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Empowering Women in Zambia through Computational Thinking Curriculum

Description

The nonprofit organization, I Am Zambia, works to give supplemental education to young women in Lusaka. I Am Zambia is creating sustainable change by educating these females, who can then

The nonprofit organization, I Am Zambia, works to give supplemental education to young women in Lusaka. I Am Zambia is creating sustainable change by educating these females, who can then lift their families and communities out of poverty. The ultimate goal of this thesis was to explore and implement high level systematic problem solving through basic and specialized computational thinking curriculum at I Am Zambia in order to give these women an even larger stepping stool into a successful future.

To do this, a 4-week long pilot curriculum was created, implemented, and tested through an optional class at I Am Zambia, available to women who had already graduated from the year-long I Am Zambia Academy program. A total of 18 women ages 18-24 chose to enroll in the course. There were a total of 10 lessons, taught over 20 class period. These lessons covered four main computational thinking frameworks: introduction to computational thinking, algorithmic thinking, pseudocode, and debugging. Knowledge retention was tested through the use of a CS educational tool, QuizIt, created by the CSI Lab of School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering at Arizona State University. Furthermore, pre and post tests were given to assess the successfulness of the curriculum in teaching students the aforementioned concepts. 14 of the 18 students successfully completed the pre and post test.

Limitations of this study and suggestions for how to improve this curriculum in order to extend it into a year long course are also presented at the conclusion of this paper.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Development of an Educational Video Game

Description

The objective of this creative project was to gain experience in digital modeling, animation, coding, shader development and implementation, model integration techniques, and application of gaming principles and design through

The objective of this creative project was to gain experience in digital modeling, animation, coding, shader development and implementation, model integration techniques, and application of gaming principles and design through developing a professional educational game. The team collaborated with Glendale Community College (GCC) to produce an interactive product intended to supplement educational instructions regarding nutrition. The educational game developed, "Nutribots" features the player acting as a nutrition based nanobot sent to the small intestine to help the body. Throughout the game the player will be asked nutrition based questions to test their knowledge of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. If the player is unable to answer the question, they must use game mechanics to progress and receive the information as a reward. The level is completed as soon as the question is answered correctly. If the player answers the questions incorrectly twenty times within the entirety of the game, the team loses faith in the player, and the player must reset from title screen. This is to limit guessing and to make sure the player retains the information through repetition once it is demonstrated that they do not know the answers. The team was split into two different groups for the development of this game. The first part of the team developed models, animations, and textures using Autodesk Maya 2016 and Marvelous Designer. The second part of the team developed code and shaders, and implemented products from the first team using Unity and Visual Studio. Once a prototype of the game was developed, it was show-cased amongst peers to gain feedback. Upon receiving feedback, the team implemented the desired changes accordingly. Development for this project began on November 2015 and ended on April 2017. Special thanks to Laura Avila Department Chair and Jennifer Nolz from Glendale Community College Technology and Consumer Sciences, Food and Nutrition Department.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Fielding an Autonomous Cobot in a University Environment: Engineering and Evaluation

Description

Many researchers aspire to create robotics systems that assist humans in common office tasks, especially by taking over delivery and messaging tasks. For meaningful interactions to take place, a mobile

Many researchers aspire to create robotics systems that assist humans in common office tasks, especially by taking over delivery and messaging tasks. For meaningful interactions to take place, a mobile robot must be able to identify the humans it interacts with and communicate successfully with them. It must also be able to successfully navigate the office environment. While mobile robots are well suited for navigating and interacting with elements inside a deterministic office environment, attempting to interact with human beings in an office environment remains a challenge due to the limits on the amount of cost-efficient compute power onboard the robot. In this work, I propose the use of remote cloud services to offload intensive interaction tasks. I detail the interactions required in an office environment and discuss the challenges faced when implementing a human-robot interaction platform in a stochastic office environment. I also experiment with cloud services for facial recognition, speech recognition, and environment navigation and discuss my results. As part of my thesis, I have implemented a human-robot interaction system utilizing cloud APIs into a mobile robot, enabling it to navigate the office environment, identify humans within the environment, and communicate with these humans.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Leye (Lie) Detector \u2014 A Study of Lie Detection using Eye Tracking, Facial Gestures, and EEG

Description

Lie detection is used prominently in contemporary society for many purposes such as for pre-employment screenings, granting security clearances, and determining if criminals or potential subjects may or may not

Lie detection is used prominently in contemporary society for many purposes such as for pre-employment screenings, granting security clearances, and determining if criminals or potential subjects may or may not be lying, but by no means is not limited to that scope. However, lie detection has been criticized for being subjective, unreliable, inaccurate, and susceptible to deliberate manipulation. Furthermore, critics also believe that the administrator of the test also influences the outcome as well. As a result, the polygraph machine, the contemporary device used for lie detection, has come under scrutiny when used as evidence in the courts. The purpose of this study is to use three entirely different tools and concepts to determine whether eye tracking systems, electroencephalogram (EEG), and Facial Expression Emotion Analysis (FACET) are reliable tools for lie detection. This study found that certain constructs such as where the left eye is looking at in regard to its usual position and engagement levels in eye tracking and EEG respectively could distinguish between truths and lies. However, the FACET proved the most reliable tool out of the three by providing not just one distinguishing variable but seven, all related to emotions derived from movements in the facial muscles during the present study. The emotions associated with the FACET that were documented to possess the ability to distinguish between truthful and lying responses were joy, anger, fear, confusion, and frustration. In addition, an overall measure of the subject's neutral and positive emotional expression were found to be distinctive factors. The implications of this study and future directions are discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Visual Analytics and the Impact of Inter-Country Trade on Violence

Description

Global violent conflict has become an increasing problem in recent decades, especially in the African continent. Civil wars, terrorism, riots, and political violence has wrought havoc not only on civilian

Global violent conflict has become an increasing problem in recent decades, especially in the African continent. Civil wars, terrorism, riots, and political violence has wrought havoc not only on civilian lives, but also on economic foundations. Trade networks are a way to measure these economic foundations. To summarize trade networks clustering coefficient as well as trade quantity/value summation measures are used. To understand effects of global trade on violent conflict, Pearson product-moment correlations are utilized. This work details a comparison of African national economies and violent conflict events using clustering coefficient, trade summation measures and Pearson correlation coefficient.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Post-Optimization of Permutation Coverings

Description

Covering subsequences with sets of permutations arises in many applications, including event-sequence testing. Given a set of subsequences to cover, one is often interested in knowing the fewest number of

Covering subsequences with sets of permutations arises in many applications, including event-sequence testing. Given a set of subsequences to cover, one is often interested in knowing the fewest number of permutations required to cover each subsequence, and in finding an explicit construction of such a set of permutations that has size close to or equal to the minimum possible. The construction of such permutation coverings has proven to be computationally difficult. While many examples for permutations of small length have been found, and strong asymptotic behavior is known, there are few explicit constructions for permutations of intermediate lengths. Most of these are generated from scratch using greedy algorithms. We explore a different approach here. Starting with a set of permutations with the desired coverage properties, we compute local changes to individual permutations that retain the total coverage of the set. By choosing these local changes so as to make one permutation less "essential" in maintaining the coverage of the set, our method attempts to make a permutation completely non-essential, so it can be removed without sacrificing total coverage. We develop a post-optimization method to do this and present results on sequence covering arrays and other types of permutation covering problems demonstrating that it is surprisingly effective.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-12

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Virtual Reality Visualization of Constructive Solid Geometry Utilizing an HTC Vive

Description

This project created a tool for visualizing constructive solid geometry (CSG) using an HTC Vive virtual reality
headset. This tool provides functionality for surface triangulation
of a variety of three-dimensional

This project created a tool for visualizing constructive solid geometry (CSG) using an HTC Vive virtual reality
headset. This tool provides functionality for surface triangulation
of a variety of three-dimensional primitive solids. Then with those
solids it can perform the core CSG operations—intersection,
union and complement—to create more complex objects. This
tool also parses in Silo data files to allow the visualization
of scientific models like the Annular Core Research Reactor.
This project is useful for both education and visualization. This
project will be used by scientists to visualize and understand
their simulation results, and used as a museum exhibit to engage
the next generation of scientists in computer modeling.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Study of Hackathons through Desert Hacks

Description

Hackathons are 24-36 hour events where participants are encouraged to learn, collaborate, and build technological inventions with leaders, companies, and peers in the tech community. Hackathons have been sweeping the

Hackathons are 24-36 hour events where participants are encouraged to learn, collaborate, and build technological inventions with leaders, companies, and peers in the tech community. Hackathons have been sweeping the nation in the recent years especially at the collegiate level; however, there is no substantial research or documentation of the actual effects of hackathons especially at the collegiate level. This makes justifying the usage of valuable time and resources to host hackathons difficult for tech companies and academic institutions. This thesis specifically examines the effects of collegiate hackathons through running a collegiate hackathon known as Desert Hacks at Arizona State University (ASU). The participants of Desert Hacks were surveyed at the start and at the end of the event to analyze the effects. The results of the survey implicate that participants have grown in base computer programming skills, inclusion in the tech community, overall confidence, and motivation for the technological field. Through these results, this study can be used to help justify the necessity of collegiate hackathons and events similar.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-12

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Women and Hackathons: An Analysis on Hackathons' Effects on Women's Motivation in Computer-Related Fields

Description

In today's world, technology plays a large role in everyone's life. However, there is a short supply of professionals to fill the roles in the computing field. When examining closer,

In today's world, technology plays a large role in everyone's life. However, there is a short supply of professionals to fill the roles in the computing field. When examining closer, it is clear that one group has a smaller representation: women. This can be contributed to many factors early in the women's lives and academic careers. In hopes of increasing the number of women computing professionals, this thesis aimed to understand the problem of a lack of women in technology and studied how hackathons could be a possible solution. The research followed Desert Hacks as it examines the typical participants as well as the hackathons effects on women's morale in technology. Two important questions during the investigation were what kind of women are attending hackathons and how do women feel about the technology industry after a hackathon? The results suggested that hackathon had an overall positive effect on women's motivation in the computing field. Additionally, most research participants believed that everyone has the potential to do well in the field and that gender inclusion is important for the industry. This ideology can foster a healthy environment for women to become more motivated in computing. Through these results, hackathons can be seen as another mean to help motivate women in the field and open up the possibility of future studies of women and hackathons.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-12

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Harnessing Digital Footprints From Paper-based Assessments: An Investigation on Students' Reviewing Behavior

Description

This thesis investigates students' learning behaviors through their interaction with an educational technology, Web Programming Grading Assistant. The technology was developed to facilitate the grading of paper-based examinations in large

This thesis investigates students' learning behaviors through their interaction with an educational technology, Web Programming Grading Assistant. The technology was developed to facilitate the grading of paper-based examinations in large lecture-based classrooms and to provide richer and more meaningful feedback to students. A classroom study was designed and data was gathered from an undergraduate computer-programming course in the fall of 2016. Analysis of the data revealed that there was a negative correlation between time lag of first review attempt and performance. A survey was developed and disseminated that gave insight into how students felt about the technology and what they normally do to study for programming exams. In conclusion, the knowledge gained in this study aids in the quest to better educate students in computer programming in large in-person classrooms.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05