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Independent Study and Mentored Research

Mentored Research Opportunities

Students are encouraged to work on research projects with faculty members to gain valuable practical experience. The mentored research project can fulfill the practicum experiences that your program of study requires. Mentored research counts as either CSC 498 or 499, depending on level of experience. CSC 499 is reserved for projects that build upon a previous CSC 498 project. For internship opportunities, please log on to LionsPro through Career Services and contact our internship coordinator. Please also check the department’s internship web pages for more information.

Please read through the project descriptions below. When you find a project that intrigues you, schedule an appointment with the faculty member indicated to discuss your interests and qualifications. If you are invited to join the project, please complete the following forms:

Independent Study/Mentored Research Contract (PDF)
Capstone Experience Deliverables Agreement (PDF)

Be sure to include the correct course and section number, GPA, earned hours, and your signature. The contract should be approved by the faculty mentor and then submitted for review by the Department Chair. The form will then need to be approved by the dean’s office and taken over to Records & Registration for in-person registration for that course.

If you want to use REU, MUSE, or any other external experience to fulfill the capstone requirement, please make sure these experiences satisfy the department policy.

Research projects are listed in alphabetical order by faculty member’s last name. As new proposals arrive, this list will be updated. If you have a great idea for a project that you don’t see listed, please meet with the faculty member most closely interested in that area and propose your idea.


Dr. Peter DePasquale:

  1. Continued Development of COMTOR - a Java-based Java Source Code Comment Tutoring and Analysis System – During the Fall 2006 semeseter, the COMTOR project was started and a code base developed.  Continued enhancements to the COMTOR project exclusively via the cloud-based interface. Tasks include new module development and integration, security audit / analysis, and platform enhancements.
  2. Artificial Intelligence Module(s)  - Working with Dr. Martinovic and myself, integrate Dr. Martinovic’s artificial intelligence module(s) into COMTOR. This requires learning the COMTOR platform, integration of existing code, testing, and intended release.

All tasks require solid Java skills (cloud interface is based on Java servlets, ANT, advanced CSC 230/260 concepts). Git experience is a plus.

Dr. Deborah Knox:

  1. Mobile computing- No previous mobile application development experience is required.
    • The TCNJ Library and the TCNJ Campus Tour Apps are available at the Apple iPhone store. These Apps were developed by my iPhone development teams and tested by campus stakeholders. Campus administrative approval was received prior to submitting the finished App for the Apple Store review and release.
    •  I invite 1-2 students to investigate indoor pedestrian navigation to determine how to integrate new technology into the TCNJ Library iPhone App. This App locates available computers within the Library. However, it is a map-based approach, which is not sufficient for all users, especially not for those with visual impairments. This project will require researching the latest technologies used inside buildings, where GPS signals frequently are too weak to help with navigation, including IPS. Customized navigation through routing algorithms will be explored, implemented, and tested for accuracy. It is anticipated that a plan for integrating pedestrian navigation within the App will be created by the end of the semester, leading to a proposal for needed technology. It is expected that the production level implementation will occur in the next phase of the project.
    • One student is invited to join the current iPhone app development team, which is working on significant enhancements to the TCNJ Campus Tour iPhone App. This team currently consists of one senior student and two volunteers (sophomore and freshman). We are collaborating with TCNJ Admissions representatives to meet some of their needs. Currently, we are exploring customizing the user’s experience through identified interests as well as investigating personalized push-notifications. Assistance in team development of these new components is desired, as well as lead responsibility for integrating accessibility of the new features of the app. Mobile application development with knowledge of standard WCAG guidelines and experience in accessibility programming is a strong entry for your resume!
    • One student is invited to explore platform independent application development tools and put them to good use. I have some interest in and light experience with AppInventor for the Android platform. is a content management system that uses a drag and drop approach to create iPhone apps. If you are not interested in learning Objective-C or continuing with Java programming, these platform independent tools may be appealing to dig into!
  2. Multicore Computing: Parallel software development tools –  Successful completion of CSC345 Operating Systems is a prerequisite of this mentored research project. Break away from the sequential model of execution and take advantage of a multicore computer. Investigate the decomposition of code to prepare for parallel processing. Examine why explicit concurrency through threading and purposeful parallel programming are necessary to take full advantage of the multicore processors in your computer. Enhance your skill set by learning to use parallel processing tools in your coding projects.

Dr. Jikai Li:

  1. Computer Security research - This project will evaluate the security level of the new website of Computer Science department. The student will use Blacktrack, metasploit, and other professional tools.
  2. Optical Network research - This project will explore the possibility of delivering periodic traffic on all-optical network without data loss.

You are welcome to bring in your own topic.

Dr. Dimitris Papamichail:

My research focuses on applied algorithms and related software. I’m looking for students interested to work on the following topics/projects:

  1. Synthetic gene design – Design algorithms and software to construct novel genes. The algorithms involve optimization of the protein coding sequences to acquire features which are expected to alter the properties of the corresponding gene. This project is funded by the NSF and involved students should have taken a course in algorithms and ideally some introductory course in biology.
  2. Phylogenetic Stemmatics – This project aims to develop a set of computational tools that can be used in computational textual criticism of Latin texts. The aim is to create methods for the accurate representation of the relationships of various manuscripts from different time periods, which have been copied from an original seminal work.
  3. Automated Transcriptions for music instruments – I am interested to pursue algorithmic techniques for automatically transcribing midi files into music scores (or tabs) for a variety of instruments, starting with guitar. Interested students should have a background in algorithms, programming experience, and playing knowledge of at least one music instrument, preferably guitar.
  4. Other algorithmic projects – I have a variety of other smaller scale projects, involving algorithms, tools and software, mostly related to optimization problems in computational biology, but several other areas as well. Feel free to come and ask about other available projects, or bring your ideas involving algorithms, heuristics, and anything related!

Dr. Monisha Pulimood:

  1. CABECTPortal - Continue research, design and development of the collaborative infrastructure to support the NSF-funded TUES grant described on her Research ( page. This project will entail integrating social computational concepts into the development of the web and mobile applications.
  2. SOAP (Students Organizing Against Pollution) – Continue development of the web application that manages data on brownfields, and legislation related to pollution and the environment. See ( for more details on this project.

Dr. Andrea Salgian:

My research is in the area of human computer interaction. I’m looking for students interested to work on the following projects:

  1. Computer vision applications on mobile platforms - investigate how to write applications to process images from the camera or the photo album on iOS and Android devices, as well as the use of the OpenCV library on on mobile devices. Possible applications include image processing effects, object, face and gesture recognition algorithms, steganography. Investigate the use of the cloud for high computational needs.
  2. Programming the Microsoft Kinect - refine the conducting application, or develop gesture recognition interfaces for other applications (games, sign language, etc.)
  3. Virtual orchestras and artificial conductors - incorporate feedback into our conducting robot algorithm, or further develop applications for conducting a virtual orchestra. Develop mobile applications that listen and react to music.
  4. Your ideas involving computer vision and/or music!