Descartes’ Meditations

Light Stages

This project presents the structure of Renee Descartes’ thinking in the Meditations in the form of a video game that takes students through a maze. The goal is to stay on the path of Descartes’ argument without wandering off down the paths of either empiricism or scholasticism. The game has 20 “gates” or choice points where students must select the successive steps in Descartes’ thinking.

Crane Training Simulator Development

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Overhead crane operation is an important part of the steel industry. The cranes are used for moving large amounts of scrap steel, ladles of molten metal, and other heavy items in steel facilities. There is little opportunity for training and practice without using the real equipment, where mistakes can be dangerous and costly.

Flood Modeling 3D Lab for Civil Engineering


Flooding can lead to significant damage and loss of life. Flood planning is critical to mitigating losses in the event of disasters. In most civil engineering programs that teach about flood planning, it is not economically viable to develop a physical laboratory setup to simulate flood scenarios. A simulated flood based on a 2008 flood in Northwest Indiana was modeled to provide a virtual laboratory using HEC-HMS and HEC-RAS models but only in the form of numbers or graphs. A three dimensional (3D) virtual lab module was needed to engage civil engineering students to explore flooding case studies, visualize hydraulic simulation results, and improve learning about flood planning.

Distributive Justice – Nuclear

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Distributive justice (the allocation of societal benefits and burdens) is an important concept in philosophy and the social sciences. There are many possible principles of distribution (six are considered here); the challenge is to determine which principle is most fair. An important approach to settling this question was proposed by John Rawls in his influential book, A Theory of Justice. To facilitate student learning about distributive justice and Rawls’ ideas, the game creates a simulation of decision-making in what Rawls calls the original position behind a veil of ignorance. Students become a commission, represented by avatars, to determine how best to use $100 million to compensate individuals and a community that has suffered damage as a result of having a plutonium trigger plant located nearby.