As part of my requirements for graduating from the Honors College, I had to write a thesis. Since I had been working on the UHC web site for a long time and had learned to do web design and standard web practices from the work, it leant itself easily towards a thesis topic. I ended up writing a lengthy thesis in just about 10 weeks. You can view the text in the writing section of my projects.
Book on Ethics
During Spring term 2003, I took an honors class called Ethics in Computer Science. Professor M.J. Quinn said that he was teaching the class to help him write a book on the topic. After getting my grade in the class, I asked if I could get involved in the book. I reviewed and edited his chapters as he gave them to me, and I wrote review and discussion questions after each chapter. This has been a fun project, and I’ve drawn on a lot of knowledge I’ve been gaining over the past few years. Plus, I now have my name in a book!Ethics for the Information Age, Michael J. Quinn
The requirements for a degree in Computer Engineering include a senior project. I have teamed up with three other guys in my house to create a portable storage device. This device is a solution for traveling people who own digital cameras. When the compact flash card gets full, they have no options but to delete pictures or get more expensive flash cards. Our device will allow a user to plug a flash card into it. It will then copy the pictures off the flash card and onto an internal hard drive. Then it clears the card, making it reusable again. When the user is done, they can hook the device up to any computer with a USB port and our device will look like a regular hard drive. So far I am the webmaster (http://classes.engr.oregonstate.edu/eecs/fall2003/ece441/groups/g15/ ), I’ve written the user interface, I’m in charge of interfacing with the hard drive and flash card, and I’m doing a lot of the technical writing.
Buxton Hall Council
As Webmaster of Buxton Hall Council, I had to keep the web site up to date. This is a lot of work, but I think I’ve done a really good job with the site.
McNary Hall Council
As President of McNary Hall Council, I had a lot of duties and responsibilities, including what seemed like infinite meetings and programs. I spent way too many hours on hall council stuff. There was a web page associated with it, but with the new webmaster my year of work disappeared.
The National Residence Hall Honorary is a service organization dedicated to recognizing outstanding people in the residence halls. I was the webmaster, and here is the page: Beaver Chapter of NRHH As a member of this group, I attended meetings, took part in our events, and even planned some. One of my biggest projects was the Beaver Leaders Leadership Conference. For this, I did the packet. This ~16 page document had the schedule, descriptions of the seminars, a section for notes, a section describing the conference and NRHH, and some articles and suggestions for leadership. I applied the superhero theme to the whole packet, and printed off over 150 copies on a budget of zero dollars. At the conference itself I presented to a group how to run an efficient meeting, running the presentation as if it was a meeting, and drawing on my experience as Hall Council President the year before.
RHA stands for Residence Hall Association, the group of people who organize all the residence halls and bring them all together, just as the federal government regulates and presides over state governments. I have been involved with them through hall council.
At the University Honors College at Oregon State, I had the role of ‘Data Administrator.’
For a few years I was responsible for doing the layout of the quarterly UHC news-magazine. This was initially a volunteer effort but eventually the UHC paid for some of my time. I did all of the design and layout of each issue and got the document reviewed and prepared for printing. I also did the web site for the magazine, which contained all of the content.
Primary skills involved–PageMaker, Photoshop
UHC Student Database
One of the needs of the department was to be able to keep track of students and compile statistics about the effectiveness of the UHC. To do that, I had to create a database using Access (so the office staff could use it and modify it when I leave). This database pulls information from another database, from the university data warehouse system, and from user input, and develops reports based on the data. It took me about a year to put it all together so that it worked. It now has separate sections for their application information, current student information, graduation information, and permanent information. The whole thing is consistent, color coded, and standardized. I also wrote a manual to accompany it.
Primary skills involved–MS Access
UHC Web Site
One of my duties for the UHC was maintaining the web site. I took the web site that was there for years and completely redesigned it with a more organic and intuitive theme, incorporating the UHC logo and colors in a way that made sense and looked good. I divided it into sections by the type of people that visit, I added many features, and I did it all in a way that made updating and maintaining the web site easy for my replacement. I also wrote a manual for it, which became my Honors College undergraduate thesis.
Primary skills involved–HTML, CSS
College of Ag Science
I did network administration and tech support for the College of Ag Science (CAS).
CAS Computer Database
We had so many computers to maintain that it was sometimes difficult to keep track of them. I developed a database that numbers each computer with a unique id which is attached to the computer. In this database I kept track of important aspects of the computer, and had comments about each time I did anything to it. I knew at any time what computers were in use, where they were located, who was the primary user, what its network information was, and what software was installed, among other things. I had a map of the building with buttons on each room so that clicking on a room showed all the computers in that room. This database was so successful that I implemented it in the Honors College and in the Crop and Soil Science department (another of my jobs).
Primary skills involved–MS Access
As a network administrator for the CAS and CSS department I often upgraded computers. To migrate people to windows XP, we had a program called Symantec Ghost, which allowed us to create an ‘image’ of a hard drive and dump that image onto any computer. We had an image which contained windows XP and all the software installed already, and to upgrade someone we just copied that image to the destination computer. This task used to take me over a day to complete, as I had to get the network card working, backup the current system, fix the downloaded image, and copy everything back. After practice and experience, I considered it a failure to take more than 2 hours.