Week Three

My research has progressed quite a bit from last week. Since then, I’ve developed my initial ideas into my four starting points and done some surface level research on each. I’ve also performed exercises from How to Have Great Ideas: A Guide to Creative Thinking, which has helped me think creatively about each subject. My four starting points ended up being:

  • Homelessness.
  • Cognitive Dissonance.
  • Flight or Flight.
  • Immortality.

I presented my research to the group on Friday and decided that the subject I will focus on will be homelessness. I think it’s a topic which is narrow enough, but still offers a broad range of research potential. Next week I will be diving deeper into homelessness during phase two of my research.

After our presentations, we took part in a workshop which gave us a glimpse into what phase two of our research would entail. We first had to collectively chose a theme from one of our presentations. We chose preservation as our theme and were then put into smaller groups of two. Next, we were given some research topic starter cards with words written on them, these words formed the basis of our research. My group’s cards were colour, locations and facts. I was working with Claudia who took colour and I chose locations, we didn’t quite get around to facts, but we found plenty of research regardless. I also used another exercise from How to Have Great Ideas: A Guide to Creative Thinking.

Exercise

Try Combining Systems

“Exciting new ideas can come from bringing together and interlinking previously existing infrastructures and systems.”

My brainstorm was supposed to be about how Asian countries tackle preservation differently than the West, but it ended up mainly being about bamboo scaffolding:

bamboo-brainstorm

Overall the workshop was successful and it was interesting to see how much we could gather in a relatively short time. I’m planning to use some of the things I’ve learned in my own research going forward.

Aside from my research, this week I learned about Markov Chains and transition probabilities. In Tuesday’s lecture, we created transition matrices to effect A.I. movement based on certain thresholds. We were given a sniper analogy to work with. Let’s say there is a sniper enemy in an FPS game. This enemy needs to know the safest of four possible sniper spots. Once the player has shot at the enemy’s position, it would need to relocate to the next safest location. To do this we used matrix calculations to work out which location would be the next safest. Although it was quite complicated, we got to see it in action by creating state machines with transitions based on matrix calculations. We also recreated a Pokémon battle system using these kinds of calculations. I’m interested to see how to implement these transitions in code, which as I understand is the subject of our next lecture on Tuesday.

Overall, the week was very research heavy, which is why I think it was a good idea to include exercises when I researched my starting points. It enabled me to think creatively about them and I think it prevented me from feeling bogged down. During the next couple of weeks, I think I will continue in this same vein, especially since I will be researching homelessness which is quite a serious subject. Hopefully this will keep me focused through the final parts of this research phase.

Week Four

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