Pubfeed Automated Research News

Pubfeed - find the research that interests you

(Update – Pubfeed was running on a machine at the University of Toronto and sadly came to an end when I graduated)

My final project in Greg Wilson’s Topics in Software Engineering class this semester is a web application called Pubfeed.  Pubfeed is a tool that allows researchers in academia and industry to keep track of research in any areas that they are interested in.  All you have to do is tell it what research publications you like and it will generate a news feed of related research that is constantly updated.  All the feeds created on Pubfeed are public so you can view and subscribe to other peoples feeds.  You can monitor all your subscriptions via RSS or you can just check  the website every now and then.

The idea behind Pubfeed was Greg’s originally, I just took it and ran with it.  It is essentially a meta-search tool that just re-queries search engines periodically to check for new results based on user’s favorite publications.  The current implementation uses the DBLP and Google Scholar databases but I hope to add other data sources in the future.  In a sense, Pubfeed is actually quite dumb because all the heavy lifting in finding relevant publications is done by DBLP and Google Scholar and Pubfeed just aggregates their results with some basic filters.

There are already a number of interesting feeds on Pubfeed ranging from topics in computer science, medicine, music and economics.  Check out my subscriptions on Pubfeed and go create your own feeds!

Recycling made simple

The last of my summer projects just recently went live. It’s built on the idea that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. trash nothing! as I’ve called it is a site that allows you to find free stuff that other people in your community are giving away for free and makes it easy for you to give away the things you don’t need anymore.

It’s built on top of the already thriving Freecycling, ReUseIt, and FreeSharing groups that have thousands of members. But trash nothing! provides more than just access to your existing recycling groups, it makes interacting with the groups quicker and easier. You can view all your groups in one place with automatic message categorization that allows you to see at a glance which items are still available and which ones aren’t. There is even a simple message composer with free picture galleries for the items you give away.

I’m aiming for a broader market as compared to Comic Gopher and Click 4 Obama. If you like free stuff or recycling then trash nothing! is right for you. Currently it only supports a few Atlanta and Toronto area recycling groups but more should be added soon.

Paper #45 accepted for AIIDE ’08

I just got the news that the research paper I wrote from my senior research project was accepted at the Fourth Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE-08)! I guess this means I’m a real scientist now. Too bad I’ll be busy starting grad school in Toronto when the conference takes place at Stanford.

The work was a continuation of my involvement in the Cognitive Computing Lab (CCL) at Georgia Tech. Building on my previous experience with the and the CCL’s case based reasoning system, Darmok, and the Stratagus game engine, I developed an offline plan adaptation algorithm under the direction of Santi Ontañón and Ashwin Ram. If you’re interested you can read the full paper – Stochastic Plan Optimization in Real-Time Strategy Games.

Obama’s Got Game

Actually, I hear he is pretty bad at bowling but not too bad at basketball and poker. These are just a few of the thousands of interesting facts I have stumbled across while working on my latest endeavor. I don’t usually follow politics very closely until after the conventions are over and there are less candidates to study but this election has caught my interest more than most. It is a heated race between the first viable woman candidate, the first viable non-caucasian candidate, and one of the oldest candidates. So I’ve decided to throw my talents into the race behind the candidate I’m leaning towards (you get one guess who that is).

So I’ve gone and built a free online political education game for Obama, completely un-official and un-endorsed (so far). The name of the game is Click 4 Obama. The tagline is “You play, Obama wins!” and the premise behind it is pretty simple. As people answer quiz questions about US history, politics, and government, the site generates ad revenue which is used to buy ads for Obama. There is a bit more detail to it that you can read about in my official introduction of Click 4 Obama and more details are on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

I could talk about Click 4 Obama all day long but you should really just go check it out and give it a spin. I think I’ve actually managed to make politics fun and educational; my high school teachers would be so proud.

Go-Go-Gadget!

In the last two days I’ve thrown together a nifty little Comic Gopher Google gadget that you can put on your Google homepage or your own webpage. I’m hoping it will serve as a marketing tool for Comic Gopher but I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes much more popular than Comic Gopher because its free and easy to use. It doesn’t have all the features or comics that Comic Gopher has but it actually supports a number of comics that Comic Gopher doesn’t because it works by grabbing comic RSS feeds rather than scraping pages. Anyways, feel free to add it to your Google homepage by clicking the below button and drop me some feedback.

Preview the Comic Gopher Google gadget on the iGoogle directory
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Add to Google

Comic Gopher pops his head up!

Comic Gopher I graduated in December and instead of getting a job I’ve been trying to wrap up this pet project I have been working on in my free time. After about two months of work, I’ve finally managed to make it presentable and setup a website. Without further ado, I give you Comic Gopher – fetching the comics you love quicker.

Comic Gopher provides your daily webcomic fix, all on one page. It’s like the comics page in your newspaper but better because you get to choose which comics you see. It’s a desktop program that works by downloading the newest comics off the internet to your computer so you can take your comics with you anywhere you go, whether you are connected to the internet or not.

I developed Comic Gopher because I’ve always wanted to automate my daily comic routine so I don’t have to load every comic website every day just to see if there is a new comic. It saves me time and makes it easier for me to find new comics to read. You can download and try out Comic Gopher for free for 30 days and I hope you will find it as useful as I have. There is also a Comic Gopher wiki where you can learn how to add new comics or customize the look and feel of Comic Gopher if you feel the need. Any comments or feedback you have would be appreciated.