College Projects | Olin College of Engineering
For a Materials Science course, my team made superconducting material. We ordered Yttrium Oxide, Barium Carbonate, and Cupric Oxide powders and performed ceramic processing: calcination, firing, sintering, and oxygen annealing. We successfully demonstrated the effect with liquid nitrogen and levitated a magnet - see the video here.
For a Principles of Engineering course my sophomore year, our team designed and implemented a persistence-of-vision effect with LED lights on a fan blade. I wrote a Python simulation that took an input image file and computed which LED lights should be on at what time. I then wrote the microcontroller code from scratch in C to set output pins based on a look-up-table generated by my Python script. A magnet and Hall-effect sensor are used to determine the speed of rotation. Teammates designed the physical layout, designed circuits, and laser-cut parts. see the video here.
For a Mobile Development course, I thought it would be fun to use a smartphone's accelerometer and GPS to determine velocity when driving in a car. I wrote an Android app that played different music based on speed, and after some calibration, it worked. It is surprisingly fun to hear tranquil music at a stoplight lurch upwards to a fast techno song going onto the highway.
For a Principles of Engineering course my sophomore year, a teammate and I made a circuit / wrote microcontroller code to use a potentiometer as a video game controller. I found a random open source game and altered the code to read from our project over USB. I thought it would be fun to use the rotating potentiometer to rotate your character in the game, and it was - see the video here
For a Computer Architecture course, our team developed an effects pedal. We wrote the logic in Verilog, using a block of memory as a circular buffer for a delay effect. We created a prototype with a Nexys FPGA board. Pictured: Logan Dethrow demos the project with his bass.
For a Computer Architecture course, a teammate and I created a working CPU in Verilog. It is a Harvard architecture processor with an ALU and registers. It implements a MIPS-like instruction set including load word, store word, add, subtract, set less than, xor immediate, no-op, jump, jump register, and branch not equal.
For a Modeling and Controls course my freshman year, our team created a "voder" (speech synthesizer) in MATLAB and Simulink. We recorded our voices and measured the formant frequencies, then developed Simulink models of second order oscillating systems that could "say" vowels.