Projects

Below is a fairly complete collection of my projects and little descriptive blurbs; you may also filter by project type using the category tabs on the left-hand side of the page. I prefer to keep myself busy.

Curated Snaps
 
A collection of perhaps misguided attempts at marrying modern art and social media, Curated Snaps is a sample of my “artistic phases” across the popular ephemeral social network, Snapchat. The project can be viewed on any web-browser but mobile users double-check that you’re on Wifi.
Filed under: Art, Software
Variations
 
Variations is an interactive conceptual art installation that invites viewers to explore the subtle beauty of geometry through algorithmically generated polygons. The piece, constructed as a physical installation, makes use of a JavaScript, SVG, and C stack built atop a Raspberry Pi and a laser-etched frame, support, and UI constructed at Metrix Create:Space. The piece, like its brother 50 Lines was demoed at the 2015 Amazon Maker Expo and Seattle Mini Maker Faire. Be sure to check out the project’s online mirror and homepage (with pictures!).
Filed under: Software, Hardware, Art
50 Lines
 
50 Lines is an interactive conceptual art installation that generates unique and beautiful images based upon simple user input that controls the repetition of lines on a canvas. The physical installation is built atop a Raspberry Pi, a custom laser-etched acrylic plastic UI, and a hand picked monitor + frame pair from a local Goodwill. The piece was demoed at the 2015 Amazon Maker Expo and Seattle Mini Maker Faire. Check out the project’s online mirror and a gallery of photos from the event.
Filed under: Software, Hardware, Art
Yo SPI
 
Yo SPI was a goofy weekend project aimed at turning the social network that only says ‘Yo’ into a simple SPI bus for doing something more useful and/or complex. As an example, my demo webapp used Yo SPI to construct full strings of 8-bit ASCII characters and tweet them. The project was mostly exploratory and has since been shut down. When running, the UI looked a little something like an oscilloscope meanwhile the front-end “shell” can be accessed here.
Filed under: Software
If You Were Here
 
If You Were Here is an interactive exploration of Soundscape Architecture focusing upon the unique sonic qualities of different locations around the lawn at the University of Virginia. The application ingests audio recordings and modifies them to sound as though they were recorded around Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village. The project was funded by a generous donation by the Jefferson Trust and can be explored as an interactive webapp.
Filed under: Software, Art
Progress Notes
 
In the Summer of 2013 I participated in the American Medical Informatics Association’s student design challenge (AMIA SDC), a call for medical and engineering students to work together to revolutionize the digital medical record. My team, under the direction of Dr. Lacey Colligan of the University of Virginia Department of Neonatology, performed usability studies on the flaws in current tools used to generate medical progress notes and proposed a number of effective automated data management and representation solutions in a paper entitled “The Electronic In-patient Progress Note: Less is More.” Our paper, on which I am a second author, won a national top research award at the annual AMIA conference (over students from MIT, Harvard, and Vanderbilt) and was accepted to the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies. The UVa School of Medicine covered our success here.
Filed under: Research
TED Speaker
 
On February 22nd, 2014 I gave a TED talk at the second annual TEDxUVA conference in Charlottesville, Virginia. My talk, How I Accidentally Ruled A World Power And Nearly Paid The Price, was given to a live audience of 100 ticket-lottery winners and several hundred others via an online livestream. The talk focused upon my unique theories of leadership, how I came to be the ruler of a micronation called “The Kingdom of Ardent,” and how an unexpected explosion of nationalism nearly got me expelled from public school. A recording of the talk can be found on TED’s website.
Filed under: Teaching
DEVL.js
 
DEVL, short for “Damn Easy Visualization Library,” is a JavaScript library that seeks to demystify the development of common data visualizations. This library was created for educational purposes, sponsored by the University of Virginia inSight laboratory, in order to help make visualization easy for non-technical users–requiring only parameters passed via JSON strings in place of long lines of code. The project is released under the MIT License and may be found here.
A writeup of the project’s capabilities and rationale may also be found here.
Filed under: Software, Research
Doge/BTC Trader
 
MONTAGE is an exponential-moving-average-based daytrading bot for crypto-currencies. The project used Node.js + Express.js hosted on Amazon Web Services as its backend and used a mixture of Jade, JavaScript, and DEVL.js for its front-end. When running, MONTAGE carefully monitors the market for Dogecoin and Bitcoin trades, using moving averages to estimate when to make trades for profit. The project was entirely experimental and has since been terminated to save on EC2 costs.
Filed under: Software
LyteBox
 
LyteBox is a customizable plug-and-play light show that anyone can use with no effort at all! The system, created as a demonstration of the real-time DSP capabilities of the Altera DE2-115 FPGA, utilizes a collection of 120V relays and transistor amplifiers combined with the FPGA’s GPIO and audio-processing logic handled in C atop a QSYS-generated Verilog SOPC. Watch LyteBox in action here.
Filed under: Hardware
HEARST Health
 
In the Fall 2013 semester I participated in a small team of student entrepreneurs as a part of Hearst Business Media’s “Hearst Health Challenge.” Our project, a mobile application called Sportakus whose goal is to re-imagine the public face of fitness applications, was well received at the event taking second place (out of seventy-one teams) and winning seven thousand dollars of Hearst funding. Read more here.
Filed under: Software
Rust Raytracer
 
Rust is a very promising experimental systems-level language under development (at the time of writing) by Mozilla. In Fall 2013 I took the very first collegiate course on the language — CS4414 by David Evans at UVa. My final project in the course, Rust Raytracer, is a safe, concurrent, 3D renderer that makes heavy use of Rust’s uniquely lightweight “tasks” for high-speed parallel computation. The project’s source code may be found here.
Filed under: Software
CS1501 Lecturer
 
In the Fall 2013 semester at the University of Virginia I taught a brand new course of my own design entitled “Graphics and Data Visualization.” Branded with the CS1501 course mnemonic, this new 1-credit class is specifically designed to equip engineers in all disciplines with a practical knowledge of graphic design in order to devise inventive new ways of interacting with data both on and off your traditional chart. CS1501 concluded in December of 2013 with 60 students enrolled locally and hundreds more online utilizing my course materials posted on the class website. An education research paper studying undergraduate students as teachers citing my class was presented at the IEEE Frontiers In Education conference as well as to the University of Virginia Board of Visitors in October 2014.
Filed under: Teaching
Hackathon Winner
 
As a part of my 2013 Summer internship with Amazon, I competed in an internal “Social Networking Hackathon” against over 40 teams of interns and full time employees. My winning project was presented with the “Most Innovative Award,” awarded for an inventive approach towards social media, leveraging current services to create a new content rich social network that was prototyped and demoed in the span of 72 hours. The project and its details remain confidential.
Filed under: Software
B.S. Theses
 
In pursuit of my Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Virginia I have conducted my own independent research under Professor Mircea Stan (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Professor Andrew Hogan (Science, Technology, and Society). My technical thesis, LyteBox: A Practical Application of FPGAs and Digital Signal Processing, and my non-technical thesis, Personalization in SCOT: How User Groups Redefine Closure, collectively deal with fast-paced modern technologies, how we develop them, why we use them, and how to make decisions that ensure the long-term success of new products.
Filed under: Research
Coding Contest Win
 
During my internship with Amazon I was recognized as one of seven participants who completed all of the speed programming challenges in the 2013 Summer Intern Coding Competition, making me a winner of the event. Challenges focused on quickly and accurately developing algorithms and data structures to solve tasks of varying difficulty while being sure to cover all potential test cases. 125 interns participated.
Filed under: Software
MHI Visualization
 
Towards the end of the Spring 2013 semester I collaborated with Dr. Lacey Colligan of the University of Virginia Department of Neonatology and Prof. Mary Beck of the UVa Department of Applied Mathematics on an interactive tool to measure the effectiveness of team composition in medical care. Our studies in the Modified Herfindahl Index was presented at a Pediatrics poster session at UVa in May 2013 and again at a Resilience Engineering conference in Washington DC later that June. Our accompanying interactive visualization of the MHI may be found here. (Note: Chrome only, sorry!)
Filed under: Research, Software
ECE Teaching Award
 
At the end of the Spring 2013 semester I was recognized by the University of Virginia Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as the year’s recipient of the “Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.” This award was granted for excellence in lectures, development and grading of laboratory assignments, and all-around assistance to university faculty as an undergraduate teaching assistant. This was the first time the award had ever been presented to an undergraduate whereas in years past it was reserved for students of graduate standing.
Filed under: Teaching
INST1550 Lecturer
 
In the Spring 2014 semester I was selected, with co-teacher Ida Knox, to teach a two-credit seminar on public speaking and improv comedy. The course, INST1550 Improv Comedy: Theory, Practice, and Performance, has 24 students enrolled and teaches the theory of comedy, public performance, and confidence in speaking. The class will conclude in April 2014.
Filed under: Teaching
Machine Vision
 
In the Fall 2012 semester I wrote a syllabus for a potential new interdisciplinary class on Machine Vision. In the Spring 2013 semester the course was approved, given the name ECE4502 – Machine Vision, and I was given authority of the class under the direction of Professors Joanne Dugan and Harry Powell. The course has focused on computer vision, rapid model prototyping in CAD, 3D printing, programming for Embedded Systems, and electronics design. The final project was the amusingly named “High Speed Industrial Strength Over-engineered Gumball Sorter” that would use a gravity fed, camera controlled interface to sort three gumballs per second by color.
Filed under: Teaching, Software, Hardware
reCOVER Initiative
 
My current research endeavor focuses on developing passive means of optimizing thermal comfort in new disaster relief shelters designed and constructed by project reCOVER. By synthesizing data from a thermographic camera and a collection of environmental sensors it is believed that this project will provide accurate simulations of how passive design changes can influence the effects of environmental stimuli on project reCOVER’s “Breathe Home.” Collaboration with Professors Anselmo Canfora and Kamin Whitehouse, sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Filed under: Software, Research
Painting & the Flag
 
A number of my acrylic and acrylic wash pieces, meditations on conceptual art and the American flag, were displayed as a part of Painting the American Flag & Works on Paper, an art show curated by Sanda Iliescu at the Elmaleh Gallery at the University of Virginia in April 2013. The installation was covered by UVaToday and featured beautiful works by student-artists Zeina Ahmed, Chase Camuzzi, and Brittany Harris.
Filed under: Art
Graphics Software
 
In 2012 I completed three Computer Graphics projects focused on 2D image manipulation and 3D rendering. My project documentation is as follows:
- 2D Image Manipulation: This project focused upon image sampling techniques and works as a pared down version of Photoshop.
- 3D Rendering (Raytracer): The most involved of my projects, this program renders 3D images by simulating the movement of light in a scene. It includes recursive ray tracing for reflections, refractions, transparency, and shadows, and can handle complex affine transformations. This project won the best in class award for my art contest entry entitled “Depths.”
- 3D Rendering (OpenGL): This secondary 3D project focused upon using the OpenGL graphics library to optimize rendering and include texturing.

Filed under: Software
re: | bound
 
In January through April 2013 I worked closely with filmmaker and choreographer Stéphane Glynn to compose the score to his dance piece and video entitled re: | bound. This longer, more dramatic piece has grabbed the attention of UVa Drama and Dance faculty and was showcased at the University of Virginia Department of Drama Spring Dance Concert. In addition, the piece was later shown at the Film: Virginia film festival in Norfolk Virginia and at VideoDanzaBA in Argentina. You can see the final project on Vimeo and download the soundtrack from my SoundCloud.
Filed under: Music
Embedded Sys. TA
 
Since Fall 2012 I have worked as a Teaching Assistant for UVa’s only course on Embedded Systems, ECE3501, taught by Professors Joanne Dugan and Harry Powell. My work as a TA includes development of lab projects, some lectures, holding extra office hours, lots of debugging, and grading. Some projects I teach on include developing software for a motor controller, signal filtering, and a 2-axis level that interfaces with gyroscopes. Read more from the UVa ECE Department Newsletter.
Filed under: Teaching
Water Trade Data Viz
 
This interactive data visualization project (Note: Chrome only, sorry) utilizes HTML5, Javascript, and the Raphael graphics library to clarify the Water Footprint Network’s virtual water trade research. Learn more here. This project was produced and presented as a part of the University of Virginia Insight Laboratory.
Filed under: Software, Research
E-School Guide
 
Since Fall 2011 I have been a member of the University of Virginia Engineering School Guide Service, or “E-Guides” for short. As a guide I give hour-long tours of the Engineering School, answer questions about curriculum, admissions, and student life, and act as a liaison between the school and V.I.P. guests. Occasionally I am also tasked with speaking on student panels and have lectured at a UVa admissions panel, Computer Engineering majors night, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering open-house.
Filed under: Teaching
unPainting
 
In 2011 I worked with Professor Sanda Iliescu on an installation public art piece for the first floor of Campbell Hall on grounds at the University of Virginia. This project “unpainted” a wall from yellow to white using algorithmically placed lines of tape and layers of white paint washes over the course of ten days. Accompanying it was a sound piece I composed entitled “Semicolon.” This project received much attention and was covered by UVa Today, earned me an interview by National Public Radio, and included an exhibition where I gave a short lecture about how mathematics can link to music and the arts.
Filed under: Art, Music
Snowballs on Steps
 
“Both precarious and poignant, the object mediates between buyer and seller, artist and audience.” -Sanda Iliescu — Snowballs on Steps was a collaborative installation constructed at the University of Virginia School of Architecture in Spring 2013. The piece engaged passersby with a field of temporary objects carefully constructed and arranged yet doomed to melt within the day. Organizer Sanda Iliescu wrote about the piece here.
Filed under: Art
Making to Learn
 
This project was a collaboration with Carrie Cardona organized by Professor Sanda Iliescu to produce a permanent web-based art installation inspired by her ARCH1020 Lessons In Making class. We hope to better explain the experience of learning how to perceive and manifesting ideas into reality by capturing the slow course of creation. Our product is a video and music piece whose playback cannot be controlled, viewers instead “tune in.” The project was installed in the Naug Lounge at the UVa School of Architecture and may be source code may be viewed online here.
Filed under: Music
VGuide
 
In order to learn a bit about the Google Maps API and Android phone development I developed a simple Android App that gives a guided tour of the University of Virginia using GPS. The app utilized Google Maps to show the user’s position on university grounds as well as the locations of the tour landmarks.
Filed under: Software
Arduino Soundcard
 
As a Christmas gift I wanted to put an audio playback device into a stuffed animal in order to make it “talk” when squeezed. For this project I designed and built a digital to analog converter, transistor pre-amp, and amplifier circuit built to interface with an Arduino microcontroller. The Arduino used an SPI interface to output an 8-bit WAV to the D/A circuit. The whole project was built as an Arduino shield and sewn inside a “Pillow Pet” stuffed animal.
Filed under: Hardware, Software
A Piece In D# Minor
 
This project, inspired by the famous aleatoric composition “In C” by Terry Riley, sought to produce an engaging piece of music that not only was controlled entirely by the listener but was never heard the same way twice. The interface was meant to be familiar and intuitive such that it may be played simply and without training. I encourage you to experiment with it yourself and afterwards listen to my composition written using the exact same tool.
Filed under: Music, Software
Fractal Art
 
From 2007 to 2009 I produced some two hundred pieces of digitally created fractal art using a variety of flame editors and rendering tools in order to study the beautiful connection between mathematics and digital art. Occasionally these pieces were captioned and compiled into a 50 piece set of works loosely telling stories that built upon existentialism and humor. My fractal art was featured in “Molten Art” literature and art magazine, used as the album art for 8-Bit Collective’s “Obscure Time Signatures Volume 2 – The Fourth Dimension” compilation album, and used as the cover art for a soon-to-be-published book “Neodymium Betrayal” by Jen Finelli.
Filed under: Art
HDT & Green Energy
 
While interning with Hunter Defense Technologies I was an integral part of debugging returned green energy controllers included in HDT’s Environmental Control Unit systems built to handle and distribute up to 1600W of solar input. I also ran overnight quality tests on HDT’s line of generators used in BaseX Shelters and produced over two dozen 90Ah Expandible Battery Platform (page 2) units.
Filed under: Hardware
FLTStanley
 
As a part of my research with the Virginia Microelectronics Consortium I produced FLTStanley, a program designed to manage and filter arbitrarily complex sets of VLSI characteristics test data. The program, written in C#, became an essential part of research and development at the BAE Systems Semiconductor Technology Center where it was put to use managing a database of millions of tests dating up to 15 years old, simplifying an initially O(n^11) problem to take under a minute of computation time. My project was presented at the 2012 VMEC research conference and poster session and has been used to assist with the production of RAD750 radiation hardened microprocessors, the line used on the Mars rover Discovery.
(Source code is now proprietary)
Filed under: Software, Research
TransistorTool
 
As a part of my work with the BAE Systems Semiconductor Technology Center I produced a VLSI FETS device evaluation tool called TransistorTool. This program used linear regression models en masse to test and eventually evaluate (quality check) the threshold voltage values for NFETS and PFETS devices all around BAE Systems’ radiation hardened line of wafers. Written in C#.
(Source code is now proprietary)
Filed under: Software
SGD: Colors
 
In the Fall 2010 semester I worked with a team of students from the University of Virginia Student Game Developers group to produce a multiplayer platforming game for the Xbox 360 Indie Marketplace called “Colors.” The game was written in C# using the XNA development environment. My portion of the project focused on a specialized audio engine that changed the background music’s key, tempo, and added / removed instruments based upon player health and time remaining. Unfortunately due to issues with incompatible development environments, Colors did not get published.
Filed under: Software
Sound Architecture
 
As a part of the Virginia Institute for Advanced Technologies in the Humanities’ Soundscape Architecture project, I conducted a variety of field recordings around Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village at the University of Virginia as a part of a piece entitled Mapping the Sounds of the Lawn (2014). The project was funded by the Jefferson Trust and was compiled by Karen Van Lengen.
Filed under: Music
YSSSAT Soundtrack
 
A team of software developers from the University of Virginia Student Game Developers group asked me to write the score for their game “You Should See Someone About That.” The soundtrack includes six songs composed using mixed electronic means and can be found here.
Filed under: Music
CGS Research
 
The high school I went to, Commonwealth Governor’s School, placed significant weight on completing individual, supervised research projects each year. I won the “Best Student Research” award both my Junior and Senior years.
- My Junior year project was entitled “Nation Building: Recognized Sovereignty and Micronational Statehood” and led to a project where over the course of a year I created a Micronation and explored what it takes to become a successful monarch. (Really, this is one you should talk to me about over coffee, I had 400 people worldwide call me their King!)
- My Senior year project was entitled “The Application of the Fundamentals of Wave and Signal Processing” and was supervised by inventor and music technologist Dr. Sebastian Tomczak of the University of Adelaide. This project led to a year of harvesting outdated electronic equipment and recycling the circuits to create complex music composition tools. My work grew into a line of low-fi homebrew electronic products that were sold in the United States and Australia to electronic musicians and artists.

Filed under: Research
FIRST Robotics
 
From 2005 to 2010 I was a member of FIRST Robotics Competition Team 339 – Kilroy (formerly Rappahannock Robotics). My work was mainly focused on programming the robot; I wrote software in Java and RobotC to control robots autonomously when given different tasks year to year. My biggest success with the team was the worldwide top robot design award in 2009 for what we called the “Movable Feast.” A pneumatically controlled platform that moved the robot’s insides around the chassis when wheel slipping was detected in order to improve grip in low friction environments.
Filed under: Software
Homebrew Audio
 
In my free time I enjoy tinkering with electronics trying to add features or make them serve purposes they weren’t originally intended for. Some call it circuitbending. Some of my favorites include
- Speak and Sequence: an analog 8-step step sequencer built out of a “Speak and Math” kids toy. It features programmable loops and two layers of recycled audio beauty with an optional external clock sync.
- The Most Useless SNES Mod: quite simply, a Super Nintendo Entertainment System where a drum set is the controller.
- Incantors: Following the work of the famed Reed Ghazala I built a number of noise makers and drum machines out of “Speak and Spell” and “Alphabet Desk” toys that I have used in my own musical performances and sold around the United States and Australia.

Filed under: Hardware, Music
Homebrew Visuals
 
In my electronic experimentation I developed a very simple method for generating interesting glitch-art using an old Super Nintendo Entertainment System console. By isolating the two VRAM chips and running the address leads to a breakout box, the sprite sheets and color palettes are left to the whims of the user. I’ve got a demonstration here although it doesn’t get interesting until about 8:00. I built a few of these devices; they’ve been used in performances along the East coast and have been sold as far away as Australia! One of my devices was used by video artist fsck in his music video for “Ice Ice Bacon” and another can be seen in the demo “CR#CK” by glitch artist INEEDAMEDIC.
Filed under: Hardware, Art
Intro to CompSci TA
 
In the Spring of 2011 I worked as a Teaching Assistant for UVa’s CS1110 Introduction to (Java) Programming course. I graded, helped develop homework projects, and managed a laboratory section of roughly forty students where I did a lot of debugging and gave short presentations on everything from what integers are to how to string together Classes. My favorite compliment was when a student referred to me as “The Nice TA” when I stayed an extra couple of hours late to debug her zombie survival game.
Filed under: Teaching
Improv Coach
 
When back at home I frequently get picked up by my town’s local high schools in order to teach their drama students how to perform better improv comedy. I have led a number of two-hour workshops covering material ranging from how to accept gifts from your scene partner and how to move toward agreement to “Game” and La’Ronde work. So far nobody has left unhappy and I’ve got a lovely signed t-shirt to show it!
Filed under: Teaching
Compositions
 
Stream my music for free on Soundcloud
or check out my older work as Beverage (also free) on Bandcamp
my favorite album is called In The Attic Of The Atmosphere
Filed under: Music
Label Releases
 
Self Acceptance is One Textbook Case of Stockholm Syndrome Away – Pxl-Bot
Chip In: Japan! – True Chip Till Death *
28 Seconds Later – Godxiliary *
I Must Admit This Is Just An Elaborate Experiment – Afternoons Modeling
8BitCollective Ambient Compilation – 8BitCollective *
8BitCollective Advent Calendar 2009 – 8BitCollective *
* Compilation appearances marked with an asterisk
Filed under: Music
Lazerscale2010
 
In the year 2010 I joined a team of ten other musicians led by Dr. Sebastian Tomczak (Little-scale) and David Adams (Lazerbeat) all with the same crazy goal: to write a song a day for an entire year. We wanted to see just what creative exhaustion does to the mind of a composer, especially when faced with the challenges of day to day life. While I did not quite finish due to travel and starting college, I completed 230 songs in 300 days. Quite a feat! You can see my backlog on my Lazerscale2010 page.
Filed under: Music
Rock Bottom
 
I’m one of the founding members of Rock Bottom, a long-form improv comedy troupe in Seattle, WA. We bring New York style Harolds and Armandos to new audiences on the West Coast so keep your eyes peeled for our shows!
Filed under: Performance
Amuse Bouche
 
From 2010 to 2014 I performed long-form improv comedy (what’s long-form?) with Amuse Bouche, “The oldest improv comedy troupe in Charlottesville, Virginia called ‘Amuse Bouche.’” We held three large shows a semester, made frequent appearances at smaller events as opening entertainment, and traveled around the country to participate in workshops and comedy festivals. The group is still performing (though I have sadly left…) and I encourage you to check out their website!
Filed under: Performance
La Petite Teet
 
From 2012 to 2014 I performed sketch comedy with a troupe we lovingly called La Petite Teet. With this great team of jokesters I wrote and performed sketches and videos that we showcased at the end of each semester in a live show not too unlike Saturday Night Live. Be sure to visit our website for more information and a backlog of our old videos.
Filed under: Performance
WTJU : Bad Blood
 
I got involved with the radio as soon as I began studying at UVa. For four wonderful years I was an on-air DJ with 91.1 FM WTJU in Charlottesville & Richmond, Virginia where I co-hosted an electronic music program called “Bad Blood” on Wednesday nights from 11pm to 1am. You can check out old shows in our tape vault for a sample of my work and a collection of old playlists (yes, I get to pick the music!). For a while there I was also the Programming Director of the WTJU Rock Department and assisted with our annual pledge drives–community funded radio needs community to stay freeform!
Filed under: Performance
FIRST Emcee
 
Sometimes for your events you just need someone to bring in the high energy and for FIRST Robotics that’s where I come in. Since 2008 I’ve been hauled all around Virginia to be the Master of Ceremonies and/or Game Announcer for a number of FIRST Robotics events ranging from small childrens’ Lego robotics competitions to massive scale high school competitions with sixty teams and more volunteers than I can count.
Filed under: Performance