The Depths of my Technological Musings…

The Beauty of Git Submodules

My helpful little bit for the day is about one of the best features of Git: submodules. Submodules allow you to create a repository which, for lack of an in-depth explanation, references a set of other repositories (i.e. submodules). In essence, this feature allows you to create a super-project that groups together a series of smaller related projects without having to put all of your code in a single repository. The implications of this are massive!

For instance, in my current project, I have 8 separate repositories housing 8 related but independent parts of my current research project. If I’m working on one of my libraries and need to roll back to an earlier commit, I don’t want to have to roll back commits containing work I did on other related libraries; hence, each library is in it’s own repository. However, when my boss wants to clone my work to allow another student to use some libraries I have written, he doesn’t want to have to clone and manage 8 different repositories just to see my code. Enter submodules… Using my super-project which references each of my other projects as submodules, my boss can clone my super-project and have git do the rest of the work for him to fetch the code in each of the submodules. Now my boss is happy, and my life is a bit simpler. It’s a beautiful thing.

For more information on submodules check out this informative blog post:

http://blog.jacius.info/2009/08/09/your-git-submodule-and-you/

And this reference info for submodules:

http://schacon.github.io/git/user-manual.html#submodules

Did Someone Say Moore’s Law?

Check out this cool post from IEEE’s facebook page. It really puts things in perspective. Computer Science has advanced incredibly fast in the past half decade, which raises the question: at what point with we hit the limit of our ability to make smaller/faster/more advanced chips to run our computing systems?

Giving UNR’s COEN Some Love

I was recently featured in a promotional video for the College of Engineering at my Alma Mater, the University of Nevada, Reno! While I tend to feel that I sound terrible when I hear recordings of myself, overall, this video turned out great. Check out some of the cool engineering projects the college is working on in the video below and feel free to spread the love and share this video with your friends!

Master’s Thesis

Augmenting the Spatial Perception Capabilities of Users who are Blind
Abstract 

People who are blind face a series of challenges and limitations resulting from their lack of being able to see, forcing them to either seek the assistance of a sighted individual or work around the challenge by way of a inefficient adaptation (e.g. following the walls in a room in order to reach a door rather than walking in a straight line to the door). These challenges are directly related to blind users’ lack of the spatial perception capabilities normally provided by the human vision system. In order to overcome these spatial perception related challenges, modern technologies can be used to convey spatial perception data through sensory substitution interfaces. This work is the culmination of several projects which address varying spatial perception problems for blind users. First we consider the development of non-visual natural user interfaces for interacting with large displays. This work explores the haptic interaction space in order to find useful and efficient haptic encodings for the spatial layout of items on large displays. Multiple interaction techniques are presented which build on prior research, and the efficiency and usability of the most efficient of these encodings is evaluated with blind children. Next we evaluate the use of wearable technology in aiding navigation of blind individuals through large open spaces lacking tactile landmarks used during traditional white cane navigation. We explore the design of a computer vision application with an unobtrusive aural interface to minimize veering of the user while crossing a large open space. Together, these projects represent an exploration into the use of modern technology in augmenting the spatial perception capabilities of blind users.