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Independent Studies Done With Undergraduate CS Students at Siena

Ray Navarette, Fall 2004/Spring 2005, "Folding and UnFolding Problems ":

Dan Mattoon, Elizabeth Ostrom, and Kevin Mercurio, Spring 2003, "Developing Tools for Teaching Computer Graphics":

In this independent study, the students designed and implemented software tools for teaching computer graphics. While most existing graphics software tools are primarily for demonstrative purposes, these tools present the user with a series of interactive activities, allowing them to experiment with fundamental graphics operations and visually see the results. In completing the project, the students learned the Java programming language and the Java3D graphics API. The tools have been submitted to a peer-reviewed teaching resources web repository.

Cheryl Eckardt, 3 credits, Fall 2002, "Guarding Polygons": Cheryl investigated the open problem of determining the number of edge guards necessary to guard a polygon of n vertices.

Chris Carner, 4 credits, Fall 2000 – Spring 2001, "Morphing Polygonal Objects": Chris studied an algorithm developed by Kent, Carlson, and Parent for morphing polyhedrons. He adapted the algorithm to two dimensions and then implemented it using CGAL, a library for geometric computing and LEDA, a library of efficient data structures, algorithms, and visualization tools. His implementation allowed the user to interactively draw two polygons and then visualize the algorithm’s steps as it computed a morphing from one polygon to the other. He published an abstract of his work and presented it at the Hudson River Valley Undergraduate Math Conference in Spring 2001.

"Morphing Polygonal Objects", Chris Carner. Hudson River Valley Undergraduate Math Conference, Spring 2001. [presentation]

Erik Quaal, 3 credits, Spring 2001, "Developing Interactive, Web-based Graphics Laboratories": Erik is exploring the technology necessary for creating web-based, interactive graphics laboratories for use in the graphics course taught at Siena. To make laboratory activities that are available over the web, he is learning JAVA and the JAVA 3D graphics library (JAVA3D). This independent study is continuing over the summer during which time he will implement several of existing laboratories in JAVA as well as develop new laboratory exercises.

Josh Pedersen and Bryon Varin, 3 and 1 credits (respectively), Spring 1999, "Polygon Clipping Algorithms": The goal of the project was to develop a system capable of clipping (intersecting) highly degenerate polygons generated by an application being developed at GE CR&D in Schenectady, NY. The algorithm we chose to implement required that the students do background reading on several algorithmic design techniques. Once we had a solid understanding of it, we realized we could make a simplification in the implementation (without sacrificing efficiency). The students then wrote a detailed design document and implemented it. During the testing phase, the students identified two robustness problems and developed a graphical interface for visualizing the output.

Elizabeth Miller, 3 credits, Spring 2000, "Software Tools for Teaching Computer Graphics": Elizabeth explored two new graphics tools for possible inclusion in the computer graphics course taught at Siena. The first tool was a 3D modeler that allows the user to interactively create and output 3D objects. Elizabeth learned to use the tool and studied how to convert its output to a format that may be used in student projects. The second tool she explored was the new Virtual Reality Mark-up Language (VRML). This tool is a language for specifying three-dimensional scenes which can be used for virtual walk-throughs.