Educational Infographics Using Gestural Hand Interactions

(2017) My capstone project for my undergraduate degree in New Media at The University of Maine.

This project was a two semester long endeavor in which I spent time researching learning habits and teaching techniques, conceptualizing an engaging lesson, designing and creating that lesson, deploying it in a classroom, and documenting the results. The goal of the project was to test if learner engagement and information retention increase when multiple different modes of learning are integrated into one lesson. Because so many students learn better in a more “hands-on” environment, my hypothesis was that a video lesson which requires physical engagement would increase the potential for education. Ideally, appealing to visual, audio, and kinesthetic learners would make lessons more suitable to all kinds of students.

I deployed this project in a 5th grade classroom with a pool of 38 students. I split the group evenly into two groups (I had the help of their teacher who made sure the groups were of equal academic ability). Group 1 used my lesson, and Group 2 learned the same material through a traditional worksheet (I created the worksheet, but the teacher edited it down to make sure it was at a 5th grade reading level). Both groups learned the same material, and took the same assessment. According to my hypothesis, Group 1 should have had higher scores. However, both groups scored an average of 66% on the quiz. Group 1 scored exactly .001% better than Group 2, and by that result, I was unable to confidently proclaim that my lesson increased retention of information. Regardless, since all of the students did get a chance to test my lesson, I can at least assert that there was an increased enthusiasm for learning (compared to the enthusiasm for the worksheet). The only criticism I got from the students was that there weren’t enough explosions for their taste.

This project runs on Processing (Java) and uses a Microsoft Kinect to trace hand movements. Coding was done in collaboration with Oliver Adams.

Dance Visualizer

(2016) An immersive three wall projection which captures the image of the user and plants it within animations that are synchronized to the music playing (D.A.N.C.E. by Justice).

This project uses Millumin to execute the projection mapping onto multiple surfaces.

Gearard’s Gear Table

(2016) A team collaboration between myself and Ruth Leopold. This is a prototype exhibit for the Children’s Discovery Museum in Bangor, Maine. Our audience was children between the ages of four and ten. The prototype we constructed is a gear puzzle with multiple solutions. The gears are color coded based on size, and are specific to the corresponding color rod on which they are placed. When the puzzle is completed, turning the system activates lights around the table that are programmed by an Arduino. All of the pieces of the puzzle are laser cut from plywood.

The Voyeur’s Box

(2016) An interactive wooden box resembling a door. The user looks through the keyhole and at an LCD projector within the box displaying one of 36 different bedrooms of strangers (friends and family of mine who agreed to participate). The light switch turns the display on and off. Each time it is turned on, it displays a new room.

The box was laser cut and laser engraved, and the light switch communicates with a computer via an Arduino Genuino Uno.

The goal of this project was to invite people to be judgmental and paint themselves a portrait of the individual whose room they were snooping around in. Rooms were messy, and rooms were clean. Rooms belonged to the old, and rooms belonged to the very young. Watching users cycle through and start remarking on how sloppy people were was the best result. It was my goal to get people to be voyeuristic- not necessarily in a sexual way, but in the same way curiosity makes you peer into someone’s house at night when they have their lights on and the drapes open.