University of Advancing Technology

Student Innovation Projects

The next generation of technology innovation begins the day students set foot on campus at the University of Advancing Technology. This technology college offers a technophile’s dream environment where innovation and passion for advancing technology are synthesized with the best of faculty and technology resources.

UAT offers an extraordinary learning environment all about advancing technology and expanding your education to the next level with synchronic™ learning. Only at UAT will you find this extraordinary focus on advancing technology curriculum with the resources to empower innovation centered on advancing technology degree programs. The in-depth relationships between technology degree students and faculty prepares the students for upcoming challenges after graduation.

When students graduate with their elite technology degree, they become leaders and innovators in their fields. Students at this technology University are serious about innovation projects and take them to heart. Student projects at UAT are a state school’s equivalent of a master’s thesis but are way more fun and end up being leading projects in the student’s portfolio when they graduate and enter the workforce.

Surf the wide variety of technology innovation from this top technology University and its brilliant students. Dig into any one of the 25 advancing technology degree programs by meeting the passionate and expert advancing technology faculty or checking out our degree program blogs and Alumni Heroes.

Dia de los Dinosaurios

Dia de los Dinosaurios
Game Studies

The Blind Man

The Blind Man
Game Studies

Shadow's Dirge

Shadow's Dirge
Game Art and Animation

Independent Shadow Rigs

Independent Shadow Rigs
Game Art and Animation

Bohemian Rhapsody: Starwars Edition

Bohemian Rhapsody: Starwars Edition
Digital Arts

Theseus First Flight

Theseus First Flight
Game Studies

Neurodraw

Neurodraw
Technology Studies

FREEFALL

FREEFALL
Game Studies

ICARUS

ICARUS
Cyber Security

ULTRA SKETCH

ULTRA SKETCH
Game Design

LED Cube

LED Cube
Uat's Giant 3D LED Cube

INSTANT OBJECT RECOGNITION AND STORAGE

INSTANT OBJECT RECOGNITION AND STORAGE
Cyber Security

LINDENMAYER COMPRESSION PROGRAM

LINDENMAYER COMPRESSION PROGRAM
Game Studies

FIRE PROJECT

FIRE PROJECT
Cyber Security

WEB AS DISTRIBUTED FILE HOSTS

WEB AS DISTRIBUTED FILE HOSTS
Cyber Security

SIGHT AND SOUND LEARNING KOREAN

SIGHT AND SOUND LEARNING KOREAN
Programming

SLEEP SENSE

SLEEP SENSE
Cyber Security

GIFT CARD HEAVEN

GIFT CARD HEAVEN
Cyber Security

BIO PROTECTED USB FLASH DRIVE

BIO PROTECTED USB FLASH DRIVE
Cyber Security

MOUNTABLE HD INFRARED NIGHT-VISION CAMERA

MOUNTABLE HD INFRARED NIGHT-VISION CAMERA
Digital Arts

FACE RECOGNITION DOOR GREETER

FACE RECOGNITION DOOR GREETER
Hardware Creation

NETWORK SECURITY FREE ONLINE TRAINING

NETWORK SECURITY FREE ONLINE TRAINING
Cyber Security

VISUAL MAD-LIBS

VISUAL MAD-LIBS
Advancing Technology Studies

CLOUD COMPUTING IN DIGITAL FORENSICS

CLOUD COMPUTING IN DIGITAL FORENSICS
Cyber Security

SWEET PICKLES SECURE DATA TRANSFER

SWEET PICKLES SECURE DATA TRANSFER
Programming

OPEN SOURCE GSM NETWORK

OPEN SOURCE GSM NETWORK
Cyber Security

DYNAMIC NETWORK SETUP

DYNAMIC NETWORK SETUP
Cyber Security

Ferrofluid Sculpt

Ferrofluid Sculpt
Hardware Creation

Playing With Music

Playing With Music
Game Studies

Network Ninja

Network Ninja
Cyber Security

THE 3D-PRINTED LATEX MASK

THE 3D-PRINTED LATEX MASK
Digital Arts

3D Cityscape

3D Cityscape
Digital Arts

DYNAMIC LEVEL GENERATION AUTOMATIC DIFFICULTY

DYNAMIC LEVEL GENERATION AUTOMATIC DIFFICULTY
Game Studies

Android Phone Silencer

Android Phone Silencer
Programming

MY MUSIC MOSAIC

MY MUSIC MOSAIC
Hardware Creation

Pen Tester

Pen Tester

Voxrender

Voxrender
Game Studies

Cooking Fiesta

Cooking Fiesta
Digital Arts

OPERATION RESISTANCE

OPERATION RESISTANCE
Game Studies

Avido Dog Collar

Avido Dog Collar
Cyber Security

Doors Adventure Game

Doors Adventure Game
Game Studies

Motion Plus

Motion Plus
Cyber Security

LAGOMORPH 2D PLATFORM GAME

LAGOMORPH 2D PLATFORM GAME
Game Studies

Dia de los Dinosaurios

Game Studies


Dios De Los Dinosaurios is a platformer adventure game which features procedurally generated levels and revolves around the theme of the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday. The main characters, a group of dinosaurs, must conquer their individual fears (which play a role in the game's mechanics in the form of individual powers/challenges), and attempt to retrieve their deceased friend from the afterlife after working their way through a series of (random) levels and puzzles. The game is meant to have a cartoonish art style and a lighthearted comedy style, despite the somewhat morbid undertones, and the game's environments feature landscapes composed of various sweets and candies, as well as skulls and other traditional Day of the Dead decorations. Players will be able to explore procedurally-generated levels riddled with puzzles and obstacle courses alike, and the target audience players will be children.

INNOVATION
The innovation claim is the implementation of the procedural generation mechanics themselves, in the form of level, item, and goal randomization while the player progresses throughout the game.

MOVING FORWARD
The team is currently working to complete and refine the Cinnamon Desert level for the E3 competition showcase. Afterwards, the project will be moving towards Wii U development.


Dia de los Dinosaurios

The Blind Man

Game Studies


The Blind Man game is used to help demonstrate the Blind Man Mechanic. The mechanic allows players to navigate the level relying on audio, and vibrational cues.

INNOVATION
- Play games that require no vision
- Ability to navigate a game using sound and vibration

FUTURE PLANS
- Add additional levels
- Test Mechanics
- Add more assets


The Blind Man

Shadow's Dirge

Game Art and Animation


- A cinematic animation that fuses music with visuals
- An emotional and gripping story told through the eyes of the popular hero

INNOVATION
- The music drives the action, both instrumentally and lyrically
- The hero feels and acts through the story of the musical selections


Shadow's Dirge

Independent Shadow Rigs

Game Art and Animation


Independent shadow rigs would be 3D assets that only exist when light projects them onto walls. They would be attached via controllers to active rigs and then projected as a 2D planar image on walls and surfaces.

INNOVATION
This project's innovation claim is the ability to add complex independent shadows that can be manipulated on a whim regardless of the parent rig's shape, size, or movement.

FUTURE
To continue working to improve the rigs and implement them into game engines.


Independent Shadow Rigs

Bohemian Rhapsody: Starwars Edition

Digital Arts


University of Advancing Technology digital video Professor, Paul DeNigris, was singing along to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody on Phoenix's I-17 freeway one day when the idea of rewriting the classic Freddie Mercury lyrics to fit the Star Wars universe was born. The idea was realized by a student-faculty team and the community. Released on YouTube Dec. 4, 2013, the video already is considered by some as one of the great tributes to Queen and Star Wars.

THE PROJECT: Students Stephen Panagiotis and Jamall Richards reworked the song with DeNigris' guidance and input—retelling the key moments from the Star Wars saga including the Original Trilogy, the Prequel Trilogy and the Expanded Universe of novels and videogames.

Singer Adam Newton and music producer Joey Sawhill executed the new version of the song. Costumer groups not only shared their costumes but also lip synched the new lyrics, and the video was edited by student Natasha Stringam. A puppet-maker and costumer in Tokyo, Japan, volunteered his Yoda puppet and his "Ewan McGregor" Obi-Wan to participate in the video. The student visual effects team added backgrounds and other elements to put the characters into the Star Wars universe. The result is a comedic homage to George Lucas' space opera as well as to the operatic rock of Freddie Mercury and Queen.

The digital video program immerses students in leading-edge technologies and environments that are essential to today’s film, television, video production, newsgathering, animation, visual effects, gaming, web and interface design industries.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION: In just 72 hours, the video surpassed 1 million views and is continuing to gain momentum throughout social and traditional media.


Bohemian Rhapsody: Starwars Edition

Theseus First Flight

Game Studies


Theseus First Flight is Bloodleaf Studios’ first game now available through Google Play in both the free and 99-cent ad-free versions.

The game design company was developed by UAT alumni and co-owners Jacob Lanthier (Game Programming 2010) from Albany, New York and senior Jeff Sandefur (Game Programming 2013) from southern California. Their team of 16 is comprised of UAT students and alumni. Bloodleaf Studios creates games that take an out-of-this-world direction providing new and varied game experiences for players. With a wide range of specializations, the Bloodleaf team develops multi-platform games, encompassing PC, Linux, iOS, and Android.

Part of the AZ TechCelerator in Surprise, Bloodleaf Studio’s motto is “For Gamers, by Gamers, for a Great Cause.” We dedicate ourselves on developing multi-platform games, encompassing PC, Linux, iOS and Android. Firmly believing that giving something back to help shape the world for future generations, we pride ourselves on giving a portion of our profits to charities that share the same dedication and beliefs.

THE PROJECT The ISC Theseus spaceship is in trouble and needs your help to survive its test run. Seize the controls in Theseus First Flight, a side-scrolling, avoid-and-collect game in space. The first in a series of games developed by the studio, the story goes like this: After a lengthy war, the Imperial Strategic Command seeks to explore more of the galaxy, and has developed a faster than light drive small enough to be used in fighter ships. The first test of this drive, in the ISC Theseus, goes horribly wrong and now it’s up to you to help the ship to survive. Players collect Realignment Rings in order to keep the Theseus alive, while avoiding oncoming asteroids, meteors, and other ships that are caught in your path. UAT Game Design students focus on the design principles, skills and techniques required to create mechanics, design documents and functioning prototypes for innovative game projects.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION Bloodleaf Studios is redesigning Theseus First Flight and finalizing two more game projects: The Theseus Effect and Draco the Savior. And they’ve got others in the pipeline as well that they’re keeping under wraps until further developed. Bloodleaf Studios is diversifying to also develop software for other companies, and providing free services to the community, such as teaching free classes for the elderly.

TEAM BLOODLEAF All team members are currently working at Bloodleaf Studios: Jacob Lathier Jeff Sandefur David Houser Harold Hiner John Daniel Nate Schroeder Michael Rubino Alexander Laurie Rene Estrada Tyler Pfeifer Andres Sierra Heather Moffitt Mike Berow Dan Oquendo Isaac Willimson


Theseus First Flight

Neurodraw

Technology Studies


Imagine the ability to use your mind to create designs – without lifting a finger. It’s not the stuff of sci-fi movies, it’s a very real concept being explored in Thomas Niemiec’s NeuroDraw Student Innovation Project (SIP).

Thomas’ project harnesses the innovative concept of neuro-drawing, drawing with your mind directly onto a computer screen or canvas. This could open a new world for people with limited mobility in their hands, providing new opportunities for self-expression in areas such as art, architectural drawing and furniture and product design. His project also explores the possibility of a device that can hold a pencil/paintbrush and communicate with the headgear to create an image.

NeuroDraw would allow a person to create digital or physical art by wearing headgear and guiding a computer program with their thoughts or eyes to create the desired design.

THE PROJECT The headgear communicates a brain wave to deliver commands to a computer, aiding an artistic person who has a physical issue with his/her hands. When it is worn on an artist’s head, NeuroDraw will draw or paint digital art in Photoshop. Built-in sensors will identify its user by voice or mind.

Using a Mindflex game headset, Thomas attached an Arduino Uno board. Downloading data using the Brain Library, he will program the innovation into the computer. Although Thomas is going solo in the design and creation of his prototype, he adds “Professor Mark Fedasiuk has been very helpful. Neural type of computer innovations seems to be an area of interest to him. I appreciate him pointing out both positive and negative areas. Early on Amanda McIntyre (senior majoring in Advancing Computer Science) also was very encouraging and could see the potential of this project. The link she sent me to look into set a clear direction for me.”

The Technology Studies (Technology Product Design) program draws from a foundation designed to guide students through key aspects of the history and application of technology in the context of entrepreneurship, management and innovation. Technology Studies students gain competitive lifelong skills in strategic thinking, information analysis, presentation, and modern marketing.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION Thomas would like to see NeuroDraw become a cost effective way for disabled people to generate income. “There is a misnomer of people thinking that if someone has a disability they cannot generate income or think for themselves,” he says. He believes NeuroDraw will help address and discredit that perception.


Neurodraw

FREEFALL

Game Studies


PROJECT FREEFALL CREATES MOVING EXPERIENCE

Riddle: When are you free falling but not in danger of personal injury? When you're at UAT's commencement, graduating with an advancing technology degree and playing Project FREEFALL from your seat. Developed by a team of five students including project lead Maureen Perzan (senior, Game Design) and concept creator Daniel Perzan (Game Design, 2013 graduate), the interactive game project gave 100 Spring 2013 graduates control of an avatar free falling downward during commencement at Mesa Arts Center.

Unheard of during graduation? Not at UAT, where graduates learn to pioneer and demonstrate technology innovation from Day 1 through commencement and for a lifetime. Project FREEFALL was chosen as the Tech Moment portion of commencement from three student project ideas. Involving both robotics and game development programs, the interactive obstacle avoidance game was selected as the commencement Tech Moment from three student projects.

Graduates in the audience were divided into four groups (one for each limb). Each player had a hand held controller that directed a single degree of movement. The movement for each limb was averaged out among the team and reflected in the avatar's overall ability to avoid obstacles during the freefall. In the seven-to-10-minute demonstration, each group had to work as a team, and each team had to work together in order to achieve the desired outcomes. This collaborative effort reflected real-life scenarios of team work and collaboration.

'Commencement is the closing point of a future alumni's academic journey,' explains UAT Provost Dave Bolman. So UAT's commencement ceremony should be as unique and creative as are our students. This is the idea that guided our thoughts when we began incorporating technology moments about a decade ago. The idea was to give families and friends of graduates who only have thin slice perspectives of the UAT experience a way to see and feel what it was like to be one of our students.'

Tailored specifically for commencement, the project was then selected by faculty vote to be run as one of the three game projects for the semester – primarily because of the competitive creative nature of it, that it showed promise for completion within a semester and that it could be played by many people at one time. The innovation lies within the controls, which were handheld LED devices custom-made through the UAT Robotics team. Each graduate was provided a device and split into groups of four based on their seating location, which was indicated by one of four colors that will light up on their LED device. The movement of their devices was captured through a camera that compiles the average input from each of the four sections, which is interpreted within the game to move each of the character's color-coded limbs.

Project FREEFALL started with the pitch of a concept presented by Daniel Perzan in UAT's Fall 2012 semester's special topics course "Experimental Entertainment Technology" that combines the Robotics and Game Development departments to create games. He got the idea from an American adaptation of a Japanese TV show (NAME?), where contestants fall through 10' x 10' foam cut-out shapes.

What's cool is that the team looked at existing technology and decided to find a fun, new way to develop it that was also competitive. The LED devices made a year earlier for Tech Moment project, Lite Flight, were transformed into a new game project by updating technology and creating a new design concept.

The team of programmers and game designers were tasked with developing an art style guide, game design doc and technical design doc.

'It was the first time for a project of this stature to be structured and completed so quickly, within 15 weeks,' says Maureen. 'We were quite successful in doing that.'

'UAT helped me develop into the leader I was meant to be,' says Maureen. 'Being involved in projects like this one has been a huge learning experience because I realized the skills of a leader are not necessarily tied to talents but the ability to communicate and listen to your team. Of course being knowledgeable is important and knowing the building blocks but then it's important to know too how to build the wall and understand it doesn't happen alone.'

Daniel not only created the concept but also was the team designer, responsible for writing the script, coaching voice actor through the script, the initial concept of the game, listing objects to be modeled out, and choreographed movements.

'The best part of working on this project was when we had a room filled with 60 people right before commencement – hear people laughing yelling at each other 'go down, go down, and go up, go up,' he explained, adding that Project FREEFALL had the best elements of people playing both a competitive and cooperate game. 'It was fun it, it was silly and exactly what we wanted. Although this was an exhibition game only meant to be played once, I can't tell you the joy I felt watching people in a competitive game having a great time. That made it all worthwhile for me.'

Project FREEFALL Team
Maureen Perzan – Project Lead (senior)
Daniel Perzan – Creator, designer (2013 graduate)
Jordan Barrett -
Jeffrey A. Rosenberg
Scott Robbins


FREEFALL

ICARUS

Cyber Security


Developed by Network Security major Jason Caval, Project Icarus is a Windows 7 Virtual Hard Drive Penetration Testing Image that works with both Virtual Box and VMWare. The project is innovative with its creative way to set up new testing tools and programs with ease.

Designated as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Systems Security Education, UAT offers the Network Security degree to provide the advanced industry-standard tools and skill development necessary to propel information network technology initiatives and ensure success in the cyber security field.

THE PROJECT:
Project Icarus is scalable with different hard drive sizes and has a base snap shot that can be reused as needed. It is useful for writing up post penetration testing reports with Microsoft Office.
Preconfigured tools include:
› Metasploit
› Password cracking
› Scanning networks
› Finding vulnerabilities

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Future updates include:
› Cygwin for a Linux run time environment
› Ruby, Python and other language support for scripting
› Use of the virtual machine inside a virtual machine to test at the same time


ICARUS

ULTRA SKETCH

Game Design




When can a collection of video games not only be social and interactive but also contribute to tourism and commerce in a major Arizona city? When it is UltraSketch; a unique game project pitched to and commissioned by the City of Tempe as an innovative way to encourage exploration of the city’s landmarks, and developed in UAT’s Experimental Entertainment Technologies class.

Game Programming graduate Gregory “Raj” James serves as lead programmer on a team that also included UAT’s Robotic and Embedded Systems students who created the eight-foot-tall giant “Etch-A-Sketch” machine. Other team members integral in the project’s success have majors in Game Design, Game Art and Animation, and Human-Computer Interaction.

UAT’s Game Programming degree prepares students to develop a broad skill set, and become comfortable with many platforms and languages. Video game programmers develop games for web, console, PC and mobile devices.

THE PROJECT
The 92-inch by 95-inch UltraSketch is made out of plywood with paint bucket knobs. A rear projector displays the game onto the screen and is driven by a computer. Key components of the project include "Free Sketch," "Connect-the-Dots" and "Tempe" interactive game modes. The Tempe mode selects a point randomly from a database and creates a map to that destination from the current location. Players draw out the route to the destination and then are sent to the location to take pictures and upload them to the website/Facebook.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION
UltraSketch is making the rounds at various locations in Tempe to demonstrate its capabilities and give people the chance to play the games. "We're really excited, but at the same time there's still a lot of polish that is needed," Greg said in a Phoenix Business Journal article. "It's kind of like its own new console, and with more games planned by students it will feature a library of games."


ULTRA SKETCH

LED Cube

Uat's Giant 3D LED Cube


Sometime around the end of 2012, there will be a massive, glowing, multicolored 3D LED cube on display at UAT. You might even see a 3D image of yourself dancing inside the cube – or, maybe just a 3D version of yourself standing there in awe.

It’s a project that Ryan Carmain and Raul Garcia Jr. have been intensely working on, with guidance from professor Ryan Meuth, since October 2011. Ryan and Raul are Robotics and Embedded Systems majors – both are graduating in 2012. Their LED project started out as an idea for a small 3D cube but it has exploded in size, complexity and awesomeness.

Their 3D LED cube is now on track to become a huge display at UAT. Plus, it will be used by students in the future to develop 3D applications like games, art and robotics.

“It can be a platform that students can design games for,” says professor Meuth. “The Arts and Animation students can write displays and animate models. And this is a prime platform for Human-Computer Interaction students because the sensors and modeling are things those students deal with.”

An LED cube of any size, unto itself, is a complicated project. Some companies have created big 3D LED cubes. But, not many exist and almost none of them have been created by students.

“Large companies will make these cubes for fancy displays, but they have a team of engineers,” says professor Meuth. “These guys are pulling it together from really simple parts that are commonly available.”

Ryan and Raul’s 3D LED cube is being developed with openFrameworks, which is an open source system for creative coding. Typically, the C++ language is used.

The guys are incorporating Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect into their design. Kinect uses infrared cameras to detect a person’s image. Then, it transports a 3D image into a video game. The idea is to literally put yourself inside the game.

“We started to talk about how just building an LED cube is not enough for UAT,” says Raul, who’s from El Paso, Texas. He’s working on his second degree at UAT after getting his first in Virtual Modeling and Design. “We thought about adding a touch-screen interface. Then, I suggested we use Kinect. Everything is going wireless, so I thought that would be a good idea.”

Ryan and Raul’s 3D LED cube will ultimately be 24” x 24” x 24” and it’ll be made up of 13,824 LED lights – each displaying three colors. Their 3D LED cube will have more than 41,000 control signals.

Just to put all that in perspective, Ryan and Raul spent about five weeks building a single 8” x 8” panel.

Ryan is working on the hardware, including using UAT’s 3D printer to create a prototype of the jigs that will house those nearly 14,000 LED lights. Raul is using openFrameworks to incorporate the Kinect 3D camera technology into the cube.

Both Ryan and Raul came up with the idea for 3” x 3” x 3”. LED cube to apply for UAT’s Artistic Innovator Scholarship. Ultimately, they each got a $1,000 scholarship as a result of the project.

“They built a small cube of LEDs,” says professor Meuth. “Normally, you’d have a flat sheet of LEDs. Now, they’re taking a flat sheet and stacking them on top of each other to create a cube.”

“It started out as an idea for our scholarship,” says Ryan, who grew up about 45 miles north of Indianapolis. He’s planning to work for NASA after he graduates. “From there, we decided we could contact the school and get funding for it. Then, I got the suggestion to turn this into my Student Innovation Project, as well.”

Ryan and Raul’s next step will be a long one –fortunately, at UAT, Ryan and Raul have all the resources they need to make it happen.

“What I like most about UAT is how open the hardware lab is,” says Ryan. “It’s easy to walk up here and just say, ‘Hey, I want to build that,’ then talk to a professor about doing it.”

Keep up with Raul and Ryan’s progress on the UAT robotics blog. Go to www.uat.edu/LEDCube


LED Cube

INSTANT OBJECT RECOGNITION AND STORAGE

Cyber Security


Edwin Powell Hubble, the American astronomer who profoundly changed our understanding of the universe by demonstrating the existence of galaxies other than our own, and after whom the Hubble Space Telescope is named, once said:

“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.”

That quote has inspired Max Markowitz, an Advancing Computer Science major at UAT. He is working on a Student Innovation Project where images will be recognized, based on a visual reference library of stored images.

THE PROJECT:
Max was struck by the fact that today’s technological quest to create Artificial Intelligence systems seemed to focus on the brain, not the eyes. Even though mankind has always used its eyes to discover and recognize objects around us.

Max’s system recognizes similar, even complex shapes. But he has not yet implemented the library of object images where the system will compare and identify an unknown object.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Eventually, Max hopes to have a storage environment where the program can select one or more databases and utilize stored object data to recognize an object through a camera lens. Max’s plans for the project’s full build-out include implementing the database of images, making the database modular and developing the complete documentation for the system.


INSTANT OBJECT RECOGNITION AND STORAGE

LINDENMAYER COMPRESSION PROGRAM

Game Studies


The Lindenmayer System is a parallel rewriting system, first used by Hungarian theoretical biologist and botanist Aristid Lindenmayer, that can be used to model the form and structure of a variety of organisms and generate duplicating fractals.

William Miller, a Game Programming major at the UAT, is working on a Student Innovation Project that breaks music down into a Lindenmayer system to procedurally generate the original piece of music.

THE PROJECT:
William’s code uses Lindenmayer Systems to form a set of rules so that an entire song can be generated from just a few notes.

William is using the MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) electronic protocol in his project. Unlike analog devices, MIDI sends event messages about the various musical components, such as volume and pitch, which made it easy for his code to manipulate the music.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
William is confident that this code can be improved and made to function much better as a form of compression. He also thinks that his code could be applied to Artificial Intelligence. By using the pattern recognition of a musician’s input, code could be generated that would predict the musician’s next move, so that the Artificial Intelligence could assemble the remainder of the musical piece.


LINDENMAYER COMPRESSION PROGRAM

FIRE PROJECT

Cyber Security


When it comes to the most important technological tools and devices, there are damaging elements like water, ice and fire that cause irreparable harm, but that users often cannot easily protect their devices from.

Heat and fire are particularly threatening because in some industries, heat and fire are critical to getting the job done, such as in manufacturing and mining.

Manuel Barberena, a Robotics and Embedded Software major at UAT, is working on a Student Innovation Project that’s designed specifically to protect computers, smartphones and other digital devices from heat and fire.

THE PROJECT:
Manuel is setting out to develop a next-generation product that can protect services, property and lives from fire and extreme heat. His goal is to develop a lightweight product that can withstand and dissipate heat up to 2500° F—that’s enough to protect your hand from the flame of a blowtorch.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Manuel’s cutting-edge material is an exciting advance that will allow people, corporations and the government to protect important information in hot environments. But, before he completes this project, Manuel intends to improve upon his design and the materials themselves, and he will conduct research studies to find more uses for the product.


FIRE PROJECT

WEB AS DISTRIBUTED FILE HOSTS

Cyber Security


A Distributed File System (DFS) is a system of putting files into logical locations, even if those locations don’t match where the files actually reside. It allows for smoother storage expansion and load balancing.

Bryan Clark, a Game Programming major at the UAT, is utilizing this complex technology for his Student Innovation Project where users can upload files to hosting services and then later retrieve those files.

THE PROJECT:
Bryan’s project is the development of a system that allows a user to upload a file to a hosting service, with the ability to retrieve the file at any time without a charge.

Here’s how it works. The file hosting software takes an uploaded file and encodes it into plain text. The encoded file is then broken into chunks and distributed across the Internet. Portions of the uploaded file may be stored at Google, Facebook and Yahoo, for example.

Bryan’s program then assembles a location identifying URL for all the pieces of the uploaded file, so it can eventually be retrieved as a complete file.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Expanding the storage resources is Bryan’s first goal for future development of his Web Services as Distributed File Hosts project. After that, he plans to collect performance statistics, polish the user interface and build a user-friendly API. At that point, he’ll have his program ready for public release.


WEB AS DISTRIBUTED FILE HOSTS

SIGHT AND SOUND LEARNING KOREAN

Programming


The U.S. Defense Language Institute classifies Korean as a Category IV language, which means it takes the average English-speaker three times the study time to develop a limited working level of proficiency, compared to Romance languages such as Spanish and Italian.

Other category IV languages include Arabic, Japanese and Chinese.

Kayla Harris, an Enterprise Software Development major at UAT, is working on a Student Innovation Project that will make Korean dramatically easier to learn than with typical teaching tools.

THE PROJECT:
Kayla’s goal is to develop an application that could make learning Korean easy, fun and inexpensive. She wants the application to incorporate the senses of both sight and sound, so that memory, pronunciation, recognition of writing and understanding of meanings will be optimized.

She is developing lesson plans with both visuals and audio components. She even includes games that allow students to test their skills while reinforcing learning.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Kayla plans to improve the user interface of her application to make it easier to use and learning more effective and efficient. She would like to adapt the application to the teaching of other languages as well.


SIGHT AND SOUND LEARNING KOREAN

SLEEP SENSE

Cyber Security


Is there anything more jarring than suddenly waking up to the shocking screech of an alarm clock? With blaring alarms, people often wake up tired and irritated, which affects their whole day. It doesn’t need to be this way.

Brendan Erquiaga, who is majoring in Game Design at the UAT, is working on a Student Innovation Project that will gently wake people up by monitoring their sleep patterns. The alarm won’t go off when a person is deeply sleeping. Instead, it will wake them when they are coming out of the deep-sleep phase.

THE PROJECT:
Brendan is creating Sleep Sense, an application that gives people control over their daily schedules. The alarm system consists of a master list of unique, customizable alarms, either temporary, cyclic or by appointment.

Central to this application is sleep tracking, which is used to help adjust the user’s waking alarm. The alarm adjustment smoothly transitions a user from light sleep phases into full consciousness.

The sleep tracking function consists of two data collection techniques, which are combined for alarm adjustment: accelerometer tracking for cheap, effective and noninvasive monitoring, and a sleep diary for unobtrusive data validation.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Brendan plans to eventually include in his Sleep Sense application a number of additional useful features, such as online sleeping profiles, destination aware alarms and calendar-synchronizing appointments.


SLEEP SENSE

GIFT CARD HEAVEN

Cyber Security


Millions of people around the world toss gift cards into the trash. These gift cards, drained of their financial value, will eventually end up in landfills where they could remain for thousands of years.

The potential for toxins to pollute the earth from these gift cards is overwhelming. But Andrew Arnold and Melissa Reese, students at UAT, are working on a Student Innovation Project that will mitigate this danger.

They are giving people an incentive to recycle gift cards, rather than throw them away.

Andrew is majoring in Advancing Computer Science, which prepares students to create software programs for systems that run on a multitude of electronic devices. Melissa is majoring in Virtual Modeling and Design, which focuses on animation technology that’s used by companies in virtually every business sector.

THE PROJECT:
Andrew and Melissa are working in partnership with Earthworks, an organization that can strip gift cards of their magnetic material for easier recycling. People will be encouraged to recycle their gift cards by participating in an online system, where they can redeem their valueless cards for products given away by advertisers.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Andrew and Melissa envision automating this gift card recycling system. That will minimize the time and expense of hiring people to handle the redemption of gift cards and mailing out the item or product they receive in exchange for the card.


GIFT CARD HEAVEN

BIO PROTECTED USB FLASH DRIVE

Cyber Security


Sometimes the most important data is the easiest to lose. Just think about all the information you have stored on flash drives—the small thumb-sized storage devices that get plugged into a computer’s USB port.

Students save countless amounts of data on flash drives, while families save photos and documents, and executives from corporations around the world store important, and sometimes critical data on these devices for easy transport.

Flash drives are small, so they’re convenient. But that small size also means it’s easy to lose a flash drive, and all the data that is stored on it. That is what Daryle Walters has in mind as he develops a flash drive for his Student Innovation Project at UAT.

Daryle’s biometric flash drive utilizes next-generation technology to ensure the highest level of protection.

THE PROJECT:
Daryle, a Network Security major at UAT, is developing a highly secure USB flash drive that ratchets up the security on a vulnerable device. His Biometric Protected USB Flash Drive includes a small fingerprint reader.

The only people who can access the data on the flash drive are those whose fingerprints it recognizes.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Daryle is continuing to develop his Biometric Protected USB Flash Drive, with next steps including adding more security features to it.


BIO PROTECTED USB FLASH DRIVE

MOUNTABLE HD INFRARED NIGHT-VISION CAMERA

Digital Arts


When filmmakers, TV show creators, video content producers and mobile device creators produce content that’s entertaining, informative and groundbreaking in its use of technology, they it do as part of a team.

Teams with members from a variety of backgrounds are critical to creating content for the Internet, newer platforms like tablet PCs and smartphones, and in the future an explosion of devices that can only be imagined.

That is how Digital Video majors Nick Wassenberg and Mitchell Faherty are approaching their Student Innovation Project at UAT as a team.

THE PROJECT:
Nick and Mitchell have been working on a next-generation night-vision camera. The concept is to push night-vision technology to its next level, while making the camera more useable for filmmakers and everyday users.

Their Mountable High Definition Infrared Night-Vision Helmet Camera will be the first HD helmet cam with infrared night-vision technology.

Their vision for the camera is to mount it onto helmets to film HD scenes in the dark from the perspective of an athlete in action, who will have a portable LCD screen to watch the action as it’s being filmed.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Nick and Mitchell envision their HD helmet camera being the first step toward creating an online community of filmmakers. Their next step will be to design a website where users of their high-tech night-vision camera can post videos and comment on the site’s forum.


MOUNTABLE HD INFRARED NIGHT-VISION CAMERA

FACE RECOGNITION DOOR GREETER

Hardware Creation


It sometimes takes complex computer systems and mathematical algorithms to develop the most commonsense products.

In the case of a face recognition door greeter that Brittany Wilkerson is developing, it could save vast amounts of money for companies and homeowners. It will provide peace of mind, and it can save lives.

Brittany is majoring in Robotics and Embedded Systems at UAT, where she’s working on a Student Innovation Project that uses face-detection technology that’s accessible to most companies and homeowners.

THE PROJECT:
Brittany’s Student Innovation Project is a Face Recognition Door Greeter, which uses face-detection and object-recognition technology to identify a person at your front door as someone you know or as a stranger.

The system is further designed to greet that person with one of a variety of automated greetings, sometimes humorous greetings for people you know. A general greeting would be used for strangers.

The system offers security for companies, government agencies and homeowners. It’s a fun product, but an important one that’s designed with easily accessible and affordable hardware.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
As Brittany works on her Student Innovation Project at UAT, she plans to develop it into a more sophisticated door greeter, including randomized greetings, and possibly functions that will allow it to be incorporated into highly sophisticated property security systems.


FACE RECOGNITION DOOR GREETER

NETWORK SECURITY FREE ONLINE TRAINING

Cyber Security


The world is a dangerous place, and these days that includes digital crimes that can bring international corporations and governmental agencies to their knees.

With countless amounts of data saved onto computer systems and the Cloud and Intranet systems, Michael McCullough is setting out to secure that data. He’s majoring in Network Security at UAT, where governmental agencies and Fortune 500 companies regularly recruit students to secure their systems.

Michael is working on a Student Innovation Project that’s designed to help smaller companies that cannot afford expensive security systems and the teams of security personnel needed to run them.

THE PROJECT:
Michael plans to create an open-source system where site visitors can share information on securing systems, including training on using these systems and advice on best practices and security products to buy. This open-source site will provide timely, continually updated information about network security, for free.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Michael’s next step for his UAT Student Innovation Project is to conduct interviews with companies that would benefit from having free network security training and advice online. He plans to learn first-hand from companies about the types of network security they need, in order to design the most useful and most effective open-source system.


NETWORK SECURITY FREE ONLINE TRAINING

VISUAL MAD-LIBS

Advancing Technology Studies


It’s more important than ever for students to get hands-on experience creating next-generation technology when companies like Google are hiring thousands of employees, but only the most talented people in a wide variety of tech fields.

That’s just what Brandon Jacobs is getting: intense, hands-on experience as he works on Visual Mad-Libs, his Student Innovation Project at UAT.

Brandon is a Web and Social Media Technologies major, which prepares students for careers where they design technology and systems for humans to communicate with computers through any means, including text, graphics, sound and touch.

THE PROJECT:
Brandon’s project is designed to allow people to easily find photos and other images on their computers. It’s similar to Google’s Image Search, where people type in logical descriptions to find images online.

Brandon’s system utilizes the same idea. But, with mad-libs, people type in whatever words pop into their head, often something funny, to see what they find. He is designing a user interface that searches for images and then displays them.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Brandon’s Visual Mad-Libs has several next steps. Among these is developing his Visual Mad-Libs to run in a browser and to create a user interface that is visually appealing and easy to use. He also plans to create a function that allows users of his Visual Mad-Libs to save and share those images.


VISUAL MAD-LIBS

CLOUD COMPUTING IN DIGITAL FORENSICS

Cyber Security


Ask an expert about jobs of the future and they’ll definitely bring up Cloud Computing, which allows government agencies and corporations to store and access vast amounts of data from locations and servers scattered around the globe.

That’s why Cloud Computing got the attention of Thor Ollila, a Technology Forensics major at UAT.

Technology Forensics prepares students to work as digital forensics specialists in partnership with government security agencies, law enforcement agencies and global corporations to uncover and protect against digital crimes.

THE PROJECT:
Thor’s Student Innovation Project is Cloud Computing in Digital Forensics. It’s designed to see if digital forensics investigators can save money and improve efficiency by having a forensics lab function in the Cloud, instead of building a brick-and-mortar lab.

Thor is going about studying costs of buying and operating a technology forensics lab versus having it handled in the Cloud, then comparing the costs and quality of service of Cloud providers like Amazon, Microsoft, Terremark, BlueLock and Hosting.com.

Thor is already tackling this project, including working on a virtualized Cloud server. So far, Thor is finding that Cloud Computing can be functional for digital forensics specialists, saving time and increasing efficiency, but not for large-scale projects.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Thor is actively working at UAT on this Cloud Computing in Digital Forensics project, including conducting research and proposing to develop a virtual software system to simulate a Cloud Computing system for Technology Forensics.


CLOUD COMPUTING IN DIGITAL FORENSICS

SWEET PICKLES SECURE DATA TRANSFER

Programming


With an increasing volume of sensitive information being transmitted via the internet these days, more opportunities exist than at any other time in history for data to fall into dangerous hands.

It’s a pickle of an issue entering the critical stage. Network Security major Chase Schultz’s Student Innovation Project (SIP) solves this real-world issue with the development of Sweet Pickles.

In the world of security, pickles are codes that serialize and de-serialize (translate) programming language Python objects. Think of this as a specialized form of ZIP compression files. These pickles can be hacked at rest or in transit to deliver arbitrary, possibly malicious code when opened (referred to as Sour Pickes). Sweet Pickles are key in the secure encryption and transfer of data to the intended recipient. And they’re free for any individual or business with internet access to utilize. Prior to Chase’s SIP, there was no good way to make pickling safe.

THE PROJECT:
Chase went to work to write an encryption scheme that encrypts pickles in transit and ensures that they are opened by the intended recipients by providing them with keys with which they open the information. Part of the solution lies in the Brine, a methodology that uses DoD standardized, top secret strength encryption (AES-256). Because he combines Python wrappers (software that is a bridge between an operating system and a driver) for cryptography software libraries with PyCrypto and Ellyptic Curve Cryptography-521, Chase is confident that only the person in the pickle’s receiving end can open this file.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Chase’s prototype is complete and functional. Next steps include refining and documenting some aspects, including providing a how to user’s guide. The prototype is available for free at github.com/f47h3r/. Password is “Brine.” “In my youth, I took so much from the internet it’s time to give back.”


SWEET PICKLES SECURE DATA TRANSFER

OPEN SOURCE GSM NETWORK

Cyber Security


When you want to establish a more secure and cost efficient environment for cell phone use, what do you do? Create your own cellular network.

For his Student Innovation Project (SIP), Network Security major Drew Porter has created the prototype for an open source back-end GSM network that can be installed and operated at about 1/10 the cost of current technologies. This new network is compatible with most of the handsets that are already in the market.

THE PROJECT:
The prototype runs off a laptop and uses a portable USRP cell tower and an existing handset at a cost of approximately 1,000th of a cent per minute.

Reasons:
1) Other cellular networks have some insecurities. Rather than addressing each one, just create own network more secure
2) Small developing countries without current access can benefit.
3) Allow for better cellular communication, seamless integration with other cellular companies
4) More cost efficient

Individuals must have some form of USRP device to use the network, or know someone who has one. For example, a USRP N210 Universal Software Radio Project (acting as the cell tower) is available for purchase online for approximately $3,000, although other models in varying price ranges also are available. Compare that to a larger network’s cell tower that costs $1 million or more (BTS). Cell phone range is within a 1.8 mile radius.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Drew has three innovation phases to his SIP:

Phase 1 will make his network database and network expandable with the usable prototype available. This phase establishes two Cell Sites that communicate with a central MySQL database.

Phase 2 establishes an actual GSM backend and involves Spec Compliance to integrate current practices by cellular communication companies into the open source project to create a more open community within cellular networks that connects everyone together.

Phase 3 of the project is to get SIGTRAN working as control mechanization for the transferring of calls from multiple carriers.

His work to refine will be an ongoing project, most likely throughout his lifetime.

Drew’s network is available on GitHub.com for people to review, test, provide feedback and make changes. The point of open source is that many eyes make a better project.


OPEN SOURCE GSM NETWORK

DYNAMIC NETWORK SETUP

Cyber Security


Walk into almost any building these days and often you’ll notice black domes mounted above your head. Behind these domes are security cameras continuously monitoring activity.

Network Security and Network Engineering double major John Faulkner wants to take that concept one step further. John envisions his Visual Network Analyzer (VNA) will emit lights in organized patterns and colors—perhaps through a dome or other environmentally artistic avenue—to help organizations and individuals monitor network traffic, detect security issues in real time and improve incident response time.

If you can detect network security issues generating bad traffic, while it is occurring, solutions can be implemented faster and more effectively

THE PROJECT:
Through Arduino Language that is based on a set of C/C++ functions and open source libraries from arduino.cc, the VNA will be designed to detect unique network packets and protocols, with exclusive colors assigned to the latter to give a dynamic face to and break the monotony of lists of text.

The protocol color spectrum includes:
TCP – Green
UDP – Blue
SYN/ACK – Yellow

The current VNA prototype is an 8x8 LED matrix that includes: Arduino Uno, Ethenet Shield and Color Shield. This initial design will serve as a springboard to others being considered.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
John’s VNA is an active work in progress with a working prototype that continues to evolve with visuals and physical designs, and creation of more network protocols represented by various colors. John also will implement a vulnerability analysis that includes signature detection, anomaly detection and detection of malicious behavior. What better place for John to begin implementing his project than at UAT, where network activity is abundant? He plans to start with the Cyber Security Classroom for Net Sec students, a real-world environment where students learn, experience, innovate and test tomorrow’s information assurance technology. Next, he envisions mounting his VNA in the university’s Commons Building.

He also will be exploring Digital Media Professor Vesna Dragojlov’s input on considering a VNA that incorporates algorithmic art. One idea is to install sensors that change an entire room’s color and slowly transition colors based on moods. Ultimately, his vision is to see the VNA implemented as a focal point to the physical design of any Security or Network Operations Center.


DYNAMIC NETWORK SETUP

Ferrofluid Sculpt

Hardware Creation


That’s what Raul Garcia plans to do with his Student Innovation Project, titled Ferrofluid Sculpt. Raul’s majors in Virtual Modeling & Design and Robotics & Embedded Systems are helping him to think outside the box and create an interactive, moving sculpture for public display.

First you need a human brain, a strange liquid called ferrofluid, lots of metal and a power source, among other things. Ferrofluid is composed of nanoscale magnetic particles that respond to a magnetic field.

Neurosky or Emotive mind-reading headsets will be worn by each observer so that brain waves can actually move the ferrofluid, creating unique shapes. Using your brain to move objects, psychokinesis, has intrigued many for hundreds of years.

THE PROJECT:
BASIC Stamp 2 modules will be the main driving components of the art piece. The sculpture will stand approximately 6 feet high, 2 feet long, and 2 feet wide.

Sections include:
1st: Main display made out of glass. Containing water, ferrofluid and a metal sculpture of the human head placed in the center of the display.

2nd: Electromagnets, connected to metal rods touching portions of the cranium of the metal head.

3rd: Computer, which collects data from the mind-reading headsets—from the blink of an eye to the movement of an arm—and sends correct signals to the electromagnets, and a power supply for the entire sculpture.

The headset converts those signals into digital data, which is sent wirelessly to the receiver inside the ferrofluid sculpture. The computer inside will analyze the data received and contact the BASIC Stamp microchip. Once the electromagnet produces a magnetic field, the ferrofluid climbs up the metal head sculpture inside the display and “spikes” in the area of interaction.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Raul plans to move into team building and development phases in 2012. Because of the project’s complexity, Raul will be recruiting team members who will collaborate with him in his sculpture’s creation.

He hopes to pursue a career in cinematography making 3D models, sketches, storyboards, and if possible, sculptures, miniature models, and animatronics.


Ferrofluid Sculpt

Playing With Music

Game Studies


You’ve heard of playing a video game that includes music, but have you ever heard of playing a video game generated by music?

As his Student Innovation Project, Game Design major Brogan Zumwalt developed the concept for Playing with Music, a game that can generate dynamic levels from a music file. The visuals, geometry and player objectives change in time with the music. In essence, the music defines the game.

Game Design students focus on the design principles, skills and techniques required to create mechanics, design documents and functioning prototypes for innovative game projects, such as Playing with Music.

THE PROJECT:
The creation of a game document for Playing with Music was preceded by the research of related topics and similar games, and the brainstorming of game mechanics and concepts. The game document itself outlines in detail the design philosophy, game world, how the player interacts with that world, and the user interface along with a general game overview.

From graphics to how play interacts with the environment, everything is defined by a player-provider music file. Each music file creates a unique level, making each song a brand new world. The goal of the game is to stay as in sync with the game play as possible. Game play is non-complex so as not to overpower the music; the focus being as much about enjoying the music as it is completing the level. Progress over multiple songs is presented as a virtual world that grows and changes depending on how in sync you are with your music.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Although there is potential for Playing with Music, Brogan came to the conclusion that it would require a long-term commitment by a small team or small game company to come to fruition. He hopes that one day the concept of a game that offers a near endless supply of unique levels will be realized.


Playing With Music

Network Ninja

Cyber Security


According to industry analysts, Network Security is one of the fastest growing fields in Information Technology because of the increase in security threats and network vulnerability.

Because information and resources are developing at lightning speed, two UAT students devoted their joint Student Innovation Project (SIP) to developing Network Ninja for new Network Security students to give them a better understanding of all the security tools available in the real world.

Johnathan Wiltberger and William D. Howe, both of whom are Network Security and Network Engineering double majors, created Network Ninja to encompass a variety of tools, handcrafted tutorials and a personalized testing engine.

Complementing the leading-edge curriculums of Network Security and Network Engineering, Network Ninja is designed to be an additional education resource for students. UAT has been designated as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Systems Security Education by the US National Security Agency. Recognized by industry and government alike, UAT’s B.S. in Network Security (NTS)—over a decade in development—is one of the most prestigious programs in the country.

THE PROJECT:
Network Ninja is one of the best training tools out there for understanding the basics of security testing. It has built-in tools with tutorials that allow those with nearly no Linux experience the ability to become masters.

Distribution includes:
> Over 10 different tutorials, including a beginning Linux tutorial
> Custom Python-based testing engine for real-world results
> Working virtualization built in for life-like training
> An easy to follow website to outline course
> A wicked cool logo to enhance the student experience

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Johnathan and William released an alpha version of Network Ninja, which is available free of charge at http://JohnathanWiltberger.com. To access, click on the Portfolio tab and download or burn onto a DVD. Because it’s available in an open source environment, the tutorial is free of charge to anyone, providing the opportunity for others to write new components of the tool to keep it clutter free and up to date.


Network Ninja

THE 3D-PRINTED LATEX MASK

Digital Arts


Many actors must endure the process of customizing a mask to conform to their face, and it’s even less desirable if they suffer from even the slightest case of claustrophobia.

Digital Media/Video intern Elissa Clare decided to create a solution. With her Student Innovation Project (SIP), she wants to provide a claustrophobic-free way to create a latex mask for actors. Enter Stage Left: The 3D-Printed Latex Mask.

During her internship, Elissa photographed students and staff members for various events and articles as well as created icons for the Student Intranet website.

Her training included mastering and applying new technological solutions to the age old challenge of storytelling in order to produce material with true contemporary relevance.

THE PROJECT:
The process of creating a 3D-printed latex mask removes the need for physical materials like plaster, alginate and clay. Without these materials, actors can be scanned instead of covered in alginate. Multiple masks also can be made from the 3D-printed material as it does not deteriorate with use. This method requires a laser scanner, 3D-modeling software and a 3D printer.

The actor will be digitally scanned and an electronic file with a cloud of points that represents a 3D copy of their head is created.

The point cloud is modified into a 3D model made up of polygons.

Using the 3D model in the computer, the artists can change the facial designs to match their idea of the mask.

Once the new 3D model is made, it will be modified so that it essentially will be a negative cast.

After printing, the model of the negative can be used to create the latex mask.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Elissa wants to continue the process of developing the prototype and refining the software applications.


THE 3D-PRINTED LATEX MASK

3D Cityscape

Digital Arts


Digital modeling and animation technologies are fast becoming a bigger part of many businesses and industries, including the entertainment industry.

These technologies involve the union of art and technology to create a growing number of innovations, including unique, new art styles such as those reflected in Josh Hemmy’s Student Innovation Project (SIP): 3D Cityscape.
As a Virtual Modeling and Design major, he’s learned a variety of applications that can vary in focus from using technology to develop 3D models, using electronic assets to visualize data outputs or linking the electronic assets and real-world assets together to enhance the understanding of the context of a situation.

In his SIP, Josh is taking traditional ideas and mediums from past artists, tweaking them and remaking them into modern representations.

THE PROJECT:
The architectural style was inspired by two elements:

The art of M.C. Escher, who has also created Middle Eastern style building in a black and white style. The architecture in this fictional world was built with protection in mind. Side skirts made to protect war tanks in real life are an integral part of the building’s design.

Images from recent Middle Eastern wars.

This project was created using Autodesk 3ds Max for the modeling and Adobe Photoshop for the textures and post production.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Josh’s next steps for the project include creating additional art assets and unique building styles to give the city a more diverse look.


3D Cityscape

DYNAMIC LEVEL GENERATION AUTOMATIC DIFFICULTY

Game Studies


The ability to create intelligent machines has intrigued humans for thousands of years. Today, in the age of computers and with 50 years of research into Artificial Intelligence (AI) programming techniques, the dream of smart machines—and even dynamic video games—is becoming a reality.

How often are you playing a video game and one level of play is going well but other levels are either more challenging or not challenging enough? You soon become frustrated or bored, and consider stopping the play.

With his Student Innovation Project, Game Design major Patrick Morrison wants to create a balanced playing field for each player. He plans to integrate dynamic level generation into a video game.

Game Design students focus on the design principles, skills and techniques required to create mechanics, design documents and functioning prototypes for innovative game projects.

THE PROJECT:
Patrick’s project will apply to games not requiring set levels of difficulty. What happens all too often is that a player begins a game at one level to discover later that it’s either too challenging or not challenging enough. To get rid of that frustration, Patrick’s project will integrate AI to dynamically generate and balance levels ahead of a player to create a smooth transition between levels, and adjust the level of difficulty throughout the game by changing the objects in each level, weapons and ammo, and number and difficulty of enemies.

The game will track a player’s play style and experience as they play. Objects will be dynamically generated in a particular level to help or hinder a player, and decide on what types of weapons and ammunition to give in addition to the number and difficulty of enemies ahead of the player.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Patrick hopes to remain at UAT for his master’s program, during which time he wants to continue to hardwire the concept for his SIP and move into the development stages.

Patrick has learned that all innovations come from seeing what other people want or are looking for, compared to what they currently have.


DYNAMIC LEVEL GENERATION AUTOMATIC DIFFICULTY

Android Phone Silencer

Programming


How often do you miss calls because you put your cell phone into silent mode and forget to take it off after a movie or a meeting? Or you forget to initiate the silent mode all together and your phone rings at the most inappropriate times?

Artificial Life Programming major Kevin Martin can personally relate to these frustrations. That’s why he took the existing functionality of an alarm clock and re-purposed the concept of notification with a more intuitive functionality for his Student Innovation Project, an Android Phone Silencer.

Artificial Life Programming prepares students to design and build software systems that solve complex real-world problems. This specialty can be applied to many areas, including architecture, autonomous systems, computer games, distributed systems, economics and market dynamics, machine intelligence, self-assembly and self-organization, and sociology.

THE PROJECT:
Kevin was interested in the exploration and process of taking an existing concept and transforming it to solve an entirely different and all too common problem: missed calls or ill-timed incoming calls.

Starting off, Kevin looked at both the Apple and Android markets to see if any apps already existed. When he found two, he discovered the apps performed similar functionalities but in different ways, so he created new ideas and add-ons to develop a far more robust application.

Kevin’s new app is designed to silence your cell phone for a set time period, much like an alarm. The difference is that instead of making a loud noise at the end of the time, the app would simply un-silence your phone for you making sure that you never miss a call again.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
His biggest take-away was learning not to be afraid of the word innovation. According to Kevin, it can easily scare you away if you’re told that you need to innovate. What’s truly important is the process of working on something creative that you enjoy, taking the time to research, ask questions, experiment and draw conclusions. It’s the road blocks or gotchas that drive you to finding out ways around them that lead to those innovations.


Android Phone Silencer

MY MUSIC MOSAIC

Hardware Creation


Music + Technology = the power to improve lives. Molly Satterfield’s SIP: My Learning Mosaic, does just that. Created for the All Greater Good Foundation and the San Diego Center for Children, My Music Mosaic uses music as a tool to help children and teenagers in difficult circumstances communicate by visual expression.

Molly, a Human Computer Interaction major, worked with a team of technology University students including Jaylyn Dawson (Human Computer Interaction and Technology Product Design), Joshua Vargas (Technology Product Design); and Amanda McIntyre, (Advancing Computer Science) with guidance from Professor Ryan Meuth and Professor Vesna Dragojlov.

UAT’s Human Computer Interaction degree is based on the interfaces and interactions between electronic devices and the users that rely upon them. The technology university’s Technology Product Design degree prepares students to understand consumer needs and what is essential to move technology forward.

THE PROJECT:
My Music Mosaic takes input from a musical keyboard and represents them with different colored brushstrokes to demonstrate the music being played in a digital painting. Each instrument has its own brushstroke and each note is a color. Making many color palettes available help the users pick the colors that best fit their mood and the type of song. The longer the note; the longer the brushstroke. The more forceful the note is hit, the bigger it is. Splats represent quick notes. The result is a digital painting with different colored brushstrokes that is uniquely expressive and therapeutic.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Although Molly and her team have presented the first version of the project to the Foundation, there are plans for further development. They hope to create more user customization, more brushes/splats to visualize the different instruments on the keyboard, and fix any technical bugs that may arise.


MY MUSIC MOSAIC

Pen Tester


Want the inside scoop on penetration testing in the Network Security field? You’ll be hard pressed to find it when you Google or search any website. That’s because the real-world experiences of others is uniquely powerful in helping prospective Network Security students learn more about the field—penetration testing, specifically—before deciding if it’s right for you.

Network Security major Micah Vorst offers a solution: the Pen Test Trailer, a script for a short film designed to highlight the experiences of pen testers currently working in the field to help prospective students understand the technical details as well as the legal, ethical and moral pressures that one faces in this career field.

Designated as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Systems Security Education, UAT offers this cyber security degree to provide the advanced industry-standard tools and skill development necessary to propel information network technology initiatives and ensure success in the network security field.

THE PROJECT:
The fascinating, challenging real-life world of pen testing is captured in the 13-page script that, when made into a short film one day, can be posted on UAT’s website for viewing by prospective Network Security students. The script features real-world scenarios, complete with narration, that address the legal and moral decisions professional pen testers face in the field every day as well as their success stories.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
The project is complete. The final document is a hard copy that’s available to anyone interested in producing the short film as a future SIP project.


Pen Tester

Voxrender

Game Studies


Chances are, your video games are not all they could be. That’s because video game graphics today suffer from a number of innate bottlenecks and shortcomings within the polygonal rasterization pipeline:

> the lack of smooth level of detail transition
> the non-linear scaling of performance with hardware power, and
> the limits to how many triangles you can draw per frame

Game Programming major Daniel Strayer designed his SIP, VoxRender, to solve these real-world problems and many more.

UAT’s Game Programming degree prepares students to develop a broad skill set, and become comfortable with many platforms and languages. Video game programmers develop games for web, console, PC and mobile devices.

THE PROJECT: VoxRender is a real-time rendering system for use in videogames with virtual reality, simulation visualization, and anything else that once required the use of polygonal rendering methods. VoxRender makes it easier for artists to develop 3D models as they will not have to create level-of-detail models nor will they have to create any kind of texture coordinate mappings.

The goal of the VoxRender system is to open up videogame graphics rendering to new possibilities and to surpass the traditional polygonal pipelines limitations and bottlenecks.

VoxRender is currently compatible with most Windows desktop computers with an NVIDIA GeForce graphics card of compute capability 2.0 or higher (480 and up).

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
VoxRender is complete, proving to be efficient and powerful. Daniel plans to continue to refine the functionality and release an SDK for use within other game engines. Depending on the market, and possible demand for such technology, he will license the technology. One of Daniel’s goals for the future is to use a device like the XBox Kinect peripheral to scan real world objects into virtual space by way of converting a surface sampled point cloud into the VoxRender format.


Voxrender

Cooking Fiesta

Digital Arts


When you create a new game, it’s impressive. When you innovate a new way to play a game that makes it more fun for everyone, that’s a game changer.

Digital Media major Elvin Natal combined his love for cooking and playing cards with his passion for technology in the card game Cooking Fiesta and his unique innovation, the “Chef’s Hidden Arsenal” game mechanic.

UAT’s Digital Media degree provides the aesthetic, critical and technical framework for success in contemporary art and design practice. This highly respected media arts degree offers a diverse curriculum emphasizing aesthetic sensibility, programming literacy, creative expression and technical problem solving in media communication and digital media management.

THE PROJECT:
In this card game, designed for three to eight players age 10+, each player becomes a chef in a cooking competition fighting for ingredients and recipes represented in cards. The ultimate goal is to complete as many recipes as you can. The more recipes you complete, the more stars you receive, and the most stars wins the game.

The Chef’s Hidden Arsenal is a game mechanic used to help players who are at risk for losing get back into the game. When a chef reaches below a certain level, the player can draw cards from the Arsenal deck, which allows all chefs to continue fighting and spawns more dynamic game play. This concept can be applied to any game.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
The project is complete with the first playable prototype game ready in its physical form. In the future, Elvin is considering expanding the game with more cards or even developing a mobile app form. He might initiate Kickstarter to help support further game developme


Cooking Fiesta

OPERATION RESISTANCE

Game Studies


As exciting as they can be, games by design are generally stagnant. They convey an experience to the user, but the boundaries of that experience are determined long before the user enters the picture, and doesn’t change when the user stops playing. Game Design major Shane Stansell is creating a modified game controller as his SIP because he envisions game play as different for every player every time. Operation: Resistance is designed to use biometric feedback to dynamically change game play in real time. With this innovation, Shane wants to provide a game experience that adapts to the specific needs of each player, without the requirement to play a certain game for a certain mood or predetermined content on a given day.

Game Design students focus on the design principles, skills and techniques required to create mechanics, and design documents and functioning prototypes for innovative game projects.

THE PROJECT:
Operation: Resistance’s unique game mechanic will alter the player’s experience by increasing difficulty, changing speed, etc.

A player’s galvanic response actually manipulates game play. Using an Arduino Uno, sensors are placed into a game controller and on the player’s skin to measure the electrical resistance of a player, much like the way a polygraph detects biometric changes. A series of four mini games also is being is being developed, each one using the input in unique ways. For example, a 2D side scrolling platform game uses the input to determine run speed of the character. Another example is a spacial reasoning game, like Tetris, where the speed that the blocks fall is controlled by the input values.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
The research phase is complete, and construction of the game controller with sensors currently is in process. The code is open source, so implementation looks promising.


OPERATION RESISTANCE

Avido Dog Collar

Cyber Security


Bluetooth technology has gone to the dogs. That’s because Taylor Zuppan takes this technology to the next level of innovation with his SIP, the aVIDo dog collar. Taylor has developed a light weight, small, highly water resistant convenient and customizable way to interact, communicate and train dogs, cats and other pets, especially those who are deaf and blind.

He is addressing real-world issues related to current vibrating dog collars that are heavy, inconvenient and have limited functionality.

Resolving these issues, his collar receives commands via a Bluetooth enabled device, such as a phone or the new Bluetooth watches.

As a Network Security major, Taylor’s SIP demonstrates his degree’s connection to UAT’s Artificial Life Programming and Robotics and Embedded Systems degree programs.

Designated as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Systems Security Education, UAT offers this cyber security degree to provide the advanced industry-standard tools and skill development necessary to propel information network technology initiatives and ensure success in the network security field.

THE PROJECT:
Weighing a mere 2.5 ounces, the aViDo collar is activated and controlled remotely by an Android device via Bluetooth. The application hosted on the Android device is one-of-a-kind, with four unique commands that can be customized. Technology includes the Arduino Pro Mini, a Bluetooth Mate Gold Bluetooth module, an FTDI Breakout Board for programming and command customization, a 1000mAh Lithium Polymer battery, and a Lithium Polymer charger and 5v step-up board (since LiPo batteries output at 3.7V and 5V was needed for the Bluetooth module).

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
The project is completed and functioning. Taylor would like to continue to refine the collar’s compact size and increase the water-resistant capabilities.entire room’s color and slowly transition colors based on moods. Ultimately, his vision is to see the VNA implemented as a focal point to the physical design of any Security or Network Operations Center.


Avido Dog Collar

Doors Adventure Game

Game Studies


Opening a new door in game design innovation, Game Design major Jonathan Jansma has created a prototype that fills “an unexplored niche in the mobile game market.”

Game enthusiasts, especially those who love puzzles, will be intrigued by Doors, a puzzle-based adventure game created with high-end graphics and intuitive controls. The game captures the realism brought out by high end art models and the Unreal Engine. Playing this game not only will entertain players but also will exercise the mind.

Game Design students focus on the design principles, skills and techniques required to create mechanics, and design documents and functioning prototypes for innovative game projects.

THE PROJECT:
Doors is a mobile game filled with mystery, mild horror, fear themes, and adventure. Best results occur on a tablet device such as an iPad. The game uses touch-based navigation and intuitive controls with an extremely minimal Heads up Display (HuD). The game uses an inventory system and visual clues leading players to puzzles that require solving in order to further their progress in the game, or gather puzzle pieces in order to properly solve other puzzles in the same room.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
The prototype is complete and design for Level II is in progress. The project’s eventual goal is to distribute for widespread tablet use.


Doors Adventure Game

Motion Plus

Cyber Security


Abracadabra! It’s not magic; it’s technology advancing with the wave of a hand thanks to Motion Plus, an SIP created by Network Engineering major Kory Casey.

Kory is creating the prototype for a motion detector that allows you to turn your computer on and off wirelessly, without using the power button, regardless of where the computer is located in a room. It could even be in the closet. Simply wave your hand.

It happens more often than you might think. You’re on the other side of the room from where your computer is located and you want to power down or power up before you reach your computer desk or as you’re moving away. Rather than take the extra time to sit at your computer while it goes through the motions, just wave your hand from where you are and voila!

Network Engineering prepares students to become highly skilled network engineers who design, implement and maintain our networked systems.

THE PROJECT:
The motion sensor is designed to be entirely plug and play. The device has a wiring harness that plugs into the power supply and also into the motherboard. For greater convenience, the motion sensor can be placed in any location within a six-foot radius in the same room, mounted on the wall or on the desk. The sensor will send a signal to a relay, which shuts down or fires up the computer.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Motion Plus currently is in the development stages with hopes for completion at a future date.


Motion Plus

LAGOMORPH 2D PLATFORM GAME

Game Studies


When you combine aliens, a rabbit and other creatures in the same game, it’s sure to be entertaining. But when your SIP combines the talents of a team representing UAT’s Game Art & Animation, Game Programming, Game Design, and Music Production degree programs all in one project, it does more than entertain; it takes innovation to the next level.

Game Art & Animation major Marc Rios led a team in the creation of Lagomorph, a 2D platform game demo for the PC that adds a new dimension to interactive game art and design. Players control an alien abducted rabbit that must use the abilities of other abducted creatures to battle and escape his captors. It all began with Marc’s concept drawing design.

Students with UAT’s Game Art & Animation degree master all levels of game development and incorporate the artistic principles used in 3D video games to create a wide range of art assets and video game platforms.

THE PROJECT:
During the game, players encounter two types of hostile enemies, a guide character, and two types of mobs to mimic. The abilities gained from these mobs enable players to advance through various obstacles. Players must determine which abilities work best in certain situations while trying to maintain the highest level possible without taking damage. Consisting of a single level containing six rooms, the game prototype can be accessed through an executable Unity file and controlled via an Xbox 360 controller for Windows.

THE NEXT PHASE OF STUDENT INNOVATION:
Marc and his team look forward to the next phase of the project. Future builds will be play tested to reduce bugs, and all finalized art assets will be evaluated for quality before implementation at a future date.


LAGOMORPH 2D PLATFORM GAME
Student Innovation Projects
Student Innovation Projects
Student Innovation Projects