This is a project idea for an Honours student or similar. Please contact me if you’d like to follow this up.
I’ve been having fun with arduino boards lately; these are small single chip development boards which have input output lines that can read sensors and control motors etc. They are programmed in Wiring which is really C with some sugar and libraries added. I’ve been thinking that the arduino would make a nice platform to stimulate some interest in beginning programmers as a break from the usual run of problems that we set them. This project would focus on developing a set of exercises suitable for a first or second programming class (I’m thinking COMP125) to develop some of the ideas explored there (data structures, simple algorithms) in a concrete context. Part of the project would be building a suitable platform (I fancy a Blimpduino) and then perhaps evaluating the use of the platform with real live first year students.
I have a PhD scholarship available for a project in applying Semantic Web technologies (RDF, Sparql, Annotea) to the Linguistic Annotation problem. Here’s an outline:
Shared collaborative distributed annotation using semantic web technologies.
The Semantic Web augments the current Web with machine-processable information enabling humans and machines to work in cooperation; in our context, we are using it as the basis of a linguistic annotation system that is used by language researchers to annotate language resources. This project will look at the issues raised when we allow many people to collaborate on authoring these annotations and making shared annotations available to a community of researchers. This crosses a number of existing areas of research including the semantic web and social computing, and extends the range of interactions available to researchers over the web.
Of course, as usual there is scope for variation on this theme, if you’re interested in this problem space and want to pursue a PhD in Australia, please get in touch. The scholarship is open to Australians and International students.
Update: Unfortunately this scholarship is no longer available, however Macquarie does have an active scholarships program and from time to time new scholarships are available that could cover this research area. Please check the Macquarie scholarships page for current details and feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss options.