This semester, two students have asked me to sponsor their independent study projects. Our students complete about 60 such projects each semester, in which they choose to pursue a project or complete a course of study that is not offered within our academic program. The first student, Ben, is a senior who is well-known for his entrepreneurial accomplishments (see his blog for more). Founder of his own company focusing on web-based e-government solutions, Ben has decided to learn a bit about the technologies his programmers use by doing a little programming himself. He will create data-driven web tools using PHP, Apache, and mySQL to support his business and school endeavors. Ben has created a separate blog for this project, Casnocha Turns Geek. One interesting technical detail is that Ben will be able to complete the entire independent study on his Mac laptop, which can double as a development server for this purpose.
The other student, Danny, is a sophomore who wanted to sign up for my 3D and Virtual Reality course. Since I didn’t get enough students to fill the class this year, he has elected to pursue an independent study with me along the same lines. Danny will use Cinema 4D to create an animation of a roller coaster from the passenger seat. It should be exhilarating to watch!