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Evan James Becker

UWM SURF Research Student
Resumé PDF FORMAT

I am a senior research undergraduate at UW-Milwaukee for Computer Science. I have experience in web development, AI, and video game design.

I am a researcher at UWM where I am working on developing a language learning web platform for the blind.

HTML5 / CSS3

CSS Frameworks

CSS Pre-Processors

JS (ES6) / jQuery

JS Frameworks

Node JS

PHP 5/7

PHP Frameworks

MySQL & MongoDB

Java & Scala

C / C++ / C#

Python

Frameworks

CSS / CSS Pre-Processor / JS / PHP


95%
Bootstrap 3/4
& Materialize
67%
LESS & SASS
87%
Angular 2+
& React
74%
Socket.io
& Express.js
91%
P5.js/Processing.JS
& Libraries (Play)
65%
Laravel & CodeIgniter
About 90% OF THE WORLD'S VISUALLY IMPAIRED LIVE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES IN LOW-INCOME SETTINGS.

- WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION -

Introduction

For the last two years I have been the lead programmer on a co-research project with Professor Jacques du Plessis at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee through the SURF grant [Awarded four times: Spring 2016, Summer 2016, 2016-2017 School Year, and Summer 2017]. My research is developing an audio-only platform for the blind community to learn new languages. The project is soon to be open source, built on a LAMP stack with the main program being written in JavaScript.

We were inspired to research this platform because nearly 90% of the world's visually impaired live in developing countries in low income settings. Professor Jacques du Plessis is from South Africa. There he took note of the increasing number of blind individuals cast away from society. Many surrounding countries of South Africa have histories of parents abandoning their children on busses or trains to South Africa in hopes of awarding them a better life than what they can give them. South Africa agrees to take care of these children and will actively enroll them to their blind schools.

With a new population of blind children who speak multiple languages, a need for learning broader languages (usually Afrikaans) from their native tongue began. Our project is centered around addressing this problem by alleviating the alienation that a language barrier can cause for the blind community.

Published Abstract

HTML5 Audio Language Learning Tool for the Blind

Mentor: Jacques C Du Plessis, Information Studies

Ubiquitous access and cloud-centric designs have fundamentally impacted the way we communicate and learn. Sadly, those who are blind are not as well served. Their technologies are expensive and addresses reading and writing, but audio interactive tools to focus on learning is lacking – greatly due to weak profit making prospects. With a focus on the international blind community, our research focuses on the development of an open webbased audio interactive fact-learning environment. This flash card system is designed to automate the recall of facts, such as foreign language vocabulary.

To best address the needs of economically underserved communities, we develop with HTML5, avoiding proprietary technologies, and our data formats are open. The design makes it easy for non-technical subject matter experts to contribute. We accommodate both recorded audio and text2speech to generate audio. We have spent much time in the development of the interface to maximize the design for both blind and sighted students.

Here are some of the key design features: User can control the speed of presentation of the cards in the stack, as well as the speed of the two audio prompts for each card. Known cards can be eliminated, an update is always available for the number of cards left to do, and the stack can be randomized. Although the tool is fully functional for sighted learners as well, including the use of text and images, having sighted learners use the blind mode shows research promise of enhanced concentration and effective learning.

About Me

I am a senior research undergraduate at UW-Milwaukee for Computer Science. I have experience in web development, AI, and video game design.

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Contact Me

Greater Milwaukee Area,
Brookfield, WI 53005

Call or Text
(+262) 794 2959