Design Project


2012 499 Spring Design/Technical Project Summaries

Group 1: Academic Performance Predictors

Personnel: David Rusk, Fred Song
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Kin Fun Li


More than 30% of students at UVic's Faculty of Engineering drop out after their first year; a similar trend occurs at other universities. The goal of this project is to identify factors which affect student dropout and failure.

The first-year records of Engineering students will be examined with data-mining and machine learning techniques to extract early warning indicators. For example, maybe there is a certain course in which a poor grade strongly indicates trouble in later studies. Once performance prediction indicators have been identified, they will be used to create a predictive model to identify students at risk of dropping out.

These predictive models can be used to formulate corrective action plans to improve the attrition rate. An important goal of this project is to write the software in a generic way, so other departments and universities could use it on their own student records.

Group 2: Space Craft

Personnel: Nick MacDonald, Brendan Clement
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Jens Weber


SpaceCraft is a real-time location based mobile game where players fight with their spaceship against other players in a virtual world. There will be no positional controls of their ship, instead their ship movements will be interpreted via GPS readings from the player's phone.

There will be various game modes: Free-for-all, team games, capture the flag, where the objective is to eliminate the players on the other team(s).

In a typical game, players will accumulate energy and resources over time and through experience/achievements they will be able to upgrade components of their ship. Players can spend ship energy to use weapons to attack or shields to defend from enemy attacks. Players can physically move from their current location to dodge an attack. Other game elements may include dropping mines or setting traps. There may also be physical landmarks which may reward a player with an upgrade or special ability.

There will be 3 components to this project,

On the phone 1. A front-end game screen and simulator 2. A module which sends and receives data from the server.

On a server 3. A back-end game manager which is responsible for reading and storing the movement and actions of players in a game.

Group 3: Portable Traffic Light System

Personnel: Faisal Hamood, Thomas Howell, Nick Allen, and Nicolai Bailly
Faculty Supervisor: Dr Fayez Gebali


The goal is to design and build a portable traffic light system. The system will initially include two light weight traffic lights operating on battery power, and communicating via a wireless radio signal. The system will have a master controller to be given to the site supervisor. The system no long has sensors to detect car arrival since the city of Saanich found that it is necessary to have a human worker on site (job loss and union demands). Therefore, the system now is timed, and relies on a human to monitor and switch the lights if necessary.**

Group 4: Astrlib - Astronomy Image Catalog and Archive

Personnel: Kahlil Trotman, Matthew Watson, Shawn McKim
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Jens Weber


With the advent of digital photography, the hobby of astrophotography has exploded in popularity. Individuals are able to make use of technology and produce amazing images which used to require massive observatories. This surge in popularity has resulted in huge collections of images and camera calibration data. The challenge is to catalog all this data, and store it safely for future reference and collaborative efforts. Astrlib addresses these needs by grouping associated calibration data with particular images, and making it painless to access previous observations. Astrlib makes use of current technologies, and can be deployed by an individual or an organization.