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.

Olanrewaju Adetola
BHA 2018, Global Systems & Management and Art
Interrogations

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

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!

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

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

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

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.

Sun Young Ahn
BSA 2017, Mathematical Sciences and Architecture
Brainer!: A Brain Training Mobile Game for Children to Improve Concentration

Brainer! is a 2D children’s mobile game to train brain skills while enjoying playing. A few simple mini games, such as matching the same pictures, are included to stimulate different senses, like the sense of space, and level of concentration. The game is developed on a mobile platform with Unity for easy access. This project helps young people who wish to improve concentration for better educational achievement.

Amanda Branson
BHA 2017, Decision Science and Music Performance
BXA Student Showcase

The BXA Student Showcase is an interactive evening of creative work informed by our interdisciplinary study. The showcase includes a variety of live performances, video and multimedia works, poetry, 2D and 3D artwork, theatrical garments, digital games, robotics, and other inventive works. The goal of the showcase is to illuminate the diversity of BXA student work and demonstrate the way that our interdisciplinary education has affected our perspective and creativity.

Clare Burdeshaw
BHA 2017, English and Art with a minor in Business Administration
The Pilot Project

The Pilot Project is a 60-minute dramatic television pilot targeted at and about the college demographic. Alongside the screenplay, this project also contains the various supplementary documents a writer would include in a pitch to studio executives, which include: show logline, episode summary, season summary, series summary, character bios, episode breakdown, and a plot breakdown, amongst others.

Bonnie Chan
BHA 2017, Professional Writing and Art
Perceptions into Realities

The world is composed of different realities, realities that are subjective to everyone’s individual perceptions and experiences. This series of paintings represent what I perceive as reality. They portray moments from my everyday life in analytical but disoriented ways. They visually represent my constant confusion with how people and things interact.

John Choi
BCSA 2017, Computer Science and Art
Fostering Interdisciplinary Learning with Robot Movie Actors

Humanoid robot movie actors star in a series of short films parodying famous movies along the likes of Harry Botter, Saving Private Robot, and Fortran Gump. The line between artist and engineer becomes so blurred that there is literally no distinction between producing creative art and building creative invention.

Diana Connolly
BHA 2017, Cognitive Neuroscience and Art
Symbols for Autism

This project is the creation of a symbol library for Temple Sinai, a local synagogue, to represent each of their Shabbat prayers. These symbols are shown during their sensory-friendly Shabbats on a large on-stage poster as well as personal sticker booklets. These visual supports help to engage those with sensory needs throughout the service. 

Erika Cox
BHA 2017, Ethics, History, & Public Policy and Architecture
Greening a Brownfield: A Comparative Analysis of Planning Mechanisms

As an emerging post-industrial society, cities face the challenging dilemma of how to re-purpose these sites. This project analyses several brownfield development projects constructed under differing sets of planning mechanisms. This project engages in a critical discourse by asking: How do cities engage in the processes of urban planning and zoning to ensure that development outcomes are successful in terms of building regional strength, strengthening local economies, and improving quality of life for its citizens?

Luca Damasco
BCSA 2017, Computer Science and Art
The Wick Editor

The Wick Editor is a free online multimedia tool, which allows users to create anything from animations to video games by combining images, drawings and sounds with code snippets. The tool exists entirely on the web at www.wickeditor.com with no need to download anything, and makes it easy to share work on the internet.

Guy De Bree
BCSA 2017, Computer Science and Art
Measuring and Valuing Needs: A Hierarchical Approach to Happiness Economics

The project is an investigation into a new approach to measuring happiness based on the satisfaction of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a popular theory of human motivation. The measure intended to potentially replace Gross Domestic Product as a measure, but ultimately proved to be unsuccessful.

Erik Fredriksen
BSA 2017, Mathematical Sciences and Music Technology with a minor in Conducting
Subsist Live: A Study in Translating Electronic Composition to Ensemble Performance

This capstone project is the production of two works through composing electronic music, where electronic music is music primarily composed for synthesizers and digitally created or manipulated sounds. First is a performance consisting of newly composed electronic music with a small ensemble of musicians in a recital format. Second is a score of the songs and a written reference that describes in detail the notes performed on each instrument, such that other musicians could perform the works accurately without hearing a reference recording or additional direction from the composer. 

Andrea Gershuny
BCSA 2017, Computer Science and Art
Hot Off the Forge: Accessible Innovation in Cosplay

This project is the creation of a glowing prop axe for cosplay that looks realistic both lit and unlit, while using the most accessible methods and materials possible.

Autumn Hill
BHA 2017, Professional Writing and Art
Pittsburgh and Fashion: A Promising Pair in the Making

This capstone project is an analysis of Pittsburgh as a fashion city, its relationship to major fashion capitals, and its potential to ever join their ranks.

Dante Horvath
BHA 2017, Linguistics and Music Performance
Folk Sounds: An Exploration of How Language and Music Interact

This project is an artistic experiment to paint an aural picture of how the way composers write music may be affected by the language in which it is written. The project involves two personally created conlangs (constructed languages), designed to mimic two opposite language structures. In collaboration with a School of Music composition student, poems written in these new languages are transformed into folk songs, which show off rhythmic and melodic content that is driven by the structure of the language itself.

Eileen Huang
BHA 2017, Japanese Studies and Design
Speculating the Future of Clothing and Its Relationship to the Wearer from Applied Concepts Found in Traditional Japanese Garments

Construction methods of traditional Japanese clothing (e.g., the kimono) are utilized in order to speculate upon how these garments can provide greater insight into the role modern clothing plays in relation to the consumer within the dominating world of today’s fast-fashion industry.

Alicia Iott
BCSA 2017, Computer Science and Art
Memory Rooms

The project is an installation in which the viewer can watch objects and rooms remodeled from memory move through time around them. Memory Rooms explores the potential for virtual reality to both capture memories and fabricate reality as well as to portray domestic, feminine, and personal content.

Jerilyn James
BHA 2017, Psychology and Design
Men, Media, and Muscularity: The Impact of Male Objectification

This capstone project examines the impact of hyper-masculine images on men’s self-esteem, body image, and romantic relationships.

Justin Kelly
BHA 2017, Technical Writing and Music Performance
Movement Zero: A Preconcert Podcast

Movement Zero is a short, listen-before-you-go podcast that explores the story behind live concert programs. Movement Zero includes excerpts from the music on the concert interwoven with explanations of the music’s background, storyline, and technical features. 

Nat Kent
BHA 2017, Creative Writing and Art with a minor in Japanese Studies
Hero by Proxy: Queerness in Young Adult Literature

This project seeks to further queer progressiveness in young adult genre fiction, an area of media that tends to consider queer a genre that cannot overlap with fantasy or science fiction.

Janice Kim
BHA 2017, Global Systems & Management and Art
YUCCI

The rising popularity of Korean hip hop street fashion borrows heavily from its Western counterpart. The Hanbok, a once ubiquitous piece of traditional Korean clothing, has long since become an anachronism. YUCCI is a fusion of the Hanbok and present-day streetwear, a wearable series that appeals to modern hip hop fashion while also reviving an ever-fleeting Korean tradition.

Shoshana Klein
BHA 2017, Psychology and Music Performance
Evaluating Music Organizations with Regard to Effectiveness and Value to the Immediate and Greater Community

This project examines music-related organizations that affect the greater community, analyzing why they are effective, and what makes them interesting. This information will be used to help new or existing organizations have a framework to model themselves after.

Bronwyn Kuehler
BHA 2017, Professional Writing and Art
Steel City Sorcery: Investigating Pittsburgh Witchcraft

Pittsburgh is home to a startlingly large magick community—tucked away in pockets all over the city. This project explores the details and eccentricities of Pittsburgh’s many magick societies to discover how local people maintain and adapt fringe traditions. The research culminates in a video art piece depicting the labor and strangeness of crafting spells.

David Last
BSA 2017, Physics and Music Composition
Physics Music: Representing Analytical Approaches in New Musical Creations

Relatively little creative work to date has explicitly engaged the intersections of music composition and the principles of physics as a source of inspiration. This project rests in the conceptual space of music inspired by physics concepts and practices. The project consists of a recital featuring a newly composed work inspired by analytical problem solving. 

Michelle Ma
BCSA 2017, Computer Science and Art with a minor in Animation and Special Effects
The Clinic

The Clinic
 is a virtual reality experience that allows users to explore a virtual space and investigate a macabre character with interactive, jiggling organs. The project is an investigation into the immersive capabilities of virtual reality through visuals, sound, and haptic touch, as well as an experience that allows laughter and play in an imagined reality.

Kabir Mantha
BSA 2017, Mathematical Sciences and Music Technology with a minor in Sound Design
The Operatic Manifesto

This capstone is a study of the practice of opera in an age of immersive, interactive, site-specific, and distributed digital media. The project culminates in a paper studying the translation of operatic works into mediated experiences, as well as a performance of an adaptation of Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle that serves as an example of this translation.

Mark Mendell
BCSA 2017, Computer Science and Music Technology
Survey of Neural Network Audio Generation

Toward the end of 2016, generative neural networks like WaveNet and SampleRNN mimicked gibberish human speech and piano music after training on audio alone. This project uses these networks to generate a diverse set of sounds such as broken glass, restaurant noise, and animal cries.

Anna Menkis
BHA 2017, Linguistics and Music Performance
Orchestra Librarians: A Catalogue

All music that reaches the stands of orchestra musicians first goes through the orchestra library, where librarians carefully edit, mark, and maintain the parts. The tasks required of an orchestra librarian attract a wonderfully unique assortment of characters. This catalogue of librarians explores methods, attitudes, and personalities as they differ from librarian to librarian via stories, anecdotes, and examples from my recent trip visiting orchestra libraries. 

Seowon Oh
BHA 2017, Japanese Studies and Art
Steampunk, Fantasy, and Detectives?: Making a Mock Film Artbook

An artbook for a film is the product of numerous processes, and the collaboration of people working in different fields, but all related to the film. What kind of work goes into developing the concept art for the movie, and what kind of work is needed to make a physical book that contains such concept? This project is about not just the creative process of making concepts for a movie, but also the work on the production side and processes of commercializing artwork.

Miles Peyton
BCSA 2017, Computer Science and Art
Looking Inside

In Looking Inside, four endoscopy simulators have been hijacked by an organism who uses the machines to explore its body. The work is shown in the Miller Gallery as a rear projection on a medical privacy screen.

Caroline Santilli
BHA 2017, Psychology and Art
Authenticity, Creativity, and Recovery: Enhancing Therapeutic Experiences for Young Artists

This project is a digital resource for art educators that focuses on students with neuro-developmental disabilities. The site draws on art therapy theories and concepts in order to maximize the student’s developmental potential. The educators can also find project ideas along with resources and related articles to enhance their teaching methods.

Keaton Shapiro
BHA 2017, Linguistics and Drama
Malefaction: A Reflection on Mediation and Abuse through Love Poems and Dance

How does distillation through different forms of media change and distill a story? This capstone studies the way abuse manifests in three classic Disney princess film stories compared to their original or most well-known written versions. The project inspired by these analyses is a written book of sonnets and a theatre performance of narrative improvised dance duet, to see if the multiple minds and media the stories go through change or distill them and if they retain their essence and remain recognizable regardless.

Christine Shen
BSA 2017, Mathematical Sciences and Art
Word Play

Language is more than syllables and phrases. It holds power; the power to define and confine. Language is about perception, thoughts, identity, voice, history, culture, power, and systems. Language is about the expansion into a world not yet known, a venture into a game not yet played. Word Play is a series of text paintings made in exploration of language.

Char Stiles
BCSA 2017, Computer Science and Art with a minor in Media Design
Performing Coding

Performing Coding recontextualizes live coding as performance art. Live coding is where a programmer codes algorithmically generated music and/or visuals for an audience. Performing Coding subverts live coding, which is based on a reverence for technology and math, by reconfiguring it as just a tool in an expressive, person-centric performance. This manifests as a custom environment for live coding visuals using webcam feed and intergraded personalized code completion. This is taking what is strong and impactful about live coding, but through the addition of footage, it grounds the visualization, and creates a feedback loop, which accentuates the current performance, instead of dominating it.

Joan Sullivan
BHA 2017, Psychology and Art
Reflections of Home

Dappled light, pattern, a stain on a wall; some remembered sound of the clock, an appliance’s hum: these moments follow us through unfamiliar territory, influencing our interaction with and development of spaces. The way individuals build their environment is the focus of this capstone, culminating in a series of paintings.

Matthew Turnshek
BCSA 2017, Computer Science and Music Technology
Poltr: Fast Online Polling

Poltr
 is a website for fast strawpolls. While there are other similar websites, they are lacking in both functionality and design. Poltr seeks to fill that niche as the clear best of its kind.

Keith Yeung
BCSA 2017, Computer Science and Architecture
Keith Maverick.Com 2.0

This capstone project is a redevelopment of my current portfolio website. The new site is a webapp-based production and utilizes ReactJS for the Front-end and Python for the back-end to dynamically input personal data onto the site. The project incorporates ideas learned and developed since the first website, as well as many improvements such as scalability, responsiveness, user experience based on past feedbacks, dynamic data, and new technologies. The entire development can be followed on Github at https://github.com/Nesrider.

Nicole Yoon
BHA 2017, Professional Writing and Art
Young Girl: An Exploration through Paintings of the Young Girl as Object

Young Girl explores the manipulation of identity through the Internet. The project examines the calculative nature of social media platforms and how it gives individuals the power to curate their online presence to construct a different reality.

Catherine Zheng
BHA 2017, Global Systems & Management and Design with a minor in Chinese Studies
Lunar Gala 2017: Designing Experiences, Processes, and Systems

This project studies the Lunar Gala production as a type of experience design, where multi-discipline teams work together to curate, define, and produce a creative fashion showcase. It aims to take all persons interactions and repackage the production process as a curated experience and system design effort that connects to the outside world. It helps future producers have a holistic understanding of Lunar Gala, from perspectives of designing creative experiences, working through production processes, and considering the logistical systems behind an organization, a brand, and a show.

Emily Zhou
BHA 2017, Computer Science and Art with a minor in Animation and Special Effects
Silk and Stone: Merging Ancient China and Ancient Rome in 3D Game Environments Using Generative Scripts and 3D Sculpting

Silk and Stone
 is a 3D fantasy game containing environments inspired by the architecture, mythology and lifestyles of ancient China and ancient Rome. This project makes use of programmatic scripts to generate towering structures as well as 3D modeling to sculpt newly invented creatures. Ultimately, Silk and Stone encourages players to step into this virtual world and envision two distant locations as one natural entity.

Marlena Abraham
BCSA 2015, Computer Science and Art
A Light Touch

A Light Touch is a series of experiments with virtual reality and haptic feedback. The project includes the construction of a custom-built pair of gloves that deliver a faint to strong vibration to the player when they touch something in virtual reality, and a ghostly, ephemeral game environment that is enhanced by delicate tactile feedback provided by haptics.

Jacqueline Barnes
BHA 2016, Creative Writing and Art
PhantaNoir

PhantaNoir is a concept developed to center black characters, protagonists, and stories in the realm of fantasy. Along with the concept, a graphic novel, an article, and an animation showcase and explain PhantaNoir in depth, as well as set the example for fantasy stories and worlds to come.

Francesca Begos
BHA 2016, English and Music Performance
Cesarina & Charles: The Italian Opera Singer and the Rich Englishman

Cesarina & Charles is a short story that rationalizes the conflicted English response to Handel’s Italian operas through the eyes of a young, female, Italian opera singer. The project seeks to contextualize Handel’s work for modern performers of his operas by exploring issues of gender, sexuality, and class in 18th century England, the backdrop of Handel’s career.

Jacob Berntsen
BHA 2016, Philosophy and Music Technology with a minor in Sound Design
Beauty Slap

Beauty Slap is an electro-brass-funk machine hailing from Pittsburgh, PA. The thunderously funky screams of a brass quartet (two trumpets, two trombones) are twisted and tweaked by Ableton wizard Jakeisrain into sweltering and beat-driven dance music, the likes of which you have never heard before. Beauty Slap has enjoyed national attention surrounding their debut EP and northeastern tours. Armed with a powerfully groovy live show and a litany of releases in the near future, the group is poised for complete world domination.

Asya Borahan
BHA 2016, Japanese Studies and Art
Recollection: A Recovery of Memory Through Art

Recollection is an ongoing attempt to recover and record personal memories through a series of oil paintings. It also serves as a study of how memory and art can interact with and shape each other. It started as a way of encouraging personal growth through the exploration of the past, and has evolved to include records of daily moments of introspection. 

Raquel Caticha
BHA 2016, Psychology and Art
Gender and Handwriting: The Depth to Which Social Expectations of Gender Influence Personal Expression

The project examines the connections between society’s definition of masculinity and femininity in relation to how people write. Research was performed through the CMU psychology department and resulted in an installation of handwriting samples that explored and exposed the changing gender binary.

Chloe Chia
BHA 2016, Global Systems & Management and Design with a minor in Human-Computer Interaction
Passports as Power

Citizenship has evolved to be more than simple inclusion and exclusion around geographic borders. The forces of the free market, globalization, and technology have led of new forms of transnationalism, and classes of global citizens from a wide spectrum of power. Combining insights from a global systems and design perspective, this research project shows case studies of the social hierarchy that the artifact of a passport perpetuates, the ethical implications of a citizenship market, and potential solutions for the inequalities it produces.

Emily Clark
BHA 2016, Creative Writing and Drama
Superfluous: An Exploration in Independent Television

This project attempts to explore the ways web series have influenced television through a series of five fifteen-minute episodes of a new series entitled Superfluous. The episodes focus on incorporating diversity, experimental narrative techniques, and other traits not yet normalized in television.

Timothy Fitzgerald
BHA 2016, Economics and Music Technology
Youth and Music

This project is a study of the economic effects of in-school/out of school music programs in secondary schools and a practical application.

Madalyn Gryger
BHA 2016, Psychology and Art
Sanctum

Sanctum is a clothing line that explores the experience of living with mental illness. Sanctum is a place to feel safe. It explores the idea of safety in relation to mental illness by recreating boundaries in which people with mental illnesses live in the form of fashion. By using different materials, forms and transparencies, the line creates variations of boundaries between the model and the audience, mimicking the mental boundaries that living with a mental illness can create.

Jennifer Huang
BHA 2016, Creative Writing and Art
In Three: Normalizing the Asian American Experience Through Poetry

The Asian-American experience is often misrepresented in film, television, fiction, and other media. In Three is a short collection of poems paired with collages that portrays and normalizes the fragmented experience of being Taiwanese-American. This project strives to expand the repertoire of works dealing with Asian-American identities. By visualizing the poems, the collection gives the audience more ways to access the experience.

Kevin Karol
BCSA 2016, Computer Science and Drama
Isn’t It Pretty to Think So and The Norm Is Monstrous: A Study of Responsive, Synchronized, Distributed Human/Computer System Designs for Live Performance

These two interactive theater pieces explored system design for interactive live performances. Isn’t It Pretty to Think So? explores the use of commodity synchronized audio to allow the audience to dynamically layer pre-recorded music and live performance using wireless networking and smartphone applications. The Norm Is Monstrous explored automated geographically based installations. Viewers use a GPS enabled Android application to trigger automated lighting and automation events around campus, synchronized with audio playback on their devices.

Steven Kosovac
BHA 2016, Environmental Studies and Art with a minor in Photography
Andy Warhol: Environmentalist

Was Andy Warhol an environmentalist? The project examines this under-explored question, covering a span of the artist’s life and career. Research is presented in two formats: a screen-printed short essay and a proposal for a hypothetical exhibition on the subject at the Andy Warhol Museum.

Sylvia Kosowski
BCSA 2016, Computer Science and Art
Algorithmic Animation: A Tool for Creating Two-Dimensional Painterly Animation

This project is an animation program which is a tool for expediting the creation of 2D animations in painterly styles. It uses an image analogy algorithm to computationally generate frames of animation in a complex style, given corresponding frames colored in a simple style. The tool decreases the time needed to digitally paint each frame of animation, enabling artists to experiment with more complex 2D styles at a lower time cost.

Danielle Lehmann
BHA 2016, Creative Writing and Architecture
The Proviso: An Exploration of Dystopian Settings and their Use in Social Commentary

This project examines the duality of place and environment in dystopian texts through a novella set in what could be labeled as a dystopia. The novella exaggerates today’s issues to explore consequences and follows several different characters to explore perspective, voice, and morality.

Arun Marsten
BHA 2016, Information Systems and Music Technology
Pitt Pass: An Online Resource for Pittsburgh DIY Music

Made in an attempt to lower the barrier to entry into Pittsburgh’s do-it-yourself music community, Pitt Pass is a web application for scheduling concerts, learning about local bands, and finding concerts in the Pittsburgh area.

Iman Mazloum
BHA 2016, International Relations & Politics and Drama
The Zahra Center

The Zahra Center is a play adapted from the novel Surviving Zahra by Fatima Aly Jaffer about the culture of silence regarding domestic abuse and sexual violence in North American communities set during a seven-day wedding with various fun characters. This play and its performance intends to connect audiences from various backgrounds and life experiences while presenting a much-needed Muslim narrative in the performing arts medium.

Laurel Michel-Schottman
BCSA 2015, Computer Science and Art
Daddy Issues

The project was created to better our understanding of how a people relate to their fathers. The website allows users to enter information about their relationship to their fathers through selecting descriptive adjectives and rating their closeness while also providing information about themselves. Users can then use this entered data to sort through what other users provided about their fathers based on age, location growing up, gender, etc. to try to understand bigger themes about what the modern father is.

Christian Murphy
BHA 2016, Professional Writing and Art
Benis Wars: The Tail of Weenerdog’s Son

Benis Wars is a digital narrative that explores the downward spiral of genocide and drug addiction, providing edutainment without the constraints of human agency. It incorporates writing, music, art, and technology in an interactive videogame experience.

Liza Otto
BHA 2016, Psychology and Architecture with a minor in Hispanic Studies
An Exploration of Spatial Perception through Optical Art

Combining theories of architecture and psychology, this project is a painted mural that addresses the human body’s significance in spatial perception. This cognitive experiment is designed based on various theories of visual perception, centered on the idea of embodied cognition. The installation is a work of optical art designed through principals of perspective and motion parallax to form an illusion that sustains while the viewer is moving past the piece. It is painted in the long corridor below the stands of CMU’s Gesling Stadium, making an uninspiring space on campus a bit more inspiring.

Paul Peng
BCSA 2016, Computer Science and Art
Feeling the Computer: Towards an Affect of Non-Productive Computation

This project is a generative study to actualize a feeling of computation. It is after an understanding of computation beyond its applications and formalizations: computation as affect. To do so, this project employs cut-up techniques to create runnable, randomly generated computer programs to perform non-productive computations to isolate this affect in preventing its absorption into applicative intent.  

Lina Pulgarin-Duque
BSA 2016, Physics and Drama
A Small Leap: Placing Theatre at the Center of Science Outreach

A Small Leap explores how a local science outreach program that uses theatre as its medium can have an impact on science interest, general knowledge, and retention for young students. In collaboration with Attack Theatre and their existing education program, the project engages the Pittsburgh scientific and artistic community, producing a series of blog posts addressing the scientific, artistic, and STEAM communities as well as lesson plans for Attack Theatre to use in the future.

Aamer Rakla
BHA 2016, Information Systems and Drama
Technology Use in Student Affairs

This project looks at how Residential Life staff use technology and where it can be optimized, to allow for staff to focus more on collaboration and creating a memorable experience for dorm students. The result was a report on the state of technology in Student Affairs and a prototype of a potential solution.

Samantha Riordan
BHA 2016, Creative Writing and Architecture
Jack and Jill

A compendium of visual and narrative development for a prospective video game for children, featuring a nonfeminine girl as the protagonist and a nonbinary character as her sidekick. This project provides the basis for the art and story of a video game that would fill a void in gender representation in the industry and provide a point of reference for kids.

Diego Schaps
BSA 2016, Biological Sciences and Music Technology
Biological Serialism: A Music Composition Technique using Stem Cells to Elucidate Bias in Biological Research

This project seeks to elucidate bias in scientific research by applying two different composition techniques to the same set of data. The two different songs that arose symbolize the two different conclusions that two scientists would arrive at when analyzing the same data.

Jessica Shen
BCSA 2016, Computer Science and Design with a minor in Sound Design
Lunar Gala: Examining the Show Experience

This project was the production and documentation of the Lunar Gala fashion show, a student-run organization invested in cultivating interdisciplinary creative talent within the community. This involved combining multiple disciplines in creating a brand and theme that drives the show, and incorporating those in directing and planning the show. The project addresses designing this experience as well as searching for the boundaries that can be reached with all of these disciplines within a performance.

Gabriel Shoglow-Rubenstein
BHA 2016, Psychology and Music Performance with a minor in Neuroscience 
Potential Effect of Music on Smokers ’ Craving: A Method for Self-Administration Control

This project consists of a comprehensive literature review relating to the potential of music to act as a cessation aid in addicted smokers, as well a proposed experimental design for such research to be conducted.

Jordan Sucher
BHA 2016, Decision Science and Drama
Josza Corner: A Documentary Portrait

Alexander Josza Bodnar is a Pittsburgh institution: he runs the only Hungarian restaurant in Pittsburgh. Out of an apartment building. Josza Corner is a documentary inquiry into the history of the Hungarian Revolution, the neighborhood of Hazelwood, the politics of identity, and the ways in which we romanticize the past.

Micah Wallen
BHA 2016, Ethics, History & Public Policy and Music Performance with a minor in Politics and Public Policy
The American Symphony Finale?

During the past decade, American orchestras have come upon hard times, with many suffering from lockouts and bankruptcy. The American orchestra has always been a vital part of American life and culture, and the issues affecting its economic survival affect every American. This project provides a solution to the American orchestra’s problem.

Lauren Zito
BHA 2015, Psychology and Architecture with a minor in Learning Media
Making Possibilities: Maker Education Curricular Integration

Making Possibilities involves the initiation, process, and evaluation of creating a makerspace. A makerspace is an environment that encourages material and process exploration while fostering collaboration and knowledge learning and sharing. The project involved researching precedents and principles, designing spatial layout and features, and collaborating with the teachers of the Children’s School on Carnegie Mellon University’s campus, where a makerspace was created, adding value to the Children’s School, an institution that places importance on the education environment.

Rachel Asbel
BHA 2015, Psychology and Architecture
The Role of Setting in Autobiographical Memories

This project is an empirical and qualitative analysis of how embodied engagement with one’s surroundings creates more powerful memories. Participants recalled memories of different settings that varied in sensory qualities, revealing that memories of highly sensory environments were more emotional and vivid.

Samuel Barton
BHA 2014, Psychology and Music Technology
Critique of Conventional Psychological Approaches to the Psychology of Music

After reading a number of scholarly articles from the field of music psychology, one starts to notice that measurements of music’s emotional, experiential effects are often reductive and ill fit to the vivid range of feelings and states that music can evoke. This series of essays analyzes that issue formally and informally, making a case for integrating more nuanced, qualitative methodologies into the standard psychology toolkit.

MacKenzie Bates
BCSA 2015, Computer Science and Art with a minor in Human-Computer Interaction
All is Fair: A Game About Relationships

This video game engages the player in experiencing how relationships differ, how they are similar, what behaviors, obstacles, and challenges they face, and how they overcome or fail to overcome them—to endure or collapse.

Abby Botnick
BHA 2015, Professional Writing and Drama
Still Burning: A Dance Narrative Film

Still Burning is an original dance movie exploring the themes of love, fear, and relationships. Still Burning is told through dance because it is the ultimate form of body language. It is natural to tell a love story with the use of body movement. The medium of film gives people who would not normally see a recital a chance to experience the art form of dance in an environment that is familiar. Movies reach more audiences than live theater and making Still Burning into a movie furthers the art form of dance and gives it more exposure.

Vanessa Branch
BHA 2015, Creative Writing and Art with a minor in Hispanic Studies
90s Nostalgia: Developing An Original Television Animated Series

90s Nostalgia is a show bible for an original animated television series for millennial, bilingual audiences. The show bible consists of visual development artwork such as character designs, prop designs, color tests, and the script for the pilot episode. At the quinceañera she did not want, Ruth Gonzalez receives a pet rat from her estranged, destitute father. Compelled to keep the unwanted gift by her mother, Ruth stumbles across a secret about her new pet: it is an informant for the impending rodent uprising in New York City.

Andrew Bueno
BCSA 2015, Computer Science and Art
Click’d: A Very Clumsy Clicky Play Space

A Very Clumsy Clicky Play Space is a exploratory prototype for a Pittsburgh Children’s Museum exhibition inspired by the work of beloved children’s illustrator Eric Carle. The installation plays with children’s sense of scale and curiosity, giving acoustic feedback in response to physical play. Its design is the result of an unconventional application of the user-centered research process often found in human-computer interaction.

Daniel Campos Zamora
BHA 2015, Psychology and Art
Minnar Xie
BHA 2015, Psychology and Art with an additional major in Human-Computer Interaction
BeSpoke

BeSpoke is a collection of experimental audio tracks taken while conducting participatory arts workshops that reexamines the linguistic and cultural aspects of “Americanness.” The project is inspired by stories from immigrants living in Pittsburgh and studying at the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. The mixtape combines distorted pop music, recordings of the students, and confusing American phrases and idioms in order to reinterpret patriotism and the “American” sound.

Stephanie Cheung
BSA 2015, Physics and Art
Death and Rebirth in the Stars

Death and Rebirth in the Stars is an astronomy-inspired sculpture about the cycles of death and rebirth observed in stars. When clouds of gas from old and dying stars gravitationally collapse to ignite the process of nuclear fusion, a new star is born from the ashes of the old ones. The sculpture mirrors this process through a shrouded human figure inside a black coffin whose mummified form glows and pulses with the energy of a bright young star being born within.

Samantha Chiu
BHA 2015, Psychology and Design with a minor in Human-Computer Interaction
Rift

Rift juxtaposes natural processes and synthetic materials by capturing chaotic geological phenomena in rigid plastic forms. The clothing line is composed of three looks, each of which captures a still moment in nature but still appears to be moving and alive.


René Cuenca
BHA 2015, Environmental Policy and Architecture
Developing Solutions for the Developed World

Bringing western “sustainable” ideas and technologies as solutions to the Global South’s problems is contested. Instead, can sustainability be redefined by different histories and cultures? Focusing on Latin America, this project aims to shifts those roles. By showcasing architectural examples from Latin America—like informal grassroots initiatives—it proposes new ways to inform western sustainability.

Rosalyn Denton
BHA 2015, Japanese Studies and Art with a minor in Music Technology
Coexistence

This project features a live trio composed of a pianist, cellist, and drummer playing an original piece. Curated digital images are projected onto the musical performers to tell a story of the coexistence between the mechanic and organic.

Anna Failla
BHA 2015, Ethics, History, & Public Policy and Architecture
Assembly, Activism, and Architecture

This installation of human figures is covered in quotes from student interviews on various political or social topics and displayed prominently in public spaces. When people utilize their rights to the first amendments, specifically the right to assemble, they are performing an act of guerrilla architecture. They create a temporary partition, which alters the circulation paths of passersby, who are now forced to engage in the assembler’s cause by actively responding or avoiding the barrier of people.

Alexa Goetz
BSA 2015, Biological Sciences and Music Performance
Music in the Pediatric Dental Office

Music is played in nearly every dental office in the country, yet most of the music chosen is not tailored to enhance the patients’ experiences. As music has proven to be successful in helping alleviate anxiety experienced by patients in various clinical settings, this paper investigates how different types of music affect children’s behavior while getting a dental procedure.

Elizabeth Imas
BHA 2015, Linguistics and Art with an additional major in Human-Computer Interaction
Experimental Comics

Telling stories is all about transferring your idea to another person and trying to make sure it remains intact as much as possible when in transfer. This series of short comics explores how best to bridge that communicative gap through the visual and verbal combination of comics, using a variety of media and techniques.

Jiyoon Kim
BHA 2015, History and Design
Hello from History

This children’s book series is about historical people, animals, and inventions. It aims to break the stereotype that history is boring for kids through the use of typography and illustration.

Jacob Klingensmith
BCSA 2015, Computer Science and Architecture
Interactive Alphabet Blocks

Play with alphabet blocks and learn language! The “rules” the interactive blocks follow physically line up with patterns that are present in language. By playing with the blocks, children will internalize these patterns.

Katherine Lee
BHA 2015, Chinese Studies and Art with a minor in Communication Design
With,

“Intimacy and solitude. At once a declaration of that which we yearn for, and the unconscious acknowledgement of our fears.” With, is a series of events across different platforms that use the senses as a tool to convey the concept of the coexistence between intimacy and solitude. At With, events, seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching harmonize with carefully curated music to allow the viewers to experience human emotions in an unconventional way. Experiencing feelings through the five senses gives a deeper, introspective understanding.

Talia Levin
BHA 2015, Creative Writing and Drama
Extraordinary

Extraordinary is a two-minute trailer for a feature-length screenplay, which tells the story of a woman with supernatural abilities. She is enabled by an enigmatic organization to test the limits of her strength, but as their tactics grow more brutal, she must take responsibility for her own power in order to achieve true independence. The spec scene emphasizes the heart of the full story and serves as a crucial first step in the development of the feature film.

Monica Ly
BHA 2015, Psychology and Music Performance with a minor in Cognitive Neuroscience
Restoration of Motor and Cognitive Function via Lithium Treatment in Rats with Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury

Lithium has been a common treatment for bipolar disorder for several decades, but it also shows promise as a treatment for traumatic brain injury due to its protective effects against cell death. This project tested lithium’s ability to reduce motor and memory deficits caused by traumatic brain injury in a rat model.

Bridget M. McCoy
BHA 2015, Hispanic Studies and Music Performance
Voces Peninsulares

This project was a concert of early Spanish music dating from 1275-1575. The goal of the project was to explore the effect that the takeover of the Spanish Catholic kings had on the music of the country. The program was prepared by Bridget McCoy and sung by School of Music musicians.

Kyna McIntosh
BCSA 2014, Computer Science and Art
Mark Strelow
BCSA 2014, Computer Science and Art with a minor in Japanese Studies 
Gaze

Gaze is an experimental video game that explores the relationship between player and perspective through a unique mechanic. The player can implant the “gaze” of the main character into other characters in order to see through their eyes, while maintaining control of the movement of the main character. This allows for complex puzzle solving that involves coordination between movement and sight.

Divya Mouli
BCSA 2015, Computer Science and Music Technology
Automatic Carnatic Raaga Classifier

This project explores the use of machine learning techniques in the classification of Carnatic Raagas, which are musical modes of the South Indian classical music style. The culmination of this research is the development of an application which accepts audio input and returns a classification of its musical mode, as determined by statistical models and manual user classification. The further development of such an application will hopefully provide a learning tool to those hoping to master the art of Raaga classification.

Laura Paik
BHA 2015, English and Art
Learning to Teach: Using a Student-Led Course as Preparation for a Teaching Career

Laura Paik chose to teach a StuCo (Student-Led Course) on Gothic Literature and the Scary Story. The goal is to use the experience as a way to practice and improve at teaching for a potential career as a high school English teacher. While teaching she took note of strengths and weaknesses, tried out different ways of conducting classes, and asked students to fill out several evaluations through the semester. Laura gained useful experience and insights that she can use going forward in her teaching career.

Alexander Petti
BSA 2015, Chemistry and Music Composition
Guts: A New Musical

Guts, A New Musical written by Brad Plaxen and composed by Alex Petti, takes place ten years after the zombie apocalypse. Survivors in an underground bunker must break their routines when an outsider enters, forcing them to confront their fears and to question what it means to be alive. When it comes to living after the zombie apocalypse, who is really dead: them or us?

Sejal Popat
BHA 2015, Logic & Computation and Art with a minor in History
CMU Stories

CMU Stories is a series of paintings and recorded interviews with members of the CMU community. The work shares the perspectives and stories of students, faculty, and staff through painted images paired with audio excerpts that revolve around the subjects’ interests and backgrounds.

Samuel Poulos
BHA 2015, Film & Media Studies and Art
The Nicene Creed as Recited by a Confused Orthodox Christian Underwater

This project is an attempt to illustrate the relative ease of entering into a new state of being, awareness, or consciousness through religious rituals. It argues for a similar element of effortlessness when one attempts to connect with a past life of theirs.


Taylor Preston
BHA 2015, History and Art
‘Cause Now I’ve Got the Pill: Country Music and Women’s Liberation

A two-part Capstone project, the historical research paper analyzes the role female country music stars, specifically Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Tammy Wynette, played in bringing feminist thought to the south. Though they rose to fame during the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s, they did not openly identify as feminists or participate actively in the movement. Still, they used their music to empower themselves and others by generating a dedicated and mainly female fan base. The project was also accompanied by an installation, a feminist homage to Dolly Parton and a celebration of extreme femininity as subversive.

Campbell Rogers
BSA 2015, Mathematical Sciences and Music Performance with a minor in Computational Finance
A Guide to the Music Business

This project is an interactive blog for musicians entering the industry who are seeking information or advice. Many music students graduate with little experience in creating their own brand, organizing their performance schedule, or managing their finances. This website will provide insight on these and other important skills. The website will focus mainly on information for young classical singers.

Jolyn Sandford
BCSA 2015, Computer Science and Art
Andrew Sweet
BCSA 2015, Computer Science and Art
Ctrl+Art+Critique

Ctrl+Art+Critique is a series of Let’s Play videos on YouTube attempting to bridge the gap between the gaming world and the art world. Its primary goals are to legitimize video games as an artform, introduce the language of art to a broader audience, and critically analyze a diverse set of games.

Rachael Schmitt
BHA 2015, Ethics, History, & Public Policy and Drama
Buggy Crash Testing

Buggy crash testing is a research project into the effects of dangerous crashes in Buggy, based on previous crash record analysis. A crash test dummy was used to test the structure and momentum of the buggies during a crash and the impact force on the driver. The results can help to inform safety and construction standards.

Catherine Schwartz
BSA 2015, Physics and Drama
Interactive Gravity Museum Exhibit

This theoretical interactive exhibit is designed to teach gravity to young children at a science museum. Several exhibit pieces are drawn to scale along with written descriptions and intended learning outcomes.

Sam Smith
BSA 2015, Physics and Music Performance
Digitar: Dynamically Interactive Guitar Implementing Tonal Automation Robotics

As many as eighty percent of adults wish they could play a musical instrument. The goal of this self-playing robotic guitar is for non-musicians to interact with a guitar in a meaningful way.

Hyo Seul (Grace) Sohn
BHA 2015, Psychology and Music Performance
The Effect of Music Therapy in Improving Communication Skills and Happiness for a Child with CHARGE Syndrome

This project is a case study that explores the effect of music therapy in improving communication skills and feelings of happiness for a child who has CHARGE Syndrome.

Samantha Ward
BHA 2015, Professional Writing and Art
Pop-Up Beats and bubble:PGH Present: Music in the Park(s)

This project inflated a large bubble-tent in different parks in Pittsburgh and hosted musical shows in an attempt to foster community between unlikely participants. The shows took place in Mellon Park and Friendship Park. This project studied how bubble:PGH works as a new type of venue that is useable in the Pittsburgh area as well as other cities.

Isabella Weiss
BHA 2014, Linguistics and Music Performance with a minor in Business Administration
Music, the Universal Language?

The purpose of this research project is to determine the truth to familiar phrase, “music is the universal language.” It explores the syntactic, semantic, cognitive, and theoretical ramifications of music, under all aspects of both linguistics and music. The hypothesis is that music is in fact not a language, much less a universal one. However, music does indeed have a certain, informal kind of syntactic structure and can be used to convey emotion within a culture. It therefore can be said to have semantic meaning. However, neither comes close to the full structure required of a language. The way in which the human brain undergoes musical cognition is entirely different from the way people cognate language.

Anna Wettergreen
BHA 2015, Psychology and Art with a minor in Business Administration
Psychology through Shoes

Principles of psychology are often confusing to understand in written form and would benefit from being presented visually. Shoes are expressive of gender, personality, and other personal identifiers, making them useful tools to represent people. This project unites these elements in a series of photographs of shoes arranged to convey principles of psychology.

Rachel Willen
BSA 2015, Biological Sciences and Art
The Model Organism

This project is a photographic exhibit at the Center for PostNatural History. The focus is on the concept of the model organism and its use in biological research, specifically Arabidopsis Thaliana, the fruit fly, and the chicken embryo.

Yu Zhao
BHA 2014, Psychology and Photography
Still Lifes from Nowhere

Images demonstrate the fragmentation of space and how it can be re-established to echo the narrative content of the human imagination. Pictures shot at different locales show details without a larger perspective to narrate the tension of a place stranded in thought. The viewers may imagine multiple scenarios to fill in the incomplete nature of the photograph. The pictures are accompanied by texts sourced from user commentaries to illustrate the comfort, confinement, or repulse felt by the various environments. This project could shed light on how environments are interpreted, which in turn exposes the archetypes of form within society.