Interdisciplinary Computer Science
Our students' Masters in Interdisciplinary Science thesis papers cover a broad range of subjects. Displayed on this page are theses on the following topics:


To search by subject or author, see our Student Work page on


Claudia Medina, 1995

"Demographic and Linguistic Study on Handwriting Recognition"

The goal of the project was to investigate a way of improving a handwriting recognition system by tuning its language model—adjusting the language model to the particular style and vocabulary of a given population of users. The project had two phases. In phase one we surveyed people to identify their uses of handwriting. In phase two we build a linguistic corpus upon a restricted domain of handwriting according to our survey. We then performed a linguistic analysis of the corpus to extract and compare word frequency distributions.

Jim Bisso, 1993

"Jaako : A Common Lisp Implementation of a Two-Level Morphological Rule Compiler"

A compiler that translates two-level morphonological rules into finite state transducers to aid in dictionary lookup of words in inflected languages.

Nancy Bennett, 1991

"Listen and Understand: The Use of Sound in a Computer-Based Foreign Language Tutor"

The application consists of the oral reading of dialogue followed by question and answer sessions. It also provides students with audio and visual help tools to aid their comprehension, and areas in which students experience difficulties are monitored during field testing.

Karen Jepsen, 1990

"Insights from a Step into Germany"

Discussion of the design process for an adventure game to teach German language skills.


Constance Conner, 1991

"The Novice Model Representation in a Modern Algebra Intelligent Tutoring System"

An object-oriented student model for a Modern Algebra Intelligent Tutor on the NeXT.


Trevor Adams, 2012

"Adding Music to App Inventor for Android"

App Inventor for Android is a software program allowing non-programmers to create their own applications for devices using Google’s Android operating system. Tools are provided for creating many kinds of applications, but it is currently difficult to create interactive musical apps. I chose to address this issue by adding a component that would enable the user to include limited real-time sound synthesis in their apps. Specifically, I designed an interface for playing notes by specifying pitch, volume, duration. I also added controls for adding reverb, envelopes and changing instruments. To support my component, I also devised a system for managing libraries and assets, which both allows native code to be packaged with an app, and ensures that any additional files are loaded only if necessary. This paper will discuss the motivation for my changes, the process of their design and the benefits they should provide to users and developers.

Ellery Royston, 2009


Harmonium is a web-based sound installation, using data gathered by NASA, that creates an ambient soundscape based on the position of the planets. Artistically, the work was inspired by the ancient idea of the "Harmony of the Spheres," as well as the work of Johannes Kepler. It was created using Processing (a language created for artists based on Java), Perl for text processing, and the HORIZONS telnet interface for calculating ephemerides. This paper contains a description of the artistic and technical processes that went into making this piece, along with descriptions of related work, and the final code for the project.

Evan Morris, 2008

"dsSynth: Developing a Music Application on a Video Game Platform"

The Nintendo DS (NDS) is a portable video game platform with almost no music-based applications. The purpose of this project was to build a freely available music-based application for the NDS designed for musicians. My application allows users to load sound files onto the NDS from a personal computer or by drawing a waveform on the NDS, and then wirelessly control playback of these sounds on the NDS, varying pitch, start position, end position, and other elements. This transforms the NDS from a system for playing pre-packaged games into one where musicians can exercise their creativity.

Barton Friedland, 2006

"Applying Activity Therory in the Design of Usable Software: How Personal Beliefs Shape the Use of Tools"

The general problem of tailoring software to individual differences is an important issue with broad ramifications in software engineering and interface design. In order to better understand this problem within a specific context, I conducted an ethnographic study of a group of users who re involved as artists in making electronic music with software. The study was motivated by the desire to develop a more extensible system that could be customized through a GUI. 

Andrea Plesnarski, 2002

"Human Interactive Personal Performance Interface (HIPPI): Using Neural Networks for Gesture Recognition"

Modern acoustic instruments and their electronic music equivalents require abundant skill and training to communicate complex musical ideas and expression. Non-musicians are excluded from the expressive, creative process of music-making because they do not possess technical ability to play an instrument. This thesis explores the development of a musical interface that allows any person regardless of musical training to play expressive music. The project uses a sensor-based hardware interface and gesture recognition and interpretation software that recognizes mapped gestures with a neural network and interprets gestures with Markov chains.

Eiko DoEspiritosanto, 2001

"Earcon Design Considerations for Home Automation Systems"

This research focuses on auditory display for home automation systems. Although home automation is a relatively recent concept, it is beginning to capture the attention of homeowners because the technology is becoming more affordable and more sophisticated. The increased use of sensors and microprocessors has given automated machines the capability to sense and react to the environment and to keep track of its own tasks. As a natural evolution, many of those machines are getting integrated into larger systems and becoming networked appliances. These improvements have greatly broadened the capability of those machines and the range of options for how machines are to accomplish their task. This has in turn increased the need for machines to efficiently communicate with users.

Stephen Mayer, 1993

"MuseNet: An Object-Oriented Neural Network for Live Interactive Performance"

An interactive music program using HMSL.

Dean Burris, 1994

"Oh No! Not Theory!"

A multi-media music tutorial for music theory.

Koon Yong Chew, 1991

"Real Time Rhythmic Editing Tool for Score Publishing"

Little of the existing score printing software makes use of the MIDI keyboard and other tools that are more natural to musicians. Rhythm Editing Tool (RET) is a program that illustrates an alternative way to create score publishing software that is geared to the nature of the user. RET edits a piece of music into strict metrical time frame that is suitable for music notation. The program allows the user to enter rhythmic landmarks (taps) to the music and it has the ability to restructure the music by comparing the original piece with the taps. RET also provides the user with a graphics screen for easier manipulation of musical data.

Joan Garvin, 1990

"Changes in Musical Shapes and How We Perceive Them"

This study researched mathematical metrics which compare musical shapes of equal lengths. Computer Programs were written to compute the numerical difference between two melodies for each of ten metrics. Then, programs were written to generate all possible melodies related by a metric to an original melody played on a synthesizer. A psychological study determined whether listeners perceived the similarities and dissimilarities of the melodies according to the metric. The data from the study was analyzed and conclusions were drawn.

Shannon Parrish, 1991

"LISTEN: Melody and Rhythm for Little People"

A music tutorial using Hypercard for children.

Mary Ann Rayner, 1989

"The Anti-Machine"

Development of an art/music object that interacts with and responds to the movement of the participant/viewer.