MSc Project Ideas
Please Note: These are idea 'stubs' it is up to you to realise these projects, I am more than happy to help with the requirements of analysis, but it's up to you to do the rest.
The Psychogeography Toolkit
Psychogeography is defined as the "the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals." One of the typical approach is to draw a large circle at random on a map, and travel along that circle, commenting on what you see, what you hear, how it feels, (e.g. look at the metal drains, are there dates on them? look at shapes of the buildings, and how the telephone wires and electricity wires snake around them, etc.). This project will seeks develop a random route generator (circular), and create a means by which the experiences can be recorded, photographed, etc. and automatically formed into a webpage.
Mobile Phone Usage Detection
This project is in the field of computer vision, and seeks to build a prototype system to detect if car drivers are using their mobile phones while driving. The initial system will use pictures of people in a controlled environment, seated and either using a phone or not (some may be scratching their nose, or resting their head on their arm), and a classification will occur. Following this a glass pane will be placed in front of the test cases to add further verisimilitude to the tests.
The Heraclitus Mosiac
The great pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus is said to have written one of the most important philosophical books that mankind ever produced. Unfortunately, no copies of this book survive, but what does is about 100 fragments from the book quoted in other sources. Today's philosophers each have their own views on how these fragements fits together and what the themes of Heraclitus' book were. This project seeks to create a database of these quotes that is queriable on the basis of a word or theme and presents the relevant quotes. Additionally this tool should allow a user to group quotes together based on their own views of how the fragements link together into chapters, and explore the quotes (a la http://tcup.currentform.com/explore.php). Would require a student willing to study 2500 year old philosophy with good database and user interface design skills, and an ability to discuss issues such are information represention, data storage, etc.
The Shakespeare Apocrypha is the name given to a group of plays (e.g. Sir Thomas More, Cardenio, and The Birth of Merlin) that have sometimes been attributed to William Shakespeare, but whose attribution is questionable for various reasons. Using Stylistic statistical-based metrics, e.g. Zipf anaylsis, Sentence Length, Sentence structure, words used, tense, infrequent n-gram occurances, active vs. passive voice, etc. and the development of other suitable metrics as part of the project, similarities will be measured between the canonical tales and the apocryphical ones.
Other similar projects include comparing each of the following pairs;
|Dean Moriary's dialogue from On the Road||Neal Cassady's The First Third (since Dean is based on Cassady)|
|Ian McEwan's Atonement||Lucilla Andrews' No Time for Romance|
|The Canterbury Tales||The Decameron|
|Helen Keller's The Frost King||Margaret T. Canby's The Frost Fairies|
|Alex Haley's Roots||Harold Courlander's The African|
|Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code||Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh's The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail|
|James Cameron's The Terminator script||Harlan Ellison's two episodes of The Outer Limits - "Soldier" and "Demon with the Glass Hand"|
This project will focus particularly on kinematics (measurement of the movement of the body in space) using simple computer vision techniques to identify polynominal splines and create a "stickman" figure which can be overlayed beside the original actor using augmented reality techniques.
This project focuses on developing a computer simulation of a panopticon in the style of the Grangegorman simulation. A panopticon is an idea for the architecture of a prison to explore the nature of power, designed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham (and cited by French philosopher Michel Foucault), that allows jailers to observe all prisoners without the prisoners being able to tell whether they are being watched.
NewSpeak Text Filter (and Translator?)
In 1947 Eric Arthur Blair wrote a novel called "The Last Man in Europe", the title of which was changed to 1984 and the author's name to George Orwell. It became one of the most aclaimed novels of the 20th century.
One of themes of 1984 was that the government was simplifying the English language (both vocabulary and grammar) to remove any words or possible constructs which describe the ideas of freedom and rebellion. This new language is called Newspeak and is described as being "the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year". In an appendix to the novel Orwell included an essay about it, and the basic principles of the language are explained.
The objective of this project is develop a text filter that will take in normal text, and convert it into Newspeak. An initial system will simply change the words in the text to their equivalent in Newspeak, e.g.
"bad", "poor", "lame" all become "ungood"
child", "children", "boy", "girl" become "young citizens"
"quite", "rather", "kind of", "kinda" become "plus"
Like these programs;
From there the next stage is to investigate the more fundemental translation process, whereby the grammar and structure of the text is changed to the style as outlined by Orwell.
As an aside;