Undergraduate Research at the Vis Center

Jordan Murphey

Jordan Murphey

2011 Summer Intern

University of Kentucky

Project: Programming Challenges and Evaluation of C++ Development Environments




Journal Entries

June 18
First week of working at the Vis Center. So far my job has had me learn C++ and try my first few attempts at making an actual program. The first program I made is sadly simple compared to what I’m making now, and its been only 5 days so far. So far I’ve gotten most of the basics down, now I’m still getting the finer details of functions down while I’m reading onto vectors and arrays. I should probably mention that I was given a C++ textbook on Monday, which at the time of writing, I’ve read 261 pages. Frank has just brought me the extended version of the book for when i get done with this version.

I should also mention what I’m going to be working on. First, I’m going to be working with the rest of my team to try out various programs and compilers. Because of the growing number of students using Macs, the university needs a program that can run on most operating systems, which the current one cannot. So I will be installing and using them, and rating them on ease of use for future students, which will be me in the fall. Later I’m going to be designing projects for the CS215 class to do. But now I’m going back to work on my current program, which isn’t currently working quite right, or at all for that matter.

Friday June 24th, 2011

The first Integrated Development environment has been installed and tested! Eclipse is the first IDE to be completed. While it installed easily enough on the Linux machine, but there were plenty of troubles installing on windows. It appears some files are still missing. But it has been reviewed and tested, and today we’re moving onto the next IDE, CodeLite, which will hopefully work better than Eclipse. Good news is that Frank will now be joining us for lunch regularly, so i have that to look forward to in the coming weeks. Now, I am going to work with the rest of my group on putting together a written report to sum up how Eclipse.

July 8
The Fourth of July week is over, and without Monday, the week flies by. All of the IDEs have been reviewed and the winner was NetBeans. Now that that is out of the way, the second project is starting up. We have the basic outline for some possible projects for the students of CS215, but nothing has been decided on as of yet. So far the 3 possible projects are a program using basketball players to teach vectors, a dot and line game for the most complex project, and a game similar to minesweeper for the second most difficult project. That’s it for this week though!

July 8
Research Question

The point of my group’s research is to discover what IDE is the best for the CS215 class, and to create challenges interesting to the students that both teach the new subject matter while reinforcing the old subject matter, and are the correct level of difficulty.

July 18
So far this week I’ve been mainly working on the minesweeper project. It’s essentially a new version of the classic computer game minesweeper, and once we have this version finished and running, then we’re going to try an even tougher version. This new version will not use the classic squares, but instead will have each tile being a hexagon. It’s a new twist to a classic game!

Besides working on that project, I’ve been working on my presentation about the project, which we just presented for the second time today. Each time we present our presentation, then our peers tell us what was good and bad in the presentation, then we fix the presentation and improve for the next time.