Archive for the ‘Classwork’ Category

RE:Public for Google Android

Posted on the May 9th, 2008 under Android,Classwork by

RE:Public was a prototype mobile social network program I co-developed in Hal Abelson’s Android development class with Irene Duke and Robert Rudd.  It was a rather large project that was packed with ideas and features, and was a ton of fun to develop.   RE:Public made it to the top 100 applications out of over 1700 submissions entered in Google’s Android Design Challenge 1, but did not make it to the top 50.  Nonetheless, we received a lot of praise and encouragement from both Hal Abelson and Rich Miner, one of the fathers of the Android platform.

Here’s the YouTube video of our final presentation that is quite self-explanatory:

Here’s a scan of the article in the Popular Science magazine about our class:

The Popular Science article about RE:Public

Software Business class at Sloan

Posted on the December 9th, 2007 under Business,Classwork,Sloan,Software by

This was yet another great class I took at Sloan with the wonderful and famous professor Michael Cusumano.  We had a ton of great invited speakers, and I have learned a lot about the software business. For the mid-term presentation, I collaborated with a team of (mostly) software managers and talked about the psychological aspects of software development and managing international teams. For the final presentation, I got together with a bunch of very bright classmates and we wrote a paper analyzing the mobile software market — well, this was just before Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android have started turning things around. Our report was the only one in the class that earned an A 😎

Global Software Engineering Methods and Delivery

The Future of Mobile Software

New Enterprises class at Sloan

Posted on the May 9th, 2007 under Business,Classwork,Sloan by

New Enterprises was a class I took at Sloan School of Management, taught by Professor Noubar Afeyan.  This class was on the subject of starting and running a business.  It had a lot of emphasis on venture capital, which is unsurprising because Professor Afeyan is one of the partners at Flagship Ventures.  Its other focus was on writing business plans.

I collaborated with a “Sloanie” (Justin Ashton) to develop a business plan for an online fashion magazine called Stylus.  It was not my top choice of a project either, but I was in it to learn. The magazine was a photo-heavy online affair with direct links to online stores where one could immediately purchase the clothes they liked.  We also wanted to create forums split along the lines of different subcultures of fashion, where stylists would hang out and dispense advice.

We had some ambitious plans for making it a tool for collecting demographics, conducting market research for new lines of clothes, and generating buzz for clothing lines from new designers. For the second phase, we planned to add in-house marketplace functionality to the magazine, where we would handle purchases, while leaving warehousing and shipping to the participating designer labels and factories. We have produced a thorough business plan and a flashy end-of-semester presentation. Feel free to take a peek at them below.

Stylus pitch

Stylus business plan

Financial Model

Financial model supplemental

Revenue Model

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Embodied Intelligence

Posted on the May 13th, 2002 under Artificial Intelligence,Classwork by

This was a class by Rod Brooks that dealt with programming artificial intelligence for computing agents existing in a larger environment, and equipped with sensors and actuators. It was a class full of fascinating lectures and interesting homeworks. For the final project, I have foregone the default choice of making a dumb little robot, and instead did something I always wanted to try: I tried evolving a genetic algorithm-based artificial intelligence for a multiplayer game bot.  I did this within a framework of one of the most popular online games of all time:  Valve Software’s Counter-Strike.  To simulate artificial living organisms, I augmented a bunch of Counter-Strike player clients with “vision” and “control” interfaces, and spent a week in the lab breeding increasingly more sophisticated bots by pitting them in matches against one another. In the end, of course, the open-endedness and the complexity of the game made it hard to create a truly intelligent bot, but the evolutionary system did make a lot of progress towards achieving the goals of the game.

Considerable difficulty in the implementation of this class project stemmed from the fact that the architecture of Counter-Strike 1.6, the game, was never designed to allow anything remotely like bot AI programming.  I had to learn and use the Half-Life SDK and some third-party tools, and integrate it with my genetic algorithm breeding system.   I think the total development time was about two weeks, and I really felt like I accomplished a lot in that time.

Counter-Strike AI Project Report

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RON Simulator in NS

Posted on the November 11th, 2001 under Classwork by

This was a class project for the graduate Computer Networks class at MIT, taught by my advisor, Prof. Hari Balakrishnan. Working with Todd Nightingale, I integrated Dave Andersen’s Resilient Overlay Network codebase in C++ with the NS-2 network simulator. The RON codebase was fully usable from the NS-2 Tcl scripts, and users could deploy RON nodes alongside regular network nodes, and watch them react to network failures and outages in the “nim” visualization utility.

While working on this project, I also did a thorough code review of RON and fixed a bunch of bugs (which there weren’t many). In fact, our simulation framework actually revealed a pretty serious flaw which resulted in RON not switching network paths when encountering a failure. I think Dave did a whole lot of work on RON after that, so it is likely that his most recent version is a lot more advanced than this snapshot.

Source code RON+NS