Tuesday 31 March 2015

Final year computer science projects 2015

Computer Science is a diverse subject and this is reflected in the final year projects that our undergraduates undertake. This year, the final year project students that I supervise have chosen the following:
  • A simulation of Babbage's Analytical Engine to be used as an online educational tool. As the first design for a general purpose programmable computer, it's of huge importance, but there are few good resources to help explain it to the general public. This site will include some history about Babbage and Lovelace, and an interactive game where you get to program the engine. Technologies involved include client side web programming, expression parsing, and 3D graphics. (Rhian Watkins)
  • Geotagging of the digitised newspaper articles in the collection of the National Library of Wales. A mention of a placename in an article does not necessarily mean that the article is about that place (for example an article about "the Duchess of York). This project uses a gazetteer from Open Street Map data, NLP to extract features, and then various machine learning algorithms to see if we can tell which placenames are relevant and which are not.  (Sean Sapstead)
  • A version control system for DNA. Software version control systems are not so useful for storing details of whole genomes and the modifications made to them. We want to explore Darcs-like patches, and use of sequence alignment tools to help record and inspect DNA modifications, and to be able to apply multiple modifications in a different order. (Thomas Hull)
  • A tool for demonstrating the differences between two DNA sequences as audio/music and as animations. How can we show the public the differences between two strains of the Ebola virus, or the mutations in BRCA1 that can cause cancer? Sequence alignment tools and different translations and representations of the DNA strings are the key to this problem. (Andrew Poll, his project blog)
  • The Happy Cow Game: an online collaborative game that represents the process of feeding a cow with the correct balance of foodstuffs to optimise its health, meat and milk. This was initially developed as a board game by veterinary lecturer Gabriel de la Fuente Oliver, and he's now helping us to turn it into an online game. Technologies involved include the Ruby on Rails framework, client side web tools and libraries, and a detailed understanding of how to make a complex game playable. (Simeon Smith)
  • A tournament seeding tool for online gamers as part of Aber Community of Gamers. This one's going to collect data about previous games played, using APIs for the various online gaming platforms and then use interesting seeding algorithms to make sure that tournaments are fair and balanced. It's also producing the web site to support the community, using the Laravel framework. (Nathan Hand)
Andrew shows his prototype code for turning DNA differences into sound and animations to children in Science Week

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