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Interesting Projects

Here you will find a number of interesting projects and activities that may spark your interest. Often, students enrolled in the program who are introduced to these projects find one (or more) very appealing and worthy of further investigation. You are encouraged to ask other students in the program and/or the program faculty to learn more about how you can get involved.

Online Lichen Herbarium/Database This site aims to assist fellow lichenologists and people of all professions, countries, and philosophies together to learn more about the program, its resources and the exciting world of lichens. Since coming to Maine in 1976, Steve Selva, Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, has established an active research program in lichenology that has focused on Using Lichens to Assess Ecological Continuity in Northeastern Forests and the taxonomy and ecology of Calicioid Lichens and Fungi in Northern New England and Maritime Canada. The University of Maine at Fort Kent's Lichen Herbarium (UMFK) houses the largest collection of lichens in Maine. It includes the largest collection of calicioid lichens and fungi in northeastern North America as well as the world's largest assemblage of lichens from the old-growth forests of northeastern North America's Acadian Forest Ecoregion. Field data for the entire collection is currently being downloaded into a comprehensive Lichen Database designed and implemented by Steve's colleague, Raymond Albert, Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Visitors may search the database online using several user-friendly interfaces.

Web-enabled Water Level Monitoring Project This site provides a current water sensor reading. The project consists of an embedded microprocessor used to capture sensor input and a web-enabled co-processor that acts as a server to display sensor readings. This student led project continues to evolve and flourish with additional components and sensors being used in each offering of COS 360. One such component is a Microsoft Agent (see below) alerter that silently "rests" in the background while continuously monitoring the water level. The agent come "alive" and speaks an alarm message to alert the desktop user that the water level has reached a critical threshold.

Alice v2.0 Alice v2.0 is the next major version of the Alice 3D Authoring system, from the Stage3 Research Group at Carnegie Mellon University.  Though not developed at UMFK, this project has sparked interest in program students who are particularly interested in virtual reality and are new to object-oriented programming. The graphical nature of the programming environment actually makes programming fun.

Web-enabled Agents Merlin (shown above) is one of several agents that can be added to desktop and web-based applications. Microsoft Agent® is a software technology that enables an enriched form of user interaction that can make using and learning to use a computer, easier and more natural. With the Microsoft Agent set of software services, developers can easily enhance the user interface of their applications and Web pages with interactive personalities in the form of animated characters. These characters can move freely within the computer display, speak aloud (and by displaying text onscreen), and even listen for spoken voice commands. When used effectively with a conversational interface approach, Microsoft Agent can be a powerful extension and enhancement of the existing interactive modalities of the Microsoft Windows® interface.

Last Updated on: May 3, 2005