Here's how I turned an old 1947 Westinghouse AM radio into a Bluetooth streaming speaker.
Parts & Tools
In the spring of 2010, a friend pitched me a startup idea for renting out children's clothing through a website. I started helping out to learn more about e-commerce and entrepreneurship. The question for the business eventually became: how do we run a rental business without a warehouse?
The idea was floated that each renter could clean the clothes themselves before sending them to the next renter, so that the business would never handle clothes. When I went to grad school, I remained curious about whether that could work, and began exploring the broader question of how best to design a sharing economy at the University of Michigan's Strategic Reasoning Group, which uses economics and computer science to understand complex environments.
The great promise of collaborative consumption is that it can result in a more efficient economy -- by sharing, we can collectively extract more value from the same stuff, to squeeze every ounce of usefulness from those drills, tennis racquets, cars, apartments, et cetera that suppliers are ...
Off-and-on since working with Bebarang two summers ago, I've been studying online mechanisms for the rental of tangible goods. This work has culminated in a publication at the Trading Agent Design and Analysis / Agent-Mediated Electronic Commerce (TADA/AMEC) workshop being held in early June, 2012 alongside the Autonomous Agents and MultiAgent Systems (AAMAS) conference in Valencia, Spain.
I've learned much while working on this project with ...
Partial Replication of: Stronger CDA Strategies through Empirical Game-Theoretic Analysis and Reinforcement Learning
This study seeks to replicate the results of a study originally conducted by Julian L. Schvartzman and Michael P. Wellman [12, 13] on the relative strength of eight previously proposed principled strategies for automatically bidding in a continuous double auction (CDA). The strategies are compared by empirical game theoretic analysis , for which results are in terms of equilibria. The result ...
How do you compare e-commerce reputation systems? In this paper from the winter of 2011, I take the approach of letting little computer programs decide which e-commerce market they would prefer.
E-commerce markets are prone to cheating between participants because of the anonymity of Internet interactions and the lack of governmental jurisdictional authority to prosecute cheaters. For this reason, there has been much research and development into mechanisms that prevent cheating. Sets of mechanisms that seek to reduce or ...
3D Object Classification Using Unsupervised Feature Learning
This was the term project for my EECS 545 - Machine Learning class in the spring semester of 2012. We built upon and compared our results to a set of work by a robotics group at Cornell (their site). We used both k-nearest neighbors and SVM in our unsupervised feature learning methods.
The general problem we aimed to solve is that of automatically classifying objects in a three-dimensional setting. This problem is at the core of autonomous robotics research, as being able to function in an environment, including manipulation of objects, requires the ability to understand what objects exist within the environment. Successfully solving this problem leads directly to autonomous robots that can be visually taught labels for objects, and when coupled with a semantic understanding of those labels, results in a robot that understands and productively interacts with its environment.
How do you efficiently connect people with similar needs or interests? Sumazi is a tool which attempts to do this in the most general sense. In my User Generated Content course this past semester, I (quickly) wrote a paper describing and analyzing the underlying problem and the incentive properties of Sumazi ...
I felt like playing around with DIY electronics, so I built a breathalyzer. It's not an accurate breathalyzer as much as it is a game to see who can get the highest "score". The best part: I housed it in a beer can, so when you blow into it, it looks like you're taking a drink.