[talks] Invitation to COS 333 Project Presentations
rdondero at CS.Princeton.EDU
Mon May 2 15:34:35 EDT 2011
On Thursday May 5 and Friday May 6 this year's COS 333 students will
give public presentations of their class projects. It's likely that the
presentations will be interesting and well done, as they have been in
You're invited! Please feel free to attend as many presentations as you
want. Friends are welcome too. The presentations will be in Computer
Science Building 105. A schedule, along with a brief description of
each project, is appended below.
I hope you can attend some of the presentations.
Robert M. Dondero, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Department of Computer Science
Thursday 5/5 1:00-1:30: PEOPLES
PEOPLES Enables the Observation of Populations Living in Everyday Society
Social Science research has traditionally required data that is
difficult to gather; by using smartphones as data collection tools we
can overcome the methodological limitations that have hampered social
science research and kept important questions from being answered. We
will design an open source Android application that will be distributed
to over 100 reentering prisoners to track their job-search experience.
The application will enable: collection of location-based data,
collection of anonymized phone call information, distribution of short
questionnaires to study participants, contact between study participants
and researchers through audio or video messages. We aim to design an
application that will outlive the initial study and that is general
enough to allow other researchers to use it. We will design a simple
web-based front-end that will allow researchers to download information,
monitor subject participation, and access communications sent by
participants. All together, this will be a powerful tool for
sociologists, enabling them to conduct useful, targeted, and inexpensive
research on almost any population.
Thursday 5/5 1:30-2:00: SSH Startups
Startups and growing companies are hungry for engineering talent. The
truth is that quality developers are difficult and costly to find, let
alone recruit. Companies often look to young college students for fresh
minds to work over the summer and eventually move to full time, but many
come away with summer experiences that don't make use of their true
talents or align much with what they are interested in. The key to
solving these problems lies in an effective way of matching up companies
and student engineers.
SSH Startups is a portal for connecting college students to technical
internships. The site will feature a listing of students in addition to
a listing of companies, so that both sides can reach out to one another.
It will have methods for companies to assess the quality of interns
without having to browse, open, and read through hundreds of resumes. It
will provide means to match students with jobs based on their interests,
without the need to search through countless pages of listings. Its
sleek, simple interface will focus on the elements that matter, not
flooding users with excess information or demanding massive amounts of
time to be devoted to the discovery process.
SSH Startups: We aim to provide engineering talent for companies,
exciting internships for students, and a killer user experience that
streamlines the matchmaking process as much as possible.
Thursday 5/5 2:00-2:30: MealChecker
Currently, the system for meal exchanges between members of different
eating clubs operates in an outdated and inefficient manner. At the time
of the meal, the member must fill out a slip recording the names and
clubs of the host and guest, and at the end of every month the clubs
sort through these slips, matching them up and charging those members
who did not reciprocate meals. All of this is done manually, and is far
less organized and efficient than a computerized system would be.
We propose to automate this system, saving time for the clubs and
providing valuable information to both the clubs and their members. With
our system, members would simply enter their meal exchange information
using a Web interface connected to a database that keeps track of all
exchanges. At the end of the month, the system would automatically sort
through the exchanges and send the results to the clubs. Members would
also be able to check how many meals are owed, a functionality entirely
absent in the current system. Most valuable to the clubs, our system
will keep statistics on the exchanges, which would give them the
information they need to plan ahead and anticipate trends. Our system
would be highly beneficial to both clubs and their members, and would
replace an antiquated manual system direly in need of revision.
Thursday 5/5 3:30-4:00: PlayInPerson
The goal of our project is to create an online, chatroom-based
environment where people can meet and interact through video chat games.
For example, two friends living in different countries can use our site
to chat face to face while collaboratively working on a crossword
puzzle. Similarly, 4 strangers can meet up and play a game of video
poker - the game will be realistic because each person will be able to
see his opponents' faces. The goal is to create an in-person like
experiences online; hence, our website will be playinperson.com.
Thursday 5/5 4:00-4:30: OneTree
Princeton's student groups share certain commonalities that result in
the formation of natural sub-communities within the Princeton community.
Students could use such a hierarchical "tree" structure to find groups
and events tuned to their liking, while groups benefit from increased
exposure to a more targeted audience. We aim to create these "virtual
group/community centers" where groups may publicly display information,
announcements, special events, and more to the general public. The main
competitor, Facebook, is user-centric rather than group-centric,
limiting the potential for more complex group relationships. We propose
a website that models each group or community as an aggregation of many
smaller sub-communities. For example, each dance group is part of the
dance community, which in turn is part of the performing arts community,
which finally is part of the Princeton community as a whole. Students
can thereby view any particular community's page and see an aggregation
of events and announcements posted by each sub-community, and browse and
navigate between pages with ease. Essentially, our website is offering
an organized and interconnected platform which improves the interactions
between groups and the general public.
Thursday 5/5 4:30-5:00: The Commons
The Commons is an interactive, multiplayer online implementation of the
original board game by Sigrid Adriaenssens. The game is based on
Settlers of Catan with added features that address the issue of
community-driven sustainability. In The Commons, players compete to
develop the most successful empire in an initially unsettled and
unhospitable world. Players can build cities in different areas of the
world and take advantages of the area's renewable and non-renewable
natural resources--like lumber, water power, oil--to build their
civilizations. Players must also make decisions about how their actions
will affect the environmental health of the world as a whole. By
cooperating, players can work together to improve the total quality of
life in the world. However, failure to cooperate can lead to the loss of
natural resources, the wrath of fellow players, and, eventually, the
death of the world and end of the game.
Friday 5/6 1:00-1:30: Manos
The XBOX Kinect is an incredible new technology released towards the end
of 2010 that combines an RGB camera and an infrared depth sensor that
allows users to control the XBOX 360 gaming console with body motions,
not just thumbs. Since its release, an ever growing community of
developers has created ways to process the data produced by the Kinect
through the use of a personal computer, allowing a computer to track
skeletons and fingertips, or a user to control a robot with gestures.
Another way this technology has been harnessed has been to allow a user
to interact with an operating system. Using bodily gestures to move a
mouse cursor around the screen to select files and folders, to browse
the web, or to play a game are examples of various implementations. The
common feature of all of them however is that the gestures required are
predefined; there is no customizability. Our product, Manos, allows a
user to develop custom mappings between gestures and actions. Each user
can train our product to recognize a certain gesture and link that
action to increasing or decreasing the computer's volume, or to launch a
certain type of program. In sum, our product allows for a user to
customize this new technology to his or her own needs, which we believe
will believe will be a central technology in the living room and
elsewhere in the coming months and years.
Friday 5/6 1:30-2:00: Bigfoot
Imagine that it's 10pm on Friday night, and you want to know where
people are on campus. Wouldn't it be nice if you had a map that showed
you this information? Well, Bigfoot is exactly that. Bigfoot is an
iPhone application and web interface that shows the movement of
Princeton students over time -- both on a personal and aggregate level.
Log in with user ID and you can see where you've been spent most of your
time today, last week, or maybe just on Tuesdays last month between the
hours of 7 and 9pm. Switch to the aggregate map and you can view the
location of all Princeton students. There's the answer to your question.
You can even filter the map by gender, major, residential college, or
class year, because maybe Rocky wants to throw a study break when most
of its students are in the area. It's all available on a website and on
Friday 5/6 2:00-2:30: TigerAlbum
What many pop culture websites have proven is that a tight-knit
community of frequent visitors can spring up from the simplest
collaboration of short, witty, well-moderated text posts. With
TigerAlbum, we want to take this to the next level with geotagged
photography. Imagine being able to see what's happening, hip, funny, and
new around Princeton at an instant, on a map. And not having to do much
to add your own photographs on the go with a simple shoot and submit
smart-phone apps. TigerAlbum will allow users to search for photographs
on the map, share their favorites with friends and discuss them through
comments with a very intuitive and appealing interface.
Friday 5/6 3:30-4:00: Singaporean Bridge
An Android app for all card loving players out there. Singaporean Bridge
is a trick-winning game rising in popularity that is as simple to play
as, but more enjoyable than, Hearts. Whether in single-player mode
against AIs of variable difficulty or in multi-player mode against other
human players, a groovy and easy-to-use user interface makes it
accessible to anyone, regardless of age, level and experience. Play
competitively against friends, or complete strangers, improve your
ranking and become the new champion! Play anytime, anywhere, with anyone!
Friday 5/6 4:00-4:30: PUrr
Right now, reserving a residential college room for a meeting or event
is a real pain. There is no one repository for information regarding
attributes and possible booking hours for a room, and the websites for
actually booking a room are likewise decentralized. Moreover, the system
is poorly automated for college administrators who have to check
individual emails to approve them as well as manually advertise when
rooms will be unavailable.
Our goal is to streamline the process on both sides as well as improve
the search experience for users who need a specific type of room. We
plan to do this by having a two sided server which will contain calendar
information for all the residential college rooms which are available to
be booked. Administrators will be able to specify how far in advance
students will be able to book, block off days for college events and
determine what sort of credentials will be needed to book a room. After
a small set up period, administrators will rarely be required to
actively approve/requests: although they will be able to see who has
Meanwhile, students will have booking, room information and search
services for all buildings consolidated in one webpage. You can search
for rooms based on capacity, equipment availability and time
availability among other things. Each room will have an information page
which lists these features along with a photo and recent usage history.
Hopefully these features will lead to students using the room which
suits their need best instead of being limited only to rooms they
Excluding some authentication and room searching details, this structure
is very general and should very easily allows us to manage room
reservation for all residential colleges as well as other places (such
as the music building). We do require information on all the rooms which
we plan to make available as well as the ability to interface with the
university's authentication system but neither of these should be
difficult to obtain.
Ultimately, we hope that this project will greatly simplify an important
task for both students and college officials.
Friday 5/6 4:30-5:00: Room Scheduling System
There is a problem on campus. People are needlessly wasting time and
getting frustrated by a disorganized system for scheduling rooms on
campus. Right now, the system involves looking up email addresses and
sending requests to administrators without any certainty of
availability. Depending on the administrator, it could take days before
you even find out that the room is not available at that time, so you
have just wasted time and now have to scramble to find an acceptable
alternative. This uncertainty, wasting of time, and needless hassle can
easily be avoided with a centralized service. Imagine, you want a
certain type of room at a certain time. With our system, you merely have
to open your browser, search for the type of room you want, and you
instantly see when certain rooms are available. You click on the room at
the right time to make a request, and then you are done. Simple.
Intuitive. No uncertainty in your scheduling, and no wasted time.
More information about the talks