Software Project Possibilities:
The best projects are those which can be converted into a science fair
project. Extra credit will be granted if this is done. Possible ideas are as follows:
These devices are used for blocking e-mail spam. They can range from very
sophisticated to very simple filters and can be fairly simple to write.
Physics Simulations Accounting for Air Resistance: The reason air
resistance is ignored in most calculations has to do with the fact that it
generally requires a computer to do account for it.
Random Number Generators: There's no such thing as a perfect
random number generator. Usually they have to strike a balance between
performance and speed and are still a topic of research among computer
Monte Carlo Simulations: These are programs which use random
number generators to simulate complex problems. They can be extremely
complex or very simple. Simple simulations of this type can be done with
relatively little programming experience. The Marine Biology case study is
an example of a Monte Carlo Simulation.
Flocking/herding Behavior: Programs of this type attempt to
simulate the behavior of predators and prey using simple sets of rules.
Snow Flake/Crystal Growth: Look at thousands of pictures of snow
flakes and they all tend to be slightly different yet they are recognizable
as snow flakes. This implies that there are simple rules which can govern how
the crystals are formed.
- Artificial Intelligence:
This attempt to simulate the human brain functions. This includes neural
networks which are computer programs which learn.
- Artificial Life:
Uses computer simulations to derive general theories about life. the
Scientific American article "ARTIFICIAL LIFE: Boids of a Feather Flock Together"
is a great place to start.
automata: Cellular automata are computer programs that try to simulate
life at the cellular level. They attempt to explain how undifferentiated cells
can divide and become complex structures such as appendages.
- Chaos Theory:
This deals with non linear systems which can become chaotic. It
includes various forms of turbulence, animal populations, climate and the
- Fractals: These use relatively simple iterated equations to produce elaborate
- Number Series: There are many different type. Computers are commonly
used to discover new members of various series. This includes the search
numbers, mersenne primes,