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:

Performance Analysis
Political Science

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Performance Analysis

Susan Housand, 2002

"A Fault-Injection Approach to Predicting Dependability in E-commerce Systems"

As systems grow in complexity the underlying cause of application failure becomes more difficult to pinpoint. We evaluate the impact of realistic failures on e-commerce services using a methodology that identifies and characterizes system-level faults. We present a framework for deriving quantitative dependability metrics for e-commerce systems. This framework identifies where system dependability is weakest and how it can be improved. Our novel approach to analyzing the dependability of e-commerce systems uses software fault injection to simulate faulty operational environments, where targeted applications are tested for their response to low-level failure. Collected failure data is analyzed and combined to provide an indirect method for measuring dependability.


Franklin Adler, 1992

"Physiologically Based Pharmokinetic Modeling: A Multi-Compartmental Simulation Program for the Macintosh"

Physiologically based pharmokinetic computer models are tools that greatly aid in understanding the body as a dynamic system while alleviating concerns about conducting lengthy laboratory experiments that are costly, impractical, or dangerous. This project intends to provide such a tool in the field of pharmokinetics.


Christine A. Halverson, 1989

"MAT's FACE: Intelligent Interface Design"

Discussion of philosophical and practical issues in the design of a computer interface for an intelligent tutoring system.


Cory Burke, 2010

"Planchette : Combining the Ouija Board with Modern Technology"

To explore how emerging technology might aid in the ability to contact spirits I created Planchette, a virtual spirit board, for Apple’s iOS devices. Planchette uses the iOS device accelerometer to emulate the experience of sliding a planchette across a spirit board. A spirit board is a 19th Century household device for contacting spirits that consists of a board with a printed alphabet and a small wooden marker called a planchette. The planchette is moved on the board to spell out a sequential message. Two versions of Planchette have been released, though no user has reported contacting the afterlife. The history of devices to contact the afterlife, the difficulty in creating Planchette, user reactions, the revision process, and the algorithms used are discussed.

Dihuyen Ho, 1990

"Spectra: A Computer Simulation of Infrared Absorbtion Spectra"

The user manipulates molecules and data in Hypercard. The program then calculates the spectrum and outputs it to the screen.

Political Science

Walter Sanford, 1992

"Candidate: An Interactive Computer Simulation Using Hypercard to Encourage Moral Development in Children"

Hypercard Stack which simulates a political candidate's campaign management.


Amy Palke, 2004

"Brainathlon: Enhancing Brainwave Control Through Brain-Controlled Game Play"

The field of brain-computer interface research has been rapidly expanding in recent years and has a wide range of interesting and compelling uses. EEG-based brain-computer interfaces currently allow users to type, play games, create music or control prosthetic limbs.

This thesis describes the development of Brainathlon, an open source software game that is controlled by the players' brainwave activity. An electroencephalogram (EEG) monitors the player's brainwaves. These waves are fed into the computer, analyzed and used to control the game play. The game provides users with real-time feedback on current brain activity and rewards activity in congurable frequency ranges. This feedback leads to enhanced conscious control of brainwave activity.

The software we developed includes a reusable library of EEG monitoring, filtering and analysis tools that can be used to create future EEG-based applications. The software was built to work with ModularEEG, an open source brainwave monitoring device. The reusable Brainathlon libraries will provide software developers with a toolkit to facilitate the creation of low cost brain-computer interface applications for the ModularEEG device.

Marilyn Shoemaker, 1987

"The Natural Language Problem: An Introduction from a Cognitive Science Perspective"

Discussion of natural language processing from the perspectives of artificial intelligence, cognitive, psychology, linguistics, and philosophy.