My general area of research interest lies in the fields of agent-based Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and data mining as well as the application of these to scientific and/or societal problems. As much of my work originates from projects that I work on with students, these application domains vary considerably. Recently, I have worked with students on such applications as finance, software patents, finite element methods, and music transcription. If you are interested in problems related to:
please come talk to me. Presently, I have a number of ideas for projects ranging from fairly non-mathematical to very mathematical. I am also interested in students working during the summer with me on SURE-supported projects.
In our department, senior research is taken very seriously. During the past few years, the quality of research being completed by our students has increased tremendously, and many students have produced quality work that has been presented at conferences. While some students may work on more theoretical projects, the majority work on more applied projects. Senior research is comprised of two semesters of work, the first leading to a proposal and the second culminating into a final paper and product. Each semester, a schedule is provided indicating when students must pick a topic by, turn in an abstract, turn in a paper, and give a presentation. While the first semester is considered a "proposal" semester, it is expected that students will complete more work that simply stating what they will do for senior research and providing a timeline. Initial work on the project should be completed, often with a software product of sorts. This may be a prototype or a proof-of-concept program. For computer information systems (CIS) students, often the senior research project involves developing an software application alone, in which case some portion of the project should be completed during the first semester.
I believe that it is important to begin thinking about senior research before your senior year. Students often find themselves overwhelmed by the process, and the dates and deadlines come quickly. Beginning the proposal semester without any idea of what you would like to work on only exacerbates the problem. Many if not most of your upper-division computer science classes will include writing a paper and/or presenting a class project. Doing so provides practice for the paper/presentation portion of senior research, but also it provides you with an opportunity to think about interesting projects. Talking to me or other faculty in our department about possible projects is also a great idea, especially during the year prior to you taking senior research.
The topic you are interested in certainly will help determine who you should choose as your senior research advisor. If interested in graphics, game development, or virtual reality, you should talk with Dr. Branton. For networking, wireless applications, operating systems and low-level software projects, Dr. ElAarag is a great choice. For numerical applications, computational modeling, any flavor of AI or ML (including genetic algorithms, genetic programming, neural networks, and support vector machines), I would be happy to talk with you. Dr. Miles and I have begun collaborating on research that is an offshoot of Matt Deyo-Svendsen's work (see below) on using genetic algorithms and neural networks to develop optimal grid generation for finite element applications. In particular if you are strong in both mathematics and computer science, there are many problems we are interested in pursuing, and we would both be happy to talk with you about them.