Higher Education Research

Selected work done with interdisciplinary student and professional research teams.

Click on the images to view full project.

Cumulus Burn

Cumulus Burn was a project that I led with a team of faculty and undergraduates to address the problem of PM2.5 pollution from the burning of rice fields in the Mississippi Delta. The project was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, and the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium.

My student team, consisting of CS, Engineering, and Design majors, developed a prototype app that would allow rice farmers to understand current weather conditions that would affect the transport of smoke from burning fields to mitigate particulate matter pollution in population centers.

Faculty partners from Arkansas State University, University of Miami Ohio, the University of Delaware, and the University of the Center for Advanced Spatial Technology at the University of Arkansas provided expertise in the areas of Agriculture, Atmospheric Science, Economics, and Public Policy.

GitHub repository

Breathe Easy

Breathe Easy is a project that I led with a team of faculty and undergraduates to address public health and empowerment in areas with acute PM2.5 pollution from the burning of rice fields in the Mississippi Delta. The project was funded by the Arkansas Biosciences Institute.

My student team, consisting of CS, Engineering, and Design majors, developed a prototype app that would allow members of the public to access and understand current, highly local air quality measurements. Users will also be able to view a map view of current burning activity, report burning activity, and share info from the app with their communities via social media.

Faculty partners from Arkansas State University, and the New York Institute of Technology Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine School assisted in the setup of a local air quality monitoring grid. With this data we were able to populate the app with real-time air quality data that is of a higher resolution than regional U.S. EPA measurements. NYIT faculty and students are also collecting Medicaid data on the health impacts of PM2.5 pollution on the local population. These resuts will be used to inform public policy and empower local communities to advocate for their own health.

GitHub repository

Oblique Strategies

Oblique Strategies is a student project from a digital prototyping course I taught at Arkansas State University. This student chose to create a mobile app version of Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt's Oblique Strategies card deck. The deck is a set of cards with prompts that are intended to help artists break out of creative blocks. The app is a simple one, allowing users to draw a card from the deck, and then to shuffle to view another strategy.

The student used Adobe XD to prototype the UI and interactions, and then wrote pseudocode to describe the functionality as it would be developed in Swift for iOS.

GitHub repository

Fine Art

Selected work from my studio practice.

Pillow Talk

Textile on plywood pedestals
Pillows: 16 x 16 x 6 ea, 52” high on pedestals

In the near future, everything we bring into our homes will be able to talk to everything else. This emerging technology will allow us to achieve a world of unlimited creature comforts and provide the perfect expression of our consumerist desires. 

We are building an Internet of Things where we can seamlessly communicate and ultimately merge with the products we buy. We can talk with them on lonely nights, letting them archive our most private thoughts and our darkest secrets, secure in the knowledge that our new digital companions will always be there for us acting in our best interest.  It’s going to be wonderful. Really…it is.

Invisible Suburb

3D printed PLA plastic, plywood
21" x 24" x 24"

Invisible Suburb offers the viewer a drone's-eye-view of a suburban neighborhood masked in a 21st century camouflage reminiscent of the digital shroud used by government installations on Google Maps.

Pangloss I & II

58” x 84”   &   33" x 33" respectively

Pangloss gets its name from the bufoonish, Optimist philosopher in Voltaire’s Candide. I made these pieces from jeans that developed holes from everyday wear and tear. I cut only the areas of the denim that had become frayed and pieced them back together into a patchwork quilt that consists of more hole than quilt.

The character Pangloss is famous for greeting the horrors of life (flood, earthquake, war and pestilence) with the sentiment that: if we live in the best of all possible worlds, then the outcome, no matter how horrible, must be the best amongst the possibilities.

Making this quilt is an exercise in futile optimism - that one could create order and warmth from worn and tattered scraps.

A Difficulty at Shadow Glen Estates

Mixed Media
72” x 48” x 48”

The story of a difficulty that may or may not have arisen in an average American Suburb. There may have been a youth uprising and there may have been casualties. Then again, you can’t really trust anything you read, hear or even see.

This Revolution Sucks

Wood, plexiglass, Arduino microcontroller and repurposed consumer electronics
48” x 42” x 33”

The disappointment of watching the victories of the Arab Spring being co-opted and then crushed by the most violent and regressive elements of society made me wonder what a revolution would look like in the largely pacified and doughy American suburbs. 

I imagined a social media frenzy of disaffected suburbanites growing bored of the revolution at the very moment when they have overthrown the power structure, leaving a vacuum that would inevitably be filled by leaders worse than their predecessors.

Dead Pixels

Plywood, tar paper, black sand
~36” x 24” x 8” each / installation dimensions variable

The drone hovers over the cul-de-sac, its camera lens scanning the neat rows of houses. It sees the green lawns and the plastic toys scattered about privacy fenced back yards. It listens intently to the secrets that lie behind closed doors. It hears the arguments and the tears shed for hidden addictions and fading loves. And as it hovers there, it longs to understand more deeply. It longs to know what it is to be human, to feel the warmth of the sun on porous skin and to experience life in all its complexity.

It is keenly aware of its own potential for chaos and violence. It sees how easy it would be to unleash that destruction upon this peaceful suburban landscape. And as it hovers there, it wonders whether it is capable of seeing beyond its programming and its algorithms to truly comprehend what it means to be human. To cower in fear at the buzzing overhead. To die in a never-filled soaking tub holding your children tightly and telling them that everything will be just fine.

Compression Error One, Two & Three

Framed Photographic Documentation
16-1/2” x 20-1/2” each

The compression error is the ghost in the machine and the authentic voice of the network. The network is controlled by machines but the data on the network is ours. Thus, these glitches, these ghosts that spontaneously appear due to random machine errors can be seen as a collective unconscious for the digital age; a computer generated average of our hopes, dreams and desires.

K-12 Project-Based Learning

Selected work done with students, ages 3-13, in the makerspace at the Delta School in Wilson, AR. Students at TDS use a modified Stanford design process to identify problems, ideate solutions, build prototypes to test, and then present their work to professional stakeholders.

Recipe Rolodex

Lower Elementary (5-7 year old) students designed, prototyped, tested, and built a creative way to deliver cupcake recipes they developed to their project one client. They ultimately decided on a rolodex made of laser cut wood. Through several prototype versions, the students were able to refine the design.

Frosting Press

I worked with lower elementary students to develop a tool to help in the frosting of their cupcake designs. Some of the younger students were having trouble with a traditional piping bag. We tried various methods of dispensing frosting and made a plan to build a machine to make the job easier. A small group served as testers for each prototyped version; recommending alterations to improve the tool.

Cat Gymnasium

During their final project of the year, Lower Elementary students chose as their client the local Animal Shelter. Their goal was to somehow support the shelter and improve the lives of the animals fostered there. One of the project outcomes they ideated was a cat gymnasium.

The students created dioramas of the space so that they could experiment with various structures. They then prototyped structures with cardboard before constructing and installing the final product using a cleat system.