Carnegie Mellon University

BXA Intercollege Degree Programs

Interdisciplinary Academics + Arts

Capstone Project

All BXA seniors complete a year-long, research-intensive Capstone Project. Capstones range from papers, performances and games to apps, installations, business plans and beyond. The goal of the Capstone is to show how a student has woven together the interdisciplinary elements of their coursework into an integrated project. In addition, the Capstone project provides a concrete representation of the interdisciplinary work the student has done. BXA students present their Capstones at the annual Meeting of the Minds Undergraduate Research Symposium held each May.

Lena Banchero
BHA 2021, Global Studies and Drama with a minor in Art
In My Dreams

In My Dreams is a livestreamed theater piece in which Lena Banchero designed the set and worked with the creative team to devise the material.

Anna Sophia Boyd
BHA 2021, German Studies and Music Performance
Translating Belonging: German-Jewish Poetry in Classical Art Song

This capstone consists of an online performance, analysis and program notes that examines the works of two German-Jewish poets and their interpretation in classical art song.

Christian Broms
BHA 2021, Cognitive Science and Art with an additional major in Human-Computer Interaction

Pith is a branching discussion system that builds on an electronic direct democracy and aims to provide a way for many people to have a conversation, make decisions, explore a topic space and summarize their progress.

Maggie Caballero
BHA 2021, Economics and Music Performance with a minor in Business Administration
Forecasting the Future of the Arts

This project is a projection of the future financial growth of the arts industry by observing both microeconomic and macroeconomic data about the sector.

Sebastian Carpenter
BCSA 2021, Computer Science and Design

Zobits is a creative toy that simulates biomes. Players can select four from a set of sixteen organisms to assemble onto a pad and watch their chosen ecosystem develop over the course of a week.

Haine Cho
BCSA 2020, Computer Science and Art
Procedural Symmetry

In general, repetitive behaviors and rituals can be very effective in increasing focus and reducing stress. This project aims to explore symmetry and repetition as a source of therapy.

Emma Cordray
BHA 2021, Hispanic Studies and Drama
Esperanza Rising: The Musical

Esperanza Rising: The Musical is a bilingual Mexican musical adapted from Pam Muñoz Ryan's iconic novel by Jimena Caballero and Emma Cordray.

Oscar Dadfar
BCSA 2020, Computer Science and Art with a minor in Computer Graphics, a minor in Machine Learning and a minor in Physics
3A2A: 3D-Assisted 2D Animation

Researching a 2D hand-drawn animation pipeline that allows anyone, regardless of drawing ability, to create hand-drawn animations. Stick figure drawings from the user are parsed and used to animate a 3D model backend that is cel-shaded to produce 2D reference images for hand-drawn animation.

Yumeng Du
BCSA 2021, Computer Science and Art

This capstone is a 3D block-pushing puzzle game about light and shadow. It was released on Steam in February 2021.

Kaitlyn Fong
BSA 2021, Physics and Art
Breathing Space

This capstone is the video documentation of a kinetic installation involving four blooming paper cut stories. As we live in a virtual space this piece acknowledges the act of living within a COVID context from 2020 to 2021.

Milana Heifetz
BHA 2021, Global Systems & Management and Music Performance
Music in the German Language

This capstone examines how the German language and culture affect the music that was written by German-speaking composers. How do those composers create their own language by utilizing elements of the German language and culture?

Fengyi Hu
BHA 2021, Japanese Studies and Art
Yamanote Line Walking

By walking along the most essential train line in Tokyo, this photography project explores the history and urban culture of Japan.

Aerin Kim
BHA 2021, Decision Science and Musicology with a minor in Business Administration
Wellness at CMU

The project focuses on studying general wellness of CMU students based on varying levels of sleep, stress, happiness and social activities.

Catherine Kim
BSA 2021, Physics and Art
Diary's Arrow

Diary's Arrow is a mixture of a scavenger hunt and escape room throughout the CMU campus. It is a celebration of the past, remedy of the present and start for the future.

Kate Ko
BHA 2020, Decision Science and Art with a minor in Media Design and a minor in Neural Computation
Metacognition of Photography

Metacognition of Photography investigates the extent to which humans were aware of whether the individual camera functions were contributing, thereby measuring the difference between the actual and the human expectation of the contribution.

Rosa Kurtz
BSA 2021, Physics and Art
Red Wolf Hunter

This capstone is an animation pipeline project exploring the process of 3D animation. Rosa Kurtz developed characters, scenery and assets along with a Little Red Riding Hood inspired narrative through the design, development, rigging and modeling stages and partially through the animation stage.

Alyssa Lee
BCSA 2021, Computer Science and Art with a minor in Animation and Special Effects

Zobits is a generative building toy that translates tangible interactions to virtual outcomes. By mixing and matching figurines on a play pad, players can see how their creative choices affect an ecosystem that exists on their mobile device.

Erin Lim
BHA 2021, Global Systems & Management and Music Performance with a minor in Business Administration
Through My Eyes

Through My Eyes is a collection of photographs and interviews exploring cross-cultural living and identities of Japanese/Japanese-American students living in the United States.

Liz Maday
BHA 2021, Decision Science and Music Performance
Guyliner: The Transgressive Masculinity of My Chemical Romance vs. Music Critics in the 2000s

My Chemical Romance, a rock band known for popularizing emo music in the early 2000s, constantly played with gender and sexuality in their music, performance and image. This project explores the ways in which MCR challenged mainstream masculinity, and how critical responses to the band reflected heteronormative culture.

Adrian Mester
BCSA 2021, Computer Science and Music Technology

This project explores the sociological influences of gun carrying through a narrative story game. The game follows the story of a father and his family as he acquires and carries a firearm.

Ian Moore
BSA 2021, Mathematical Sciences and Art
Mohrs Sphinx Project

This project is a proof of concept for an art-based role-playing game designed to foster storytelling and personal artistic growth within a community.

Jacob Paul
BHA 2021, Professional Writing and Design with a minor in Creative Writing and a minor in Photography
We Can't Hide the Way it Makes Us Glow

This portraiture project works to develop a sense of belonging that is deeply rooted in Pittsburgh. It observes how people relate to spaces and pays attention to how notions of masculinity are at play in this city.

Rebecca Polanzke
BHA 2021, Global Studies and Art
The Post-BFA Climb

This project assesses the three main challenges BFA students face when becoming a working artist post-graduation. These include skills that are typically gained through experiences outside of an academic environment.

Rani Randell
BHA 2021, Decision Science and Art
Stop-Motion Medicine

This project is a stop-motion animation that explains medical phenomena in an artistic way.

Laura Riviere
BHA 2021, Social & Political History and Drama
Esperanza Rising: The Musical

Esperanza Rising: The Musical is a bilingual Mexican musical adapted from Pam Muñoz Ryan's novel. The costume design in this project seeks to shed light on the harm of stereotypes and seeks to celebrate Mexican culture.

Max Robbins
BHA 2021, Psychology and Music Performance
The Interactions of Harmony

This project studies jazz arranging, writing jazz arrangements for an assortment of standards and recording the arrangements with a mixture of professionals and CMU peers.

Sommer Schneller
BHA 2021, Environmental & Sustainability Studies and Architecture
Eco Grinds

Eco Grinds is a novel repurposing of spent coffee grounds to produce eco-conscious products, such as fire starters and body scrubs.

Shaelin Spahle
BHA 2021, Ethics, History, & Public Policy and Architecture
From Cockpits to Congregationals: The History of the American Home Kitchen through the First Half of the 20th Century

This capstone explores how the American home kitchen evolved from a hostile workspace into the most welcoming room in the house. It investigates a large gap in the recorded and preserved history of the black American domestic narrative that is almost entirely missing from history books.

Anna Telmer
BHA 2021, Anthropology and Art
Weaving Through Place

This piece visually encourages viewers to question their judgements of non-traditional methods of traditional practices, especially when it comes to weaving. The installation challenges typical associations between different materials and their relationship to gender and space.

Jessa Westheimer
BSA 2021, Neurobiology and Art
Moments: An Exploration of the Grieving Process

This project explores my personal grieving process after the loss of my mother. Through engaging with her photography as a curator and my emotions as an artist, I have been able to cope and grieve.

Connie Ye
BCSA 2021, Computer Science and Art with an additional major in Human-Computer Interaction
Cozy Companion

Cozy Companion is an interactive physical prototype and design concept of a device that helps an individual build a personalized before-bed routine by providing daily activities for relaxation.

Kathy Zhang
BHA 2021, Environmental & Sustainability Studies and Art
Entropy+ Catalog

Sustainability and waste management are often approached within a framework of individualized responsibility. Entropy+ Catalog attempts to address this issue by documenting the sustainability of products offered to students in Carnegie Mellon’s on-campus convenience store.

Theresa Abalos
BHA 2020, Global Studies and Music Performance with a minor in Hispanic Studies
Magsalin: A Translation of Diaspora from Memory to Expression

Magsalin—“to translate” in Tagalog. In diaspora, there are many kinds of translation: from one language to another, from generations in one geographical space to another. This performance of creative writing and music translates the speaker’s shame from growing up in diaspora, into a sense of place that is embodied and expressed.

Alec Albright
BHA 2020, Statistics and Audio Recording & Production
What Makes a Song "Pop"?

This project dives into the question of whether modern pop music is as predictable as many listeners believe. By using statistical analysis of song components and features, this project looks to exploit commonalities in modern pop music and hopes to find differences as well.

Stephen Chabassol
BHA 2020, Creative Writing and Music Technology with a minor in Sound Design
Enhance Christian Artistry in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh's Christian music artists lack unity, quality and visibility. This project seeks to enhance artists' creativity and discoverability. Through researching and interviewing Christian artists and arts organizations, this project reveals current challenges and solutions. Research data informs plans for a business, non-profit or collective to enhance Christian artistry in Pittsburgh.

Connie Chau
BHA 2020, Economics and Music Performance with an additional major in Human-Computer Interaction
Mono no Aware Mannequin

Mono no Aware Mannequin is a multimedia project that combines passive interactive ambient sound, a mannequin and the Japanese artistic technique of kintsugi to create intrigue and wonder about the aesthetics and Japanese philosophy of "mono no aware."

Nana Cheon
BHA 2020, Global Systems & Management and Art
Madonna Without Child

Madonna Without Child is a multi-channel video installation and collage where the artist aims to visually redefine and restructure traditional notions of domesticity. The imagery, symbolism and performances are derived from cross-examining Catholic Colonial ideals as well as Baroque and Renaissance portraiture.

Tamao Cmiral
BHA 2016, Philosophy and Music Performance
The Space Camel EP

This capstone project is an extended play record (EP). It is a compilation of songs written, performed and produced by my band, Spring Wizard.

Tyler Destremps
BSA 2020, Neurobiology and Music Performance
A Senior Recital as a Bagpipe Performance Major

This capstone project is a senior bagpipe recital which acts as a cap on and portrayal of four years of performance development and refinement.

Selina Du
BHA 2020, Economics and Art with an additional major in Business Administration
Comfort Food for Thought

The goal of Comfort Food for Thought is to create integration between food, formalities of dining, art and exploration of cultural and social significance. The end product is a dinner experience in the form of an installation.

Liza Goncharova
BHA 2020, Russian Studies and Art
A Game in Hell: Theatrics of Destruction and Play

This capstone project is a thesis addressing the aesthetic relationship between nonsense and rationality in Russian Futurist book art, specifically the poem “A Game in Hell.”

Yixin He
BCSA 2020, Computer Science and Art
Victo Ngai-ify

This project is a series of art directable stylization shaders that transform 3D scenes and models into an approximation of Victo Ngai's art style in real time.

Lingdong Huang
BCSA 2019, Computer Science and Art
Pose Estimation Playrooms

Pose Estimation Playrooms is an online multiuser interactive experience, where users move their bodies and body parts in front of webcam to engage in playful activities in a series of virtual worlds that they share with each other.

Clelia Knox
BHA 2020, Humanities Analytics and Art
The Dummy: A “Cyborg” Comic

This project investigates the potential of introducing computational methods for generating text to the process of developing a comic adaptation of Susan Sontag’s short-story, The Dummy.

Diane Lee
BSA 2020, Chemistry and Art with a minor in Photography
There is no world without women

There is no world without women is an artist's book project exploring the conversations between women's health and environmental health.

Brooke Ley
BCSA 2020, Music Technology
QueerPGH Podcast

This podcast is an interview series with Queer folks and leaders living in the Pittsburgh Region.

Tiffany Li
BCSA 2020, Computer Science and Art with a minor in Game Design
PolyRhythm Painter

PolyRhythm Painter is a rhythm-based drawing game inspired by Dance Dance Revolution.

Zachary Rapaport
BHA 2020, Global Studies and Art with an additional major in Hispanic Studies
WaterWalks: Creative Action for Community Justice

WaterWalks is a socially engaged art project working to center overlooked histories and marginalized perspectives in Pittsburgh’s ongoing water crisis. This goal is accomplished through artist- and community-led “Walks,” participatory experiences that advocate for environmental justice.

Bethany Rispoli
BHA 2020, Cognitive Neuroscience and Design
PupCycled: The Sustainable Pet Apparel Brand

PupCycled is a sustainable pet apparel start-up that disrupts the waste cycle by taking unwanted textiles and upcycling them into unique and innovative dog products. This start-up project aims to call attention to the problem of textile waste in the fashion industry while making dogs look and feel great.

Natalie Schmidt
BHA 2020, Professional Writing and Drama with a minor in Game Design
Scholar & Painter

Scholar & Painter is a movement-based play written in collaboration with student director Rachel Pospíšil, intended to be mounted for a School of Drama production. It tells a love story of a connection that exceeds the difficulties presented by distance, time, disease and our own memories.

Isobel Stephen
BHA 2020, Cognitive Neuroscience and Art with a minor in Human-Computer Interaction
Random Access Memory Palace

This series of paintings and digital artwork investigates what artificial intelligence can show about the nature of human consciousness, especially memory and loss.

Charlene Sun
BHA 2020, Economics and Art

Dream is a collection of six dresses inspired by fairy tale elements. This project attempts to visualize the dreamlike environments in literary fairy tales and explores their commercial appeal. The final collection is intended to be wearable art.

Clair Sun
BHA 2020, Decision Science and Art with an additional major in Human-Computer Interaction

This online crowd-sourcing platform includes a timeline and visualizations of job-related information. Students contribute data of their past experience of the job application process (e.g. time for rounds of interview, interview questions, etc.) to help each other better plan for the process.  

Helen Tsui
BHA 2020, Psychology and Art
Music Social Experience Reimagined

Music can be a significant part of one’s personal experience that evokes emotions, memories and feelings. It can also be a social experience that is able to bridge people together in unimagined ways, especially in such a special time where people are physically in isolation. This project aims to explore ways of collaborative music listening and sharing on digital platforms.

Jeena Yin
BCSA 2020, Computer Science and Music Technology with minors in Game Design and Music

Fvsion is an audio-visualization VJ software designed in Max/MSP with live-coded Jitter shaders and JavaScript. It is an intuitive program that visualizes sound and creates organic virtual worlds.

Léann Bahi
BCSA 2019, Computer Science and Art with a minor in Human-Computer Interaction
Infectious Overlay

Infectious Overlay is an augmented reality installation in which virtual wraiths infest the viewer’s immediate surroundings. The project explores the imminent encroachment of virtual entities into physical space, and the speed at which visual symbols can recondition human habit.

Anna Jamieson Beck
Politics & Public Policy and Drama with a minor in Professional Writing
Politics, Performance and Power

Politics, Performance and Power is an exploration of how theatre and politics intersect, especially when it comes to politicians. The project takes the form of a staged reading of a script devised from various plays, books, articles, movies, student voices and historical events. The project hopes to start conversations about where there is overlap between politics and theatre and what that means for society as a whole.

Parley Belsey
BSA 2019, Neurobiology and Art

Pub(lic)SCIENCE is a series of photographs and paintings focused on carrying out the goal of the now defunct article repository PubSCIENCE, a DOE website slated to “disseminate and improve access to scientific information,” but in a fashion meant for public consumption. This project aims to share the scientific research process in an interesting and digestible way, in order combat gaps in public information that could be contributing to the ongoing wave of doubt facing the scientific community.

Odelia Cheng
BSA 2019, Biological Sciences and Art
Let’s Vaccinate! Reaching Anti-Vaxxers through Scientific, Emotional and Moral Arguments within a Narrative Structure

Let’s Vaccinate! attempts to reach anti-vaxxers through use of a narrative and educational animatic. The video will ultimately be published online for accessibility. The second part of this project includes the creation of an informational flyer to accompany the video and distribute to physicians.

Carolyn Chheath
BHA 2019, Cognitive Science and Design
3 years, 8 months, 20 days: Coping with Intergenerational Trauma in Cambodian Families

3 years, 8 months, 20 days is a collection of interviews and photographs that explores intergenerational trauma in families of first-generation and second-generation Cambodian genocide survivors. By sharing their stories and perspectives to a broader community, this project aims to reduce the stigma around mental health and promote the topic of multiculturally competent mental health resources.

Anne Crumley
BHA 2019, Statistics and Art with an additional major in Social and Political History
Why Does It Work? An Introduction to the Art Critique

Through the creation of a workbook, this project introduces students to the concept of the art critique and to supply novice participants with the tools needed to both participate in group discussions and to conduct personal critiques outside of the classroom.

Chloé Desaulles
BHA 2019, Cognitive Neuroscience and Art with a minor in Intelligent Environments
Dedications I-V

Dedications I-V is a short volumetric film composed of individual tales on memory as told by people with progressive memory loss. The short is inspired by neuroscientific research which suggests that selective memories can be made resistant to degenerative disorders through active recall. This short film is a visual collection of five people’s favorite memories. It is meant to act as a poetic document of those experiences, as well as a tool to strengthen the neural pathways related to them.

Mauricio Gil-Silva
BSA 2019, Neurobiology and Music Technology
Sonifying Mice

The capstone project is a model for converting data from mice walking on a treadmill to elements of sound. For example, the position of the mice’s feet can be mapped to pitch. The goal is to provide scientists with an auditory display that can help them engage data in a novel way.

Archana Goparaju
BHA 2019, Ethics, History & Public Policy and Art
Kinship in the Emerging Epoch

This paper studies the ways in which conceptions of kinship have been continuously altered during the Anthropocene and what significance these alterations have in relation to our current ecological crisis.

Shuangni Huang
BHA 2019, Decision Science and Art with an additional major in Human-Computer Interaction
1-Day Persona

This project is a booklet that tries to capture a fascinating phenomenon of how people in East Asia use colored lenses as a new way of self-expression.

Grace Huddleston
BHA 2019, Global Studies and Art with a minor in Hispanic Studies
Modern Marianismo

Modern Marianismo explores themes of motherhood, feminism and family in the south of Chile. Paintings and writings are based off of interviews conducted with women who identify as mothers, take place in Makewe, a rural sector with a large indigenous population. While the paintings share the stories of my host family, my writings situate their thoughts and experiences in the larger context of indigenous feminist movements and the history of colonialism.

Antonia James
BHA 2019, Logic & Computation and Art

This project is an animation about emotions.

Bo Kim
BHA 2019, Ethics, History & Public Policy and Art with an additional major in Human-Computer Interaction
The Commonplace Music

Commonplace Music is a system for composing and performing music with everyday objects. It challenges the notion of perfect performance and explores how to represent music apart from traditional syntax. The system lets anyone, regardless of one’s background in music, to build a notation system and play music. It incorporates ml5.js, an open source machine learning library for creatives and students, to recognize the object’s orientation and movement, and assign a particular sound for each case.

Dayoung Kwon
BCSA 2019, Computer Science and Music Technology with a minor in Physics
Sounds to Express

The project centers around the idea of musique concrete, a style of music composition that uses pre-recorded sounds to create interesting sounds. Most of the pre-recorded sounds are based on Carnegie Mellon campus noises, and the sounds are used to create an odd, eerie feeling that represents fear and anxiety.

Kevin Lee
BHA 2018, Global Systems & Management and Music Performance with a minor in Human-Computer Interaction
Creative Collaboration App

This mobile application connects creatives with each other within their area. Creatives can preview other peoples’ work, music, portfolio, etc.

Kearnie Lin
BCSA 2019, Computer Science and Art
Halcyon Days

“Stay soft. Don’t let the world make you hard.” This project’s reflective imagery is about the time and experiences spent here, and an introspective effort to create an emotional sanctuary.

Renee Madrigal
BHA 2019, Anthropology and Drama
Unlocking Xicana Identity: Ancestry, Indigeneity and Storytelling

Unlocking Xicana Identity is a multifaceted autoethnographic project combining family history, self-identity and the lost traditions of Purépecha culture. The project moves away from the dual nature of Mexican-American ethnicity and instead embraces a singular hybrid identity: Xicana. Through dramatic writing and earring-making, the project reflects the journey a young Xicana must embark on to reconnect to ancestral traditions in a modern world.

Abbey Mandracchia
BHA 2019, Cognitive Neuroscience and Music Performance
Music, Mindfulness and Mood: Implementation of Music in Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder

There is considerable evidence that music interventions can supplement treatment of various neuropsychiatric disorders, and this project reflects upon how this evidence can be applied to treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The ultimate goal of this project is to reflect upon the current research that exists regarding music therapy and BPD treatment, propose an argument for implementing music in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and create sample music therapy exercises for BPD treatment.

Yoon Seo Mok
BHA 2018, Cognitive Science and Art with a minor in Animation and Special Effects
Orfiel’s Nursery: Midnight Crime

Orfiel’s Nursery: Midnight Crime is a short two-dimensional animation that experiments with different visual styles. The styles randomly change throughout a linear narrative of six children and their caretaker.

Gabriella Orbach
BHA 2018, Cognitive Neuroscience and Music Performance
Singing for Parkinson’s Disease: Analyzing the Vocal and Psychological Efficacy of a Parkinson’s Group Choir

This project explores a group choir as a potential alternative, singing-based therapy for Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients experiencing hypophonia (quiet speech). Additionally, this paper addresses the possible psychological impact group choir participation may have on patients with PD who are experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation, which so often accompany debilitating illness.

Christine Phang
BHA 2019, Psychology and Art with a minor in Religious Studies
Little Mouse’s Search: Exploring Meaning through Children’s Literature

Little Mouse’s Search is a children’s book created through combining creative processes with research on readers’ preferences. Little Mouse feels like something is missing from his life. His friends each offer a solution but nothing seems to satisfy. Then he hears about the Gardener… Could the Gardener hold the answer?

Coby Rangel
BHA 2019, Cognitive Neuroscience and Music Performance with a minor in Sound Design
Racial Attitudes and Musical Preference: A Correlational Study

This study explores the relationship between the racial attitudes and musical preferences of an individual. Participants were asked to rate several song clips on a likeability scale in order to determine their openness or aversion to certain genres of music. Their implicit racial preferences were measured using a conventional black-white implicit association test and then compared across subjects in order to determine if there is a statistically significant relationship between the two.

Juliana Schnerr
BHA 2019, Creative Writing and Design
Eat Well, Learn Well, Do Well: Enhancing CMU and the Pittsburgh Community through an Urban Garden

Rooted in the fields of sustainable urbanization and non-traditional education, this project aims to lay out an effective project proposal and logistical plan for an urban community garden that would allow for accessible produce, community building and educational opportunities in the Pittsburgh area.

SooJin Sohn
BHA 2019, Global Systems & Management and Art with a minor in Animation and Special Effects
Loen’s Pieces

Loen’s Pieces is a fantasy action web comic, published on LINE Webtoon, made to explore various artistic and storytelling techniques including camera dynamics, fictional world building and touches upon concerns with self-identity by illustrating recollections of personal struggles.

Minjung Suh
BHA 2019, Economics and Art
Immortal Garden

The world today is born a destroyer of the world yesterday, and who is in charge is homo sapiens. Immortal Garden is a series of oil paintings that explore how one evolves an ego along with the internal and external worlds. This series aims to visualize the consciousness in constant flux mainly through the depiction of the physical bodies that lie between reality and fiction.

Xinyi Wang
BCSA 2019, Computer Science and Drama
Curating the Public Sphere: A Study of Op-eds on Twitter

This study uses online ethnography methods to analyze discourse patterns around op-eds shared by major news agencies on Twitter. It aims to inform news professionals in their creation and curation of op-eds on social media, for the goal of facilitating informed public discourse.

Kristin Yin
BCSA 2018, Computer Science and Art
Masked: A Game About Underrepresentation of Women in Technology

Masked is a text based choose your own adventure game that walks players through a series of conversations about women in the technology industry.

Shelby Zasacky
BSA 2019, Mathematical Sciences and Art with a minor in Computer Science
Incremental Fractal Urbanization

Incremental Fractal Urbanization is a mapping project that explores New York City’s historical urban boundary computed as a fractal. The project uses a combination of three-dimensional and two-dimensional data to create a visual tool that aims to provide understanding about the changing urban environment and ecological encroachment of the New York City region.

Olanrewaju Adetola
BHA 2018, Global Systems & Management and Art

Interrogations is an experimental fashion film that follows four black men on their inquisition of masculinity, what they have been taught about it, and the implications these teachings have had on their lives. Toxicity and pain dissolve in the delicate images of disarmed black men sporting the Pan-African clothing collection Messiah, designed by Adetola.

Sara Adkins
BCSA 2018, Computer Science and Music Technology with a minor in Sound Design
Creating with the Machine: Interactive Algorithmic Composition for Live Performance

Creating with the Machine is a set of compositions that combine algorithmic and traditional methods of music composition into live performances. It explores how interactive generative algorithms can influence creativity in musical improvisation and create a compelling listening experience for the audience. Three compositions were created and premiered, each showcasing a different algorithmic composition technique. These performances aim to meld the themes of creativity and computation in order to expose the audience to the use of automation and randomness for artistic purposes.

Melanie Anderson
BHA 2018, Japanese Studies and Art
The Turning of Tables

The Turning of Tables is a series of drawings that reworks famous Western art pieces in the Japanese ukiyo-e style. It incorporates personal experiences from travel in Japan.

Joshua Brown
BHA 2018, Technical Writing and Music Technology with a minor in Sound Design
Compōs-it Opera

Compōs-it Opera is an exploration into the process of opera-making in the new media age. Through hands-on inquiry of writing libretti, composing music and producing pieces, this project seeks to explore opera’s place in modern theatre practice. The project’s total span is five new operatic works written, composed or produced by Joshua Brown that premiered at two local new works festivals. Overall, Compōs-it Opera will be responsible for producing and developing over fifteen works of musical drama by its conclusion in May 2019.

Kevin Darr
BHA 2018, Logic & Computation and Music Technology
Applied Algorithms in Music

Applied Algorithms in Music is a collection of programs that analyze musical data and produce new music based on the input using algorithms from statistics and machine learning. These tools allow composers to extract the essential properties of the music they analyze.

Anthony Didonato
BHA 2018, Behavioral Economics, Policy & Organizations and Music Performance
Musical Mischief: Does Exposure to Music Affect Cognitive Reflection?

This project investigates the effect of music, acting through an affect channel, on a specific cognitive measure—the cognitive reflection task, which measures individuals’ capacity to override immediate gut selections when making decisions. Existing literature has tested subjects’ spatial reasoning performance during moderate affective arousal. Musical Mischief aims to extend this literature by investigating whether more extreme levels of arousal, induced by musical selections, impact cognitive reflection.

Spencer Dunnison
BHA 2018, Cognitive Neuroscience and Music Performance
An Exploration of Music’s Effect on Emotion and Pain: A Senior Recital

The voice recital is themed as my personal journey, with songs selected and organized to invoke an emotional connection in myself. The purpose is to explore whether performance of music is able to be used as a pain management tool for the performer, the same as listening is, and help manage my chronic pain. This recital attempts to bridge research and real-world applications of a non-pharmacological pain management tool.

David Gordon
BCSA 2018, Computer Science and Art
Infectious Overlay

Infectious Overlay is an augmented reality installation in which virtual wraiths infest the viewer’s immediate surroundings. The project explores the imminent encroachment of virtual entities into physical space, and the speed at which visual symbols can recondition human habit.

Aisha Han
BHA 2018, Economics and Musicology with an additional major in International Relations and Politics
Internal Exile: A Detailed Study on the Uyghurs and Chinese Governance in Xinjiang

A research paper, photo set and testimonials outline the successes and failures of Chinese socioeconomic and counterterrorist policies of Xinjiang in the context of the region’s historical, cultural and economic background. By setting an agenda of policy recommendations, this paper aims to portray alternative approaches in governing Xinjiang that align with the Chinese government’s systematic mandate but mitigates ethnic separatism and radicalization.

Russell Hawkins
BCSA 2018, Computer Science and Drama

Dramatech is a software suite made for disciplines within the drama field.

Ella Hepner
BHA 2018, Global Studies and Art with an additional major in Hispanic Studies
Your voice is not as beautiful over the phone y me siento vacía cuando despierto temprano, tranquila y fresca

This project takes the form of paintings and prints and draws from years of research on civil society in Cuba, as well as a personal take on estrangement and idealization caused by politics and institution. The work incorporates memory, fantasy and legal documents to discuss the presence of bureaucracy in relationships where the two parties hail from different countries.

Caroline Hermans
BS 2018, Electrical and Computer Engineering with an additional major in Engineering and Art and a minor in Media Design
Sending Love through Wearable Technology

Sending Love explores romantic wearable technology in the form of a pair of scarves. Partners communicate by touching a capacitive sensor embedded in their scarf, which signals the other partner’s scarf to warm up using a heating pad. These objects facilitate the wordless exchange of warmth, love and attention.

Jenna Houston
BHA 2018, Gender Studies and Art
Pass the Butter

Pass the Butter, an exhibition in the Ellis Gallery on CMU’s campus, queers suburban fantasy through personal imagery alongside addressing a lack of LGBTQIA+ neighborhood space in Pittsburgh. The exhibition included video, photo and installation art.

Zaria Howard
BHA 2018, Statistics & Machine Learning and Art
I am a black artist and machine learning engineer.

The Joy and Magic series is an exploration of black portraiture through the millennial lens. It is a reflection of the modern day black struggle of leading a thriving life under a system of oppression. These portraits expose a new facet of black culture frequently left out of mainstream representation.

Youhyun Jang
BHA 2018, Economics and Art
Stories Behind the Prices of Art Works

“How much is this painting?” or “How much would this painting cost?” Due to this high interest in artwork’s economical value, art auctions and art wealth management have been a huge hype amongst those who seek to earn economic benefits. This essay aims to examine this ongoing phenomenon and further analyze the importance of the economic value of artworks and the evolving relationship between artists and their public.

Amy Lin
BHA 2018, Psychology and Art

Expressive! is an art therapy activity book that uses the medium of art to facilitate expressive communication. This book aims to reduce stress and promote self-reflection by prompting different activities in which the user can participate.

Madeline Quasebarth
BHA 2017, Anthropology and Art
Gender Bias Education Zines

A project that examines gender bias on CMU’s campus through the interview of 20 undergraduate women. The aim of the project is to provide an educational format that opens dialogue and provides validity about gender issues. Through the use of the easy-to-read format of zines and photography, the aim is to create literature that makes people want to read.

Morgan Rolland
BHA 2018, Psychology and Art
The Unsolvable Problem

The Unsolvable Problem is a children’s book directed towards boys 5-7 years of age. Its aim is to teach boys how to better deal with emotions and support their friends through hard times. The book is meant to address how gendered socialization affects emotional intelligence in boys, often leaving them unequipped and without the social support to deal with emotional problems effectively.

Ruth Scherr
BSA 2018, Mathematical Sciences and Drama

Laborious is a text-based video game that explains and explores emotional labor’s impact on an individual as a method of examining how and whether we can teach complex concepts effectively through new mediums, as well as how to engender empathy and understanding in the player of a video game.

Valerie Senavsky
BSA 2018, Chemistry and Music Performance
Playfulness in Performance: The Intersection of Musical Meaning and Entertainment

This project searches for the balance between musical artistry, aesthetic pleasure and humorous entertainment through modifying a French horn with flames. The resulting performance reflects on experimental, improvisatory and contemporary music genres.

Olivia Smith
BHA 2017, Ethics, History & Public Policy and Art with a minor in Architecture
Considerations Regarding the Stephen Foster Statue in Oakland

The project takes the form of a policy recommendation in response to the question: should the City of Pittsburgh take steps to respond to the controversy surrounding the Stephen Foster statue? And if so, what is the most suitable course of action? While taking into consideration various arguments, the paper contends that racist artifacts have no place on public property in this city and provides an ethical basis for the relocation of the Stephen Foster statue to a museum.

Emily Stewart
BHA 2018, Global Studies and Musicology
Music, Movement and Mindfulness

Music, Movement and Mindfulness is conceived as an initiative to combat the pervasive stress culture at Carnegie Mellon through an exploration of mindfulness practices—specifically through the lens of music and movement. This project took the form of a series of four workshops, each focusing on a different aspect of music or movement. The four workshops include: Beginning Irish Dance, Tranquillo Music Spa, Exploring Music and Play, and an Open Dance Class from Infra Dance Company. In addition to these workshops, supplementary research was conducted on the history and social context of mindfulness and music therapy.

Sarah Stinson Hurwitz
BHA 2018, Gender Studies and Art
Trying to Remember the Ones I Never Knew: A Memorial to the Lives Lost at Pulse

Processing tragedy is an impossible and inevitable part of the human experience. This project uses iterative painting as a meditation on understanding grief while working toward commemoration.

Chantal Striepe
BHA 2018, East Asian Studies and Art

Untangling is a series of sculptures and paintings that focused on using line, form and space in order to portray a tangible representation of the artist’s mind and body while in a state of both mindfulness and awareness. By presenting a contingent quality, or spontaneity, of the human gesture, the artworks aimed to speak to the relationship between patterns in the artist’s thought process as they are translated through movement.

Gowri Sunder
BHA 2018, Psychology and Art
Rough and Tumble

Rough and Tumble is a series of paintings, drawings and digital collages that explores victimhood and subverts expectations of feminine passivity. It is inspired by spaces of performative displays of power and lived experiences of violence. The work explores the roles of aggressor, protector and victim using the glamor and vibrancy inspired by professional wrestling and comic book aesthetics. These paintings subvert traditions of hypermasculine and nationalistic power fantasy through iconography of the feminine, queer and other. From this language of absurdism and magical realism, these pieces transform historical and personal trauma into expressions of beauty and strength.

Colin Tait
BHA 2018, Ethics, History & Public Policy and Music Performance with a minor in Arabic Studies
The Transnational Diffusion of Peace Agreements: Northern Ireland’s Impact on the Accords Achieved in Colombia

Preceding research suggests that peace agreements between insurgent groups and governments are more likely to succeed if third parties become involved throughout the peace process and implementation period. However, the literature has overlooked the influence that some peace agreements have had on peace negotiations in other countries. This thesis traces the influence the 1998 Irish Good Friday Agreement had onto the 2016 Colombian Agreement. The “Irish Model” of peace shaped the outcome achieved in Colombia and has important consequences on how we understand conflict-resolution.

Theodore Teichman
BSA 2018, Neurobiology and Music Composition
Tree Hugger

Tree Hugger consists of a series of soft sculpture “parasites” that wrap around trees and transform tree self-regulatory processes and environmental air data into sound. This project dwells in the parallel processes of how humans/communities and trees/ecosystems cope with stressors in their environment. By making present the complex web of interactions and reactions that lie hidden within trees and whole ecosystems, this project hopes to strengthen the understanding of our ecosystems and reconsider humans as members of these natural systems rather than in opposition to them.

Spenser Tejada
BSA 2017, Chemistry and Music Performance
Elemental Instruments

This project utilizes the similar spatial structure of harmonic frequencies and atomic energy levels to generate timbres for elements on the periodic table. Each element has a specific way its electrons stack up energetically, and mathematically manipulating the electronic structure of different elements allows for the creation of different “instruments” by converting electron energies into sonic frequencies.

Katherine Tsai
BHA 2017, Psychology and Art with a minor in Animation and Special Effects
GIRL GANG Graphic Novel Pitch

A pitch for a graphic novel that explores the ways female identities and relationships can be represented in a narrative accessible to the mainstream public.

Charlotte-Alyss Weissglass
BCSA 2018, Computer Science and Art

Pride is a narrative video game chronicling a young trans woman’s coming-out story. The player is invited to take on the role of a high school trans woman as she navigates her parents, classmates, teachers and the pathways of her own mind. This project is the result of many thoughtful anonymous stories, which will be presented alongside the game.

Ran Weng
BCSA 2018, Computer Science and Art
Why Am I Like This?

Why Am I Like This? is an interactive visual novel/dating sim navigating the cultural identity of a young Asian-American woman during her transition into adulthood and growing disillusionment for herself and everything else.

Grace Wong
BHA 2018, Global Systems & Management and Art with an additional major in Human-Computer Interaction
Finding Tiananmen

Finding Tiananmen is a multimedia investigation on how the 1989 massacre continues to be remembered in America through the people and memories that still exist, first-hand interviews with exiles, photographs of Tiananmen memories, personal writings and resurfaced images from history. This serves to leverage art and media as an ongoing critical space for free and open communication.

Jiayin Xie
BCSA 2018, Computer Science and Music Performance
Is That a Clarinet?

This project explores creating a realistic MIDI-compatible clarinet synthesizer based on how instruments respond under normal conditions in order to make playback of new compositions more realistic.