Is what makes my world go 'round!! Below I've listed the research projects
I've done for courses, as a summer intern, etc.
Senior Design Project
This is the big one. Either I pull this off and wow everyone, or I go out
in one hell of a flaming big bang. Count on the former. As the project
progresses, I'll put up more information. For now, I'll just describe it
briefly: the project will demonstrate a robotics technology that can be used
to construct robotic arms or bodies that have no rigid
parts and are flexible about any axis
at any point along their length. In addition,
robotic parts based this design could change their diameter at various
locations in order to suit the application. The device involves materials,
mechanical, electronic, and programming challenges to complete construction
and control. Control will most likely have to be neural network implemented
in software. Applications include medical (endoscopes that can more effectively
navigate within the patient's body) and many industrial uses.
- Diagnostics for Electron-Cyclotron Resonance SiO2 Deposition Plasmas.
This was a pair of projects I conducted this summer at the
ERC for Plasma-Aided
Manufacturing at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison. My
microwave interferometry results will be published in the next few
- Using the lux gene as a reporter to examine the effects of
ultrasound on E. coli bacteria.
This is an independant research collaboration between Swarthmore professors
Vollmer (Biology) and
E. Carr Everbach (Engineering) that has employed several students. I
performed a chunk of the research and some of the equipment design.
- Robot Wars
This is a bit silly, but fun... A number of the young, lusty men and women
of the Swarthmore College IEEE chapter are planning on entering the 1997
Robot Wars competition, wherin remote-controlled and autonomous robots duel
to the death in a vicious melee...
Since nearly every science and engineering course involves a
research project, I have research and/or design experience in a large number
of fields. The coolest of these are listed below.
- Ablation of the posterior lateral line primordia results in decreased neuromast generation in zebrafish embryos
For my seminar in Developmental Neurobiology, Sarah Wise '96 and I examined the
effect of the removal of this particular group of cells on the development of
the lateral line sensory system of Brachydanio rerio. Probably the most
ludicrously difficult of the projects I've tried to do for any class.
- Examination of the Magnetorheological Properties of Commercial Ferrofluids
I was intrigued when I read about Ferrofluids in Scientific American a
few years ago. So when my materials science class came along, I decided to
do my research into the bizarre property these liquids have of increasing their
viscosity in the presence of a magnetic field.
- Examination of adaptability to axial loading conditions of Helianthus annuus
My goal was to see if trees would exhibit phenotypic plasticity in response to
axial mechanical loading; theoretically, future tree farms could produce stronger wood
(and faster growth) through a combination of environmental and genetic manipulations,
thus producting a superior product and sparing forests. Unfortunately, the time
scope of the course limited me to a faster growing plant: the sunflower.
- Application of Neural Network Algorithms to Graphical Edge Detection
This was my final project for
Engineering 21: Computer Graphics
I implemented the algorithm described by my neuroscience textbook; it worked beautifully.
Follow the link (when available) to see the cool pictures that resulted...
Some of the projects are I've done for class don't really qualify
as full-scale research, but were instructive and/or amusing nonetheless.
Evan's Research/ Evan Dorn, Swarthmore College/ email@example.com
- Neural Network Control of a Simple Mechanical System
For my control theory class, I took a simple servo/flywheel/tachometer system
that we'd used to demonstrate discrete feedback loops and wrote a
couple of very simple neural nets and a stochastic training algorithm,
plugged it in in the basement of Engineering Hall, and let it train itself
overnight. It was a lot smarter than I expected...
Sat Oct 26 21:54:42 EDT 1996