UTK Senior Thesis and Project
My senior thesis and project was completed under the guidance of Dr. Brad VanderZanden, an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Tennessee, and Dr. Tom Broadhead, Head of the University Honors Program.
This project was completed in conjunction with Dr. VanderZanden's ongoing research into spreadsheet programming and computer user interfaces. The project is centered on creating a tool that will make it easy to create interactive electronic forms using the spreadsheet paradigm. The basic idea is to allow the developer to create a freeform table in which any cell can compute its value using a formula, much like users are accustomed to doing in applications like Microsoft Excel. The table can be adapted to look like a form and all types of interactive widgets or icons can be placed into the cells. This tool will allow fast development of electronic forms with the flexibility, power, and simplicity of spreadsheet programming. Java is being used in the development of this tool for maximum portability. The complete tool will be very complex, so this project concentrates on one particular aspect of the application, that being the functionality for creating the form layouts. There are several issues addressed by this project. The first issue is the actual drawing of the table, such as the user interface and drawing tools. Second, the user input must be checked and corrected. The third issue deals with converting the individually drawn lines to cells using pattern recognition, interpolation, and error checking. The code for this project will later be incorporated into Dr. VanderZanden's work to add the rest of the application's functionality.
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