L s w a r t z [at] c s [dot] s t a n f o r d [dot] e d u
The following is a collection of some of the projects I've worked on during my time at Stanford. I've tried to include both projects I'm proud of as well as ones which provide information (or a summary of information) that isn't available elsewhere.
For my Symbolic Systems senior honors thesis, I worked with my advisor, Prof. Cliff Nass (Communication), to investigate "user interface agents," specifically probing into why people hate the Microsoft Office Assistant ("Clippy the Paperclip") so much.
Written for Prof. Michael Strevens' Philosophy 189, "Philosophical Applications of Cognitive Science," this paper describes an extension/refinement of Prof. Strevens' "minimalist" theory of how people categorize objects into natural kinds, such as "raccoon" or "dog." In hindsight, the "deep prototype" could be simplified a bit--if one equates "being an X" with the deep prototype, it makes for less messy arrows!
For CS 221 ("Artificial Intelligence"), I worked with an all-star team (Karen Corby, Lilly Irani, and Pat Perry) on a program to play a modified version of Othello, the popular board game. Although our program didn't do all that well in the class tournament, we used a lot of innovative techniques, and our writeup thoroughly details what one would have to do to actually win (given more time)...perhaps a case of biting off more than we could chew? If you're into Othello, also see our working bibliography
I worked together with a group of classmates (Jan Chong, Lilly Irani, and Carlos Lluesma) in Prof. Steve Barley's Management Science & Engineering 383, "Ethnographic Methods of Research" to write up our ethnographic research at a high technology firm, which was in the middle of a transition to what is called "flexible offices" or "hotelling" (where employees check out offices on a periodic basis). We presented some of our findings at the Informs Conference (although they misspelled my name on the website!). Unfortunately, I don't currently have approval to distribute our report, but feel free to email me if you're interested.
I worked on a number of projects in Stanford's Human-Computer Interaction Design sequence. One was the Academic Universe, a Shockwave-based program designed to help students explore majors available at Stanford, produced with two other students. Another Shockwave project was Bonjour!, a program designed to teach students the difficult sounds of French. Finally, I worked on a team to do an Evaluation of the NASA's CDTI, a cockpit display for airline pilots.
A paper on dialects of English spoken in Bermuda. Precious little has been written about these dialects; I actually haven't visited the islands myself but I've worked on the Stanford Bermuda Project
An analysis of the tragic killing of 290 civilians by the USS Vincennes, from a Human-Computer Interaction perspective.
Written for a class taught by Nils Nilsson (Computer Science), this paper summarizes much of the debate over the so-called "Mozart Effect."
This paper has its own page...written for a class by Josh Tenenbaum, it's a (somewhat) new take on a classic philosophy problem.
A group project in which we studied voices which used the personal pronoun (I or me). More information is at Prof. Cliff Nass's page.
A paper about one of my favorite pieces of music, Bach's Christmas Oratorio. It deals primarily with the oratorio's "originality," as the piece shares a good deal of music with Bach's secular cantatas.
A group project in which we designed two courses, "What is Human?" and "The Science of Culture and Culture of Science" for Stanford's Introduction to the Humanities program.
A paper written for our Naval History class in NROTC that neatly summarizes some aspects of the Falklands (Malvinas) Conflict.
A paper describing the Navy's "crossing the line" ceremony, performed when a ship crosses the equator. It seems that very little has been written about this, for I had a horrible time finding sources!
A look at how Henry Purcell's opera relates to its antecedent.