Project Portfolio

Areas of Expertise and Toolkit

I have been involved in a wide range of short- and long-term projects that have expanded my theoretical and practical knowledge in the digital humanities. My expertise is in the field of extended reality (XR), mainly in the creation of three-dimensional (3D) visualizations and virtual reality (VR) experiences, and has been informed by approaches derived from digital game-based learning (DGBL) and simulation-based learning (SBL). I have also been extensively involved in digital curriculum design and have practical expertise in the creation of hybrid and fully online courses. Whenever possible, these projects and courses, including all source code and digital assets, are released as an open educational resources (OER) under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) license. In addition to XR development projects, I have also branched out into computational approaches to literary text analysis.

My digital humanities toolkit utilizes audio editing (Audacity), screencasting and video editing (Camtasia), version control systems and development platforms (Git and GitHub), project management platforms (Trello and Slack), statistical computing and graphics (R and Tidyverse), photogrammetry (3DF Zephyr), interactive fiction (Inform 7 and Twine), 3D modeling and animation (Blender and 3ds Max), UML diagramming (Modelio), 3D procedural texture painting (Substance Painter), game engine programming (C# and Unity), and VR development packages (SteamVR and VRTK). In designing and developing VR experiences, I employ team-based bodystorming sessions, activity diagramming, and Agile project workflows to draft an experience design document and rapidly iterate toward a minimum viable product (MVP) that can be referenced in external grant applications.

Project Descriptions

VRThe German Environmentalism VR Project
Expanding the scope of the original flat screen 3D game, which introduced players to glass recycling and waste management systems in German public spaces, this VR experience will include more narrative to situate the user in authentic German cultural situations and more in-game tasks related to recycling and waste management practices. The project will determine whether increased immersion and sense of presence in a completely virtual environment can target greater learning outcomes in second language and culture acquisition, and perhaps even realize outcomes that were not discovered in the 3D version of the game.

Links
Project GitHub repo
Playable VR Experience (Vive and Rift)
Video of prototype walkthrough
Project update (10/10/2019)
Project update (10/3/2019)
Envisioning Heorot VR Project
Continuing the work of The Grinnell Beowulf, the project will construct a VR simulation of Heorot based on archaeological excavations of Viking meadhalls in Denmark and England, particularly the hall at Lejre, as well as accounts from historical and poetic records from the early Middle Ages. The project will help modern readers of Beowulf to better understand the civic spaces that helped shape the poem’s social structures, allowing them to see how the layout of the hall contributes to its function as a political and social arena.

Links
Project blog
Playable VR Experience (Vive and Rift)
Project tweets (#GCIELBeowulf)
Video of project walkthrough
The Grinnell Beowulf website
The Uncle Sam Plantation VR Project
The Uncle Sam (Constancia) Plantation was a 19th-century sugar plantation located near Convent in St. James Parish, Louisiana. Before the plantation complex was razed in 1940 to make room for a river levee, floor plans and elevations of the buildings were produced by the Historic American Building Survey. Incorporating 3D models based on these floor plans and elevations, this VR experience will virtually recreate the spaces of the plantation complex and tell the lost histories of the people who lived there.

Links
Project blog
Project GitHub repo
Project tweets (#GCIELUncleSam)
Video of project walkthrough
Turntable render of double-pen slave cabin
Project video for the 2017 HASTAC Conference
The Math Museum VR Project
This project is inspired by the mathematical models from the late 19th century when mathematicians partnered with industrialists to model new kinds of surfaces out of plaster, cardboard, or wire. These models brought new developments in algebraic geometry and new notions of non-Euclidean geometry. Immersed within the virtual Math Museum, students can interact with visualized mathematical concepts thereby experiencing greater enjoyment and comprehension of mathematical ideas.

Links
Graph-Coloring GitHub repo
Graph-Isomorphism GitHub repo
VMM-Ruled-Surfaces-Experience GitHub repo
Video of VMM-Ruled-Surfaces-Experience tutorial
Video of VMM-Ruled Surfaces-Experiences exercises
VMM-Curvature-Experience GitHub repo
Video of VMM-Curvature-Experience walkthrough
Virtual Museum Experience
The physical layout of a museum gallery and the manner in which artwork is installed influence how visitors interpret an exhibition. The Virtual Museum Experience allows users to experiment with the physical layout of a museum space and the relationship of exhibition objects to each other. By changing the structure of an exhibition, users assume a more active role in constructing meaning and understanding the effects of layouts on spatial narratives and space-use patterns.

Links
Project GitHub repo
Video of prototype walkthrough
2017 Digital Liberal Arts Teaching Fair VR Demo
The first virtual reality experience created in the Grinnell College Immersive Experiences Lab (GCIEL). The prototype includes a tutorial room, models developed for the Uncle Sam Plantation project with the HASTAC 2017 poster and video, and an interactive museum exhibition. The tutorial room was envisioned to function as a hub connecting various virtual reality experiences created by GCIEL and also as a starting point for goal-oriented learning quests in these experiences.

Links
Project GitHub repo
Video of prototype walkthrough
DGBLThe Digital Bahnhof (DigiBahn) Project
The project resulted in a 3D experience that teaches German recycling and waste management practices in a simulated real-world space. Future versions of the game will include challenges requiring students to navigate a virtual German train station and environs while meeting specific instructional goals.

Links
Project blog
Game EXE package (ZIP)
Game source code (ZIP)
Game instructional materials (ZIP)
Video of project walkthrough
Article detailing experiment results
Ausflug am Wochenende nach München Interactive Fiction Game
The project resulted in an interactive fiction game that teaches students the German vocabulary and culture necessary to navigate a train station while in Germany. By means of an interactive text-based interface that responds to student input, the game mediates the experience of preparing for rail travel in Germany and transmits cultural values by engaging spending practices, travel preferences, and interaction with cultural agents.

Links
Inform 6 source code (ZIP)
Z-Code game executable (ZIP)
Article detailing experiment results
Game review
OERThe German Professor YouTube Channel
A digital repository for open educational resources and a social media platform for facilitating program growth and outreach. The channel hosts a collection of closed captioned, high definition instructional videos with links to PDF study sheets and OpenOffice Impress slides. All site materials are released under a CC BY-NC-SA license.

Links
YouTube channel
Wege in den Beruf: German For Your Career
A prototype open online course for teaching business German to students at the secondary and post-secondary levels. The course seeks to promote the study of the German language and culture by connecting the study of the German language and culture to increased career opportunities for students.

Links
Canvas prototype course module
Article describing design of Business German program

Image Gallery

Video Gallery

(Screenshot by David Neville / Asset development in 3ds Max for the Uncle Sam Plantation Project)