NNU computer science majors are required to complete a senior research project. This requirement has been highly praised by employers of NNU graduates. Graduate John Donaldson who attended the Naval Postgraduate School and now works for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said, "When I've talked to my program managers [at the Naval Postgraduate School] who have worked with NNU students in the past, they like the fact that in our computer science program we are required to produce a senior project and thesis which a lot of other schools don't require." Math and computer science faculty are researching as well as maintaining and improving the department's labs and equipment.

2016 Student Research

     Title: MultiTaction Image Viewer
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers 

An application designed for use on the MultiTaction interactive display to display images located on a remote server on the MultiTaction display. The application is programmed in C++ using the Multitouch Cornerstone SDK. It also uses some Qt libraries, as the Cornerstone SDK uses many Qt libraries itself. This application is designed to run on the Windows 7 machine powering NNU’s MultiTaction board, which is located in the library. It connects to a file share currently located on the pluto file server, which authorized users can upload images to (preventing unauthorized images from being displayed). The application then displays thumbnails of all the images located in that folder. When touching one of the thumbnails, the picture will expand to fill the screen. When touching the enlarged image, it will shrink back down to a thumbnail, and another image can be enlarged. The application also supports subfolders. When touching a folder, it will display all the images within that subfolder. From there, you can also navigate back to the previous folder. With this application, it is now possible to view high resolution images on the large display.


     Title:Detecting Prostate Cancer in Histological Images via Image Segmentation and Supervised Machine Learning.
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers 

Prostate cancer (PCa) exists as one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in men.  It has been found that approximately 23% of men who test negative for PCa during their first needle biopsy are diagnosed with PCa during subsequent biopsies. Furthermore, it has been observed that existing prostate lesions are not identified in 2.7% of prostate needle biopsies.  A need exists to obtain a more accurate and consistent means of detecting the presence of prostate cancer in histological images.  The purpose of this project was to determine if an automated algorithmic approach can be used to increase the accuracy of prostatic lesion detection.  Initial efforts were focused on detecting patterns one, two, and three of acinar adenocarcinoma by isolating gland lumen via K-means clustering and malignant nuclei via k-Nearest Neighbors classification.  Results show promise in isolating malignant glands and nuclei according to size and color.  Further work will be done to qualify the presence of prostate cancer by utilizing nuclei size to gain confluence in detecting malignant nuclei adjacent to cancerous prostate glands.  Results strongly support the feasibility of an algorithmic approach to accurately identify prostatic lesions and demonstrate potential application to the future medical diagnosis of PCa.


     Title:Development of a Geospatial Data Repository for Drone Imagery.
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers 

The Fire Monitoring and Assessment Platform (FireMAP) provides a responsive, affordable and safe capability to monitor the severity of wildland fires. FireMAP is composed of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and software to process and geo-analyze imagery. The primary objective of the FireMAP Data Management Research is to store FireMAP imagery efficiently. The images come with flight logs that contain important information about the image. These flight logs are important to store for proper imagery geo-referencing and analysis. Using the database management system PostgreSQL, this has been accomplished by storing the file path of an image into the database. Similarly, the flight logs have been loaded into the database successfully by running a command that takes them directly from the file derived by the UAS. As the images are stored, users are able to easily analyze and process fire images.

     Title:Mutt in the Middle Website.
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers 

A website designed to feature the webcomic series Mutt in the Middle (MitM) was created using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, as well as a MySQL database updated through a Python program. The website went through three significant renditions, adding more features and better usability for the readers and the author. The first version was a small personal venture to display the 32 pages, which were at the time the extent of MitM's comic pages. As the comic grew, so did the requirements to store the images and access them. The second version would later add a temporary folder-based database and some server-side PHP to navigate the comic. The third version would be tackled by a team of students to integrate an online MySQL database hosted through Google Cloud into the site. It also saw improvements in the Javascript and the archiving of images. The system is still currently running with weekly monitoring and updating processes through a Python based application. The project was able to encompass web design/development, database design/development, and even constant monitoring that continues past the time of this paper.


     Title:Mobile Application for the Monitoring of External Systems.
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers 

A mobile application designed for Advanced Control Systems to provide clients with immediate access to constantly updating system information. This application was developed exclusively for Apple iOS using Xcode and Swift. Designed specifically for ease of use and quick, reliable access to continuous updated data from the user’s external system. This is accomplished using cloud storage running on a Ruby environment as well as a database designed around a multi-user business environment allowing for one user to be a part of multiple data groups. Graphing of historical data and live incoming data is integrated utilizing external libraries as well as an alarming system to provide push notifications to users based on how live values compare to customizable system parameters. It also utilizes local storage to keep users logged in, if they so desire, to enhance the user experience by granting fast access to the data. By utilizing Swift Storyboards to create a dynamic and intuitive user interface, the client is provided with the desired data in a clear and concise format.


     Title: A Selenium Testing Environment And Test Framework.
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers 

A testing environment and framework for automated Selenium testing of company websites and web applications was created. The testing environment consists of an Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud Linux instance. On this instance are the necessary scripts and programs to setup and tear down a Selenium hub node, Selenium Firefox testing nodes, and Selenium Chrome testing nodes. The Docker hub takes incoming tests when a test framework is run and distributes them to the Docker nodes, thus running many tests in parallel. The Selenium Test Framework is created in Java, using Selenium WebDriver, TestNG, and XML files. Selenium WebDriver is an automated testing tool that allows tests to interact with web browsers. TestNG is a Java library and testing framework model that supports running multiple tests in parallel. XML files are used to define which tests will run and what variables will be used in those tests. To create the test code Selenium IDE, a development environment for Selenium, was used. A working Selenium testing environment and framework was created, and can form the basis for further testing development for the company.


     Title:Crime Map Development Process.
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers 

The duty of the Nampa Police Department is to keep the public safe and informed. A large issue that was discovered was the number of calls from Nampa residents seeking information about crimes in a particular area and although it was important to answer these calls, employees at the Nampa Police Department were already occupied with the many other tasks assigned to them and were being taken away from them by answering these calls. While working with the Nampa Police Department, a crime map displaying accurate and useful data of various crimes throughout Nampa, such as assault, burglary, and theft, was designed and developed with the help of the Nampa Police Department Crime Analyst and Geographic Information Systems Analyst. The map was created using several applications, including the SAP Crystal Reports 2008 to query data from the Spillman Police Database Records Software, Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel 2011 for data formatting, and ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Online for data plotting and display. The entire process consisted of the research, analysis, development, and implementation phases. This was all done with one goal in mind, to help the Nampa Police Department better serve their community. 


     Title: Fire Monitoring and Assessment Platform (FireMAP) Portal.
     Thesis Adviser: Dr. Barry Myers 

Most wildlands in the US have evolved with fire and depend on periodic blazes.  The Fire Monitoring and Assessment Platform (FireMAP) seeks to provide the capability to monitor the severity of wildland fires responsively, while maintaining safety and affordability. FireMAP is composed of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and software to process and geo-analyze imagery. As part of FireMAP’s goal to monitor wildland fires responsively, imagery that has been acquired needs to be stored in a central location. The FireMAP Portal allows users to upload both their analyzed and unanalyzed imagery to the FireMAP database and then query imagery via the FireMAP website. The website was built using HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, and PHP. The end result of the project is that the user login/sign up page, image upload, and image query/reports pages have been built. While the main pages have been built, more work needs to be done as far as implementing the pages with the FireMAP website, making the Portal more user friendly, and testing of the interface between the Portal and the FireMAP database.


Old Abstracts

Faculty Research

Dr. Barry Myers
Associate Professor of Computer Science

Research Opportunities in Computer Science/ Bioinformatics/Robotics (jointly with Engineering)

After 10 years of professional software and systems development, Dr. Barry Myers completed his Ph.D. at the University of North Texas. After 2 years teaching at Colorado State-Pueblo, he came to NNU in 1998. Teaching most of the courses in the CS program leaves little time for research, but he has found time to work with students in bioinformatics and recently began the development of a joint robotics research program with Engineering to provide opportunities for students to work on interesting projects. Dr. Myers is also available to his students as a research or project advisor for senior projects. Some recent student project titles include: Android Application for Medical Forms, A Wesley Commentary Mobile Application, Web Based I/O Monitoring and Control, A Smart Phone Application to Measure Addictions, The Effects of Repetitive Elements on the Composition of the Human Genome. Dr. Myers also employs students to help administer, maintain, and upgrade the CS Lab, used for both student/faculty research and for CS course projects.

CS Lab equipment includes:

  • GPU Node (
    • Purpose
      • Run CUDA capable code
    • OS
      • CentOS 6.2
    • Hardware
      • 1 Tesla M2090 GPU
      • 96 GB RAM
      • (2) Intel Quad Core EXXXX
  • RAID System (
    • Purpose
      • RAID Storage for Research Lab
      • Local CentOS Mirror (For updating local systems)
    • OS
      • CentOS 6.2
    • Hardware
      • 24 GB RAM
      • 40 GB of RAID 1 System Storage
      • 2.2 TB of RAID 10 Storage
      • 2.7 TB of Backup RAID 1 Storage
  • Dell ESXi Server (
    • Purpose
      • Run Virtual Machines
      • Important virtual machines for lab infrastructure. (DNS, firewall, logs, OpenVPN, Web Server)
    • OS
      • VMWare ESXi 5.1
    • Hardware
      • Intel Xeon E5620 Quad Core (2)
      • 32 GB RAM
      • Storage
        • RAID 1 1.8 TB
        • RAID 0 1.8 TB
  • IBM xSeries (
    • Purpose
      • Active Directory Domain Controller
    • OS
      • Windows 2008 R2
    • Hardware
      • Old
  • IBM xSeries (
    • Purpose
      • CCDC Server
    • OS
      • ESXi 4.1
    • Hardware
      • Old
  • Apple Head Node and RAID (
    • Purpose
      • None
    • OS
      • Gentoo
    • Hardware

The following machines are used in the Lab, but are not in the Server Closet.
  • Lab Workstations (5)
    • Purpose 
      • Research / Lab Work
    • OS 
      • Varies
    • Hardware
      • Intel i5 2.80 GHz
      • 8 GB RAM
      • 500 GB Hard Drive
  • Dell GX620 (6)
    • Purpose
      • Hadoop Test Cluster (4)
      • VNC Client for Virtual Machines (2)
    • OS
      • CentOS
    • Hardware
      • 2GB RAM (5) 1GB RAM (1)
      • Pentium 4
      • 80 GB Hard Drive 

  • Matlab
  • Mathematica

Dale Hamilton
Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Dale Hamilton joined the Math and Computer Science Department at Northwest Nazarene University in August, 2013.  His courses include:
Computer Programming 1 (C/C++)
Data Structures
Introduction to Web Development
Event Driven Programming
Computer Architecture 
Introduction to Spatial Analysis
Algorithms Design and Analysis
Machine Learning

Dale is also responsible for enhancing the internship opportunities for Computer Science majors, supervisory responsibility for the departmental computer lab and mentorship of the Computer Club.
Dale is also a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Idaho.  His research includes development of analytics for mapping wildland fire severity and extent from hyper-resolution Unmanned Aircraft System (drone) imagery.  Dale has been awarded multiple NASA grants to support this research effort.

Prior to coming to Northwest Nazarene University, Dale has spent 13 years as a Lead Software Engineer/Project Manager at Systems for Environmental Management, writing software modeling fire behavior and effects, ecological departure and remote sensing under contracts with the USDA Forest Service.  Since coming to NNU, Dale has consulting with the Forest Service, continuing his research into wildland fire behavior and effects, ecological departure and remote sensing.

Prior to going to SEM, Dale worked for Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company for 5 years writing Computer Aided Software Engineering Tools.  After Boeing Dale worked for 10 years at the University of Montana and Systems and Computer Technology (SCT) writing Oracle applications supporting the administrative computing needs of various universities.  Dale spent an additional year working for Fireball IT Solutions writing software to control a helicopter mounted infrared camera used for mapping wildland fires.  Dale also worked for a year with Visual Learning Systems writing ArcGIS based tools that use artificial intelligence to extract features from raster imagery.