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2009 Lloyd Fosdick Award Winner Announced


May 2009

The 2009 Lloyd Fosdick Award, intended to recognize exemplary collaborative projects that include Computer Science undergraduates as participants, was recently announced. This year's winning project was SketchCraft: A Sketch-Based, Physics-Enabled Video Game. Project team members were undergraduate Computer Science majors Evan McQuinn, Geoffrey Mitchell, Colin Rieger, Marek Sotola and Janusz (Jani) Strzepek.


Kerpoof is a Boulder-based company which hosts an educational and entertaining web site, for children. The motivation behind Kerpoof's products is to create a fun, interactive environment aimed at instilling interest in creativity and discovery in their young audience. Kerpoof's previous Senior project, the highly acclaimed Picasso (later renamed Super Doodle) project, incorporates a shape recognition system that allows users to create elaborate and precise drawings. The goal of SketchCraft was to incorporate the existing Super Doodle engine into a drawing-based game that is fun, educational and creative.

The World of SketchCraft is an online, sketch-based video game. The project was written in ActionScript 3.0 using the Flex 3 Software Development Kit. Users sketch various objects to complete the tasks set before them. Using the Super Doodle engine, user-drawn shapes are corrected: based on the overall shape of the object that the user drew, the game actually adjusts the shape to have straight lines, rounded curves, and square corners. Once the shape has been corrected, the shape enters the physics world. Based on the material that the user used to draw, the shape is assigned a set of physics properties. Example properties include the shape's friction coefficient, mass, and coefficient of restitution. In combination with the object's initial position and shape, these properties govern the object's behavior in the physics world. For example, a rubber object bounces when it comes in contact with another shape, while an ice object slides.

The variety of possible drawing materials adds another degree of complexity to the game. Using various shapes and materials, the user must intelligently develop a method of "beating" each level. Level goals range from building a tower to catapulting objects into the "win" area. This combination of drawing and physics based game play make SketchCraft unique.

In addition to this basic game play, SketchCraft also provides a level editor and a framework for further extending the game's capabilities. Ultimately, users will be able to construct and share new levels with each other and developers will be able to use the framework to extend the game in new directions. The project also won a "Best of Section Award" at the Spring 2009 Engineering Design Expo.

SketchCraft was one of ten projects completed in Computer Science Senior Projects (CSCI 4308-CSCI 4318) during the 2008-2009 academic year. The Senior Projects course was taught by Bruce Sanders along with teaching assistants Guy Cobb and Benjamin Robinson.

The Undergraduate Committee wishes to congratulate the winners, as well as three other excellent teams that were also nominated for the award:

  • LaspView -- 3D Simulation for Satellite Flight Control
    Nawaf Alghamdi, Benjamin Link, Garston Tremblay, Jacob Wisnesky
    and Alexander (Alex) Woods
    [nominated by Bruce Sanders]

  • Evolution of Journalism
    Peter Carr, Michael Charrier and Robert Mickle
    [nominated by Qin (Christine) Lv]

  • Apigy -- A Real-Time E-Commerce Infrastructure for Small Retail Shops
    Paul Gerhardt, Cameron Robertson and Robert Witoff
    [nominated by Dirk Grunwald]

This annual award is named for former Department Chair Lloyd Fosdick. Nominations for the award come from Computer Science faculty directing group projects, with the Undergraduate Committee selecting the award-winning project from those nominated each year. Each undergraduate student in the award-winning group will receive a $50 prize.

See also:
Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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May 5, 2012 (13:46)