Faculty-student research collaboration opportunities

You can work with faculty on for-credit projects by taking a project course. Contact the faculty member you are interested in working with to discuss this possibility. In addition, many of our faculty mentor students on projects in paid research positions through the H&S Summer Sciences program or other funding sources; again, please contact the individual faculty member to see if they are available this summer. Students with a GPA lower than 3.0 will be considered for available positions in our department.

Faculty Name Research Projects
John Barr

Professor Barr’s research interests currently span two fields, pedagogy and the use of mobile technology. Contemporary culture has become centered around phones and tablets and much of the computation done in many fields is now performed with these devices. Professor Barr’s research explores the use of mobile devices to enable computation especially in education. Current projects include the development of an iPhone app to visualize problems in discrete mathematics, a cross-platform mobile app to track bacteria (in conjunction with the Biology department), and an app that simulates electron magnetic fields (in conjunction with the Physics department).

In addition to these apps, Professor Barr cooperates with professionals in many fields on the development and integration of apps for their work. Examples include projects with Physical Therapy, Communications, Art History and many other areas. A current student project involves an app that interfaces with Sakai to provide students with information on assignments and due dates for all their classes.

There are currently several opportunities for students to participate in creating solutions involving apps in several areas including:

  1. Development of a cross-platform app that simulates electron magnetic fields. You would be working with physics students to create animations for iOS and Android devices.
  2. Working with physical therapy students on the development of an app to monitor nutritional needs of athletes.
  3. Building a scheduling app for iOS and Android for students and advisors at Ithaca College.
Paul Dickson

Automatic Lecture Recording:

Presentations Automatically Organized from Lectures (PAOL) is a lecture capture system under development at IC that has been coming online during the 17-18 academic year. The project relies heavily on image processing to capture whiteboard and video content in order to clean up the content and determine what needs to be saved. It also involves linux scripting in order to stabilize the capture of actual lecture content. Students interested in working on this project will get a chance to work on both aspects of the project and will get a chance to help mold a system that will be used to record computer science classes for years to come.

Toby Dragon

Prof. Dragon's research is focused on using Computer Science to help students and teachers, the research field of Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED). He builds and studies intelligent systems that can support and enhance learning activities.

His current work provides instructors with a means of bringing together both online and offline course materials into a unified structure that clarifies exactly what concepts are taught in a course and how the materials and assessments used in the course are related to those concepts. This information can then be used to visualize the the concepts that students understand vs. the concepts that are proving to be difficult, and how those concepts are inter-related.

This project has many open areas of research for student colleagues to contribute, including but not limited to the following interesting questions: How can the system best calculate the estimate of understanding of a certain concept? How can the system best visualize this information? How can the system best use this information to offer suggestions for students? How can the system best support instructors in creating/gathering course materials? How can the system be deployed online in a way that is usable to all? How can the system predict future student performance? How can the system be applied to an entire curriculum, rather than a single course? Come help answer some of these questions.

Ali Erkan
Nate Prestopnik

Prof. Prestopnik is interested in games, play, creativity, story, motivation, and design. Currently, he has two projects open to students that touch upon these areas of interest:

  1. Creative Writing in VR: Using the HTC Vive Virtual reality system, Prof. Prestopnik is working with students to imagine, design, build, and study “creative virtual spaces,” e.g. immersive digital environments that enhance creativity through aesthetics while enhancing productivity through VR-enabled information management features. This project would benefit from student developers, especially 2D or 3D artists and strong programmers comfortable with (or excited to proactively learn) the Unity Engine, the HTC Vive, C# and/or JavaScript.
  2. Arena is a 2D side-scrolling RPG adventure designed to help learners with basic Spanish reading and vocabulary comprehension. This game is in its third year of development, and features adventure exploration, language activities, and sophisticated combat. Prof. Prestopnik is looking for students who are interested in the research aspects of this project, e.g. collecting and analyzing data, running experimental sessions and focus groups, literature review, and research writing. Student assistance might also be valuable for art asset creation, particularly in more recently developed sections of the game.
Sharon Stansfield

Prof. Stansfield’s research is focused on two areas:

  1. Building and programming robot mobility devices for infants with motor impairment. This on-going effort, called Tots-on-Bots, has produced the WeeBot, a mobile robot based device that is controlled intuitively: The robot moves in the direction that the baby leans (for example to reach for a toy.) Studies with our current device have shown that infants as young as 5 months old can learn to drive the WeeBot. Continuing work is focused on building a less expensive device, porting the control software to this new robot, and doing a larger study with young children with motor impairment.
  2. Developing VR systems to delivery Occupational and Physical Therapies. Our initial effort used VR to augment rehabilitation for young children with upper limp impairment by gamifying the therapy within VR to make it less repetitive and boring. Our current effort uses VR to create an environment for rehabilitation of balance disorders.
Doug Turnbull

Prof. Doug Turnbull's research focuses on building novel applications to help people discover, enjoy and benefit from music. During the summer of 2019, the students in his JimiLab will likely work on three related music tech projects:

1) Localify: a web app that explores how we can help Spotify users to discover local musicians

2) Long-Tail Playlist Recommendation: developing novel playlist algorithms to help people discover artists who are not normally recommended by commercial music services

3) Counterfactual Learning: using historical log data from recommender systems to make better recommendations in the future

To learn more, check out https://dougturnbull.org/index.php/jimilab/ . Also, feel free to drop by Doug's office to talk shop and pitch your own ideas involving music technology or recommender systems.