Duncan Lilley

Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Email: Duncan.Lilley@hws.edu

About Me

Although I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I do not remember much of my time there as we quickly moved to Kansas City, Kansas when my father's job relocated. While there, I played on a tee-ball team with my dad as the coach, later on a softball team, and also a local soccer team where I cultivated my dislike for running. During the summer before 3rd grade, my father had to again relocate for his job, so we moved back to Pennsylvania, this time to Swiftwater, on the east side of the state.

The summer after 3rd grade, my brother and I joined our county's recreational swim team. I picked up swimming better than I ever could running, and continued on with competitive swimming even after the county team was discontinued, joining the YMCA swim team, and then continuing on with four varsity letters through my high school career. My family grew disatisfied with the local school district, and enrolled my brother and I in a cyber charter school when I was in 6th grade. I reenrolled in the local high school as a sophomore. There was an introductory class on Java programming which I took that spring semester - that was where I acquired my passion for computer science. I continued on, taking the advanced programming class my junior year, and then the AP computer science class senior year, earning a 5 on the AP exam. for computer science.

As a member of the class of 2017 at Hobart College in Geneva, NY, I am currently working towards my BS in computer science. In addition to this, I will have a minor in environmental studies, and I am planning on declaring a second major in mathematics. I have worked as a teaching assistant for the computer science department since the Spring '14 semester. Since the Fall '14 semester, I have also worked as a student support specialist at the IT Services help desk.

Courses I Have Taken

Fall 2013

Spring 2014

  • CHEM 240 - Organic Chemistry I
  • ENV 101 - Sustainable Communities
  • CPSC 225 - Intermediate Programming
  • CPSC 226 - Embedded Computing
  • MATH 232 - Multivariable Calculus

Fall 2014

  • SOC 100 - Introduction to Sociology
  • CPSC 329 - Software Development
  • CPSC 441 - Computer Networks and Distributed Processing
  • MATH 204 - Linear Algebra
  • CHEM 241 - Organic Chemistry II (Audit)

Spring 2015

  • PHIL 154 - Continuing Issues: Environmental Ethics
  • SOC 299 - Vietnam: Conflict and Change
  • CPSC 327 - Data Structures and Algorithms
  • SPSC 336 - Robotics
  • MATH 278 - Number Theory

Fall 2015

My Projects

Create2 - Arduino Library

While taking the robotics course in the Spring '15 semester, Susan Tuvell '16 and I worked cooperatively to develop an Arduino library capable of communicating with the iRobot Create 2. A redesign of the Roomba, the robot vacuum cleaner, the Create 2 is a programmable robotic base designed to be hacked and built upon. However, as the Create 2 was newly released, there were no preexisting libraries for communicating with it via Arduino microcontroller, so we took it upon ourselves to develop one. Many similarities existed between the Open Interface (OI) of the original Create and the Create 2, so we built upon a library created for the original Create by Mike McCauley.

More information about this project, including download links for the Create2 library and the Create 2 OI, can be found here or at the GitHub page here.


Also during the Spring '15 semester through June '15, I assisted with the RockSat-C physics project, working with Christopher Demas '17, Jeff Rizza '16, Joe Carrock '17, Matt Sanders '17, and Lisa Ditchek '15. The aim of this project was to create a payload for a rocket to collect various data. This included spectrographic analysis of light at various altitudes, in addition to collecting statistical data related to the occurrence of muon particles.

My job for this project was to interface the circuitry of the sensors with Arduino microcontrollers to interpret and store the collected data. This was achieved with the use of an Arduino Mega, an Arduino Uno, and two Adafruit Data Logging shields. I also created several designs for 3D printed parts to support various components and power supplies.

Other Endeavors

Alternative Spring Break

I participated in the Alternative Spring Break program for the Spring of 2015. As part of this program, myself and nine other students travelled to Norlina, NC to spend the week volunteering at Mariam Boyd Elementary School. We were divided between the classes of the school, and I was assigned to both of the fourth grade classes.

In the classroom, I assisted students with their classwork, in addition to leading activities such as planting flower seeds and talking to the students about my experience with programming games and robotics. I helped chaperone a group of students during a field trip to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the North Carolina Museum of History. After the school day was finished, we assisted students with their homework and played games during the after school program.

This trip, along with the other Alternative Spring Break trips can be read about here.