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Developing a Curriculum to Prepare Software Engineers for the Technical Interview Process

Description

ASU’s Software Engineering (SER) program adequately prepares students for what happens after they become a developer, but there is no standard for preparing students to secure a job post-graduation in the first place. This project creates and executes a supplemental

ASU’s Software Engineering (SER) program adequately prepares students for what happens after they become a developer, but there is no standard for preparing students to secure a job post-graduation in the first place. This project creates and executes a supplemental curriculum to prepare students for the technical interview process. The trial run of the curriculum was received positively by study participants, who experienced an increase in confidence over the duration of the workshop.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

Enhancing Student Learning Through Adaptive Sentence Generation

Description

Education of any skill based subject, such as mathematics or language, involves a significant amount of repetition and pratice. According to the National Survey of Student Engagements, students spend on average 17 hours per week reviewing and practicing material previously

Education of any skill based subject, such as mathematics or language, involves a significant amount of repetition and pratice. According to the National Survey of Student Engagements, students spend on average 17 hours per week reviewing and practicing material previously learned in a classroom, with higher performing students showing a tendency to spend more time practicing. As such, learning software has emerged in the past several decades focusing on providing a wide range of examples, practice problems, and situations for users to exercise their skills. Notably, math students have benefited from software that procedurally generates a virtually infinite number of practice problems and their corresponding solutions. This allows for instantaneous feedback and automatic generation of tests and quizzes. Of course, this is only possible because software is capable of generating and verifying a virtually endless supply of sample problems across a wide range of topics within mathematics. While English learning software has progressed in a similar manner, it faces a series of hurdles distinctly different from those of mathematics. In particular, there is a wide range of exception cases present in English grammar. Some words have unique spellings for their plural forms, some words have identical spelling for plural forms, and some words are conjugated differently for only one particular tense or person-of-speech. These issues combined make the problem of generating grammatically correct sentences complicated. To compound to this problem, the grammar rules in English are vast, and often depend on the context in which they are used. Verb-tense agreement (e.g. "I eat" vs "he eats"), and conjugation of irregular verbs (e.g. swim -> swam) are common examples. This thesis presents an algorithm designed to randomly generate a virtually infinite number of practice problems for students of English as a second language. This approach differs from other generation approaches by generating based on a context set by educators, so that problems can be generated in the context of what students are currently learning. The algorithm is validated through a study in which over 35 000 sentences generated by the algorithm are verified by multiple grammar checking algorithms, and a subset of the sentences are validated against 3 education standards by a subject matter expert in the field. The study found that this approach has a significantly reduced grammar error ratio compared to other generation algorithms, and shows potential where context specification is concerned.

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Agent

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Date Created
2016-05

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Smooth surfaces for video game development

Description

The video game graphics pipeline has traditionally rendered the scene using a polygonal approach. Advances in modern graphics hardware now allow the rendering of parametric methods. This thesis explores various smooth surface rendering methods that can be integrated into the

The video game graphics pipeline has traditionally rendered the scene using a polygonal approach. Advances in modern graphics hardware now allow the rendering of parametric methods. This thesis explores various smooth surface rendering methods that can be integrated into the video game graphics engine. Moving over to parametric or smooth surfaces from the polygonal domain has its share of issues and there is an inherent need to address various rendering bottlenecks that could hamper such a move. The game engine needs to choose an appropriate method based on in-game characteristics of the objects; character and animated objects need more sophisticated methods whereas static objects could use simpler techniques. Scaling the polygon count over various hardware platforms becomes an important factor. Much control is needed over the tessellation levels, either imposed by the hardware limitations or by the application, to be able to adaptively render the mesh without significant loss in performance. This thesis explores several methods that would help game engine developers in making correct design choices by optimally balancing the trade-offs while rendering the scene using smooth surfaces. It proposes a novel technique for adaptive tessellation of triangular meshes that vastly improves speed and tessellation count. It develops an approximate method for rendering Loop subdivision surfaces on tessellation enabled hardware. A taxonomy and evaluation of the methods is provided and a unified rendering system that provides automatic level of detail by switching between the methods is proposed.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Lighting prediction and simulation in large nighttime urban scenes

Description

Night vision goggles (NVGs) are widely used by helicopter pilots for flight missions at night, but the equipment can present visually confusing images especially in urban areas. A simulation tool with realistic nighttime urban images would help pilots practice and

Night vision goggles (NVGs) are widely used by helicopter pilots for flight missions at night, but the equipment can present visually confusing images especially in urban areas. A simulation tool with realistic nighttime urban images would help pilots practice and train for flight with NVGs. However, there is a lack of tools for visualizing urban areas at night. This is mainly due to difficulties in gathering the light system data, placing the light systems at suitable locations, and rendering millions of lights with complex light intensity distributions (LID). Unlike daytime images, a city can have millions of light sources at night, including street lights, illuminated signs, and light shed from building interiors through windows. In this paper, a Procedural Lighting tool (PL), which predicts the positions and properties of street lights, is presented. The PL tool is used to accomplish three aims: (1) to generate vector data layers for geographic information systems (GIS) with statistically estimated information on lighting designs for streets, as well as the locations, orientations, and models for millions of streetlights; (2) to generate geo-referenced raster data to suitable for use as light maps that cover a large scale urban area so that the effect of millions of street light can be accurately rendered at real time, and (3) to extend existing 3D models by generating detailed light-maps that can be used as UV-mapped textures to render the model. An interactive graphical user interface (GUI) for configuring and previewing lights from a Light System Database (LDB) is also presented. The GUI includes physically accurate information about LID and also the lights' spectral power distributions (SPDs) so that a light-map can be generated for use with any sensor if the sensors luminosity function is known. Finally, for areas where more detail is required, a tool has been developed for editing and visualizing light effects over a 3D building from many light sources including area lights and windows. The above components are integrated in the PL tool to produce a night time urban view for not only a large-scale area but also a detail of a city building.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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An adaptive time reduction technique for video lectures

Description

Lecture videos are a widely used resource for learning. A simple way to create

videos is to record live lectures, but these videos end up being lengthy, include long

pauses and repetitive words making the viewing experience time consuming. While

pauses are useful

Lecture videos are a widely used resource for learning. A simple way to create

videos is to record live lectures, but these videos end up being lengthy, include long

pauses and repetitive words making the viewing experience time consuming. While

pauses are useful in live learning environments where students take notes, I question

the value of pauses in video lectures. Techniques and algorithms that can shorten such

videos can have a huge impact in saving students’ time and reducing storage space.

I study this problem of shortening videos by removing long pauses and adaptively

modifying the playback rate by emphasizing the most important sections of the video

and its effect on the student community. The playback rate is designed in such a

way to play uneventful sections faster and significant sections slower. Important and

unimportant sections of a video are identified using textual analysis. I use an existing

speech-to-text algorithm to extract the transcript and apply latent semantic analysis

and standard information retrieval techniques to identify the relevant segments of

the video. I compute relevance scores of different segments and propose a variable

playback rate for each of these segments. The aim is to reduce the amount of time

students spend on passive learning while watching videos without harming their ability

to follow the lecture. I validate the approach by conducting a user study among

computer science students and measuring their engagement. The results indicate

no significant difference in their engagement when this method is compared to the

original unedited video.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

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Land use and land cover classification using deep learning techniques

Description

Large datasets of sub-meter aerial imagery represented as orthophoto mosaics are widely available today, and these data sets may hold a great deal of untapped information. This imagery has a potential to locate several types of features; for example, forests,

Large datasets of sub-meter aerial imagery represented as orthophoto mosaics are widely available today, and these data sets may hold a great deal of untapped information. This imagery has a potential to locate several types of features; for example, forests, parking lots, airports, residential areas, or freeways in the imagery. However, the appearances of these things vary based on many things including the time that the image is captured, the sensor settings, processing done to rectify the image, and the geographical and cultural context of the region captured by the image. This thesis explores the use of deep convolutional neural networks to classify land use from very high spatial resolution (VHR), orthorectified, visible band multispectral imagery. Recent technological and commercial applications have driven the collection a massive amount of VHR images in the visible red, green, blue (RGB) spectral bands, this work explores the potential for deep learning algorithms to exploit this imagery for automatic land use/ land cover (LULC) classification. The benefits of automatic visible band VHR LULC classifications may include applications such as automatic change detection or mapping. Recent work has shown the potential of Deep Learning approaches for land use classification; however, this thesis improves on the state-of-the-art by applying additional dataset augmenting approaches that are well suited for geospatial data. Furthermore, the generalizability of the classifiers is tested by extensively evaluating the classifiers on unseen datasets and we present the accuracy levels of the classifier in order to show that the results actually generalize beyond the small benchmarks used in training. Deep networks have many parameters, and therefore they are often built with very large sets of labeled data. Suitably large datasets for LULC are not easy to come by, but techniques such as refinement learning allow networks trained for one task to be retrained to perform another recognition task. Contributions of this thesis include demonstrating that deep networks trained for image recognition in one task (ImageNet) can be efficiently transferred to remote sensing applications and perform as well or better than manually crafted classifiers without requiring massive training data sets. This is demonstrated on the UC Merced dataset, where 96% mean accuracy is achieved using a CNN (Convolutional Neural Network) and 5-fold cross validation. These results are further tested on unrelated VHR images at the same resolution as the training set.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

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Minimizing Dataset Size Requirements for Machine Learning

Description

Machine learning methodologies are widely used in almost all aspects of software engineering. An effective machine learning model requires large amounts of data to achieve high accuracy. The data used for classification is mostly labeled, which is difficult to obtain.

Machine learning methodologies are widely used in almost all aspects of software engineering. An effective machine learning model requires large amounts of data to achieve high accuracy. The data used for classification is mostly labeled, which is difficult to obtain. The dataset requires both high costs and effort to accurately label the data into different classes. With abundance of data, it becomes necessary that all the data should be labeled for its proper utilization and this work focuses on reducing the labeling effort for large dataset. The thesis presents a comparison of different classifiers performance to test if small set of labeled data can be utilized to build accurate models for high prediction rate. The use of small dataset for classification is then extended to active machine learning methodology where, first a one class classifier will predict the outliers in the data and then the outlier samples are added to a training set for support vector machine classifier for labeling the unlabeled data. The labeling of dataset can be scaled up to avoid manual labeling and building more robust machine learning methodologies.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2017

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Optimizing Performance Measures in Classification Using Ensemble Learning Methods

Description

Ensemble learning methods like bagging, boosting, adaptive boosting, stacking have traditionally shown promising results in improving the predictive accuracy in classification. These techniques have recently been widely used in various domains and applications owing to the improvements in computational efficiency

Ensemble learning methods like bagging, boosting, adaptive boosting, stacking have traditionally shown promising results in improving the predictive accuracy in classification. These techniques have recently been widely used in various domains and applications owing to the improvements in computational efficiency and distributed computing advances. However, with the advent of wide variety of applications of machine learning techniques to class imbalance problems, further focus is needed to evaluate, improve and optimize other performance measures such as sensitivity (true positive rate) and specificity (true negative rate) in classification. This thesis demonstrates a novel approach to evaluate and optimize the performance measures (specifically sensitivity and specificity) using ensemble learning methods for classification that can be especially useful in class imbalanced datasets. In this thesis, ensemble learning methods (specifically bagging and boosting) are used to optimize the performance measures (sensitivity and specificity) on a UC Irvine (UCI) 130 hospital diabetes dataset to predict if a patient will be readmitted to the hospital based on various feature vectors. From the experiments conducted, it can be empirically concluded that, by using ensemble learning methods, although accuracy does improve to some margin, both sensitivity and specificity are optimized significantly and consistently over different cross validation approaches. The implementation and evaluation has been done on a subset of the large UCI 130 hospital diabetes dataset. The performance measures of ensemble learners are compared to the base machine learning classification algorithms such as Naive Bayes, Logistic Regression, k Nearest Neighbor, Decision Trees and Support Vector Machines.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2017

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Feature Adaptive Ray Tracing of Subdivision Surfaces

Description

Subdivision surfaces have gained more and more traction since it became the standard surface representation in the movie industry for many years. And Catmull-Clark subdivision scheme is the most popular one for handling polygonal meshes. After its introduction, Catmull-Clark surfaces

Subdivision surfaces have gained more and more traction since it became the standard surface representation in the movie industry for many years. And Catmull-Clark subdivision scheme is the most popular one for handling polygonal meshes. After its introduction, Catmull-Clark surfaces have been extended to several eminent ways, including the handling of boundaries, infinitely sharp creases, semi-sharp creases, and hierarchically defined detail. For ray tracing of subdivision surfaces, a common way is to construct spatial bounding volume hierarchies on top of input control mesh. However, a high-level refined subdivision surface not only requires a substantial amount of memory storage, but also causes slow and inefficient ray tracing. In this thesis, it presents a new way to improve the efficiency of ray tracing of subdivision surfaces, while the quality is not as good as general methods.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2017

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Development and use of an iPad-based resuscitation code-blue sheet for improving resuscitation outcomes during intensive patient care

Description

The American Heart Association recommended in 1997 the data elements that should be collected from resuscitations in hospitals. (15) Currently, data documentation from resuscitation events in hospitals, termed ‘code blue’ events, utilizes a paper form, which is institution-specific. Problems with

The American Heart Association recommended in 1997 the data elements that should be collected from resuscitations in hospitals. (15) Currently, data documentation from resuscitation events in hospitals, termed ‘code blue’ events, utilizes a paper form, which is institution-specific. Problems with data capture and transcription exists, due to the challenges of dynamic documentation of patient, event and outcome variables as the code blue event unfolds.

This thesis is based on the hypothesis that an electronic version of code blue real-time data capture would lead to improved resuscitation data transcription, and enable clinicians to address deficiencies in quality of care. The primary goal of this thesis is to create an iOS based application, primarily designed for iPads, for code blue events at the Mayo Clinic Hospital. The secondary goal is to build an open-source software development framework for converting paper-based hospital protocols into digital format.

The tool created in this study enabled data documentation to be completed electronically rather than on paper for resuscitation outcomes. The tool was evaluated for usability with twenty nurses, the end-users, at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. The results showed the preference of users for the iPad application. Furthermore, a qualitative survey showed the clinicians perceived the electronic version to be more accurate and efficient than paper-based documentation, both of which are essential for an emergency code blue resuscitation procedure.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015