Portfolio :: Main Projects

: This is a listing of my main projects. Please see PORTFOLIO - PUBLICATIONS for publications on these and other projects

 

 


Enhancing Learning of Audio Physics in Maker Spaces Through Augmented Reality

Part 1 of Making with Understanding NSF Grant

Purpose:

Postdoctoral Research
@ Harvard University

 
My Roles:
Project Lead,

Lead Researcher / Designer / Developer

 
Team: 9 people
 

Development:
C#, C++, Unity3D, Hololens

 

Topics:

augmented-reality

electronics
maker spaces

internet of things
education
collaborative learning

cognition

interaction techniques

mixed methods

user studies

This project explores how a new generation of maker spaces can be enhanced by augmented reality technologies, to create learning environments that enable making with understanding. Maker spaces and digital fabrication labs are synergistic environments where people learn STEM hard skills as well as 21st century soft skills such as collaboration, creativity, problem solving, etc. Maker space activities often involve multiple interrelated physical phenomena (e.g. the flow of electricity, the interaction of magnetic fields, the movement of air pressure waves, etc). In this project we use Microsoft Hololenses to show the invisible phenomena involved in audio-producing speakers. The research involves qualitative and quantitative analysis of collaborative learning captured through a variety of multimodal sensors (Kinect body sensors, physiological bracelets, eyetrackers). Creation of this system involved hardware and software development (C++, C#, Unity3D, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Python, Hololens).

 


Presentations
:

"Using Augmented Reality to Promote Making with Understanding" presentation at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), workshop on Applied Research on Immersive Environments for Learning. 2018

"Making with Understanding: The Invisible Physics of Sound Generating Speakers" presentation at the MIT Museum, part of the Cambridge Science Festival. 2018

Images:
    
 

 


 

 


Augmented Electronic Sensor Programming

Part 2 of Making with Understanding NSF Grant

Purpose:

Postdoctoral Research
@ Harvard University

 
My Roles:
Project Lead,

Lead Researcher / Designer

 
Team: 2 people
 

Development:
C#, C++, Unity3D, Hololens

 

Topics:

augmented-reality

electronics
maker spaces

internet of things
education
collaborative learning

cognition

interaction techniques

mixed methods

user studies

This project is also part of the NSF Making with Understanding grant, which explores how a new generation of maker spaces can be enhanced by augmented reality technologies. In this work we are developing electronic sensors integrated with augmented reality visualizations, in order to allow novice programmers to more easily understand and debug electronic systems that integrate spatially-distributed sensors and actuators. This work involves user research studies, and hardware and software development (C++, C#, Unity3D, Hololens, Arduino, Raspberry Pi).


[Currently in Development]



 

 


 

 

 


PBS KIDS Cyberchase Shape Quest

Using Augmented Reality for Elementary-School Mathematics Education

 

Purpose:

Contract Work

 

Team: 5 organizations
My Roles: Production Manager

and Lead Game Designer

 

Development:
C#, Unity3D

 

Topics:

augmented-reality

children

cognition

education

interaction techniques

user studies

I directed the design, research, and overall production of this educational augmented-reality app which contains 3 games. Help your animal friends return to their homes in this AR game, which uses a tablet’s camera to combine the real world with digital content. Travel through 5 different environments and apply spatial memory, visualization and modeling skills, while investigating, predicting, putting together and taking apart two- and three-dimensional shapes. But this isn’t a game to play just sitting on your couch! By using the camera on your tablet, plus the “AR” technology, you can play while moving your whole body around the gameboard. (Accolades: 500k+ downloads; Top 10 Educational Apps on iTunes Store; Webby Award 2014 Finalist, 2015 Honoree; iKids Award 2015 Finalist)

 

Official Homepage: PBS KIDS Cyberchase Shape Quest

Video: Cyber Chase Shape Quest video from user Julie on Vimeo

Publications:

 

[1] Radu, Iulian, Ellen Doherty, Kristin DiQuollo, Betsy McCarthy, and Michelle Tiu. "Cyberchase shape quest: pushing geometry education boundaries with augmented reality." In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, pp. 430-433. ACM, 2015.
[PDF]

 

[2] McCarthy, Betsy, Yvonne Kao, Iulian Radu, Sara Atienza, Michelle Tiu. “Iterative Design Process for Building a Successful Augmented Reality (AR) Game”. Games Learning and Society (GLS) Conference. Madison, USA. 2014
[PDF of related publication]

 

Images:

 

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Augmented Reality + Scratch

AR SPOT - A Tangible Programming Environment for Children

 

Team: 3 people
My Roles: Project Lead,

Lead Researcher / Designer / Developer

 

Development:
Smalltalk, C++, OpenCV

 

Purpose:

PhD. Research

 

 

Topics:

augmented-reality

children

education

cognition

hci
metaphors

user studies

AR Spot is the first augmented-reality authoring environment designed for children. An extension of MIT's Scratch project, this environment allows children to create games which are situated in the real world and controlled by physical interactions. The project explores how interaction metaphors can be used in an interface to match children's cognitive abilities with the capabilities of a complex technology. The project involves iterative system development and user studies.

 

Link:: Website (at GaTech Augmented Environments Lab)  

Video:

 

Publications:

 

[1] Radu, Iulian, Yan Xu, and Blair MacIntyre. "Embodied metaphor elicitation through augmented-reality game design." In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children, pp. 412-414. ACM, 2013.
[PDF]

 

[2] Radu, Iulian, and Blair MacIntyre. "Augmented-reality scratch: a children's authoring environment for augmented-reality experiences." In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC), pp. 210-213. ACM, 2009.
[PDF]


[3] Radu, Iulian, and Blair MacIntyre. “AR SPOT: Authoring Augmented-Reality Experiences through Scratch”. Scratch@MIT Conference. Boston, USA. 2010
[PDF of related publication]

Images:

 

     

 

 

 

 


Context-Responsive Objects

 

Purpose:

Personal Project

 

 

Team: 2 people

My Roles: Lead UX Designer, Lead Developer

 

Development:

C++, C#, Python, PHP

 

 

Topics:

electronics

prototyping

internet-of-things

gesture-control

With another colleague, I am developing a set of interactive objects that respond to their environment and each other. Some of these ambient artifacts are standalone, while others are Internet-of-Things enabled. I can’t say much because we are currently commercializing them.

 

 

 

Images:

 

      

 


Birthday Lasers

Purpose:

Personal Project

 

Team: myself

 

Development:
C Arduino

 

 

Topics:

electronics

prototyping

lasers

 

One of my friends likes lasers. I built this Arduino-based laser system which uses motor-mounted mirrors to create shapes from laser beams. The system can be controlled through gestures (using reflected light sensed by photoresistors) or through knobs. Shapes can be saved into non-volatile memory and can be replayed or edited later, or just enjoyed in a loop. This was built to be given away as a birthday gift.

 

Presentations:

- Presentation for Atlanta Freeside Technology Spaces (PPTX)

- Video (youtube)

 

Images:

 

  


Birthday Lightcube

 

Purpose:

Personal Project

 

Team: myself

 

Development:
C Arduino

 

 

Topics:

electronics

prototyping

 

This is my first experiment building a volumetric display. The cube has 256 lights arranged in a 4-layer lattice. It comes with several visualizations such as text scrolling and a variety of pulsing and blinking lights, which the user can control through a simple interface of knobs. Was built to be given away as a birthday gift.

 

 

 

Video:

- Photos and Video (GooglePlus)

 

 

Images:

 

        

 

 

 


PBS KIDS Prototyping Augmented Reality with Teachers

Involving Elementary-School Mathematics Teachers in the Design of AR Applications for Classrooms

Purpose:

Contract Work

 

Team: 2 organizations
My Roles: Research Management, Lead Developer

 

Development:
C#, Unity3D

 

Topics:

augmented-reality

children

education

prototyping

user-centered-design

 

 

In recent years, augmented reality applications for children’s entertainment have been gaining popularity, and educational organizations are increasingly interested in applying this technology to children’s educational games. In this research we collaborated with teachers in order to explore educational potential for AR technology for elementary-school classrooms. Through interviews, surveys and prototyping activities, this project investigated the topics of: What mathematics curriculum topics should technological innovations address in the Grade 1-3 classrooms? Which of the topics are suitable for AR games? And, how can we facilitate an efficient dialogue between educators and game designers?

 

 

Publications:

Radu, Iulian, Betsy McCarthy, Yvonne Kao. “Discovering educational augmented reality math applications by prototyping with elementary-school teachers.” In Virtual Reality 2016 Proceedings (VR), IEEE, 2016.
[PDF]

 

 

 


Handheld Augmented Reality Interaction Techniques for Children

Investigating Relationships Between Design, Usability and Child Development

 

Purpose:

My PhD. Research

 

Team: 12 people
My Roles: Project Lead,

Lead Researcher / Designer / Developer

 

Development:
C# Unity3D, Maya

 

Topics:

augmented-reality

children

cognition

developmental psychology

interaction techniques

mixed methods

user studies

This is an augmented reality game I have built as the main research instrument for my PhD research. It is a smartphone-based game for children aged 5-10 years old. Players take the role of a wizard which must collect a set of magical lemons to create magical items for their pets. Each level of the game is associated with a different AR interaction technique condition, and is followed by various mini-games in which children play with their pet. The system architecture allows data logging and replay/simulation of a child’s entire gameplay; log analysis and visualization tools are built on top of the logging layer to assist in quantitative analysis. The research employs qualitative and quantitative methods to determine the relationships between children’s age, developmental skills, and usability of different AR designs.

 

Publications:

 

[1] Radu, Iulian, Blair MacIntyre, and Stella Lourenco. "Comparing children’s crosshair and finger interactions in handheld augmented reality: relationships between usability and child development" In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children. ACM, 2016.
[PDF]

 

[2] Radu Iulian. “Exploring the Usability of Augmented Reality Interaction Techniques During Children’s Early Elementary-School Years”. Doctoral Thesis. Georgia Institute of Technology, 2016

Images:

 

 

    

   

 

 

 

 


Puppy Plus:

Augmented Mathematics using Tangibles

Purpose:

For My PhD Research

 

Team: 5 people

My Roles: Project Lead,

Lead Researcher / Designer / Developer

 

Development:

C#, Unity3D, Maya

 

Topics:

augmented-reality

children

education

game design

hci

Through this Android-based AR math game, children 6-8 practice basic mathematics skills through familiar physical interactions. In the game, children manipulate physical game pieces in order to feed a hungry puppy the amount of food it desires on its virtual island. With this project we are exploring design of multi-marker augmented-reality experiences suitable for elementary math classrooms.

 

 

Images:

 

      

 



Sound-Reactive Mesh Morphing

Explorations in Real-time Mesh Generation in Unity3D

 

Purpose:

Personal Project

 

Team: myself

 

Development:
C# Unity3D

 

 

Topics:

music visualization

 

 

This is my exploration of generating and morphing 3D meshes. The meshes react to Fast-Fourier Transform analysis of real-time music. Current plans are to create a variety of shapes and place them in the user’s environment using augmented reality.

 

 

 

Images:

 

    

 


 


Bacteria Snap

An Augmented-Reality Game for Teaching Cell Biology

Purpose:

For My PhD Research

 

Team: 2 people

My Roles: Project Lead,

Lead Researcher / Designer / Developer

 

Development:
Argon AR Browser, JavaScript, CSS

 

Topics:

augmented-reality

children

education

interaction techniques

 

This game was built to test children’s ability to use different handheld augmented reality interaction techniques, and also to teach children about biology. Children learn about bacteria and antibodies through the matching of shapes. Traditionally performed within the confirms of the computer monitor, this simulation of cellular mechanics exists in the real world at a larger-than-microscopic scale. Although the interaction is physically-oriented, the interactions of the viruses and antibodies focused the learner’s attention on a simplified version of chemical bonding. This game was built on an early version of the ARGON AR browser (http://argon.gatech.edu)

 

Presentations:

Presented at the USA Science and Engineering Festival 2012

 

Images:

 

     

 

 

 


Mountain Rescue

An Augmented-Reality Game for Animal Ecology

Purpose:

For My PhD Research

 

Team: 2 people

My Roles: Project Lead,

Lead Researcher / Designer / Developer

 

Development:
Argon AR Browser, JavaScript, CSS

 

Topics:

augmented-reality

children

education

interaction techniques

user studies

This game was built to test children’s ability to use different handheld augmented reality interaction techniques, and also to teach children about ecology. Children learn about ecological systems and animal habitats. The players are tasked with delivering lost animals to their preferred habitat. Virtual critters make for a much safer learning experience than real, wild animals! This game was built on an early version of the ARGON AR browser (http://argon.gatech.edu)

 

Presentations:

Presented at the USA Science and Engineering Festival 2012

 

Images:

 

       

 

 

 






 

 


Spinspace + Spintopia:

Studying Handheld-AR Interaction Techniques through Games

Purpose:

For My PhD Research

 

Team: 2 people
My Roles: Project Lead,

Lead Researcher / Designer / Developer

Development:
C#, Unity3D

Topics:
augmented-reality
children
interaction techniques
game design
hci

In these two handheld augmented-reality games, children construct 3D structures using different interaction techniques on a phone touchscreen. Through interactions such as pushing buttons on a touchscreen, drawing tracks with their finger, or moving and rotating 3D objects, children construct 3D spirographs in Spinspace and interactive drawings in Spintopia. These games are part of an exploration of interaction techniques suitable for elementary-school children.

 

Resources:

 



Embodied Education Through Transparent Displays:

Exploring an Educational Application of Transparent Display Technology

Purpose:

Internship Project

 

Team: 5 people
(led by myself)

Development:
Java, PHP, SQL, Flash, C++

Topics:
transparent displays

whole-body interaction

education

In this project, we explored the use of transparent displays for embodied learning. Children played a co-located game by standing on opposite sides of a transparent display. The game responded to body motions, and required communication and collaboration in order to complete.

 

 

 

 

 


 


PingPress:

iPhone-based Experience-Sampling Diary Tool

Team: 5 people
(led by myself)

Development:
(coded by myself)
iOS Objective-C, PHP, SQL

Purpose:
Research Project

Topics:
augmented-reality
hci
iPhone
user studies

This platform allows the execution of ESM (Experience Sampling Method) diary studies on the iPhone. It was designed for performing a series of qualitative studies investigating the future of mobile augmented reality. The system is robust enough to be used for a variety of diary-based studies. A backend server component periodically sends questions to participants who respond using an iPhone application. The application captures a variety of media and transfers participant data to a website, where researchers can manage and aggregated data.

 

 


 


 


Thought Play:
Studying Cognition Through Augmented-Reality Interaction

Team: Myself

Development:
C++, OpenGL

Purpose:
Personal Project

Topics:
augmented-reality
cognition
hci

This is an augmented-reality 3D brainstorming system. It is my second AR project, intended to serve as a starting platform for exploring the relationship between cognition and embodied action. In a real-world space accessed via a Wii controller, the user can place objects which represent mental concepts. Concepts can be linked together, and groups/hierarchies can be created. This knowledge space can be further explored through interactions such as moving into/out-of concepts, and interacting with concepts to see causal effects.

 

Publication:

I. Radu. ThoughtPlay: Studying Cognition Through Augmented-Reality Interaction. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Design Computing and Cognition Conference, Atlanta, GA. June 2008.

 

Resources: [DCC08 poster (PDF)]  [video (MPG, 53.8MB)]


 


 


AR Twist:

Architectural Construction in Augmented-Reality

Team: Myself

Development:
C++, OpenGL

Purpose:
Personal Project

Topics:
augmented-reality
hci

This system is an architectural tool for constructing 3D environments in real-world spaces using a pointing device. This was my first Augmented-Reality project, and it involved experimentation with AR interaction techniques, such as multi-scale visualization and live modification of 3D shapes.

 

Resources

:   [video1 (MOV 13.8MB)]    [video2 (AVI 12.0MB)]

 

 


 


 


Visualizing Academic Research

Team: 3 people
(led by myself)

Development:
Java, Processing

Purpose:
Class Project
(Information Visualization)

Topics:
hci
info-visualization

This is a system for visualizing academic activity and collaborations between research institutions. The system aggregates publications from the ACM Digital Library, and provides interactive visualization of institutions publication activity (in terms of publication counts, conference venues, and references made between institutions).

 

Resources

:   [project report (PDF)]   [video (WMV, 16.8MB)]

 

 


 


 


Second-Mind:

Believable Character Authoring & Execution Environment

Team: 4 people

Development:
No implementations.

Purpose:
PhD. Research

Topics:
artificial-intelligence
cognition
hci
user studies

SecondMind is an environment for creating intelligent virtual characters. The system is composed of an AI backend for generation of intelligent character behaviors, and a UI frontend through which users demonstrate behaviors and program character personalities. I was part of the initial team of graduate students which developed the concept for this system through iterative high level design, use case development, and user studies.

 

Publications:

C. Lacey, M. Mehta, I. Radu, A. Jain. "Creating Behavior Authoring Environments for Everyday Users". In the 2009 International Conference on Computer Games, Multimedia and Allied Technology. Singapore. May 2009. 

C. Lacey, I. Radu, M. Mehta. "Second Mind: A Wiki Environment for Authoring Virtual Characters". Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Computing Symposium, Atlanta, USA, May 2008. (People's Choice Second Prize Winner)

 

Resources[CGMAT Publication (PDF)]


 


 


ACE:
An Intelligent Open-Learning Environment for Mathematics

Team: 2 people

Development:
Java, SPSS

Purpose:
Undergrad Research (NSERC USRA)

Topics:
artificial-intelligence
children
cognition
hci
user studies

ACE is an intelligent tutoring environment for teaching high-school mathematics. The system models users through a Bayesian network and adapts its behavior to maximize student learning. My work on the existing project involved developing new functionality and utility tools, conducting a user study at a local high-school, performing associated data analysis and interface improvements.

 

Resources:   [study report (DOC)]

 

 


 


 


NEMOS:
Service Architecture for Mobile Lightweight Devices

Team: Myself

Development:
Java, WSDL, RDF

Purpose:
Undergrad Research (NSERC USRA)

Topics:
artificial intelligence
cognition
hci
networking
systems

This is a platform for coupling the paradigms of Web Services and Mobile Agents. It is an extension of my honors thesis project, the NEMO infrastructure, to allow mobile agents to make use of Web 2.0 network services. This infrastructure permits network resources to be semantically annotated, such that agents can intelligently perform tasks in the network. A knowledge management interface and visual-programming environment were also developed as part of this project.

 

Publications:

Iulian Radu, Son T. Vuong. NEMOS: Mobile-Agent Based Service Architecture for Lightweight Devices. International WorldComp Conference: Semantic Web and Web Services. Las Vegas, USA. July 2007.

Iulian Radu. S. T. Vuong: Mobile Agent Service-Oriented Architectures. BC-NET Conference. Vancouver, Canada. April 2007. (Poster-session Second Prize Winner)

 

Resources:   [SWWS07 paper (PDF)]


 


 


GODIS:
Ontology-Based Resource Discovery and Integration in Grids

Team: 2 people

Development:
OWL, RDF

Purpose:
Personal Project

Topics:
cognition
networking

This is a theoretical architecture for semantic resource sharing and discovery over large-scale P2P networks. The paper proposes an algorithm for sharing knowledge between network communities. Knowledge is composed of interconnected RDF ontologies whose construction and access is facilitated by a distributed-hash-table infrastructure.

 

Publications:

Juan Li, Iulian Radu, Son T. Vuong. GODIS: Ontology-Based Resource Discovery and Integration in Grids. IASTED Conference: Parallel and Distributed Computing Systems, Dallas, USA, November 2006.

 

Resources:   [PDCS06 paper (PDF)]


 


 


NEMO:

Mobile Agents for Lightweight Devices

Team: Myself

Development:
Java, J2ME

Purpose:
Undergrad Research (Honors Thesis)

Topics:
artificial intelligence
cognition
hci
networking
systems

NEMO is a mobile-agent system for lightweight JavaME devices. The system included a common agent infrastructure, as well as a visual debugging and simulation interface. Its application was resource search and discovery over mobile phone Bluetooth networks. The system was deployed on Nokia 6650 phones.

 

Resources:   [demo slides (PPT)]

 

 


 


 


Motion Fields of Burning Man:

Vision Tracking Algorithm

Team: Myself

Development:
Processing

Purpose:
Personal Project

Topics:
computer vision
experimentation

My first experiment with computer vision. Motion Fields of Burning Man was the vision of a project to be deployed on the festival playa. A network of distributed light-emitting robots would modify its appearance in response to sensing beings (detected through thermal or visual sensors), and produce visually stimulating environments. Only the motion-tracking portion of this project was ultimately built.

 

Resources:   [video (MOV 7.5MB)]


 


 


YANA
Yet Another Network Analyser

Team: 3 people
(led by myself)

Development:
C, Python

Purpose:
Personal Project (started from class on Advanced Networking)

Topics:
networking
systems

YANA is a web-based network mapping system. A web server operates as a network trace utility which determines the route to all visitors to its website, and calculates the bandwidth of each link along that route. The routes are then aggregated into an online-accessible graph which displays the local network topology.

 

Resources:   [project report (DOC)]


 


 


XEN Virtualization Network Control

Team: Myself

Development:
Java, C

Purpose:
Class Project (Virtualization)

Topics:
networking
systems

This project involved modification of the VMWare networking device drivers to function as a network monitor and firewall. The modification allowed the drivers to send information to a remote administrator machine, which would monitor and control any network traffic of the virtual machine client. The VMWare drivers were written in C, while the administration software was a network visualization built in Java.

 

Resources:   [project report (DOC)]


 


 


IULOS
Personal Operating System

Team: Myself
(suggested team size was 3 people)

Development:
Assembly x86, C

Purpose:
Class Project (Advanced OS Architectures)

Topics:
operating systems

My personal OS is a multi-threaded operating system capable of memory management, process scheduling and input/output device simulation. I developed this system on my own as a class project, and later extended it to have a simulated disk file system and keyboard console.

 

Resources:   N/A

 

 


 


 


Metaphorical Microblogging:

Visualizing Twitter through Nature Metaphors

Team: 3 people
(led by myself)

Development:
(coded by myself)
Java, Processing, SQL

Purpose:
Internship

Topics:
hci
metaphors
microblogging
info-visualization

In this project, we explored how existing microblogging systems (such as Twitter and Yammer) can be visualized metaphorically, and what effect this has on user emotions and exploratory behaviors. The system performed statistical and emotional analysis on microblogging data, presented users with a metaphorical visualization, and allowed users to interact with the data through the metaphor.

 

Resources: In Publication (Currently N/A)

 

 


 


 


Recycling Rangers:

Improving Recycling Behavior of Middle-School Children

Team: 4 people
(led by myself)

Development:
Flash, PHP, SQL

Purpose:
Class Project (Human-Centered Interaction)

Topics:
children
hci
user studies

This system is an online virtual world designed to increase recycling behaviors of middle-school children. This class project proceeded through a user-centered design process, involving contextual analysis, design of multiple alternatives, implementation, and evaluation/analysis.

 

Resources: [project report (PDF)]

 

 


 


 


Experiments:
Flash Programming

Team: Myself

Development:
Flash

Purpose:
Personal Project

Topics:
experimentation

While learning Adobe Flash programming in my spare time in 2006, I created these interactive animations.

 

Resources:   [exp1: circular splash]   [exp2: line generator]

 

 


 


 


Experiments:
3D modeling

Team: Myself

Development:
Bryce3D, Photoshop

Purpose:
Personal Project

Topics:
experimentation

While learning 3D modeling in my spare time, I created these images using Bryce3D.

 

Resources:   [images site]

 

 


 


 


Invisible Network Bridge

Team: Myself

Development:
C

Purpose:
Personal Project

Topics:
networking
systems

I programmed a network bridge software to connect two network media in my home network (10BaseT and 100VG). The software operated on a dedicated 'silent' computer and contained packet monitoring and filtering capabilities.

 

Resources:   [architecture spec (PPT)]

 

 


 


 


Personal HTTP and FTP Web Servers

Team: Myself

Development:
Pascal

Purpose:
Personal Project

Topics:
networking
systems

During my early days of learning about networking TCP and UDP from RFC documents (2000-2005), I programmed simple HTTP and FTP servers in Turbo Pascal which I hosted on my homepage.

 

Resources:  N/A