Thesis Progress, Week 2 / by Ernie Gerardo

As suggested by our instructor, I created a few systems to stay on top of productivity.  In addition to the iCal, which syncs to my phone to give me reminders of due dates, I also set up a project milestones Kanbanery board.  While not entirely complete, it allows me to assess different areas where I need to focus.

In order to better express the two main components of my project, Better With You, I created a mind map.

Admittedly, the concepts here are rather general, since my line of thinking on this is mostly of the tangible, practical nature.  Treating my project like a body, I have to pay attention to both the physical and mental (software) development, so that it functions like I intend to.

However, this line of thinking doesn't account for the cultural context of my project.  There are a lot of intangibles that I would need to be able to explain.  Therefore, in addition to the general project map, I also created a map for the defense paper, just so I could get the main ideas out there.  I figure this will also help me draft an outline in week or so.

A lot of these ideas aren't complete, and some aren't quite clearly connected to more than one other at the moment, but I want this to evolve as I compile more research.

On the software side, my initial prototype for the software was mocked up in Scratch, just to roughly test the functionality of the physical components.  Those who shared the pre-thesis class with me last semester may have seen an earlier version of this, but the latest can be found here.  Even though it works with keyboard commands, it works great with the Makey Makey.

 Note the VERY rough first version.

Note the VERY rough first version.

Of course, this is in place of the actual software that will eventually drive the guts of the installation, so be on the lookout for my first generative software Max patch by the end of the month, which, admittedly, will most likely be a random generator instead of the deterministic one I will build by the end of the semester.

On a final note, as far as less-deliverable progress goes, I was able to connect with my advisor before traveling over the holiday weekend (Cleveland gets awfully muggy, let me tell you) and arrange for at least twice-monthly meetings at the Washington Square campus.  I am also working with Alex Ruthmann of the MusED Lab, as I am having him put me in touch with the creator of the Makey Makey, which will hopefully lead to some insight on how to safely power a large-scale human conductive circuit.

I can't believe it's already Wednesday.