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:

Software Development
User Interface Design

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


Lisa Gail Cowan, 2008

"Emotipix: Mobile Phones as Social Peripheral Displays"

Mobile users often have limited time and attention to devote to keeping in touch and may find it difficult to maintain social connections on the go. We posit that a peripheral display model for photo sharing via mobile phones—if specifically designed for the mobile milieu—can maintain social awareness with minimal effort and distraction. We explore this model with Emotipix, a photo sharing application for camera phones. Emotipix turns the phone into a ubiquitous peripheral display device by laying an automated slideshow of shared images in the background (wallpaper) of the phone's "home" screen.

Mary Holder, 1991

"The Electronic Atlas of Suburban Growth"

The computer can be used to extend and enhance the functionality of traditional paper-based information tools. A computer-based atlas offers the user the opportunity to garner new insights into the evolution of a geographically identified physical and social system.

Software Development

Zaida J. Mejia, 2014

"Alumnae/i Database and Website"

Because data on alumnae/i is difficult to collect and change over time, obtaining up-to-date information on graduates—for the purposes of highlighting their professional achievements and facilitating networking—is a challenge faced by many higher education institutions. Social networks provide a means for alumnae/i to share successes, but viewing this information typically involves an account or a paid subscription. In this project, I address these issues by designing and implementing a free, easy-to-use, and updateable Mills Computer Science alumnae/i website backed by a database. The website has the potential to showcase the most recent or impressive alumnae/i achievements and prominently feature all graduates’ accomplishments via their profiles. Additionally the database can store manually provided alumnae/i information and extract further data from LinkedIn. Evaluations of the project indicate that users and administrators find the website easy to search, navigate, and update and the information provided helpful. Because of its versatile design, this project could serve similar needs for other disciplines and institutions.

Katherine Feeney, 2012

"Encouraging Collaboration Through App Inventor"

App Inventor is a free, open source application that permits people with any level of programming background to create software applications for the Android operating system. At the time of its open source release, it lacked important resources for supporting collaboration: documentation for source code contributors and technological support for users developing apps in a group environment. To address these issues, I added a property to an existing component and then created detailed documentation about the process for future developers. I also created a tool for merging multiple projects, which will encourage teamwork by allowing multiple users to code separately and then combine their work. These contributions will increase collaboration between users as well as developers of App Inventor.

Joseph Klein, 2012

"Rendering Textures Up Close in a 3D Environment Using Adaptive Micro-Texturing"

In this thesis, I propose a new texturing technique that will replace the texture’s large stretched pixels with repeatable micro-textures that represent the material that the overall texture is representing. So when the textures are seen up close now, it will display a crisp detailed representation of those materials at a micro level thus giving the illusion of much higher resolution textures within the 3D environment.

Helen Tompkins, 2012

"RegAdmin Request Web Application"

The Middleware and Integration Services department at Stanford University maintains a web application called RegAdmin. Because this application is highly sensitive, the business process for granting access to it is a rigorous, multi-stage request and approval procedure. Previously, requests were stored and tracked through the approval process by manually updating an Excel spreadsheet, which was time-consuming, error-prone, and did not provide adequate security or reporting capabilities. To address this problem, I created a web application that stored request and approval tracking data in a database and provided an online user interface for updating it. This solution made the data more secure and the process easier to manage.

Karina Ivanetich, 2010

"Instruction Scheduling Through Dependency Graph Augmentation"

This research reduces the running time of an instruction scheduler by implementing a more efficient way to store dependency graph information. As a major component of a compiler's back end, an instruction scheduler's task is to generate faster code. It does so by using processor-specific pipeline information to both decrease pipeline stalls and increase simultaneous execution of instructions. Reducing the running time of the instruction scheduler, and hence that of the compiler, is desirable because compilation time impacts development productivity, testing time, and time to release.

Jennifer Ball, 1999

"An SGML to XML Converter"

SGML is a very complex and powerful language, and XML is a streamlined subset of it. Consequently, many of the features of SGML do not have any equivalent features in XML. Converting an SGML DTD and document instance to XML can be very difficult or impossible. The intention of this converter is to convert a single SGML DTD and document instance, each containing only the most commonly used features, to XML.


Eric Wulff, 2004

"Routine Information Processor: An Automated Speech Input System for Support of Footbag Freestyle Performance Evaluation"

There is significant objective information associated with the sport of footbag freestyle, but that information has remained mostly unavailable for consideration by competition judges, making freestyle one of the most difficult performance arts to evaluate. Because freestyle competitors execute moves at tremendous speed, the composition of a routine is impossible to record in real-time by manual processes. I took the approach of using speech recognition technology as a means for recording a routine quickly, and I built an application for computing and reporting the detailed technical composition of that routine to promote informed performance evaluation.

User Interface Design

Rachel Mulcrone, 2006

"Redesigning a Marine Terminal Application Using Component Utility Percent Analysis"

International trade businesses, such as marine terminals, are complex systems managed most often through information technology. A user interface was designed and evaluated to improve operational efficiency at a marine terminal. The main discovery of this project was the component utility percent analysis, a technique for evaluating interfaces. Expanding on the use of utility percent analysis would benefit usability and design. In the immediate sense, it provides a method of considering components in the context of heuristics, or design rules. Second, it can aid information architects aligning designs with uswer goals.

Caroline Chumo, 2006

"A Model Web Interface For Youth in Tanzania"

As in other developing countries, youth in Tanzania have some access to the Internet, but poverty compromises the quality of their time online. Young people are the largest group of Internet users in Tanzania, yet they tend to use the Web only for communication and entertainment and don’t view information for the development of education, health, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement. I engaged youth in participatory research to create a Web site based on user requirements from surveys, interviews and observations of Internet use. An in-depth look at the challenges young Tanzanians face when navigating informational Web sites will inform future Web development that provides youth with useful and easily accessible online content.

Amanda Ropa, 1990

"The Communicative Power of Computers: Designing an Interactive, Multimedia Interface to Facilitate Cultural Understanding Among Fifth/Sixth Grade Students"

Development of an interactive multimedia prototype to teach about World Culture and to illustrate the effectiveness of visual communication techniques in creating powerful interfaces.