Monthly Archives: April 2015

Robert Pruette: The Effects of Teacher Diversity on Student Learning

Our nation’s classrooms are rapidly growing more diverse. White students hardly make up half of America’s student population and within the next several years it is predicted there will no longer be one single majority. But as the student body diversifies, what about the teachers? Sizeable gaps exist between the number of minority students and minority teachers. Plenty of research has been done on why this extensive gap exists and how schools can respond. However, the purpose of this paper is to show and explain how the racial diversity of high school teachers contributes to student achievement in high schools throughout the state of Florida.

Using multiple linear regression analysis, I created and examined several different models. Using five different measures of diversity, while also accounting for attendance, socioeconomic status, and stability rate, I modeled how diversity contributes to different measures of student achievement.

These models showed that as teacher diversity increases, student achievement actually decreases, with the exception of graduation rates. Although these results may not provide definitive answers about the true nature of teacher diversity and student achievement, they certainly lead to many more important questions about how we can diversify our schools.

R. Pruette Final (PDF)

Kylie Shellington: Creating the Blind Pepper’s Ghost: Analyzing Sound Spectra Using Fourier Transforms to Predict Dimensional Variation for Image Reconstruction

Disney’s Haunted Mansion attraction serves as the home to the largest implementation of the Pepper’s Ghost illusion ever constructed. This optical illusion is created with a flat pane of glass that acts as a mirror when an object is lit properly. In the search to find the mathematics behind this effect, we propose the creation of a new illusion known as the Blind Pepper’s Ghost. Inspired by the configuration of the original Pepper’s Ghost effect, we replace the light waves of the old illusion with sound waves in order to create an image of an object. In this study, we will use partial differential equations to find the solution of the one-dimensional wave equation over a semi-infinite boundary to model the sound waves of the Blind Pepper’s Ghost effect. Implementing an experimental configuration of the effect, we develop two different models to predict dimensional variation between objects. These models provide the framework for future configurations that allow us to predict the thickness of an object on multiple planes. By drawing cross-sections to the appropriate predicted dimensions, we can use the Blind Pepper’s Ghost to reconstruct a three-dimensional image of the physical object.

K. Shellington Final (PDF)

Mark Burton: ImmersiveArt: A Study of Virtual Reality and the Benefits of Natural User Interface

As our technologies have evolved, they have allowed us the opportunity to access and manipulate increasingly large, complex pieces of data. Gaming has become an incredibly involved experience with its hyper-detailed environments. The power of mobile computing has put a vast amount of information constantly at our fingertips; and the recent movements in augmented and virtual reality are allowing the physical and virtual worlds to bleed into each other in unique ways. As the information we interact with comes to us in an ever-increasing variety of forms and complexities, so too must our ways of interaction with said data evolve and become a less noticeable obstacle. In this paper, we study improvements on usability through use of natural interfaces, specifically the improvement of experience and user efficiency whilst using muscle computer interaction as opposed to more traditional forms of interaction.

M. Burton Final (PDF)

Christian Micklisch and Nathan Hilliard: Modeling and Simulation of a Distributed Multi-Behavioral Control for Fully Autonomous Quadrotors

In this paper we present a real time scalable and adaptable system to control and coordinate the movements of fully autonomous quadrotors. Flocking describes the movement of a group of agents such as birds, insects, mammals, or robots cohesively traveling in a coordinated way. A fully autonomous quadrotor is an aerial drone that utilizes four propellers to achieve stable flight through the use of obstacle avoidance, attitude control, and altitude control algorithms. In this research we created Avian; a group of coordinated autonomous quadrotors that employs parallel computing and dynamic behavior application to formulate a real time scalable and adaptable system. We present a comprehensive mathematical model for the Avian system. We also develop a distributed simulator to accurately show the capabilities of the attitude controllers, altitude controller, and collision detection methods by accurately simulating the environment, the reactions of the sensors in the environment, and how the quadrotors utilize the sensor data to interact in the environment. We developed several obstacle detection methods and an altitude controller while simulating several algorithms for obstacle avoidance, attitude and altitude control and flocking techniques. The simulator allows for the comparison of the performance of different configurations and control of quadrotor systems in various environments.

C. Micklisch and N. Hilliard Final (PDF)

Thomas Wright: Game Development for an Augmented Reality System

Augmented reality is a growing field with applications that will make life easier by giving access to a computer with simple gestures and voice commands. We compared multiple augmented reality systems to determine which one gives the developer the most support, and has a low price point, and high resolution. We discuss how to develop for an application for an augmented reality system and propose an augmented reality game.

T. Wright Final (PDF)