Student Projects

This is a new page with growing pains - I'm still considering what content to put here. Please stop back soon!

Below you will find a brief discussion about, and a link to more details for, noteworthy projects that students have completed recently. I find them very interesting and I trust you will too.

I expect that most of the projects that appear on this page will be developed as part of the course work for CSE775 - Distributed Objects or independent study projects that I occasionally supervise.


Interactive Social Network Visualization


CSE775 - Distributed Objects


This work creates an interactive graph of social connections from twitter feeds starting from a root user. The relationship engine works in real time to build a friends of friends of friends ... network, displayed in an iMac application window, which can be manipulated with mouse inputs.

The students Lu, Zilong, and Zhi used technologies that were new to them:
  • Cinder for graphical rendering of the network
  • Redis for temporary storage of twitter feed information
  • Twitter web apis
And they developed interesting software processing:
  • Crawlers to find relationships from the twitter feeds
  • Physics based routing of the network, e.g.:
    • network nodes repel each other with an anti-gravity force
    • relationship arcs act like springs to pull related nodes toward each other
    • velocity based damping is used to stabalize routing dynamics
    • a force acts on all nodes to bring the network layout to the center of the screen
  • Communication channels that support bilateral data transfers between Cinder and crawlers

These students, as part of their CSE775 - Distributed Objects class obligations, made three presentations: a survey of the technologies they intend to use, a set of probing examples that illustrate how the technologies work, and a final presentation of their results.

The performance of their analysis processing is noteworthy. They're able to handle thousands of nodes in real time; selecting a new root person for example, to see a revised network, is impressive. I thought their ideas and results were excellent - I've been inspired to add Cinder and Redis to my "ToDo" list.


Lu Han
Zilong Jiao
Zhi Xing

Sample Result:

Network Graph

More Details: