Here are my Honours Projects for 2008.

IMPORTANT: Please come and see me regarding any project you intend doing before selecting that project.

Current Projects: > Adaptive Parameter Control for Complex User Interfaces
  > Developmental Modelling with Generalised Cylinders
  > Computational Models of Artistic Creativity
Past Projects:

Honours Projects 2007
Honours Projects 2006
Honours Projects 2005
Honours Projects 2004
Honours Projects 2003

Adaptive Parameter Mapping for Complex User Interfaces (12 or 24-pts)
Jon McCormack
Project-id: McCormack-PMap

Creative software applications, such as virtual music synthesisers have complex user interfaces, often with hundreds of parameters to control (see this for example). The user manipulates these parameters in order to control the software. This approach has several problems: the user must learn a complex interface; there are too many parameters to control at once; it is difficult to judge the state of the system in the visual field; interpolation between different parameter sets is very difficult. The aim of this project is to investigate new forms of adaptive interfaces, where manipulation of one parameter changes many different parameters in a coherent way. Approaches to be considered would include the use of techniques such as MDS. Another approach is to represent points in parameter space using Voronoi diagrams. The interface should be able to dynamically adapt based on feedback from the user of the system.


Developmental Modelling with Generalised Cylinders (12 or 24-pts)
Jon McCormack
Project-id: McCormack-GC

Generalised cylinders are a geometric modelling method, originally developed for use in computer vision. For this project we wish to apply them to the modelling of organic structures for computer graphics. The basic principle for creating a generalised cylinder is to define a series of cross-sectional profiles, possibly of varying shape and size, and distribute them over some continuous curve, known as the carrier curve. The cross-sections are connected to form a continuous surface. Sounds easy, but there are a number of important issues that need to be addressed to ensure that the geometry defined by the cylinder is legal (i.e. can be rendered). Constructing compound surfaces is very useful for modelling organic structures such as branches, leaves, tentacles, veins, shells, etc., as this image (below) illustrates. The image is procedurally generated using generalised cylinders.

Model created using generalised cylinders The challenge for this project will be to create a software system to assist in the automated construction of such models using generalised cylinders. The system will also have to deal with managing geometric complexity and geometric output in a variety of formats (e.g. real-time, offline rendering). The software for the project should be written in C++ and OpenGL. You should have successfully completed CSE3313 Computer Graphics (or equivalent) in order to work on this project.

Preliminary Reading:
McCormack, J. 2004, Generative Modelling with Timed L-Systems, in Gero, J.S. (ed) Design Computing and Cognition '04, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht. pp. 157-175. (Hargrave Library reference: H 620.00420285 I61.4D 2004)

Prusinkiewicz, P., L. Mündermann, R. Karwowski & B. Lane 2001, The Use of Positional Information in the Modeling of Plants. Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 2001 (Los Angeles, California, August 12-17). In Computer Graphics (Proceedings) Annual Conference Series, ACM SIGGRAPH, pp. 289-300.

Mech, R., P. Prusinkiewicz & J. Hanan 1997, 'Extensions to the Graphical Interpretation of L-Systems Based on Turtle Geometry', Technical Report, No. 1997-599-01, April 1, 1997. University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta Canada.

Computational Models of Artistic Creativity (24-pts)
Jon McCormack
Project-id: McCormack-Creative

Can a machine make something that we would consider art? This project will investigate models of artistic creativity, ideally culminating in a software program that can produce "novel and appropriate" artistic results. There have been many famous models and programs that supposedly demonstrate creativity (e.g. Harold Cohen's AARON). The project will require understanding in a number of domains: philosophy, computer science, fine art. You don't have to know about all these areas to do the project, but you'll need to be open to finding out more about them in relation to the project.

Preliminary Reading:
J. McCormack: Facing the Future: Evolutionary Possibilities for Human-Machine Creativity, in P. Machado and J. Romero (eds.) The Art of Artificial Evolution: A Handbook on Evolutionary Art and Music, pp. 417-451, Springer, 2008
J. McCormack: Open Problems in Evolutionary Music and Art, in F. Rothlauf et al. (eds), Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol 3449 [Proceedings of Applications of Evolutionary Computing, (EvoMUSART 2005), Lausanne, Switzerland, 30 March - 1 April 2005], Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany, ISSN: 0302-9743 & ISBN: 3-540-25396-3, pp 428-436.