Graphic interface tools can help students in computer science understand the programs they are dealing with. Ru Jun Han ’14 is working with Associate Professor of Computer Science Mark Bailey on a user-friendly graphic interface tool for beginner computer science students.
Han’s program runs on Java technology and will be easily accessible on a web browser. His goal is to have the interface correctly translate and display encoded text in plain English. A student without extensive knowledge of computer codes could input an encoded file and the interface would decode it, explaining what the encoded file does.
Pure computer code is highly complex and beginner students may not be able to understand how to use it. To help bridge this gap between professionals and novices, Professor Bailey has encoded files that show a computer how to build a program. On their own, Bailey’s encoded files serve to carry out original codes, but are still not understandable to beginner students. Han’s goal is to use a graphic interface tool to decode the encoded files, displaying the results in simple English. Han describes Bailey’s process of encoding files as taking notes in a pure programming class. His interface tool serves to connect and display these notes. Combined, encoding and decoding help explain the programming process to a beginner.
Even though the interface tool is currently designed to work in introductory courses, Han also believes that if the tool could be programmed to understand more complex codes so even more experienced programmers could use the interface to understand highly intricate code.
Han’s research may benefit future students in introductory computer science classes, but the project also provides a learning experience for himself. In order to show his program how to translate encoded text, he must learn new programming languages, which will be essential to his later experiences in computer science. He is also learning to use Java and Flash, both of which are very common graphic tools, to create his program. Han hopes that his program will eventually be used in introductory computer science courses.
In his free time, Han enjoys playing IM basketball. He plans to pursue a computer science major at Hamilton, and his current research provides him with valuable experience in a field he is interested in. Han believes that artificial intelligence has the potential to change many careers, making workers more efficient. His graphic interface tool promises to help students advance in this often complex field.
Ru Jun Han is a graduate of Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School in New York City.