle in life, but it can be in project selection. Make something you personally need or something you're interested in, even if no reputable company would fund such a project. This is particularly true for game dev projects. Companies have money at stake and so tend to make safe choices. Students have the opportunity to try things that investors would scoff at. Some of the best ideas start out as something to scoff at, something seen as strange, or impossible, or eeks, original.

Below is a listing of the widely varied research projects student have completed under my supervision. This list is provided as a record of work completed as well as to give prospective research students an idea of the type of work students are engaged in.