New Home

Welcome to the new home on the web for my faculty blog. Moving the blog here has simplified the update process for the site as wordpress.com and all of the default plugins and themes are automatically updated. Also, this reduces the attack surface area on my university’s network. Look for more frequent posts in the near future.

di2stats.com – a study on gear shifting statistics

I recently unveiled the beta version of di2stats.com. I am releasing this website as a service to the cyclists who have Di2 electronic shifting data available but no means of viewing the resulting data. I am also releasing the website to collect data for inclusion in a journal article describing my preliminary findings. This study and the website are brand new. More information is available on request (email me!) and will be added to this blog as the study develops.

di2stats.com - screenshot

Challenges beyond the classroom

Epic bike ride today put on by the Samford chapter of the ACM. Four of us persevered through the snow, freezing temps, and all-round epic conditions for a great ride to remember. Maybe the mini-lecture on microwave towers at the top of Double Oak Mountain will be on the final 😉

greg-descending adam-descending-snowflakesvisible 2010-12-12-155126 2010-12-12-145922 2010-12-12-145858

Watch a video of John descending the grassy hill next to Chelsea High School here –
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQIPZ9JvFEE

Another student project success!

Today we launched a new website for the Samford Campus Recreation department. This launch is the culmination of a year’s collaborative effort with the Campus Recreation department, my Software Engineering students from last Fall, and my continued refinements throughout the academic year and summer.

The previous version of the website was developed and edited exclusively through Dreamweaver’s WYSIWYG editor. We wanted to provide an easier to use tool which would allow the campus recreation department to make changes to the site using their web browser instead of a separate standalone program. Also, information that needed to appear on several pages should only have to be changed once, rather than having to make a change on each individual page. We created an administrative backoffice for making changes to information such as facility hours, dates for registration for intramural sports, etc… that needs to be duplicated across several pages on the website.

Our implementation was completed using PHP, JavaScript, and AJAX with most of the site content stored in a MySQL database.

So, without further ado, we are proud to present the new Campus Recreation website:

http://www.samford.edu/camprec
The new campus recreation website

Back up and running

Downtime

One of the many great things about Samford University is that faculty and lab computers are on a lease system through Dell. That means that every three years, I get to log onto the Dell website and configure my new machine with the hardware that I want as long as I stay within the allowed budget. This is also true for our department server. The only downside of this setup is that every three years we have to go through a migration process transferring data and software from one machine to another. Unfortunately, this meant some downtime for my faculty blog, but we’re back up and running now!

Windows Server 2008 Virtualization

This latest migration process gave me the chance to experiment with the virtual machine capabilities of Windows Server 2008. I’ll be posting another blog shortly with all the details, but for now I’ll summarize by saying that the Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V is pretty cool. Screenshots coming soon. Performance observations coming over the next few months as I start to put some load on the system through this blog and through other research projects.

ICOMP 09

Viva Las Vegas! After a three day drive that included quick visits to friends and family along the way in Texas and Arizona as well as brief visits to the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam at night (very cool!), and finally to Las Vegas, I arrived just in time to showcase my Ajax Performance Monitor Toolkit. The kids love the pools here at the hotel including a wave pool and lazy river.

My presentation went well, and there seemed to be interest in the toolkit and porting it to work with other server-side scripting languages. Download the powerpoint slides (3.28MB). If you are interested in trying it out, you may also download a preliminary version of the toolkit (644KB) with a very limited amount of documentation.

Samford University Virtual Supercomputer

The Samford Unviersity Virtual Supercomputer is coming soon! Today I gave a demonstration/presentation about the non-dedicated cluster I am building on campus. Eventually, it may grow into a supercomputer, but for now I am quite happy with the direction it is taking as a computational resource for campus. The Powerpoint Slides from my presentation are available, and I will post information about getting involved in the project to this site as the semester continues.

Alabama Academy of Science Annual Meeting

Tonight I am attending the executive committee meeting of the Alabama Academy of Science, where I am the editor for electronic media (i.e., I am in charge of the organization website). Tomorrow I will be chairing the Engineering and Computer Science presentations at the University of West Alabama in Livingston, Alabama. I did not submit a presentation this year, but I am looking forward to the six presentations from researchers across the state. The list of presentations is copied below and available on the Alabama Academy of Science website in the final program.

  • A method for semantics-based conceptual expansion of ontology. Liping Zhou, Dezheng Zhang, Xin Chen, and Chengcui Zhang, University of Alabama at Birmingham.
  • Design and fabrication of a research flight simulator. Harold Zallen, and James J. Baird, Jr., Joint Research Project with Malone Group International and Auburn University.
  • Extracting coexpression relations between genes using grammatical parsing. Richa Tiwari, University of Alabama at Birmingham.
  • Jibu: a tool for efficient and reliable concurrent programming. Srinivasarao Krishnaprasad, Jacksonville State University.
  • Kinematic structure and evolution of the 9 march 2006 Mississippi/Alabama bow echo. Calvin M Elkins, University of Alabama in Huntsville.
  • Metamodel recovery system using grammar inference. Qichao Liu, University of Alabama at Birmingham.