My name is Alexander Fischer, or Alex for short. I am 19 years old and studying computer science and mathematics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, from which I expect to graduate in 2020. I am from Franklin, Massachusetts. I have been programming since before high school, and I do most of my programming in Java, although I am familiar with and eager to learn other languages. My interests in computer science are wide-ranging; they include in hardware and embedded programming, which I have explored at several hackathons, as well as more theoretical and mathematical aspects of computer science such as cryptography and artificial intelligence as a result of my interest in mathematics.
Last summer, I participated in an NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the University of Miami. I performed computer science research under the supervision of computer science faculty and researchers at the university's medical school. I wrote software to analyze massive 3-dimensional images of mice optic nerves in order to assist medical researchers studying nerve regeneration. I worked primarily in MATLAB and C (including CUDA). I learned a lot about very interesting topics such as computer vision and GPU programming.
Chamberwell is an Android game published on the Google Play store that I wrote from scratch. The object of the game is to get all the balls in a level, which can be one of several colors, into the chamber that matches their color. The player does this by moving doors between chambers by tilting their phone. There are several levels, each with a different number of balls and chambers. The code can be found on Github.
Playthrough of level one of Chamberwell.
Screenshot of level nine of Chamberwell.
At HackHolyoke, Will Zhang and I created a prototype for a bike lock that can be unlocked wirelessly with your phone. The project utilized an Arduino 101 and Bluetooth low energy. The project won best hardware hack at Holyoke and can be found on Devpost.
At HackUMass, Will Zhang and I used the Leap Motion to add a twist to a classic game. We detected your hand orientation with the Leap Motion and then used servo motors and that orientation to rotate a physical maze that we 3D printed. There was a small metal ball in the maze that you had to move through the maze just by rotating your hand, like the usual ball in a maze game, but harder. The project was selected as one of Devpost's projects of the week and was included in their weekly newsletter. It can be found on Devpost, and a demo can be seen below.
Our Leap Motion-based game in action.
At HampHack, Will Zhang and I created an Android app called Cassium that solves (or at least, tries to solve) the problem of taking group photos. Instead of taking a group photo by setting a timer on your phone/camera, putting the phone/camera down, and rushing into place, Cassium automates this process. It uses facial recognition to know when the right number of people are in the picture and when they are, it uses Indico's facial and emotional recognition API to take the picture only when every person is smiling. The usefulness of Cassium was unfortunately limited by the dismal accuracy of Indico's facial and emotional recognition API. The code can be found on Devpost.
Mandelbrot Set Renderer
The GUI used to render the Mandelbrot set.
An example image. See example 3 in the program.
Part of this project was for school (an intro to data structures honors project specifically), but I really liked it so I thought I'd share it here. This project is two-fold: the first part displays all of Wolfram's elementary cellular automata rules, and the second part displays Conway's Game of Life. In my Conway's game of life implementation, you can click on squares to change their value. I wrote it in Java, and my code can be found on Github.
A rendering of rule 30.
A rendering of Conway's Game of Life.
This was a small but very useful project. SPIRE is the system that UMASS uses to enroll in classes, and when classes are full, there is not always a waitlist option. This program uses Selenium to periodically check SPIRE and enroll you in a class if it opens. I wrote it in Java, and the code can be found on GitHub.
Franklin High School ID Search
This was another small but very useful project. At Franklin High School, students were assigned school emails (which we were required to use for all schoolwork) that were just a 7 digit number at franklinps.net. This was a terrible system, as no one wanted to memorize other people's numbers, requiring that people constantly ask other people for their numbers instead of simply using their name.
I came up with a solution to this problem by scraping everyone's number and name from Itslearning, an educational website the school used, and building a website and a chrome extension that allowed people to find people's numbers and email addresses by their names (and vice versa). Eventually, Google added a feature where members of a Google organization (which Franklin High School was) could find others' email address in any Google product by typing in their name, making my website obsolete. I like to think that Google added in that feature after seeing how useful my website was.
The site is still live on the web at fhsid.github.io.