Last Year's Projects

Richard Gunter

I am working on learning and using openGL and GLUT, using the video tutorials rock website. I have successfully made a window which shows a triangle, a trapezoid, and a pentagon. I have also learned how to indirectly rotate the objects. I have now acquired the knowledge of how to colour the shapes that I have created, and the background. I have finished working on lighting in OpenGL, and have know how to print 3 dimensional letters. I am for my final project working with Connor Grey to recreate the game: 2048, he has made the basic code that goes with the game, while I am creating the graphic interface for it. I have managed to set everything I need up, I just need to set a deign for the different squares that will represent the number, and just make the game look fancy.

Victor Mouschovias

In addition to various types of programming tutoring, I will be starting work on a first-person role-playing game using the Unreal Development Kit (blocked by our wonderful school internet policies, talk to me if you want to view it from here), a professional game-building engine that revolves around the Unreal Script language (similar to C++). By the end of the semester I hope to be able to present what I've accomplished along with a Powerpoint of the evolution of the gaming industry from its launch to the present day. I plan to continue work on this project as an undergrad.

05/16: An update can be found here


This semester I have successfully learned how to program in java. Here is the list of assignments that I have turned in for each progress grade.

Progress 1: Car Program

Program Description: This is the most basic out of all the programs that I built this semester. It prompts the user for a location to drive to and asks for the distance. Based on the car's fuel efficiency, it deducts the amount of gas used for the trip from the car. The user is also able to refill his tank and check the fuel level.

Progress 2: AP Computer Science Practice Exam Free Response

Progress 3: Bank Program

Program Description: This program allows a bank to keep track of the checking accounts of the customers. It asks for the customer to input his bank password whenever the customer wants to check how much money is in his account or wants to withdraw or deposit in his account. This allows the program to keep track of multiple customers. The program also allows the user to find how much interest he is earning from the bank.

Progress 4: AP Computer Science Practice Exam Multiple Choice

Progress 5: Restaurant Program

Program Description: The user is able to create a menu for his restaurant with 3 entrees, 3 sides, 3 drinks, and a trio option which includes one of each item. The user then sets the prices for these items. The price of the trio is the sum of the two most expensive items in the trio; this option allows the customer to save money when wanting a meal. A second user (customer) orders from the menu, and the program totals up the cost at the end.

Final: Robot Battle Program and Presentation

Program Description: This project is the most difficult project that I created this semester. It prompts two users to create 4 robots. The robots can either be a wallbot or a battlebot and can wield either a machine-gun or rocket launcher. Then the two users place their robots on a grid battlefield and whoever has the last robots standing is the winner.

Stuart Seyler

I plan to learn ASL throughout the semester. I am going to use the websites that previous students have used. I will also talk to Jack's mom. Finally, I will watch the videos of the cute girl on youtube. I will make a list of words I plan to know and have you (Beuschlein) quiz me. At the end of the semester I will either teach the class so ASL, or I will act out a skit while signing.

Monty Python and Twister
As a dynamic duo, we shall not only research the history and effects of lucid dreaming, but we will also undergo the process of learning how to lucid dream ourselves. It will become a semester project of learning the technques used to figure out that you are dreaming while in the dream state, describing the difficulty of learning for yourself, and ultimately deciding whether or not it is worth it and if we will continue to try and lucid dream ourselves. I think we will be able to at least scratch the surface of lucid dreaming, and I hope we will actually be able to see if we can solve problems in our dreams as well.
Monty Python:

I just finished reading a research paper done on task modality (the ability to understand what is going on around you) and the passage of time while in a dream. It has been long debated how we perceive time versus how time actually passes while you are dreaming. Some theories believed were that dreams were created incredibly fast right before we wake up and only last a fraction of the time as we perceive. Other theories are that time passes incredibly slowly instead and the brain makes this stretched out time frame seem normal. During this study, the purpose was to attempt to quantify the time that passage of time whilst dreaming and come up with a conclusive result.

Experiment Details-- In order to accomplish this task, a group of active lucid dreamers were taken and had to do a variety of tests such as count to 10, 20, and 30, as well as walk 10, 20, and 30 steps, and do a small gymnastics routine. They took a control time of these people doing these activities while awake to make sure each individuals data was specific to each of them. They then waited for the subjects to be lucid dreaming and then they repeated the activities, and they were able to measure the time intervals between the activities while dreaming by utilizing the fact that the eyes remain active during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep, and had the dreamers move their eyes in certain patterns during sleeping that they had predetermined before the subjects had fallen asleep. An example of a pattern would be for the sleeper to move his eyes from the left to the right 5 times when they were aware they were lucid, and do the same but 3 times for when they had completed each activity. The researchers would be able to observe these eye patterns without disturbing the dreamers by using an MRI machine.

Conclusions--While the study was not completely conclusive, they found that the tasks took around 40% more time than usual, but instead of it being necessarily due to the perception of time, they found that it was simply harder for the dreamers to do the tasks as fast as they usually could. Since while in the dream state, it is nearly impossible for the dreamer to tell feel it themselves, it made it hard to determine the true reasoning behind this. Dreaming is something that is shrouded in mystery, with many people (not even lucid dreamers) finding themselves in similar scenarios where they are trying to do a seemingly menial task but for whatever reason it takes them much longer or it is just much more difficult. So while the research done hear was not definitive, it shows that the most likely that time perception is 1:1 with the real world, but that due to the nature of dreams being difficult to control, pretty much every task will take longer.

Tying this into Our Goals--This study is very important to the research I want to do because it proves that one can remember to do a task that they thought of while awake and preform it in the dream. However, instead of the more physical tasks that were done in this study, I would like to focus on a more mental approach. Will a similar pattern be shown with the a slower result time due to the difficulty to do exactly what you want in dreams? or will the fact that more of the brain is awake lead to a faster result? These are the kinds of question I would like to answer when I fully regain control of my dreaming. Also, the interaction between the dreamers and the researchers who were awake was fascinating to me. It is like a one way communication radio. The researchers can see the progress being made by the dreamers in real time but the dreamers have no way of knowing if the researchers can see what they are trying to say. It was a clever and simple trick to get the data they needed.

Link to Research Paper--

Monty Python's Presentation outline in paragraph form
Intro to Lucid Dreaming
Dreaming is perhaps one of the most interesting quirks that we are still having trouble understanding. Do all animals dream? Is it a specifically human thing? It turns out that it is believed by scientists that all mammals dream, but that the rest of animals most likely do not, due to a certain neural structures only prevalent in mammals. The purpose behind why we dream is also a mystery, leaving us with more answers about dreaming than answers. With dreams being as chaotic as they are, humans naturally looked for a way to regain some of the control of their own minds. Today, this solution is known as lucid dreaming, and is the concept of conditioning your mind for it to recognize that it is in a dream state in order to gain full control of the dream.
However, this concept is not a recent one. Early Hindu and Buddhist Indians began to practice Yoga nidra, a sleep like state of meditation where the meditator also has full consciousness. Followers of Yoga nidra or lucid dreaming might find solace in it for a number of reasons, whether it be just for the adventure of being able to experience whatever you can imagine, or for the reduction in stress that comes from the being able to better control your sleep schedule.

The Path to Lucidity
The journey to dream enlightenment is not necessarily a difficult one, but it is one that requires constant work to be put into it. The number one step to becoming lucid is to keep a record of your dreams in a dream journal. This does a number of things for you. Writing it down immediately when you wake up gets your mind to think of dreams as more important by putting them into longer term memories instead of just discarding them as useless as it usually does, which is why it is often hard to remember a dream even if you remembered it vividly only hours earlier. The next step is to start initiating reality tests. These are little things that you will repeat throughout the day in order to trigger your brain to realize it is in a dream state. Some examples of reality tests are looking at a clock, as for whatever reason, clocks and watches never work properly in dreams, looking at your hands, and pinching yourself. These last two tests most likely won’t change whether you do them in the real world or the dream state, but the hope is that after these tests become a habit your brain will be able to notice when it is in a dream.
Once you begin to achieve lucid dreaming, a whole new world of possibilities is now open to you when you fall asleep. Lucid dreamers are able to change whatever they want in a dream by focusing on that change and it will happen. The only limitations on what can happen in a lucid dream are your ability to focus and your imagination. Something amazing that happens here is that your brain can actually project things that you have never experienced if your brain can imagine what it might feel like, hence you can fly around even though it’s impossible for you to do so in the real world. You can also bring memories from the outside world into the dream world, which we tested by setting a goal before falling asleep and seeing if we could do that task in the dream. My task was to do an integral in my dream, and the only issue I found when attempting this task is that once in the dream state, I found it hard to bring myself to start doing an integral when I had the possibility to do anything I wanted. However, the difficulty of the task did not seem affected. I was able to set up a simple integral and solve it correctly

Other factors of Lucid Dreaming
An interesting side effect that I have noticed with the restarting of my journeying into lucid dreaming is that I have now experienced a phenomenon known as sleep paralysis, which I had never experienced in my 17 years of life prior. Sleep paralysis is when you disrupt the REM sleep cycle and your body is caught between awake and asleep. This can happen right before falling asleep or before waking up. In a sudden awakening, you open your eyes but you are not able to move neither them nor the rest of your body. Also, since your mind is caught between awake andasleep, many people begin hallucinating things in their room, as if they were dreaming. Sleep paralysis is usually the side effect of some other larger problem related to sleep, and has no lasting negative effects on the body, except that it can be utterly terrifying. While usually linked to sleep disorders like narcolepsy, it seems strange to me that I would have experienced this twice while trying to become lucid and never before. However, with only this hunch to back me up, it seems that the link between the two would be more about the fact that I am sleeping more often and taking more naps, thus increasing the likelihood of sleep paralysis occurring.

MILD vs WILD and other Lucid Dreaming techniques
The beginnings of lucid dreaming have two main approaches as of now.The first one is what is known as the MILD (Mnemonic Induced Lucid Dream), is the one that I have talked the most about so far because it is the one most people use, including myself. The MILD technique is based on inducing a lucid dream by setting your mind to the goal of noticing when you are asleep. It relies on the idea of repetition and getting your brain into the habit of noticing patterns in your dreams so that you may be able to gain lucidity. Since this is the technique I have spent much more time on than any other and a more detailed description of the path to using this technique can be found above, I will not spend much more time on describing this one.

WILD (Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming) is the more traditional way of lucid dreaming, similar to the technique used by the monks that I was talking about in "Into to Lucid Dreaming". This idea is more reliant on meditation, so it is a bit of a turn off for beginners as they will not see as drastic immediate results. The focused skill of meditation takes time to master and many people do not want to wait that long. Though it may sound confusing, the goal is to get your body to fall asleep without your mind falling asleep. When done correctly, there is no middle area of dreaming, you will go straight from being lucid while awake to being lucid while asleep. A key to aiding this process that many practice is getting into the habit of waking up around the time you would enter the deep REM sleep stage with an alarm, then meditating as you fall back asleep. This uses the fact that your mind is now awake while your body still wants to go back to resting.

Other techniques such as RILD (Reward Induced Lucid Dreaming) and PILD (Punishment Induced Lucid Dreaming) work via similar ways but are basically the opposites of each other. RILD focuses on setting small goals one a time and rewarding yourself with something like a delicious food or anything that you find pleasurable really. One idea similar to RILD is to use thirst, by depriving yourself of water before bad, and placing a glass of water next to you before you sleep. The point here is to make drinking water all you can think about before you fall asleep, so that if at any point in your dream you see water, you will instinctively want to drink it, and this thirst will hopefully trigger your lucidity. Punishment Induced Lucid Dreaming is the same thing as RILD with setting small goals, but instead, if you don't meet these goals, you must give yourself a small punishment like having to take a cold shower in the morning. Neither of these two are really techniques on their own, and must be combined with other techniques like MILD to get the best effect. While they might seem archaic, these two ideas have proven very useful to some in speeding up the process of learning to lucid dream.

One last technique often used is to have what is known as a "totem" that you use to trigger lucidity. Again, this technique requires you to already use a technique like MILD in order to to work properly, but the basis of Totem Induced Lucid Dreaming (TILD) is that you will have some kind of object that when you look at it, you will always think about if you are dreaming. It is basically a physical reality check that you carry around with you. As in MILD, it is all about repetition for the brain, so that when you see your totem while dreaming, you will only think about dreaming, and thus trigger your lucidity.

The Limits of Lucid Dreaming
Lucid dreaming allows one to take control of their dreamscape and if the ability of control is mastered, they can do anything they want once in control…or can they? Some of the biggest questions brought up in question of Lucid Dreaming is what happens if you imagine something that you haven’t actually experienced? For example, what if you tried to dip your hand in some lava in a dream? Your brain most likely doesn’t know what it feels like to do so, but if you did it in your dream, it would seem as real as anything else in it. Why is this? As it turns out, your brain is extremely clever when it comes to things like this. Instead of just getting stumped, your brain will create what you think it feels like on the fly based on what you already know about it. Your hand will feel what your brain wants it to feel. This is why people are able to enjoy the ability of flight or superpowers while dreaming, even though their body would have no real knowledge on the sensations associated with such powers. The only reason everything else seems normal in a lucid dream is because you made it that way. When you become Lucid in a dream, the dreamscape is filled with what you want it to be, whether you consciously filled it or whether your subconscious filled it by itself. However, this extra brain power comes at a cost, any scenario where you imagine yourself doing something in a dream that you haven’t done out of a dream will be significantly harder to focus on and thusyou risk losing your grasp on the dream.

Another interesting little point about lucid dreaming, is since dreaming taps into ones subconscious, you are able to see and remember things in you dreams that you might not have been able to while awake. If, for example, you run into someone on the street and later on have trouble remembering what their face looked like, it is possible that since their face is most likely stored somewhere amongst your subconscious, locked away by your brain since it thinks that it isn’t important enough to take up space in your long-term memory, you could remember their face vividly once in your dream. Your memory is enhanced once in a dream since it has a whole new pool of information to draw from.

So if your brain can even let you do things you’ve never done while awake, are there any limits to what you can do while Lucid Dreaming? The answer to this is much messier than you would think. The lines of what are possible and what are impossible are extremely blurry. Even though you are conscious that you are dreaming, it is still exactly that: a dream. In dreams, your perception of reality is still flawed, so while some say it is impossible to do things that defy logic like imagine new colors or scents, others claim to have done so. It is impossible to prove someone right or wrong with our current technology and so all we have to go by is the one person’s testimony, and it is far too possible for people to lie about such things for attention or maybe they have deceived themselves, or perhaps they really done what is considered impossible.

This data was collected on a forum site where I posed these questions to lucid dreamers of a variety of talent, ranging from newcomers to long-term users. This site has proven to be one of the more useful pools of lucid dreaming knowledge for me, providing me with a consistent amount of data that would have taken me much longer if I had to do it alone. Again, the only problem with is that the trustworthiness of these people is questionable since it is just soliciting information from people over the internet.

Secondary Lives
As with anything that brings people joy, there will always be some people who will take it too far, and Lucid dreaming is no exception. A recent number of cases of extreme lucid dreamers has popped up who have turned to Lucid dreaming not as a hobby, but as a complete mental escape from their original lives. These people who are usually depressed or just upset with their real lives have become so good at lucid dreaming that they decide to start a whole new life withing their dreams. This begins with them picking some starting point based on their past, but then they diverge from reality and go on to fabricate their new lives as they see fit. So far this probably seems fairly harmless, but the scary part is that these people get so good at lucid dreaming, driven by their want to live these fabricated lives, that they are able to go to sleep on other days and pick up where they left off on previous dreams, creating a whole second life for them to live. They get attached to this seemingly perfect second life and you could almost say they get addicted to it. However, this continuity of dreams starts having some bad effects on the body, as it is not used to this kind of logical progression of life when dreaming, so some dreamers actually begin having difficulty separating when they are dreaming to when they are living their real lives. While this is obviously a very limited amount of people, it is still a startling thought, and only thing that helped was to try and stop the dreamer from having lucid dreams, something that can be harder than it seems. After a while, it is like trying to forget how to ride a bike.

Twister report as follows
Analysis of activity during sleep-
5 Stages of sleep, while asleep a person cycles through the stages multiple times.
1- Light sleep, drifting between consciousness occurs and subjects are easily awakened. Fragmented memories of what occurred when asleep can be recalled
2- Eyes cease to move, brain signals become markedly slower. Occasional bursts of high brain activity occur. Almost 50% of time asleep is spent here.
3- Extremely Slow brain waves called delta waves appear, with faster waves appearing intermittently. First phase of “deep sleep” where it is most difficult to wake someone, due to reactions from external stimuli being significantly dampened.
4- Delta waves produced by brain almost exclusively. Waking up during deep sleep results in grogginess and slow adaptation to being fully awake in a subject.

REM- Breathing becomes irregular with quick, shallow breaths. Random eye movement occurs, as one would expect. Limbs become paralyzed while heart rate and blood pressure markedly increase. 20% of a normal sleeping period is REM sleep. REM sleep is the only time in which dreams occur.

Sleep Cycles. As previously mentioned, humans go through the stages in cycles when asleep. A typical cycle is 90-120 minutes in length, with time being unevenly divided. The REM sleep is usually first encountered 70-90 minutes into a sleep. As the sleep increases in length, less and less time is spent in stages 3 or 4. On a typical night’s sleep, a subject will be in almost exclusively REM or stages 1 and 2 of sleep before waking up in the morning.

Source used __}

Methods to optimize sleep

Maintain a schedule-
Circadian rhythm is a sort of biological clock present in animals that influences when an animal feels tired and awakes. At its default, humans have a 25 hour clock. However, external stimuli can change this. Two Neuron clusters called the suprachiasmatic nucleus can detect stimuli and send signals to the other parts of the brain, awakening it and inducing sleep. These stimuli can range from repetitive audio cues, like alarm clocks or visual cues like sunrise and sunset. Meals too can help the body determine when to wake and sleep. For this reason, the more repetitive your actions the easier it will be to fall asleep.

Daily exercise helps tire the body by creating the need for the healing processes that occur during sleep. Exercising before sleep, however will signal your body to release hormones to keep you awake, so as to continue exercise. For this reason one should exercise well before sleeping, a good amount of time being 5-6 hours.

As one would expect, simulants such as caffeine and nicotine interfere with falling asleep, and should not be consumed before sleeping.

Relaxing activities such as bathing and reading can prime the brain to falling asleep and should be done immediately before sleeping

Sleeping until daybreak can help establish a strong circadian rhythm for waking and help eliminate grogginess by ensuring one is not in deep sleep when they wake.

If one finds difficulty in falling asleep, they should get up and do an engaging activity until feeling tired. Anxiety about falling asleep can ironically prevent sleep.

Comfortable room temperature is important, one should ensure that proper bedding and thermostat settings are in place when falling sleep.

If continuous sleeping problems are experienced, it may be wise to consult a physician. Problems sleeping can be indicative of other health issues and sleep deprivation can cause many problems as you will later read.
Effects of Sleep deprivation

Sleep Deprivation is an area of intense research today. The exact chemical processes that occur in the brain during sleep are unknown, so the exact reasons sleep is necessary are not known. Sleep deprivation can be split into two categories: short term and sustained. In other words, the effects of going days without sleep compared to going weeks with minimal sleep.

Short term sleep deprivation can yield symptoms after one night with low amounts of deep level sleep. The immediate symptoms are anxiety, lapses in memory recollection and retention, distractibility, decreased alertness and impaired reaction time and motor skills. The effects of this in school, for instance, would be poor performance on assignments and tests, as memory used to recall information is impaired, and minimal retention of learned materials. In addition, low attention to detail would allow for many mistakes in arithmetic, logic, spelling and grammar to find its way into school work. Beyond academia, forgetfulness and low levels of alertness would have ramifications during socialization.

Sustained sleep deprivation yields the same immediate symptoms as short term sleep deprivation, as well as more serious long term effects. A study which measured cognitive impairment daily amongst groups of people who slept 4, 6 and 8 hours daily. Groups who slept 8 hours a day were able to maintain almost no impairment of a 14 day period, although they did approach impairment towards the end of the survey. The 4 hour group suffered impairment after 6 days, and severe impairment at the 11 day mark. Surprisingly, however, the 6 hour group suffered impairment after only 7 days, and continued in an upward trend through the end of the study. A similar study used groups of patients at 9, 7, 5 and 3 hours of nightly sleep for 7 days. The 3 hour group was impaired by day 2, and severely impaired by day 5. The 5 hour group reached impairment by day 5. However, the 7 and 9 hour groups maintained cognitive performance below what is considered impaired for the duration of the survey. Interestingly enough, both the 4 and 6 hour groups only noted feeling “slightly tired” by survey’s end, indicating that they may not have been aware of the performance deterioration. The fact that a chronically sleep deprived person eventually becomes unaware of that fact is worsened by the links between long term sleep deprivation and high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, psychiatric issues and general poor quality of life. In addition, the fact that the 8 hour group approached impairment while the 9 hour group did not may indicate that more than 8 hours of sleep are needed per night.


In addition to sleep deprivation, irregular sleep schedules also impact cognitive performance. A study that evaluated people who had 44 and 80 hours of work per week, in addition to people who had the same amounts of work in addition to a .05% blood alcohol content. The 80 hour group had similar performances to 44 hours of work in addition to the alcohol. The irregular sleeping schedules that the 80 hour group had, compounded with the high workload was as impairing as alcohol intoxication. While this in an extreme example, impairment does occur at lesser intensities of irregularity and workload.
something not sleep related

4/29/14 update

5/18/14 update

Why We Sleep
All complex organisms in the animal kingdom need sleep, just as they need to feed and breath. Unlike breathing and eating, the science behind the need for sleep is not known down to a series of chemical reactions. In the field of neuroscience, sleep is one of the most controversial topics.
One of the most popular theories of why sleep is needed is that sleep is a hormonal timekeeper for the body. The hormone melatonin, which has been linked to a stronger immune system and drowsiness, peaks during sleep. Melatonin is released in higher quantities when the retina absorbs less light, indicating that in natural conditions, melatonin release would have corresponded with nighttime in humans, which is the typical time humans sleep. Melatonin is also widely believed to be the timekeeper hormone. Many endocrine glands react when exposed to melatonin, either increasing or decreasing hormone release. The thyroid gland is heavily influenced by melatonin, which suggests that the decrease in metabolism during sleep may be intended to decrease energy use while animals are sleeping and not active. Melatonin’s widespread influence throughout the body and correlation with sleep lead many scientists to believe that sleep is a symptom of melatonin release, which has the main purpose of regulating other hormones on a circadian cycle.

Another theorized purpose of sleep relates to memory. A study which presented a series of faces to sleep deprived individuals and then tested memory of the faces and the order in which the faces were presented indicated that sleep deprivation had the largest effect in temporal memory, or memory of time and order. Sleep deprived individuals consistently gave the wrong order for faces, and were more confident in their answer than non sleep deprived individuals- especially when wrong. From this study, neuroscientists have theorized that sleep protects the brain from stimuli and inhibits new memories from forming. The purpose of this allows the brain to more easily sort memories temporally into days, as a normal circadian period is 24 hours, 8 of which are usually spent asleep. The remaining 16 hour block is theorized to be much more manageable when the brain attempts to recall temporal information. And thusly, the theory that sleep aids in memory storage for the brain was formed.

One of the most noticeable effects of sleep deprivation is behavioral changes. Sleep deprivation has links with increased occurrence of fear, rage and depression. However, the complex biochemistry involved with behavior in humans makes it difficult to more than correlate sleep and behavior. Decreased metabolism from sleep deprivation and the associated emotions lead some scientists to believe that safe also serves as a signal to the brain that an organism is not under distress. Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, makes organisms appear to be in a “survival mode” where they are prepared to go longer without food, make less attempts to socialize and enter “fight or flight” mode more often.
The key problem in studying the science of sleep is that the complex neurochemistry and hormonal reactions that take place during sleep and while organisms are awake are not fully understood. Many theories cannot scientifically prove sleep causes a certain reaction, and not that that reaction causes sleep. Another problem is that causation can be extremely difficult to prove, so two processes that occur during sleep may appear related, but no science can clearly connect the two. This uncertainty relegates many theories to being conjecture backed up by evidence from studies, but no real science. This uncertainty is the root cause for the controversy in the neuroscience of sleep, and although knowledge of sleep is increasing at unprecedented rates, a complete understanding is still decades away.





Marine Biology

For my semester project I will be studying symbiotic relationships in coral reefs and the ability for Clownfish to change sexes. The symbiotic relationship that I am studying is the partnership between a Yellow Watchman Goby and a Tiger Pistol Shrimp. I will be observing this relationship in my own reef tank at home. I will also be studying the ability of Clownfish to change sexes in a lab at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois. I will being working under Justin Rhodes which is the founder of this project.

Recently I have picked up a new project with the symbiotic relationships ad have been studying the mutualistic relationship between the clownfish and an anemone. The clownfish will host the anemone and provide cleaning and will bring food to the anemones mouth. The clownfish is benefited because the anemone provides protection and a home where the clownfish can stay. I have also been researching the 4 types of coral reefs; fringing reef, patch reef, barrier reef, and atoll reef. A fringing reef grow on shelves of coastlines and are right along the edge of the water and are found closest the shore. A patch reef is a small reef that grows in shallow lagoons and is surrounded by sand. They are often deeper than most reefs. Barrier reefs usually surround tropical islands and are the reefs we traditionally think of when going on vacation. They range from shallow to deep within the same reef system. Atoll reefs are a ring surrounded by low-lying islands surrounding the reef. These are the 4 types of reefs I have been looking at recently

David Anderson

Mary Corkery and Michael Martinez

We are going to be researching fireworks. We will be studying how they are made and used which include: how the colors are implemented into the fireworks, how the explosions work within the fireworks, the time it takes the fireworks to ignite and detonate, what material is used to make them detonate, the different shapes of the fireworks and if the shape affects the explosion, and the chemistry behind the explosions (what elements were used to create the explosion and the color). And if we are lucky we can make a firework to set off.

I am looking at the planet earth videos and researching the topics talked about in the videos.
I am looking into Body Language; mainly the difference between male and female body language.

Darian Gingold
- I am researching the history of Kinesiology as well as the different variations of kinesiology and the methods and techniques used in each department. I 'm also interested in researching job careers and the steps it takes to get to these careers. When I research the history of Kinesiology, I am making a factual newsletter about it describing what has been discovered and invented because of Kinesiology. I then will work on a booklet of the different departments of Kinesiology along with the job careers that follow when studying the different departments of Kinesiology. Then I will make a powerpoint that encompasses my findings

Since this class has started, I have been reviewing my knowledge of the human body and taking tests online about the different parts of the body. While I have been taking these tests, I have been keeping track of all of the tests I have taken and also taking notes of the different functions that each part of the body performs. This connects with my study of Kinesiology because I have to understand the terminology being used in learning the material. I am still going to work on a powerpoint to discuss my findings.

Here are some of the sites I have taking tests from:

I have changed my topic and for the past week have created a survey that will analyze how students feel about their school. The questions I have picked focus primarily on the education and social aspect of the school system. As students will take this survey, they will benefit my research. With this survey I am writing a research paper introducing my findings from the students answers. The focus of the research paper is to analyze if the school system is failing or succeeding in educating students. In addition. helping them to develop the social skills to adapt to society. I plan to have at least 100+ students take this survey to get a diverse amoutn of information. After I have written my research paper, I plan to create a powerpoint to present about my findings and how us as a school can create a better system of educating students. This topic interests me greatly because I like to organize big projects like this and I feel that there is not enough research about the education system in Urbana High School. I have made a list of 50 students already that have said that they will take this survey. I wanted to get work done before showing you to show that I am working hard to make this a good project. Here is a link of the survey and you are more than welcome to ask me any questions you may have.
Here is the responses from the survey.

Here are some of the sources I will be using in my research

I have picked these sources because it focuses on if schools are acheiving or failing in the school system in educating students for future education, jobs, and life in Urbana High School. This research paper is using outside research from other schools and self made research by me to determine whether or not Urbana High School is acheiving. I have also had three interviews regarding personal experiences with how the school system has treated them and have collected some good data from that. My research still excludes whether or not I am claiming a side if the school is failing or succeeding, but right now the format of my paper is set.

Outline of the research paper:

History of my research and the steps I took in it, as well as some of the sources I am using from other places around the United States is section 1
Thesis- my argument whether schools are failing or succeeding
My findings

Jack Parrott
For my project I will go in depth and attempt to unravel the marketing techniques that the sports equipment manufacturer Nike implements. I would like to discover how Nike rose to the top of the sports manufacturing mountain. I believe that their Marketing techniques played a major role in their success, rather than the quality of their product. My project will involve topics such as marketing (the specific techniques that Nike uses to create such a demand for their products), Economics (I will analyze how nike distributes their products, and how they use their profits effectively), and Psychology (I will discover why people are willing to spend hundreds of dollars for a product with the Nike Swoosh on it).
This is not my final draft, just my second upload, there is more to come. 5-5-14 Revised with with a counter argument. Final Project Update 5-16-14

Victor Mouschovias

I) Continue work on a past C++ project that incorporates the OpenGL Library to create an efficient and professional 3D first-person action game. The presentation of this will include theory behind components of the program in layman's terms.

II) Study independently for and take the AP Computer Science Exam.

Athena Lin

This semester, my goal is to learn as much American Sign Language (ASL) as possible, both from online resources and practicing with Beuschlein. I am currently not following a set curriculum; I'm learning at my own pace. I am learning PSE (Pidgin Signed English) to get accustomed to ASL signs using English syntax. Throughout the semester, I will create a curriculum for learning ASL that I will try to use in my own study of the language. Further ideas for projects will be discussed accordingly in the future.


Just go here


I will be designing and building an autonomous quadrotor for gathering data and filming video. I will use the open-source Ardupilot Mega as the autopilot (brain) for the project. In addition, I will continue to design and prototype my own microcontroller based on the Arduino (I call mine the Glowduino). Hopefully I will be able to eventually market and sell this as a product. Besides all this I'll continue with general electronics design and help Zack and Corby with electrical stuff.

Zack Paquin

I will be aiding Jordi with his Glowduino project in terms of coding in C++ and will also help with the building of his quadrotor.

Arduino Website Final project grade----



Abel Esbenshade

I will be studying Music Theory and improving my aural and chordal analysis skills in preparation for the AP Music Theory Exam and my future career in music.
Figured Bass (auf Deutsch):

Aidan Epstein

I studied algorithms, and wrote a page on priority queues. I also presented on some of the algorithms I learned, and wrote implementations in c++ for mergesort, selection sort, and insertion sort. I am also studying for and taking the AP Computer Science Exam.

Look at what other students have done in the past!


Victor Mouschovias

My project will be divided into two parts:

I) A demonstration of a C++ project I will be making using OpenGL for 3D rendering. Included will be effective use of a 3D shooter-style game with support for multiple users to use different terminals to play at once. 3D sound will also be used.

II) A presentation to the class describing the methods used in the project in terminology that does not require programming background.

As a secondary objective, I am creating a crossword-solving program for use in Windows terminal, making efficient use of file streaming and clean user-interfaces.

Bridget Mueller-Brennan

I plan to base my project on oil-eating bacteria as a regimen for oil spill clean-up. I would like to design an experiment plan and depending on available resources, follow the plan and do the experiment myself.

First I’ll have to research oil-eating bacteria in depth to fully understand them and how realistic it is to use them as a way to remedy the problem of oil-spills (in terms of numbers necessary to make a difference, expense, etc).

My final project would be a write up on what I researched, my experiment plan, and in the case that I was able to actually do or complete the experiment, a write up of my results and conclusions.

Currently this is a loose plan… as I look more into oil-eating bacteria details are still subject to change…

Top Nasueb

My project for Advanced Seminar is probably related to Architecture. I plan to design a structure and construct a model of it using accessable material.
  • Design the structure – sketching ideas
  • Finalizing an idea – pick one design and improve upon it
  • Create blueprints
  • Construct my structure (probably out of wood)
  • Present my design

Jay Rhed

My Adv. Seminar project will likely end up being an animated movie done either in Adobe Flash or frame-by-frame with an image editor and movie editing software. I can't say for sure how long the movie will be, but the subject matter will be a section of a play-through of the open-world roguelike game Elona.

1/3/12 - I have the content nearly set in stone (it's my interpretation of the text introduction, then the tutorial of the game and then some more); I'm going use eSpeak speech synthesizer and written captions for dialogue.

Spencer Lard

I plan to build a speaker enclosure and crossover network that achieves a flat frequency response from at least 50Hz to around 20kHz(or as close as possible with the available resources). I will need to learn how to use Theile/Small specifications, port specifications in closed enclosures and dipole gain in open-backed enclosures, and how to design a crossover network in the various crossover options. I plan to build these to check the design for accuracy, however due to the ability to transport an amplifier and speakers, I will likely have to record these speakers in some way to present my work.

Because of the various amplifier designs and matching speakers to amplifiers, I may not be able to reach the goal of a flat response completely, but the goal is to come as close as possible with the available equipment and funding at the time of the build.

Jordi Pakey-Rodriguez

My Advanced Seminar project will be divided into five phases:
  • Phase One: Study and learn about the basics of coding, its origins, and some of the theory behind it
  • Phase Two: Learn C++ to a reasonable degree
  • Phase Three: Create a final project using C++ and possibly OpenGL (If anyone has any ideas, please hit me up)
  • Phase Four: ????
  • Phase Five: PROFIT


Umberto Ravaioli, D'mario Turner, & Victor Mouschovias

Learn the programming language Java
Using the Textbooks Java How to Program by Deitel & Deitel and Programming Video Games for Evil Genuis by Ian Cinnamon
We hope to get through all of Programming Video Games for Evil Genuis
Would like to make some kind of game for the final project

Fabian Junge

Learn as much sign language as possible, perhaps 20 words a week. Edit: The sign language curriculum is a bit of a bad example, as it will be largely dependent on how Beuschlein teaches it.
Final Project One: Sign language project video (it's on youtube: Here
Final Project Two: I dabbled in HTML, CSS, and Javascript in regards to this wiki, and have made a page explaining everything: WikiJCH

Daniel Downie

I hope to cover as much as I can about the history of medicine using the book History of Medicine A Scandalously Short Introduction. I will start with the history of anatomy then study treatments, if i have enough time i will try to cover more topics like technology in medicine, and history of surgery.

Essay questions on the history of medicine:

1. Choose three different periods of "spacetime." Compare and contrast them in terms of the state of development of their medical practices, including their philosophies of medicine, medical technologies, and overall knowledge. Indicate any connections betweens these periods, such as influence or transfers of knowledge.

2. Choose what you feel are the three most revolutionary medical advances in history. (You may confine your choice to a particular time or place, if you so choose.) Argue why your choices should be ranked in the top three, citing plenty of evidence. Be sure to anticipate any good arguments for other strong contenders. Acknowledge the merits of these arguments while writing convincingly why the contenders should remain "runners-up." Make sure it is clear when you're stating opinion vs. established fact.

3. Choose a concept that you feel is critically important to the history of medicine, yet is little known or poorly understood by the general public. As if you were a journalist writing for a lay (but well educated) audience, explain the concept and its importance.

4. Pose your own essay topic here:
(Wait for confirmation before proceeding.)

Milo Skalicky

Learn important principles of basic game design, expand current knowledge of game programming
Final project: Complete side-scrolling platformer shooter.

Mark Peterson and Logan Peal

Studying aeronautics via designing and constructing remote control airplanes
Planing to design a total of 3 planes throughout the semester, the first one as a collaborative effort, and the last two as individual projects.
We will test a variety of aerodynamic designs and observe how they affect flight characteristics.

Essay questions on aeronatics (Celtic):

(Lo siento, pero acentos no muestran correctamente en este wiki. Sin embargo cuando haces clic en el botón de editar, debes ver todas las palabras con acentos.)

1. Escriba una descripción (por lo menos tres paginas) sobre la historia de aviación. (Incluye una cuenta de la polémica entre Brasil y otras países sobre quien merita crédito como la primera persona volar en una aeronave más pesada que aire.)

2. Da una visión general (por lo menos tres paginas) sobre las mejores sistemas encontradas en un avión comercial. Entonces da comparaciones entres estas sistemas y las de tu avión.

3. Me presenta un libro de aviación que has escogido. Quiero que tú lo leas. Entonces posiblmente tendre preguntas sobre él para ti.

Essay questions on aeronatics (Old Timer):

1. Propón un tema particular para un informe de tres paginas detro del campo de aviación. Después de recibir mi aprobación, puedes empezar a escribir.

Drew O'Neil

Part 1:
Learning about the Inquisition, specifically important figure heads in it, large scale executions/witch trials,
the hierarchical organization of the Inquisition, and the Malleus Maleficarum, written by Heinrich Kramer.

Essay questions on the Inquisition
Based on the book you brought into class, please respond thoughtfully to the following prompts. Make sure to make it clear anytime you opine or base part of an response on another source.

1. What motivated Ferran Martinez? Were his motives ulterior? Who, if anyone, opposed him?
2. Describe the history of the Jews in Spain. How does this history argue for or against the inflammatory remarks of people like Martinez?
3. What is the author's impression of Torquemeda, in terms of his ability, his influence on people, and the effects of this influence? What are the author's speculations, if any, regarding how medieval Spanish history would have been different if Torquemada had never been born? What do you think?
4. Compare and contrast the fates of the Moriscos Protestants, and Jews, as described by the author. Review the evidence put forth by the author, and give examples of where he makes subjective comments.
5. What is the author's view of modern Spanish scholarship concerning Columbus?
6. Write a short book review, as if you're a reviewer for a history magazine.

Part 2:
Trebuchet: history, physics, construction, and vicious tennis ball assault incoming.

Part 3:
Researching Rommel. Childhood, feelings on his position, Operation Valkyrie, death, etc.

Kyle Silver

Ancient Roman Stratagems, terminology, and History of Emperors.
Reading Tacitus' Annals to get a grounding in the history, and using old translations of battle cries, chants, battle logs, and tactics for translation and explanation.
Roman Timeline

Essay questions on ancient Rome:
1. Finish reading the Annals in its entirety (at least those books that have survived, of course). Write a detailed description of the work.

2. Consulting books written by at least five different modern historians who have analyzed The Annals, determine if there exists a general concensus on the work in general. In particluar, is there concensus on the overall historical accuracy of the work, Tacitus's motivations for writing it, the extent to which his work is biased, or his influence on future historians? Include a discussion of any other historical sources that tend to corroborate or contridict Tacitus's account. Be sure to cite your sources clearly, omitting personal opinion.

3. Discuss the lost books of the Annals, what they likely contained, what their loss means to our present understanding of ancient Rome, and how we know that they must have existed in the original work.

4. Describe briefly the focus of the Histories and its connection with the Annals.

5. Add a link to each entry in your timeline to a page that contains a breif description (at least a few sentences) of each event.


Rubik's Cube.ppt

ActionScript 3.0 (Flash) - Carlos Quintos
Migraines - Carlos Quintos
Savants - Carlos Quintos

Split Brain Syndrome -Connor project 2

Top Down Shooter (Dark GDK) - Milo
Side Scrolling Shooter "SHMUP" (Flash) - Milo

Psychology of "Evil" - Mt.Fumi and Connor

Time line - Mt.Fumi
Aum Shinrikyo - Mt. Fumi

Connect 4 - Ray
MIT OCW 8.01 physics - Ray

Mayan Culture -Ray and Connor

Zen Amp - The Bear Jew Z. McG, please submit something in writing that you wrote yourself, rather than an article.

Jazz - Trebor & The General

Black Hole Presentation - Ulysses & Maverick


Flash Pro-Carlos Quintos

Color Change Communication--Clarity

Dream Analysis (now done, basically) -Doc (rachel)
Synesthesia - Doc (rachel)

The Epimenides Paradox -Doc (rachel), part of "Philosophy Dialogues" post

The Command-line Interface - El Pato

Philosophy Dialogues- El Pato, Doc and Sweedler

Hypnosis - Ethan
Quantum mechanics- Ethan

Australia... mate -- HANNAHdrome

Conflicts in Sudan -- HANNAHdrome and Clarity
History of the Arab-Israeli conflict--Hannahdrome and Clarity

American Sign Language - Laura (Done)
Language and Thought- Laura
Language and Thought- Part Two -- Laura

ASL -Lauren
Footprints -Lauren
Son Preference -Lauren

Automobile Assembly Line - Leonardo

Stock Screening- Leonardo, El Pato (Ready)

Religion: Origins --Mad Mary and Hey Hey
Polytheism Cont . --Mad Mary and Hey Hey

Polytheism to Monotheism- A Rough Outline -- Mary and Anna Shea

OpenGL - Mostacolli and Fabian
OpenGL: Animating a Face - Mostacolli and Fabian
OpenGL: 3D Tick Tak Toe - Mostacolli and Fabian
OpenGL: 3D Graphing - Mostacolli and Fabian

Creating C++ Program Icons - Mostacolli

Economic Crisis Overview - Showtime
Objectivism - Showtime
Wolves - Showtime

Bushido- Sweedler
Ethics - Sweedler

Astrology Study - the Duchess
Censorship Debate Information - the Duchess
Esperanto - the Duchess
The Presence of Religion in Society: Why do People Believe in God? - the Duchess

The Science of Love - The Fonz >> COMPLETED - COME READ AND COMMENT! <<

Bioluminescence and Bacteria -Zita
Electric Grid (FINISHED!!!)-Zita
Iron - Zita