2015 Synopses:

     Title: A Student Pentest of Northwest Nazarene University’s Network
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers

The students at Northwest Nazarene University rely heavily on the internet access provided by the university for study, work and leisure. As such, network security is paramount in order to ensure that NNU students personal information is not easily accessible by way of an insecure network on campus. To verify security is being handled well at NNU, a network penetration test was performed, attempting to break into the university network to assess vulnerabilities, determine the amount of externally available sensitive information, and suggest countermeasures where vulnerabilities were discovered. While the network did show several weaknesses and several methods of attack would have proved effective attacking on an individual basis, students can rest assured that their data is relatively secure when it comes to the servers and services managed by the school.  


     Title: Youth Ministry Tracker
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers

A iOS application, called Youth Ministry Tracker, was created to be a database solution for youth pastors and volunteers. Management tasks are an important part of a youth pastor’s job, but keeping track of student contact information and attendance data is often a difficult task. Youth Ministry Tracker makes this process simpler by streamlining the data collection process and providing data analysis, so youth pastors can spend less time tracking attendance manually and more time caring for students. Some advanced features, such as Smart Groups and Quick Stats, can help youth pastors have a better understanding of student engagement in their ministry and even identify students that have slipped by unnoticed and need more attention. Youth Ministry Tracker went on sale in the iOS app store in August of 2014 and has sold over 2500 copies to date. 



     Title: Golf Performance Tracker Application
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers

Data analysis is useful in sports and more specifically in golf. There is a lack of in-depth statistical analysis tools designed for golf that are readily available and cost effective. An Android based application is in progress to provide a deeper look at an individual player’s performance as well as the entire team. This application was designed to give coaches a better indication of how their golfers are playing than by merely looking at their score. It would also help players and coaches determine the specific areas in their game that need improvement. This application can also be used by individuals who want to improve their game by obtaining a deeper analysis of their golf rounds. The application records the players, the courses they play, and each individual round they play. Statistics can then be calculated for the player or the course. A foundation has been created where existing features can be enhanced and other features can be added.

2014 Synopses:


Braddock, Skyler 
     Title: NNU Social Events Mobile Application
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers


A mobile application that stores upcoming social events and activities at Northwest Nazarene University and displays them to users in an organized manner was created. The application receives descriptions and details of upcoming events from users and stores them in a database; where, after events are approved by an administrator, the application will fetch all upcoming events and display them to the user in a mobile­user friendly interface. This user interface includes large font, toggles to display more/less information about a specific event, and pop­up multiple select menus designed to work well on small touch screens. The functionality and user interface of the application is completely written in HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS, so it is portable across multiple platforms. The sever side of the application is a REST API written in PHP and a Postgres database.



     Title: Information Extraction from Text Dense Images
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers

The focus of this project is Information extraction from images and PDF files. PDF (Portable Document Format) files are often used on the Internet for displaying information. One problem with PDF files is the ability to index the contents of these files. Because of these difficulties, OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is often used to extract content from images and PDF files. This project focuses on extracting information from images with dense concentrations of text. Extremal regions described by Lukas Neumann and Jiri Matas, implemented in the OpenCV library are used. Using this method, results were not accurate enough for successful information extraction. The different features in this classifier that caused these poor results and ways to improve accuracy for this classifier are described.


     Title: DocNET.js: A JavaScript Utility for Converting .NET XML Comments to JSON
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers

A JavaScript utility was created to convert .NET XML documentation comments to JSON. The utility uses the jQuery $.ajax() method to read an existing XML documentation file that has been generated by the .NET compiler. Once the contents of the XML file are in memory, the utility makes use of jQuery's DOM traversal methods to extract documentation information from the XML. Custom methods are used to convert the extracted information to JSON format. When the conversion has finished, the resulting JSON object can be used as input for existing templating libraries, such as handlebars.js, which can display the documentation in a customized, human-readable format.



     Title: A Mobile Menu for the Dex
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers

In order to accommodate a society with an increasing shift towards mobile technology, a mobile-friendly menu for the Dex, the cafeteria at Northwest Nazarene University, was created. The original goal of the project was to add this feature into the existing NNU iPhone app. However, the project transitioned into a mobile website, viewable from any device, that displays the weekly Dex menu and whether or not the Dex is open at any given time.


The website was programmed using HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. In order to pull data from the Dex’s online menu, a tool called Scrapy was used. This tool was implemented through a Python script used to extract necessary data and save it as a JSON. A tool called Handlebars was utilized to get the information from the JSON to the mobile website through JavaScript. To complete the project, the Python script will be automated and the website will be uploaded to the server in NNU’s Computer Science Lab so that it can be accessed by the students at NNU.



     Title: Tree Detection Using the Concepts of Computer Vision and Machine Learning

     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers


Aerial crop surveillance has the potential to streamline the process of disease detection and orchard management, but the programs needed to process this data require accurate detection of individual trees. The Goal of this research is to develop an accurate program for detecting and counting trees. A modified area based method was implemented and tested for accuracy. The area method uses a path of centers and a box that represents the search area. On each section of the path a rectangular portion is cut out and tested for the presence of a tree. Each rectangular portion is evaluated by comparing the number of pixels the tree has as opposed to the background pixels. If the comparison yields a high percentage of trees in that section, then it can be counted. When considering the program as a whole it yields high percentages of detected trees in images. The results are close to 96% accuracy in most cases.

2013 Synopses:



     Title: A Wesley Commentary Mobile Application

     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers


A mobile application that provides access to Wesley biblical commentaries was created on the android operating system. This application gives users access to the same Wesley commentaries that are currently available online at the Wesley Center website. The application was created under the Eclipse development environment and uses an integrated SQLite database to store and retrieve data. A combination of ScrollViews within a ViewPager provides the user the ability to view multiple commentaries in a efficient and easy way. The framework used for searching is the (FTS3) Full Text Search within SQLite, but is currently not fully implemented in the application. With this application, the user will be able to access Wesley commentaries any time, without an internet connection.





     Title: Android Application for Medical Forms

     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers


An application for providing a simplified and more efficient way for filling out medical forms on Android-based mobile devices was created. The application consists of a main menu with six medical forms that are filled out by athletes. Logic and simplicity are used to minimize the amount of time and effort it takes to fill out the forms. It uses edit text fields, check boxes, toggles, spinners, and a canvas for capturing the user’s signature. Some features that are included in the application to minimize time and effort include date selectors that are preset to the phone’s system time and toggles preset to the most common selection. After each form is completed and the signature is written, the user is given the option to click a finish button. When the finish button is selected, the form and signature are written to the phone’s local store as a text file and PNG file, respectively. The text and PNG files are then attached to Android’s built in Gmail application and sent to a specified recipient.  


2012 Synopses:


Monica L. Garcia Espino
     Title: Investigating ALU and LINE1 Contribution to Mutations in Human Chromosome 21
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers


Down Syndrome (DS) is a chromosomal condition caused by an extra chromosome 21. Most of the cases are caused by a mistake in cell division during egg development. There is evidence that structural features of chromosome 21q containing ALU and L1 repeat sequences are likely involved in the atypical mutations of chromosome 21. ALU and L1 are DNA sequences capable of duplication and translocation. To better understand their impact, we analyze ALU and L1 elements’ distribution in human 21q in comparison with mouse 16q. These two organisms contain homologous genes such as Dscam (Down’s syndrome Cell Adhesion Molecule) Dscr3 (Down’s Syndrome Critical Region 3), ERG (Ets Related Gene) etc., located in the Down syndrome Critical Region (DSCR). To do this, we use RepeatMasker to trace the exact location of every retrotransposon element within the Dscam, Dscr3 and ERG gene. In our preliminary results we found that there are 211 ALU and 215 L1 elements within the human Dscam gene 21q, 35 ALUs and 119 L1s in the mouse 16q. Also there are 70 ALUs and 54 L1s within the human ERG gene 21q, and 0 ALUs and 32 L1s in the mouse. Furthermore we found 24 ALU, 18 L1s within the human DSCR3, and 0 ALUs and 5 L1s in mouse. To further characterize the ALU and L1 distributions, we are using the R project for statistical computing to create graphs and statistics to draw conclusions from this data. We found that the consistent distributions of L1/ALU among the genes located in the mouse DSCR are feasibly the reason why there is no trisomy in the mouse 16q, indicating that a possible insertion of L1/ALU elements in specific loci in the human DSCR genes and its ranking regions could perhaps provide a new perspective of how DS could be prevented.



     Title: Wesley Bible Commentary Mobile Application

     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers


The area of mobile applications is rapidly expanding and gaining ground in nearly every area of study. Every day more and more people are using smart phones to gather information. This is the perfect setting for introducing Biblical content, especially the Biblical commentaries by John Wesley. Creation of an Android mobile application that displays Wesley’s commentaries makes this content readily available for Android smart phones from almost any location. Building this application entailed getting proper development tools and researching how to develop Android mobile applications. The main tool used for development is Eclipse. This tool allows for development of many things within the Java language environment. Much of the primary coding structure of Android applications is written with Java. Although the application is not yet finished, a functional shell as well as a demonstration of how the application should look is available. This is definitely a good way to learn at a beginning level how to develop Android applications. Mobile application development is a fairly new area of study in program development, but it has and continues to take off.



     Title: A Smart Phone Application to Measure Addictions

     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers


The purpose of this project is to develop a smartphone application that, with accurate input, will track the amount of a given substance a consumer has ingested over time and display the current amount in their system at any given time. Android was chosen to be the platform for this project, as smart phone convenience is a crucial part of acquiring information during each substance use. With an interface made up of text, buttons and spinners (scrolling windows), data input and output is made simple.

The project worked successfully using the substance of nicotine, and calculated the amount currently in the body using half-life equations. While this functioned correctly, and kept an accurate log of all the substance amounts and times consumed, the usefulness of checking the amount of substance in the biological system immediately after consumption is low, because the data is harshly skewed based on the most recent use. To compensate, averages of total substance amounts in the body, over a period of time, would be necessary for a consumer to accurately track the progress of weaning off of an addictive substance and to see more gradual changes.


Macauley, Thomas

     Title: Web Based I/O Monitoring and Control
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers


This project is an exploration of the possibilities of creating a low cost, low performance user interface to the I/O system. The purpose of this project was to explore and learn several sub-disciplines of computer science: hardware interfacing, programming with a scripting language, client server programming, protocol design, web programming with AJAX, multi-tasking/multi-processing, and user interface design. A simple PIC micro-controller based controller, programmed in assembly, handled I/O and communicated with a PC. Python's threading and networking features served to communicate with the I/O board and provide a web server interface. Finally, AJAX techniques and JavaScript enhanced a web page to act as a Graphical User Interface to monitor and control the I/O board. Overall, the system works much as expected. Some parts of the project were more difficult than expected. The project served well as an education in JavaScript, AJAX techniques, threading, and asynchronous programming.


Michael Morgan
     Title: Windows Phone 7 Time Tracking App
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers

The use of smart phone apps is growing rapidly, due in part to their low cost, high level of practicality, performance and ease of use. This smart phone app, written for the Windows Phone 7 platform was designed to be just that. While a work in progress, this app is a demonstration of just one of the many ways that a smart phone app can make routine tasks easier to perform. This application is designed to be a powerful, yet easy to use time clock. It allows the user to record in and out times for multiple projects and export the recorded data to QuickBooks and other record keeping systems. While not all of the original specifications are currently met, the app is capable of storing and retrieving budget information about multiple projects and the majority of the user interface is developed. One of the currently non-functional features is the capability of exporting the data to QuickBooks or other record keeping systems, although the information is being stored locally.


     Title: Graphical Interface for Geographic Location of Web Users
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers


A web application that graphically displays the distribution of web users on a given website was created. This application was implemented using an HTML5 canvas element with points plotted on the canvas based on the coordinates of the users which are obtained using geolocation. The coordinates are then stored in a database and accessed using PHP and SQL, and implemented on the canvas using Javascript. There is also a graph created on the canvas that displays the number of hits on the website per day. This tool can be used as a marketing tool to discover where the majority of your users are geographically.