About Me

samuels-portfolio:~ User$ Hello, world! Type help for commands...

Furman University
Computer Science, B.S.
2012 - 2016, Greenville, SC
Relevant Coursework:
  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Introduction to Computer Programming
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Discrete Structures
  • Computer Organization
  • Information Structures
  • Database Management Systems
  • Web-Based Application Design
  • Computer Graphics and Image Processing
  • Parallel Programming
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computational Theory
  • Statistics
  • Analytic Geometry/Calculus II
  • Vectors and Matrices
  • Music Technology
  • History of Technology and Discovery
Python Java C mpi R HTML5 CSS3 Javascript Bootstrap 3 ThreeJS PHP Git Filezilla Microsoft Access Oracle SQL MySQL PostgreSQL MongoDB Wordpress Sublime Text 2 Vagrant bash Markdown MIPS Logisim QtSpim Prolog Perl Max/MSP Ableton

SEA Semester
Study Abroad
Summer 2015
Woods Hole, MA -> Honolulu, Hi -> P.I.P.A., Kiribati -> Pago Pago, AS

I spent two weeks taking classes on global changes in the ocean during the anthropocene, conservation & management for sustainable oceans, and basic ship skills (including safety and navigation) while on shore in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. During this time, I developed an independent research project on an aspect of ocean science. The class then joined the SSV Robert C. Seamans in Honolulu, Hawaii to depart for the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA). We spent six weeks at sea conducting regular sampling and data collection with a few brief stops on some of the Phoenix Islands, such as Kanton and Orona, and ended our voyage in American Samoa. (link)

Sailing Life Python wget numpy matplotlib ADCP system Ocean Data View CTD-Carousel deployments Trucker Trawl deployments Neuston Net deployments Organism Identification







Department of Computer Science, Furman University
Laboratory Assistant
Fall 2013 - Spring 2016, Greenville, SC

I had two main jobs as a laboratory assistant. I worked in the computer labs from 6-11 to assist anyone who needed help with their homework or lab assignments. I also attended a lab for another class from 2:30 to 4:30 to assist the students with general assignments.

Explaining Code Abstractly Python

Department of Music, Furman University
Music Theory and Music Technology Teaching Assistant
Fall 2013 - Spring 2016, Greenville, SC

I spent five semesters as the Music Technology TA and one semester as a Music Theory TA. For the Music Tech TA I had five hours of computer lab time a week where students could come and get help on various music assignments that involved writing music with Finale, producing with Garageband, or recording with microphones. For the Music Theory TA I had the 8:30am Music Theory class and would help present and organize materials for the class as well as hold study sessions to assist students in improving the skills that they were most struggling with in the class.

Music Theory GarageBand Finale

Department of Music, Furman University
Recording Engineer
Fall 2012 - Spring 2016, Greenville, SC

I recorded concerts and ran sound for Furman students and professors, visiting artist, and various events including Furmans TedX program. The recording involved straight to disk, and ProTools recording simultaneously to have hardcopy and digital editions. The sound engineering involved setting up microphones and monitors, checking levels with groups during rehearsals and before concerts, and running the sound board.

Wire management Button pushing ProTools Sound Engineering

Biology and Computer Science Departments, Furman University
Teaching Fellow and Assistant
Fall 2013 - Fall 2015, Greenville, SC

I helped Drs. Tartaro and Chosed (Computer Science and Biology, respectively) develop code for the class Introduction to Computer Science through Bioinformatics. In addition, I researched various tools and topics intended to assist teaching students about basic coding and more advanced bioinformatic techniques.


Catron Development,
Web App Programmer
Fall 2014 - Spring 2015, Greenville, SC

I worked on the My Salkehatchie website for the summer camp Salkehatchie Summer Service, which fixes hundreds of homes around South Carolina each year. This site has allowed thousands of campers to register and pay for camps, and has cut the amount of paper from six different paper forms to one form per camper. I was assigned various tasks on Producteev, logged my hours on Toggl, used Git to upload my work to Bitbucket, and tracked errors with Rollbar and ssh. My tasks ranged from simply adding components to forms, fixing broken components, or creating new forms, to editing and working with the custom designed MVC pattern and website, which has four unique portals for different user types. The models were written in PHP with both PostgreSQL and MongoDB to store user information and form data. The controllers were written in PHP and the Views were written in HTML5, CSS3, and JQuery.

HTML5 CSS3 JQuery PHP MongoDB/MongoLab PostgreSQL Git Producteev Toggl Bitbucket Rollbar

Homer Multitext Project,
Fall 2014 - Spring 2015, Greenville, SC

I worked as part of a team of three to create a digital edition of the Iliad. Our work involved using a custom manuscript browser to identify regions of interest on a given page of the manuscript and obtain URNs. We identified individual characters, lines, and scholia then linked the regions on the manuscript to the text in csv files. After identifying regions, we edited XML files with the transcribed text to verify they matched the characters on each line. Finally, we would validate the page and edit any errors. Another important aspect of this work was using the issue tracker on Github to communicate when we found new occurrences of a word or name, and to ask for help on identifying tough characters and ligatures.

Git Github Vagrant XML Oxygen XML Editor SPARQL Ancient Greek Glyph Identification Transcription

Department of Computer Science, Furman University
Research Assistant
Fall 2013 – Spring 2016, Greenville, SC

I worked with Dr. Tartaro, Computer Science and Dr. Kerstin Blomquist, Psychology, on my thesis project Self Monitoring Innovations (SMI). Our work focused on creating and testing a new application to assist in monitoring (recording what you eat). The USDA recommends a plate-based method for planning meals, but all current monitoring tools use traditional forms of calorie counting and serving sizes on its site. Our application uses a new technique called plate-based monitoring, which involves recoring the percentage of a plate each food group occupies. My job was to redesign and implement a new version of the site, and then test the system to see how usable a plate-based application would be and to determine how accurately it could represent a meal.

I also worked with Dr. Tartaro on the Big Science project – a study of collaboration amongst scientists using data mining and machine learning techniques. My work on this project involved figuring out which metrics to judge collaboration (author citations and keyword matching), and developing a database of papers with the author, bibliography, and other essential information. The database was also capable of pdf mining and web-of-science querying.

Python HTML5 CSS3 Javascript Bootstrap 3 Highcharts CakePHP Git Filezilla

Sea Semester, Directed Oceanographic Research
Summer 2015, Woods Hole, MA -> Honolulu, Hi -> P.I.P.A., Kiribati -> Pago Pago, AS

I worked with other students to create characteristic models of an underwater sea mountain (seamount), and to possibly observe island mass effect (IME) in action. The initial models were to be 3D using python, numpy, and matplotlib, but after some issues with the magnitude of currents and matplotlib rendering speed we decided to create several 2D models to characterize what is going on around the seamount. The parameters examined were: current flow, temperature and salinity (isohaline layers), and ocean productivity measured in phytoplankton and zooplankton. The data were collected in a 2 day track over Winslow Reef (our subject seamount) in an attempt to capture the most data and observe possible areas of interference.

While taking Graphics during my final semester at Furman, I decided to revisit this project and with a team of three others developed an interactive 3D model of the seamounts and current data. We used Javascript and ThreeJS to create the models and add interactivity.

Python numpy matplotlib ADCP system Ocean Data View Javascript ThreeJS

Department of Classics, Furman University
Research Assistant
Summer 2014, Greenville, SC & Washington D.C.

I worked with Dr. Christopher Blackwell on botanical research in the Digital Humanities. During this time, I assisted in organizing data that was collected by the class and helped develop the structure that this data would reside in. The structure used a resource desription framework to add metadata like writter or geographic location to objects such as images of manuscripts and textual translations. In addition, Weston Catron (fellow research assistant) and I developed the SPARQL Environment to make querying our datasets easier. Later that summer I attended a two-week seminar at Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies to work on digitizing the Illiad.

Git Github Vagrant XML Oxygen XML Editor Botanical Identification SPARQL HTML5 CSS3 JQuery Ancient Greek Glyph Identification Transcription

Department of Biology, University of Richmond
Research Assistant
Summer 2013, Richmond, VA

I helped a molecular genetic biological research lab develop bioinformatic tools to examine a large dataset of gene expression profiles. Our goal was to create and utilize a data structure to allow for easy access to the data. The Hill labs possessed a transcriptomic data set obtained from the bioeroding and Symbiodinium-harboring sponge Cliona varians. The first step was to select information that might give the most relevant insights into our biological data set to include into the data structure. We used BLAST2GO to gather basic information such as BLAST hit, e value, GO terms, GO descriptions, KEGG annotations, PFAM, expression values, length, and nucleotide sequence for the transcriptome. Next we needed a way to consolidate and query this data set, and for that we used Python. With simple text processing we stripped the basic information from BLAST2GO and added it to a custom "contig" class. We developed an easy-to-use interface using Tkinter to allow for advanced searching of the database. We also wanted to allow for extendibility of our data structure to other possible biological data sets so all the code was generalized for use on any transcriptome.

Python Tkinter Blast2Go

Hill S, co-advisors Dr. Tartaro A & Dr. Blomquist K, (2015) “Self Monitoring Innovations: Accuracy Study” Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges Sixteenth Annual Southeastern Small College Student Research Contest in Roanoke, VA – received 3rd place

Hill S, Brown K, Morgan A, Cirstea A, Mustafa A, Dr. Tartaro A (2015) “BIG Science; Towards A Collaborative Framework for Large Scale Research” Furman Engaged Day, Furman University

Hill S (2015) “Self-Monitoring Innovations: Accuracy Study” Furman Engaged Day, Furman University

Hill S, Eells E (2015) “Minor Differences - Quantifying the impact of 19th century editions on one play by Aeschylus.” Furman Engaged Day, Furman University

Hill S, Brown K, Morgan A, Cirstea A, Dr. Tartaro A (2014) “BIG Science; A Collaborative Framework for Large Scale Research” Association for Computing Machinery Group 2014 Conference, Sanibel Island, Florida

Hill S, Brown K, Morgan A, Cirstea A, Dr. Tartaro A (2014) “BIG Science; A Collaborative Framework for Large Scale Research” 2014 South Carolina EPSCoR Annual Conference in Columbia, South Carolina

Heist T, Hill S (2014) “Python as a tool for parsing biological datasets: a case study with transcriptomes from Cliona varians.” University of Richmond, School of Arts and Sciences Student Symposium, Richmond, VA.

Hill S (2014) “Digital Aristotle: A Greek Language Parser” Furman Engaged Day, Furman University

Hill S, Schosky R, Dr. Tartaro A (2014) “Bootstrap + Cake: A new look for Self Monitoring.” Furman Engaged Day, Furman University

Conn T, Hill S, Dr. Tartaro A (2014) “BIG Science; A Collaborative Framework for Large Scale Research” 2016 South Carolina EPSCoR Annual Conference in Columbia, South Carolina

Heist T, Hill S (2013) “Python as a tool for parsing biological datasets: a case study with transcriptomes from Cliona varians.” HHMI Undergraduate Research Symposium, Richmond, VA.

  • Kenneth C. Abernethy Award for Excellence in Computer Science, Furman University, Spring 2016
  • Furman Fellow, Furman University, Class of 2016
  • Merit Award Scholarship, Sea Education Association, Summer 2015
  • Heatherington Scholarship, Computer Science Department, Furman University, 2014
  • Deans List, Furman University, 2012-16
  • Associated Colleges of the South Fellowship, Furman University, 2012-16
  • Founder and President, Makers Club, Furman University, 2014-16
  • President & SGA Representative, Religious Council, Furman University, 2015-16
  • Representative, Religious Council, Furman University, 2014-15
  • Vice President, Secular Students Alliance, Furman University, 2014-16
  • Bell Tower Boys, male a cappella group, Furman University, 2012-16 (VP, 2015-16)
  • Furman Singers, premier collegiate ensemble, Furman University, 2012-16


Sea-Mount Modeling

A group project for Graphics (mentioned above) which created new, more interactive models of the sea-mount I worked on during SEA semester. In the bottom left you can see the topography of Winslow Reef and towards the top of the mountains you can see stacks of arrows with various size, color, and direction. These stacks of arrows represent one scan from the Acoustic Doplar Current Profiler (ADCP) and each arrow represents the current measured at that depth. The size and color are correlated to magnitude to help visualize where strong currents are, while the direction of the arrows are linked to direction. Not pictured is an ocean surface layer to help gauge depth, but this can be toggled on and off with the GUI in the upper right corner. The GUI allows you to control a few parameters for the ocean and shows the magnitude, depth, and location of a selected current. To interact with the model you rotate with left-click and drag, pan with right-click and drag, zoom by scrolling, and select currents with left-click. To try the model click here. The code, including previous work with matplotlib, is on github here.

Self Monitoring Innovations

This web application is part of the redesigned front end for the SMI project (mentioned above). The layout is done predominantly with Bootstrap 3 and highcharts, the interactions are handled with javascript, and the backend is made with CakePHP. The image above is one of the three meal entry forms I designed. The other forms included a simplistic version of the one above and a traditional meal entry form with a table for food items and calories. For the form pictured above, you adjust the amount of each food group on your plate.

SPARQL Environment Backend

This project was part of my Database Management class and is built in a vagrant virtual environment (scotchbox) for stability and uses both MongoDB and MySQL to store user information. The database communication is handled in PHP. This system is intended to organize the backend and simplify the requirements for the original SPARQL-Environment (a project a fellow student and myself started while working with relational data for summer research). The code for the original SPARQL-Environment is on github here and the code for my backend is here.

Weather Station

A simple weather station built with arduino. The code is on github here.

Multiplexed 7-segment Displays

Three 7-segment displays multiplexed with arduino. The code is on github here.