DIVE: Design and Interaction of Virtual Environments
- Work Done: September 2006 - December 2006
- Active Online: Never
At Olin there is a required class called Olin Self Study: it is essentially a technical independent study that comprises of research and implementation. I decided to look into how people interact with virtual environments and how I myself could design one, model one, and then interact with it. I learned basic 3D modeling skills with Blender, as well as how to incorporate the models I made into the C++ 3D game engine Crystal Space. I also learned some abstract concepts about what makes a convincing interaction with a virtual environment.
Arcade Hardware Design - Building a Hardware Sprite
- Work Done: December 2005
- Active Online: December 2005 - Present
- Active At: http://ca.olin.edu/2005/fpga_sprites/
For my "Computer Architecture" class my final project involved using an FPGA to send a VGA signal to a monitor for a rudimentary version of Pac-Man. We included controls, and even had the ghosts following the player, but we never created any actual levels. I learned that FPGA's are really flexible pieces of equipment, how to program in Verilog, and discovered more about the VGA standard than most people would care to know.
Team Swiss - Master Merge
- Work Done: September 2005 - December 2005
- Active Online: September 2005 - Present
- Active At: http://hfid.olin.edu/sa2005/engr3220-swiss/
The project documented here for "Human Factors and Interface Design" is the first time that design and software formally mixed for me. My team chose to take Microsoft Word's Mail Merge feature and improve it as much as we could. So, we made a paper prototype, and then a high fidelity prototype program using Visual Basic for Applications. I got experience doing first hand user testing, designing GUIs, giving heuristic evaluations, and developing prototypes - of both the paper and software variety. I would later come back to help out with this class as a Course Assistant.
Lanchester's Combat Model GUI Simulator
- Work Done: November 2004 - December 2004
- Active Online: Never
The final project I did for the class "Software Design" was this Python GUI made with Tk that represented battles modeled with Lanchester's Combat Model. It's simple, but was fun to make and ended up being a good tool to discover how the model worked visually.
- Work Done: October 2004 - December 2004
- Active Online: December 2004 - February 2005
- Active At: http://competency.olin.edu/2007/bdoms/data/x10
- Archived Version
The class "Principles of Engineering" centered around understanding the USB standard and making a USB device. Documented on this site is the project that I and one other classmate did that combined USB and our own version of X10. It was a complex project with many dependencies.
The idea was that from anywhere in the world you could go online and turn lights at your house off or on. So, we made a home desktop web server in Python that communicated requests from the internet to a control program written in C++ that used libUSB for Windows. In turn, that control program sent a command through USB to a microchip controller that we programmed in Assembly, which itself sent out a wireless signal to more Assembly-programmed microchip nodes stationed at each light switch, which finally executed the on or off command. This project was the most complicated software undertaking I had done at the time, and it was wonderful to see it working, especially knowing that it was going from Python to C++ to Assembly on the backend.
- Work Done: April 2004 - May 2004
- Active Online: April 2004 - May 2007
- Active At: http://students.olin.edu/2007/bdoms/typesetters/
- Archived Version
This website is the final project for a class called "The History of Technology." I joined a team that researched about Gutenberg and his invention of the printing press. We wrote a large volume of material and made this nice site to present it.
Teen Mole Squad!
- Work Done: October 2003 - December 2003
- Active Online: October 2003 - Present
- Active At: http://icb.olin.edu/fall_03/hi/student/Mole/
The first engineering project I embarked on in college was a semester long challenge to build something pneumatic for the class "High Impact." My teammates and I decided to make our own version of NASA's Mars Underground Mole [press release]. So, we designed and created an air-powered piston that would drive our device downward. It had trouble with land, but burrowed through snow quite effectively. I did some serious programming in MATLAB for this project.